Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 14ct 1958
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared For And Lightly Used Example
Rolex Model Ref.1601, Cal.1560, 26 Jewels, Automatic Movement
Officially Certified Datejust Highly Accurate Chronometer Movement
Superb Unrestored ‘Sunburst’ Dial with Original ‘Index’ Hands & ‘Baton’ Indices
Immaculate Lightly Polished Case in Excellent Condition
Large Size 36mm, 14ct Solid Gold Case, Excluding the Rolex Screw-down Crown
New, Brown Alligator Strap & Rolex Gold-Plated Buckle
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
Matching Rolex Presentation Box Included
VGWL 12 Months Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
Founded in 1905 in England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, the partnership became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving to its new Geneva headquarters in 1919. The success of the wristwatch can be largely attributed to many of Rolex’s innovations which made the company one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These have included its famous “Oyster” case — the world’s first water-resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and its “Perpetual” — the world’s first reliable, self-winding movement for the wristwatch, launched in 1933. These would form the foundation for Rolex’s Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956. Also and equally importantly, Rolex is known for its sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.
Launched in 1945, the Rolex Datejust broke new ground by being the world’s first automatic wristwatch with a date function. The fact that this watch was also waterproof and accurate and reliable enough to be Chronometer rated, was nothing short of sensational in 1945!
The Datejust was also one of the first popular watches to possess a central seconds hand, moving away from the more usual subsidiary seconds (small seconds dial) of the time. It was launched in the very large size for the time, of 36mm in diameter, excluding the Rolex screw-down crown. This classic design soon became an icon of style and quality, remaining in continuous production and continuous development, but changing little in design in over 70 years!
The Rolex Day-Date joined the Datejust in 1956 and both have remained Rolex’s range-topping gentlemen’s dress watches ever since. However, early Rolex Datejusts are rarer and more sought after and therefore command higher prices than the Day-Date. Incidentally, the ‘just’ in Datejust, stands for “just in time”, referring to the way the movement advances the date, exactly at midnight without any delay.
The watch seen here is an unrestored example of an early Rolex Datejust in 14ct solid gold from within the first 7 years of production. This is Rolex model reference 1601, which has the Rolex Chronometer grade Cal.1560, 26 jewel movement. It was not until around 1953 that Rolex began to promote the Datejust line by using the name ‘Datejust’ on the dial.
This original dial is the most iconic of vintage Rolex Dial designs, which in essence carries through to this day. The dial carries its original, unrestored Rolex 1950s ‘Index’ hands and applied ‘baton’ hour indices with, of course, the Rolex Coronet at the very top of the dial.
The dial is signed ‘Rolex Oyster Perpetual’ and ‘Datejust’ with ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom of the dial.
Usually, we restore the dials of our watches, but here we felt this gentle ageing adds to the character and charm of the watch. If you would like to purchase this watch with the dial fully restored, this can be arranged.
The Watch Movement
The original, high grade “Officially Certified Superlative Chronometer”, 26 Jewel, Calibre 1560 ‘butterfly’ movement is highly regarded for being very accurate, reliable and strong. As can be seen in the photographs, it is in sparkling condition and it is working perfectly following a thorough overhaul and service by our vintage Rolex specialist watchmaker. This means the movement has been completely disassembled to each of its component parts, cleaned and inspected under high magnification and then rebuilt using only original Rolex parts where required, before testing and careful calibration. The watch has just been re-tested (as it will be prior to delivery) and is running to within +7 seconds per day, which is outstanding for a vintage watch of this age! The movement also has a 48 hour power reserve when fully wound.
These movements are strong, accurate and very reliable making the watch appropriate for regular everyday use. This particular movement is in top condition and with regular servicing every 2 to 3 years we would fully expect this watch to run very happily for many more decades to come! We are therefore pleased to offer a 12-month warranty on this watch movement* and servicing in the future.
The movement is signed ‘MONTRES ROLEX SA GENEVA’, ‘TWENTY SIX JEWELS’ and ‘ADJUSTED to FIVE POSITIONS’ and carries the movement reference number D63026 and the calibre number 1560.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.
The Watch Case
The 14ct yellow gold case measures 36mm, excluding the Rolex Oyster screw-down crown. The case has been carefully inspected inside and out and then restored to ‘as new’ condition by very gentle cleaning and hand-polishing by our professional watch case restorer. Even though this is an early example, no definition has been lost and all the lines, including the bezel, remain well defined. It is therefore in superb condition with no scratches, dings or similar marks visible to the naked eye.
The screw-down case-back is of full-thickness, having never been inscribed. The inside of the case-back carries the Rolex model number 1601 with 14ct Swiss Geneva hallmarks and is signed ‘Montres Rolex SA Geneva Switzerland’. Very importantly, the case also carries its clearly defined serial number, 63026, between the lugs at ‘6’,. The case serial number confirms the date of manufacture of the watch, which is 1958.
Please note – although the waterproof seals have been replaced and this watch was originally specified as waterproof when new, this has not been tested and it is not guaranteed. As always, our standard advice applies: vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times
The Strap & Buckle
A new, brown Alligator strap has been fitted along with a gold-plated Rolex buckle. However, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin and can also obtain most types and colours from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs. Please take a look at their huge range of 20mm straps.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, all the numbers and markings on the watch are correct, dating the watch to 1958.
Our detailed ‘Particulars’ document will be included in the sale, along with our detailed receipt and 12 months warranty*. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will also be provided at the time of sale, along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If at any time, this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.
The matching Rolex presentation box shown in the photographs will be included with this watch.
To summarise, this is an iconic, top quality, and highly practical vintage watch from horology’s most famous name. It will provide an excellent financial investment as well as be something to wear, treasure and enjoy! It will make the perfect evening wear dress watch as well as a practical, highly accurate and reliable timepiece to use on an everyday basis. Although this is one of our more expensive watches, its quality will be remembered for long after its purchase price will be forgotten.
Vintage gold Rolex ‘Datejust’ watches are highly collectable and the rarity of this watch means the value will always remain strong, meaning this watch will also make an excellent investment and family heirloom piece. Even though vintage Rolex prices have risen strongly in recent years, we feel high-quality fine examples such as this still remain undervalued. As each year goes by and the world market for vintage watches expands, availability will become more limited, so prices are surely destined to climb ever higher.
A word about our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring them to the highest possible standards. We then offer these for sale at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post sales care and service. This approach, inevitably, means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are a number of well-known stores in West London which are very successful, charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept PayPal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you would wish to pay by bank transfer, we will be pleased to pass on a 3% transaction saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or International Bank Wire Transfer, we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges and if you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss.
We will be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Fully Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions, we welcome your call on: 020 7727 7095 or if calling from overseas on: +44 207 727 7095.
We are ready and available and awaiting your call! We will be happy to answer any questions and offer advice about this or any of our watches listed for sale. If you would like some general advice regarding any aspect of vintage watches, including buying, selling, or collecting vintage watches, we will also be happy to hear from you.
Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine vintage gold watches.