Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Model Ref.1601 14ct c1963
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed
Oversized 36mm Case, Excluding the Rolex Oyster Crown
Absolutely Mint Condition Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Model Ref 1601
Immaculate 14ct Yellow Gold Case With Fluted Bezel in Wonderful Condition
Chronometer Grade Cal.1560, 25 Jewels, Automatic Movement Running Arrow Straight
Original, Unrestored and Untouched ‘Sunburst’ Dial with Original ‘Stick’ Hands
New, High Quality Blue Alligator Strap and Rolex Gold-Plated Buckle
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Presentation Box Included
All in Simply Stunning Condition Throughout
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty*
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
Founded in 1905 in England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, the company 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 a beautiful 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, 25 jewel movement. It was not until around 1953 that Rolex began to promote the Datejust line by using the name ‘Datejust’ on the dial.
The rare and stunning ‘sunburst’ stepped dial is in the classic Rolex Oyster Perpetual style and simply exudes quality. It is furnished with the original ‘stick’ hands which sweep wonderful gold ‘baton’ hour indices. We think the wonderful colour of the dial contrasts absolutely beautifully with the 14ct yellow gold case.
The dial is signed ‘Rolex Oyster Perpetual’ and ‘Datejust’ at the top below 12, with ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’ just above the 6 and ‘T Swiss Made T’ at the very bottom.
As this dial is in original, unrestored condition, this has been left untouched by our restoration team due to its superb condition. Usually, we restore the dials of the watches we sell, however we decided in this case to leave it alone, due to its unusually good condition and to retain its originality and charm for those who prefer this. It also helps to contrast with almost all of the other watch dials you see on our website, which have been restored. The hands, likewise, have also been left in their original untouched condition.
Please note, studio lights, professional-grade digital cameras, and macro lenses can be very unkind to an unrestored vintage watch dial. Also the dial here measures less than 1.25 inches across, so the image you’re seeing may be between 5 – 25 times larger than the watch itself. Therefore please keep in mind you are seeing many tiny flaws which cannot be seen, or will be very hard to see with the naked eye, even under close examination. Suffice to say, on the wrist, in natural light, this dial looks much better and carries a great deal more charm than the photographs portray.
The watch carries its original very high grade ‘Superlative Chronometer’ Calibre 1560, 26 Jewel automatic movement which is in sparklingly clean condition. The movement has been fully overhauled and serviced by our watchmaker. This means it has been fully dismantled to all its component parts, before ultrasonic cleaning, microscope inspection and replacement of parts with new originals where required. Then careful reassembly and oiling ready for final testing and calibration. The watch is now running perfectly having been calibrated and timed at -10 seconds per day, which is truly outstanding for any watch of this age. It is therefore ready for many more years of reliable service. This movement has a 44 hour power reserve when fully wound.
The movement is all correctly signed ‘Montres Rolex SA Geneva Swiss’ and ‘Twenty Six Jewels’ with the Calibre number 1560 and the serial number D64677.
These Chronometer grade movements are very strong, accurate and reliable making this watch perfectly suitable for evening wear and everyday use. This particular movement is in superb A1 condition and with regular servicing, every 3 – 4 years, we would fully expect this watch to run happily for many more years to come! We are pleased to offer a 12 month warranty on this watch movement*.
*Please note – our 12 month warranty is only applicable if the 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 fluted bezel, remain well defined. It is therefore in superb condition with no scratches, dings or similar marks visible to the naked eye.
This watch is also complete with its early shallow fluted bezel, which is much easier on the eye and has more subtle flutes than the later, more heavily fluted bezels. This gives the watch a more refined appearance and defines this watch as an early 1960s ‘Datejust’. As can be seen, the bezel remains in excellent condition and is free from any marks, which is unusual as the bezel is the most prone part of the watch case and most easily damaged through nicks and scratches.
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 Rolex model reference number 6605, (again) at ’12’.
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
This watch has a high quality blue alligator strap fitted, in almost unused condition and this watch has also been fitted with a matching 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. We 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 if you wish here.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with the watch, the numbers and markings are all correct, dating this watch to c1963.
Our detailed Watch Particulars document will be included with a receipt, along with our 12 months’ warranty*. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will also be provided, along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee, which states: “If 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 watch comes complete with a Rolex inner and outer presentation box, as shown in the photographs.
If you would like to pay by bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Paying by bank transfer for a 3% saving will not affect your 12 months warranty. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and unfortunately out of our control.
We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges, however attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.
For those that happen to visit the UK on occasion we are of course more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London, and your watch directly to you there.
As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no quibble sale or return policy.
This is a truly first class example of a 1960s vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust which is ready to wear and completely practical for everyday use. If treated with care, it will make an excellent investment or heirloom piece and even though vintage gold Rolex prices have risen markedly recently, we still feel good examples such as this are still undervalued. As each year goes by and the world market for vintage gold Rolex watches continues to expand, prices will continue to climb ever higher.
To summarise, this is a truly rare and highly collectable vintage watch from horology’s most famous name, which is ready to wear, use, treasure and enjoy. It will provide excellent reliability and a sound financial investment – as long-lasting as the watch itself!
A word on 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 at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post-sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well-known stores in West London which are highly 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.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or a small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.
We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions please call us on 020 7727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.