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Rolex Datejust Ref. 1601 ‘Gilt’
This dial is To. Die. For.
No, for real. This dial is absolutely stunning.
So for starters, it is a gilt dial. A blank brass dial has its text and minute track pad-printed with clear lacquer. The resulting dial is galvanized in black. Since the electro-plating does not adhere to the previously clear-lacquered text, you only get the resulting negative space in black. A gilt dial, then, is a reverse printed dial, so to speak. The text lies deeper than the surrounding black and has a unique metallic sheen to it.
The condition of the watch overall is fantastic. So curious, come swing by, you are always welcome to come in.
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The Rolex Datejust is one of the most iconic watch designs ever made. We try not to use the term “iconic” too liberally, but it is surely justified here. Launched back in 1945 as the Ref. 4467, the design has been only marginally updated every now and then. And it has looked fresh and current ever since.
When it comes to vintage, two generations of Datejust are particularly popular; the Ref. 16xx and the later five-digit references. The 16xx models were made from the fifties until roughly 1978 and feature a beautifully dimensional pie-pan dial. Many of these came on folded jubilee bracelets and they did not yet feature a quickset date.
When the reference was updated to five digits around 1978, the pie-pan dial was replaced by a flat dial. The caliber was updated to now feature a quickset date. A decade later, in 1988, a new update saw the introduction of a sapphire crystal. For us, this is where vintage Datejust becomes modern Datejust.
Countless variations can be found. Different bezels, bracelets, dial colors, sizes and materials. The Datejust is one of the most beloved and versatile watches around. If you are looking for a one-watch-collection, that works equally well with shorts as it does with a three-piece suit, the Datejust is probably a pretty safe bet!
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