|Year of production (circa)||
Steel & gold
Rolex Datejust Ref. 16013
Here we have a two-tone Rolex Datejust ref. 16013 with a very rare dial indeed: a vignette dial with diamond indices.
The vignette dial is largely made through the same process as the illusive Stella dials. These are actually a bit more intricate to make, as the dial is spun and the additional pigment is sprayed onto the outer edge, darkening it. These dials have been produced for longer though, making them a little less rare than the Stella variants.
This beautiful example is further enhanced through factory-set diamond indices. A brilliant combination, pardon the pun.
This ref. 16013 comes on a Jubilee bracelet that is quite stretched, but the overall package is still extremely attractive!
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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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