|Year of production (circa)||
Steel & gold
Rolex Datejust Ref. 16013 ‘Anniversary’
We all know and love the Jubilee bracelet, introduced in 1945 to celebrate Rolex’s 40th birthday. For the house’s 80th birthday, another Jubilee part was launched: the Jubilee dial we see here.
And what a stunning example this is! It is one of the richest, deepest blue dials you will see. It obscures the “Rolex” monogram pattern that is characteristic for the Jubilee dial to a level that is more subtle than other variants of the same dial. It is off set beautifully by the gold-tone printing and applied Arabic numerals going round the outer perimeter of the dial.
While it is the dial that steals the show, the rest of the watch is nothing to scoff at either. This is a Ref. 16013 Datejust, meaning we get a rugged quickset caliber. This DJ is executed in a cool two-tone configuration, only adding to its rich looks.
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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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