|Year of production (circa)||
Original steel folding clasp
Rolex Datejust Ref. 16014 “Linen dial”
Here we have a beautiful Rolex Datejust with a linen dial, from the 5-digit references era.
The charm of a vintage watch is in its unique aging or patina. This example features a linen dial on which the varnish has yellowed to a warm hue. Combined with the tritium dots, which have also turned darker, it adds a lot of warmth and character to the dial. The handset has likely been replaced at some point, but they are original Rolex.
A linen dial Ref. 16014 looks like an archetypical Datejust from afar, but up close the structured dial really adds some beautiful shimmer.
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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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