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Rolex Datejust Ref. 1603
Here we have an absolute winner of a Rolex Datejust Ref. 1603.
There is something highly attractive about a grey-dial Datejust with a steel engine-turned bezel. Paired with the Jubilee bracelet, it is the quintessential Datejust recipe.
This particular example is fitted with a Sigma dial. A shared attempt among Swiss watch houses to boost perceived value, by indicating the use of gold in hands and indices, through the addition of a small sigma sign on either side of the T Swiss T marking. It is one of those features that make a watch extra attractive in collectors’ circles.
Come and try this beauty on at Reestraat 3 in Amsterdam.
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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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