|Year of production (circa)||
Steel & gold
Rolex Datejust Ref. 1601
Here we have a great example of an early sixties Rolex Datejust Ref. 1601.
The 16xx generation was introduced in 1959 and it is one of the most archetypal vintage Datejust generations ever. This era saw the introduction of the now iconic baton handset, but in the earliest models you can still find the old school Alpha hands you see here. A very cool hint to the models that came before.
The indices are another oddity on this example. They are narrow and faceted on the top, giving them a purposeful leaning stance.
If it is a two-tone Rolex Datejust on leather strap that tickles your fancy, this example has some unique features that any watch lover will appreciate!
Want to learn about vintage Datejust? Check out the book!
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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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