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WHY THIS WATCH
Known by some as the perfect, everyday wristwatch, the Rolex Datejust, introduced in 1945, revolutionized wristwatches with its automatically changing date function. As Rolex's flagship model, it showcases the brand's innovation and elegance. The Datejust's Oyster case, waterproof and robust, houses the perpetual self-winding movement. Renowned for its versatility, the timepiece remains a symbol of prestige and timeless style.
To some, the 16XX Datejust is the quintessential vintage Datejust. The 16XX was introduced in 1959, with the introduction of the calibre 1560/1570, and ran for a staggering 20+ years, until the seventies. These watches are characterized by the warm acrylic crystal and "pie-pan" "stepped" or "sloped" dial. This nickname comes from the resemblance of the dial to an upside-down pie pan. This gives the dials of these references a very 3-dimensional look. Since radium was banned in 1963, you'll actually see radium dials with dagger hands-on early models, and tritium on models post-1963. The 16xx has become a favorite of vintage collectors due to its special pie-pan dial, warm acrylic crystal, and timeless jubilee band.
With reference 1603, the last digit '3' indicates that the watch features an engine-turned bezel. Engine turning, also known by its French term, guilloché, is a decorative method that involves mechanically engraving a complex and recurring pattern onto a material using a specific machine. While Rolex has ceased the production of engine-turned-bezels, discontinued models featuring this style can still be found in the pre-owned market. Visually similar to the more common fluted style, engine-turned bezels exhibit a series of ornamental grooves engraved around the perimeter.
The Rolex Datejust 1603 houses the automatic calibers 1565/1575, which feature 26 jewels and a frequency of 19,800 beats per hour, respectively. This includes an instantaneous date-change mechanism and a free-sprung Breguet overcoil hairspring, ensuring accuracy and durability. Note that it is common to spot '1570' on the Datejust calibre even though that would indicate the absence of a date mechanism. This is because the 1570 main plate was shared across different movements.
On the wrist, this watch evokes a lot of the vintage appeal that makes older Rolexes so popular. This factory Rolex dial has aged to a beautiful dark grey tone. The warmth of the acrylic crystal gives this watch a different look and feel than the references that came after. The pie-pan gives the watch a 3-dimensional look, similar to that of the Speedmaster stepped dials. The gorgeous USA-made factory Rolex jubilee bracelet is more rare than other variants and fits like a glove.
THE LITTLE DETAILS
This watch was serviced by Rolex in 2017 and comes with the service card and Rolex travel pouch pictured. The dial has aged to a beautiful darkish grey hugh. The case is in overall excellent condition, with some very light wear on the case, around 9/10. The factory USA bracelet has some light stretching, and is in overall excellent condition, around 8/10. The watch will fit up to a 7.2-inch wrist.
Available for Pickup in our Showroom in Mclean, Virginia
Want to see this watch in person? We are located in Mclean Virginia off of Chain Bridge Road. We are by appointment only (no walk ins), so please shoot us an email to schedule a time and get the address.
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