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When it comes to vintage Rolex, it is often the most minute of details that makes a "regular" timepiece something truly special.
In the case of this steel Reference 1603 Datejust, that detail is the pair of Alpha style hands delineating hours and minutes. Used regularly on earlier references and executions, this stunning style was replaced by the simpler "stick hand" style still in use today. While not the rarest of variations, this nice set of Alpha hands with patina really take this piece to the next level. We grab every one we can find, and that hasn't amounted to many over the last few years.
This Datejust also features an engine-turned bezel, silver sunburst dial, and a US-made oval link Jubilee bracelet, rounding out the perfect vintage package. With prices on modern Datejusts kissing the $8K mark, it really makes us scratch our heads as to why someone wouldn't pick up one of these charming beauties at a fraction of the price instead.
We've said it over and over again - the Datejust may just be the perfect watch. Coupling perfect proportions, simple dial layouts, and robust movements, Rolex's most prolific model is an icon of timekeeping that has been in continuous production for decades. Let’s face it, the Datejust is all the watch that just about any of us really need.
The beauty of the Datejust is that it is the ultimate do-anything, go-anywhere watch. One part sporty and one part dressy, the Datejust wears just as well with jeans as it does with a suit and thanks to the signature Oyster case and tough-as-nails movement, it’s ready for anything that you can throw at it.
In production continuously since 1945, the original Datejust was the world's first wristwatch to incorporate a date disc and aperture at 3 o’clock. The cyclops magnifier over the date window was introduced in 1954, and as we all know became a signature Rolex design cue.
Since then, dates at 3 o’clock has become commonplace, and the Rolex cyclops magnifier bubble has become a hallmark of the brand. Datejusts have proudly been worn by presidents, athletes and movie stars (and probably your grandfather), in a testament to how timeless and versatile the watch truly is.
Where so many watches can be a little too big here, or a little to small there, the Datejust is just right, embracing the wrist with its thin and tapering 36mm case. And while recent horological trends have favored large wristwatches, the age of the giant watch is behind us (thankfully), making more reasonably sized watches, like the original Datejust, a pleasantly stylish option that fits the bill.
There's a magic to the Datejust's simple design, a timelessness that speaks to how true style never dies.
Steel oyster case is approximately 36mm (excluding the crown). Rolex Reference 1603. Circa 1967.
Overall Condition: Case is in great condition over all, showing only light signs of wear from age and use, with no signs of over-polishing. Dial is in excellent condition with only normal signs of wear and patination. Original "Alpha" hands show heavy patina (particularly to hour hand, which is missing most of its original lume). Original engine-turned steel bezel, case back, and Rolex signed crown.
Includes US-made oval link Jubilee Bracelet and two 20mm nylon straps by Crown and Buckle.