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While the name Rolex Oyster Perpetual doesn't designate a particular model or line, it does signify a couple of things. First, that the watch will have the trademark Rolex Oyster case. Second, that the movement beating inside that Oyster case will be Rolex's famed Perpetual movement.
Rolex first patented the Oyster case in 1925, but the quest for a waterproof and dust-proof case began shortly before the First World War. The cases of the Great War and the early 1920s came in two or three pieces with an inner case that shielded the movement (then a manual-wind movement) from the wet, dusty conditions of the battlefield. The Oyster case of 1925 represented the culmination of ten years of development. It gained notoriety in 1927, when Mercedes Gleitze became the first British woman to swim across the English Channel, wearing - you guessed it - a Rolex. A series of advertisements followed, featuring smiling flappers holding their Rolexes in fishtanks.
As with the Oyster case, the Perpetual movement saw many iterations before finally being perfected in the 1930s. Rolex's first automatic movement quietly debuted in 1931, without the fanfare that followed the introduction of the Oyster case. The movement was met with some consternation from purists who decried the "extreme novelty" of a self-winding watch. Nevertheless, Rolex could see that they had struck gold with the Perpetual movement. They continued to develop and improve it over the years, establishing a line of watches that would stand as an alternative to Rolex's sportier models.
The Oyster Perpetuals of the 1960s and 1970s remain some of Rolex's best-loved timepieces. Elegant, with clean lines, the watches are nevertheless sturdy, coming in stainless steel or 18k yellow or pink gold. The self-winding, Rolex Calibre 1570, movement has a straight-line lever escapement and a Breguet balance spring. Meant to be worn every day, the Oyster Perpetual Date combines elegant looks with rugged dependability.
Launched in 1963, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Reference 1500 resembles the better-known (perhaps more sought-after) Datejust, particularly the more commonly-recognizable Reference 1601/1603. For a discerning collector who would like a vintage Rolex, but doesn't necessarily want to spring for a Datejust, the Oyster Perpetual Date Reference 1500 presents an attractive alternative.
Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 34mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 1500, Rolex Calibre 1570 Self-Winding Movement, Circa 1960s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel Oyster case is in very good condition with minimal signs of use and wear in keeping with its age, especially on the sides of the case and on the backs of the lugs. Dial is in excellent condition with no major blemishes or signs of discoloration. Luminescent elements on the hour markers and hands have gained a fine even patina. Rolex crown; Rolex case back is in very good condition with minimal signs of wear.
Includes one 19mm 78350/557 Rolex bracelet with folded clasp. Bracelet is in very good condition with only minimal signs of use and wear, including some "desk-diving" scuffs on the clasp.