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It's good to be the king.
When wading through the sea of vintage Rolex, it can be difficult to know in which direction one should travel. At times, the divide between the tool watch models - the Submariners and Explorers - and the dressier gentlemen's pieces - Presidents, Datejusts and the like - seems incomprehensibly enormous, and it can be hard to know just what each model and execution would be suit you best.
But wrapped around each iconic Rolex is the understated benchmark of the brand's success. The Rolex's Oyster Case is probably one of the most ubiquitous designs in the modern era, and can be found in the simplest Oyster Perpetuals to the most sought after Explorers and Submariners. It is the silent caa
There is no question that we have a passion for timepieces with tradition, style and value. When these elements combine, an icon is formed - and it is hard to get more iconic than the brand with the big crown. Rolex is, without question, the best-well known watch brand in the business, and one of the three best-known brands in any industry globally (the other two being Coca-Cola and Mercedes-Benz).
While most people are liable to think of the modern incarnations of the Submariner or Day-Date when they think of a Rolex, you know better. You know that this storied brand has an incredibly diverse portfolio of timepieces worthy of admiration, and while you might have a matte dial Submariner or an 18K Day-Date earmarked for future purchase, you know you don't have to drop a load of coin to get something truly awesome while building your collection.
When it comes to "budget Rolex", in our opinion there are few watches more pleasing than the Oysterdate Precision. With perfect proportions, robust movements, and timeless styling, the Precision series might just be the most versatile and wearable watches ever designed. And the best part? Manually-winding movements. Unlike their "Perpetual" brothers, the Precision series have hand cranked mechanical movements, making them an incredibly cool - and reliable - way to enjoy vintage.
This particular example, a Reference 6694, dates from approximately 1974 and features a classic 34mm steel Oyster case, silver sunburst dial and a smooth steel bezel. Replete with terrific luminous hands and stick hour markers, this piece checks all the right boxes for both the beginner enthusiast and experienced collector alike.
Simple and beautiful is the name of the game, and this one wins it.
nvas upon which every one of the brand's executions has been painted, and regardless of the movement that fills it, or the dials that adorn it, this simple and elegant case is a huge part of the brand's global success.
The Rolex Air King, Rolex's most attainable model, is no different. Built upon the sturdy foundation of a 34mm Oyster Case, the Air King is one of the cleaner Rolex designs with simple stick markers and baton hands. And while recent trends have deemed the Air King a bit on the small side, modern manufactures are beginning to re-focus on slimmer, simpler cases, making this svelte, classy design totally en vogue.
This particular piece is especially intriguing because it has a gorgeous matte black, gilt dial, complete with stylized 'Air-King' script. Gilt dials are highly prized among collectors, and often command huge premiums, making this execution an incredible value proposition ringing in at thousands under what other gilt dials go for.
With a full service and a professionally restored case, this piece is ready for any fan of the brand with the big crown.
Steel oyster case is approximately 34mm (excluding the crown). Rolex Reference 6694. Manually-Wound Movement. Circa 1974.
Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition over all, showing light signs of wear from age and use, but devoid of any glaring defects. Original silver sunburst dial is in excellent condition with no spotting or hand drag marks. Luminous hands are exceptionally clean. Original case back and signed crown.
Includes original folded-link Rolex Oyster Bracelet (#7835/357) with signed clasp and two 19mm Nylon Straps by Crown & Buckle.