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Why We Love It
When it comes to "budget" Rolex, there are few watches more attractive than an Oyster Perpetual - and the Oyster Perpetuals of the 1960s and 1970s remain some of Rolex's best-loved timepieces.
As a non-professional Rolex model, the Oyster Perpetual line is debatably overlooked, despite being perhaps the most pure successor to the original waterproof cased Rolexes from the last century. All it takes is a strap change to transform this watch go a tuxedo accoutrement to a field watch or BBQ grill timer. When you factor in that they have been made available in a broad variety of fun dial color configurations, the appeal grows even more.
This particular watch, a Reference 1501, dates to circa 1972 and features a 35mm stainless steel oyster case with 'holey' lugs, a silver sunburst dial with applied luminous baton indices, a matching stick handset, machine-turned steel bezel, and an Oyster bracelet. Everything you need and nothing you don't! This piece remains in excellent condition throughout, with no signs of over-polishing or rough abuse.
These timepieces are incredibly versatile for everyday use, and can easily be dressed-up for formal occasions or dressed-down and worn as a sporty everyday companion.
The Oyster Perpetual Story
In Rolex's impressive history, the brand has released a veritable arsenal of models that have become classics.
Many of these bear the moniker "Oyster Perpetual." While this name is used on a particular model line, it also finds itself used widely across Rolex’s varied collections. This signifies two things: first, that the watch will have the trademark waterproof Rolex Oyster case. And secondly, that the movement beating inside that Oyster case will be one of Rolex's famed Perpetual (automatic winding) movements.
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 on the battlefield. The Oyster case of 1925 represented the culmination of ten years of development.
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, and was met with some consternation from purists who decried the "extreme novelty" of a self-winding watch. Nevertheless, Rolex could see that the future lay in the Perpetual movement. They continued to develop and improve it over the years, establishing a line of dressier watches bearing the “Oyster Perpetual” nomenclature that would stand as an alternative to Rolex's sportier models.
These models run the gamut of size, casing material and dial design, and offer a tremendous value for buyers. Meant to be worn every day, the Oyster Perpetual combines elegant looks with rugged dependability, and are very much the backbone of the Rolex brand.
Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 35mm (excluding the crown). Automatic-winding movement by Rolex. Rolex Reference 1501, Circa 1972.
Overall Condition: The case is in very good condition overall with no signs of over-polishing and normal wear consistent with age and use. Luminous silver sunburst dial is in excellent condition with matching handset. Signed crown.
Includes stainless steel folded-link Oyster bracelet with signed blade clasp (7835-19/357).
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options