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Rolex and sports go hand-in-hand. Ever since Hans Wilsdorf went into business with his brother-in-law in the early 1900s, he set out to produce a watch that could be worn in every environment, from the golf course to the tennis court and beyond. He made it possible with the Rolex Oyster case, which would become the base for all Rolex sports models to come.
It gained notoriety from its earliest days, when Mercedes Gleitze made history as the first British woman to swim across the English Channel--all while wearing a Rolex, of course.
There's a Rolex for every sport, from diving to yachting, mountaineering and even spelunking. And as far as professional sports are concerned, Rolex has developed relationships with sports as diverse as automobile racing, horse racing, and golf. But it's perhaps Rolex's association with the Wimbledon tennis championship that's the most celebrated.
Rolex first became the official sponsor of the All England Lawn Tennis Championships, better known as Wimbledon, in 1978. That year, a young Swedish player named Björn Borg was the champion on the men's side, defeating Jimmy Connors after grueling straight sets. On the women's side, the Czech-American Martina Navratilova netted the Grand Slam title--the first of nine she would win in her career.
Though at first glance not as sporty as other watches in Rolex's Oyster Perpetual line, the Datejust nevertheless has all the sturdiness that you'd need for a daily driver.
With perfect proportions and a dial that's elegant in its simplicity, the Datejust is a horological icon. First released in 1945--the 40th "jubilee" of the founding of Rolex--and in continuous production for decades, the Datejust is Rolex's most prolific and most enduring model. Released in stainless steel and precious metals alike, with an array of dial designs (even one that the collectors call "the Wimbeldon"), the Datejust is Rolex's most versatile watch.
On a steel bracelet (the classic Jubilee bracelet, featured here) it exudes elegance. On leather, it speaks of refinement; and on nylon, a kind of toughness that only Rolex can have. It inhabits a space somewhere between sporty and dressy, suitable to many occasions.
This particular Datejust is a Reference 1603 dating from 1978--the year Rolex became the Official Timekeeper for Wimbledon. With a silver sunburst dial and stick hands, it has a classic utilitarian appearance that's bolstered by the Jubilee bracelet. It's a Grand Slam of a watch that begs to be worn every day, the perfect companion for anything life serves you.
Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 36mm (excluding crown). Rolex Datejust Reference 1603. Rolex Caliber 1570 Self-Winding Movement. Circa 1978.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel Oyster case is in very good condition with signs of wear consistent with age, including some faint scratches on the sides of the case. Case has been fitted with a 1601-style fluted bezel which is in very good condition with minor signs of wear. Silver sunburst dial is in very good condition with minimal signs of age. Luminescent hour plots have darkened with age, having slightly deteriorated slightly at the 6 and 7 o'clock markers. Rolex screw-down crown. Rolex case back has some scratches but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 20mm 62510H solid link Jubilee bracelet with 555 end links. Bracelet shows some signs of stretching due to age, but is in otherwise very good condition.