Rolex Datejust

Rolex Datejust

“Black is the hardest color in the world to get right—except for gray…”

So said Diana Vreeland, the inimitable editor-in-chief of Vogue from 1963 to 1971. Under her leadership, some of the most iconic looks of the 1960s were splashed across the publication’s glossy pages. Her influence was so widespread—on both men’s and women’s fashion—that it has had lasting ramifications. 

If the great D.V. had ever clapped eyes on the gray dial of this Rolex Datejust, we think she might have appreciated it.

Like a well-tailored blazer for men or the “little black dress” for women, the Rolex Datejust is always in fashion. Although its metamorphosed from its genesis as a gold dress watch that both Dwight D. Eisenhower and Winston Churchill loved, at its heart it’s remained a versatile watch that’s at home in any environment. However, it’s the sporty-chic variants from the late 1960s and early 1970s—during Vreeland’s tenure at Vogue—that have become nothing short of iconic.

Dating from 1972, this particular Datejust is a Reference 1603. Though the engine-turned bezel is crafted from steel, it gives the watch a touch of old-fashioned elegance—just how we like it. Although the Datejust is best shown to full effect on a Jubilee bracelet, on leather (in this case, one of our very own handmade leather straps) it possesses a versatility that is unmatched in the watch world.

Back to that dial. The Datejust has been no stranger to color, coming in a disco ball-array of hues, from deep blue to warm gold to cool silver. But there’s something about the way that the gray dial of this Datejust catches the light that we find absolutely stunning. Perhaps it’s because, as Vreeland said, it’s so hard to get right—if it’s too light or too dark, it falls flat.

This one, however, is just the right shade of gray, giving the watch a timelessness that will never go out of style.


SKU: AS02537

Stainless steel case is approximately 36mm (excluding crown). Reference 1603. Circa 1972.

Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall with some signs of use and wear in keeping with age. Bezel is in very good condition with some signs of wear. Dial is in very good condition with some signs of age, including patina and slight degradation to the luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands. Slight imperfection near 9:00. Date wheel is service replacement. Rolex crown. Case back shows some signs of use and wear but is in otherwise very good condition.

Includes one 20mm Warm Gray handmade leather Analog/Shift strap.

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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.


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