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Why We Love It
It's hard to deny the long-lasting grip of the Datejust. Since its debut in the mid 1940s, the Datejust has remained a staple of Rolex's line and a mainstay of enthusiasts of the Crown, and not by accident.
The Datejust was designed to appeal. It was designed to work day in, day out, without exception. It was designed to be simple enough to disappear into the background, yet distinct enough to garner attention and admiration when it counts. The Datejust is a constant around which the world has rotated since 1945.
But like most good things, the original expression of the Datejust hasn't survived; if you go into a Rolex boutique today, you won't see the svelte lines of the 36mm Datejust or the classic, understated dials we've come to associate with the model. In fact, the Datejust that worked alongside businessmen and entrepreneurs, dreamers and presidents has been all but relegated to the pages of the past.
That's why strong examples of the true Datejust — the 36mm Oyster case with either a fluted white gold or machined steel bezel — command such a loyal following today. Examples like this, an early-1960s Reference 1601 with black dial and white gold bezel, have become benchmarks of class and style. Simple, yet refined, the 1601 Datejust is a watch with no apologies and no excuses. That's why, year after year, we keep coming back to these timeless watches.
Throughout Rolex's century of existence, the manufacture has produced an arsenal of classic designs that have essentially remained unchanged throughout the years. Though small cosmetic differences may arise (such as the addition of a date window, or changing the color of the dial), a Rolex still looks like a Rolex. Because with Rolex, it's not about innovation, but about refinement.
The Rolex Datejust is an example of that ethos of continuity brought to life. 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 the decades since, the Datejust is Rolex's most prolific and enduring model.
To be fair, the look of the Datejust has changed subtly over the years, but in material more than in form. Upon its release, the Datejust was available only in precious metals. But by the mid-1950s it was made in stainless steel.
The Datejust is the ultimate go-anywhere, do-anything watch. On a steel bracelet (we prefer the classic Jubilee bracelet, featured here) it exudes elegance; on leather, refinement; and on nylon, a kind of toughness that only Rolex can have. It inhabits a space somewhere between sporty and dressy, suitable to every occasion.
Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 36mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 1601. Rolex Automatic Winding Movement. Circa 1963.
Overall Condition: The watch is excellent condition throughout with light wear marks consistent with age and use. Slightly later glossy black pie pan Sigma dial with "doorstop" markers is in excellent condition; luminous hour plots bear a light even patina and are in tact. Professionally matched luminous Rolex Alpha hands are in similarly excellent condition. Rolex screw case back and signed crown.
Includes one 20mm light brown strap with side stitching.
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