Rolex - The Watch Auction: One Geneva Saturday, May 9, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1963
    Reference No: 1601
    Movement No: 52155
    Case No: 926'223
    Model Name: Datejust
    Material: 18k white gold
    Calibre: Automatic, 1560
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel, signed Rolex
    Dimensions: 36mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present reference 1601 is a highly charismatic and rare example of the famous Datejust. Mainly found in steel or yellow gold cases, white gold examples are exceedingly rare.
    Manufactured in 1963, the dial has transformed from black to a very warm and appealing brown, which depending on how one holds the watch gives a different impression each time. The silver graphics further enhance its beauty and are a perfect match with the white case colour.
    The galvanic finish black dial features at the bottom the SWISS designation. In fact, 1963 was the last year before tritium was introduced for luminous hour markers and hands.
    Seemingly a rather plain Rolex Datejust, the present example is in fact quite the opposite. Without exaggeration, thanks to its extremely rare white gold case, stunning black dial and very attractive original condition, it is one of the most collectable examples of this landmark model.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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Ref. 1601
A very fine and rare white gold wristwatch with date and "Tropical" dial

36mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for CHF23,750

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Watch Auction: One

Geneva Auction 10 May 2015 6:30pm