A fine, elegant and supremely well-preserved stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, date, bracelet, Guarantee and box

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  • Condition Report

  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1964
    Reference No: 1603
    Movement No: D18800
    Case No: 1'116'604
    Model Name: Datejust
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1560, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Jubilee bracelet stamped "55" to the endlinks, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped "1 65"
    Dimensions: 345mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex Guarantee stamped by "The Modern Art Studio" retailer and dated May 29, 1965, original tiny label bearing case and movement numbers, two sale tags, "The Datejust" card and fitted presentation box

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present example of reference 1603 could serve as paradigm of what a “new-old-stock” watch is meant to be. Absolutely unused and untouched, the piece is offered complete with all its original accessories down to the most minute - and somewhat curious - details: the two sale tags - one indicating the watch is “swimproof”, the other being the “Red Seal” denoting a COSC-certified piece - are present. The card advertising the virtues of the dates - and the fact that the box can be used as cigarette holder - is present. Even the tiny (36x6 mm) label bearing the case and movement numbers, now very faded but still legible, has incredibly survived through the years. Adding to the peculiarity of such an unmarred find, its box is one of the most unusual ever made by Rolex: hardly ever seen on the market, it features a highly uncommon ogive shape.

    It is safe to say that if ever a watch can function as a time capsule, then this is it.

  • Maker Bio

    Rolex

    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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Rolex

Ref. 1603
A fine, elegant and supremely well-preserved stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, date, bracelet, Guarantee and box

Circa 1964
345mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

Estimate
CHF5,000 - 10,000 
€4,600-9,100
$5,000-10,000

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East
+ 41 79 637 1724
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction X

Geneva Auction 9-10 November 2019