A highly rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with date, lapis lazuli dial and bracelet

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  • Condition Report

  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1974
    Reference No: 1601
    Movement No: D'972'850
    Case No: 3'841'899
    Model Name: Datejust
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Jubilee bracelet, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1945, the Rolex Datejust is one of the most iconic models ever created. Its fluted bezel and Jubilee bracelet are both immediately recognizable upon a glance, and are still deeply ingrained in the DNA of modern Rolex watches today.

    Rolex in particular excels in using hard stone. The manufacture has elevated its dress watches with materials such as rubellite, blood stone, coral, and even fossil, providing an unusual design twist to classic models.

    The present watch is remarkable due to its beautiful lapis lazuli dial, which does not show any cracks. Most interestingly, it is cased in stainless steel which is incredibly rare - most lapis lazuli dials today can only be found in white gold cases. Most importantly, the graphics are printed in silver, denoting that the dial was destined to be cased in white metal. In comparison, lapis lazuli dials fitted in a yellow gold case have gold graphics and are more readily available on the market.

  • 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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242

Rolex

Ref. 1601
A highly rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with date, lapis lazuli dial and bracelet

Circa 1974
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF20,000 - 40,000 
€18,300-36,600
$20,000-40,100

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