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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1969
    Reference No: 1601
    Movement No: D307’194
    Case No: 2’090’136, inside caseback stamped 1601
    Model Name: Datejust
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Jubilee bracelet, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped “2.69”
    Dimensions: 36mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The end of the 1950s witnessed a dramatic change for the Rolex Datejust leaving behind certain traits from the past implementing an overall modernized aesthetic. Succeeding the ref. 6600 series, Rolex introduced the ref. 1600 series in 1959, taking advantage of their newly developed cal. 1565. Setting the base for what is determined to be the first modern Datejust, the case no longer resembles the likes of a Rolex Bubbleback. With an extremely successful reception, the reference was produced for over 18 years.

    The present example Rolex Datejust ref. 1601 in 18K yellow gold encasing an attractive glossy gilt dial is a fruitful specimen of the coveted reference. Boasting an excellent case with crisp hallmarks and sharp bevels, the dial matches the condition of the case as it is absolutely flawless. To top it off, the caseback retains its original green sticker with signs of oxidation on the casebands indicating a prolonged period of inactivity.

  • Artist Biography

    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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905

Ref. 1601
A fine, rare and well-preserved yellow gold wristwatch with center seconds, date, gilt black dial and bracelet

Circa 1969
36mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

Estimate
HK$78,000 - 120,000 
€8,200-12,600
$10,000-15,400

Sold for HK$163,800

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2031
[email protected]

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XII

Hong Kong Auctions 5-6 June 2021