A rare and highly attractive white gold and diamond-set wristwatch with date and sweeping center seconds

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1974
    Reference No: 1601
    Movement No: D671'378
    Case No: 4'012'006
    Model Name: DateJust
    Material: 18K white gold and diamond
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and buckle signed.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The legacy of Rolex’s DateJust reaches back to the early 1930s when the brand released their first automatic movement wristwatch with waterproof case and the designation “Oyster Perpetual”. Over the next decade the model became a best- seller, and in 1945 for the brand’s 40th anniversary, Rolex introduced the game changing “DateJust Jubilee” reference 4467 featuring an all-new movement with date aperture at the 3 o’clock position. It was a revolutionary new feature for Rolex that would serve as a foundation for the vast majority of watches Rolex would subsequently introduce.

    The original Rolex calibers A295, 730 and 1065allowed the watch to instantaneously adjust the date at midnight. A few years later, in 1954, the DateJust would introduce the iconic cyclops date magnifier, an emblematic feature found on nearly all Rolex watches with a date aperture up to the present day. It was also at this time the brand expanded the collection with editions in steel, steel and gold, and rarely, in yellow, pink, or white gold.

    The reference 1601 was in production from 1959 until 1977 and featured a fluted bezel along with the “pie-pan” style dial with outer sloping minute track. The DateJust became one of the most sought-after timepieces and Rolex began to offer it with a variety of dial types included rare white gold examples with lapis lazuli dials or like the present timepiece, a matte black dial with diamond-set hour markers.

    Preserved in excellent overall condition with a crisp and unpolished case, this rarely seen 18K white gold DateJust is an exceptional and highly sought after example due to its rarely-seen black dial with non-luminous hands and diamond-set hour markers. The DateJust has evolved over the last 75 years into an iconic timepiece that is both functional and sophisticated.

  • 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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43

Rolex

Ref. 1601
A rare and highly attractive white gold and diamond-set wristwatch with date and sweeping center seconds

1974
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and buckle signed.

Estimate
$15,000 - 30,000 
CHF14,900-29,900
€13,600-27,200
HK$117,000-235,000

sold for $30,000

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas & International Strategy Advisor
Senior Vice President
+1 212 940 1293
pboutros@phillips.com

GAME CHANGERS

New York Auction 10 December 2019