One of the staples of the Rolex lineup since its inception, The Rolex Datejust needs no introduction. First launched in 1945, it was the first wristwatch ever produced with an automatically changing date function. Without a doubt, the Datejust is the most recognisable and popular watch in the world. Mainly due to its excellent quality and relatively affordable price point, a Datejust is always a good idea.
Rolex made a whole host of dial and case variants for the Datejust and while they are relatively common, some variants are particularly desirable, including this example. This is a Ref. 1603 from 1970 and what makes it so special is its dial. The joy of vintage Rolex collecting is that back then, Rolex had faults in their production from time to time and as a result, these models become extremely collectable due to its rarity. While the dial might look like a standard black dial, if you look under a loupe, there are significant red flakes to the matte black paint used by Rolex. This defect in the paint used makes this dial one of the rarest as it was only produced like this in 1970.
I know it may seem slightly on the irrational side, but that is what collecting is all about. Even without the red flakes, I do think this configuration of a matte black dial with thick patina’d hour markers is a fantastic look, topped off with a Jubilee bracelet.