The Rolex 1601 may be one of the most underestimated vintage models. When compared with sports models such as the 1680, 5513 or the 1675, the 1601 has a way lower price tag and it is a very good entry-level vintage Rolex.
When we speak of vintage Rolex watches, we sometimes pay too much attention on the sports models and the value they fetch in auctions. In fact, if you want to complete your vintage look, the 1601 can be a way more appropriate choice than a vintage Submariner. A real vintage watch should remind the wearer of the age in which the watch was produced. The 1601 can do just that.
As one of the most iconic and classic designs from Rolex, the Datejust 1601 is offered in a 36mm stainless steel case. Unlike a vintage Submariner or a GMT, a vintage Datejust is often felt to be less modern and more a “Grandpa’s watch”. However, when you are trying to look for a vintage watch, you have to bear in mind that you are not looking for something modern. That is also the interesting point about vintage watches. They are like a huge time machine that brings you style not of today.
At 36mm, the dimension is just about right for vintage style. Watches were smaller as people had smaller wrists than today. The 1601 offers you many different dial options. One of our favorite dial is the linen style dial. However, like the 1803 we introduced earlier, dials that have developed certain hue because of time are more attractive. A greyish silver dial can be very elegant with the fluted bezel, an acrylic crystal and a nice calf strap.
Speaking of the strap, it is another interesting point about the 1601. Just like the 1803, a dressy Rolex always gives you a lot of possibilities. You can pair the 1601 with a calf strap or on dressier occasions, an alligator strap. Other choices include leather Nato straps and bund straps which are equally stylish when used on the 1601.
A 1601 without the Jubilee bracelet comes under 20k HKD and no more than 30k with the Jubilee bracelet. It is indeed a very good entry-level vintage Rolex. In the sea of Submariners and GMTs, a dressy Rolex 1601 can make you stand out from the crowd.