Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Ref. 1603 steel vintage wristwatch, circa 1974
A stainless steel automatic centre seconds wristwatch with date and Rolex Jubilee bracelet
Reference 1603 is one of the iconic, vintage Datejust models, with a case diameter of 36mm. This example has a superb silvered ‘sigma’ dial. So-called ‘sigma’ dials were introduced in the 1970s and are named after the use of the Greek letter which appears at the base of the dial to either end of the ‘Swiss’ graphic. These ‘sigmas’ indicate that the applied numerals to the dial are made from gold. Since numerals/indexes on watch dials are often either punched out from the dial’s surface or applied with a plated finish, the ‘sigma’ sign was a useful way to indicate when gold was used and thereby highlight the quality of materials used. The dial has a lovely, silvery grey, satin sheen and a chamfered outer minute/seconds track which creates a two-tone appearance and gives a greater sense of depth to the surface. The luminescent dots remain full and there is good and even colouration both to these and the luminescent panels to the hands. The Rolex Oyster case, with screw-down crown and case back, has a finely milled and reeded bezel. The automatically wound movement is a Rolex calibre 1570 with 26 jewels and also incorporates a hack feature, when the crown is pulled out to set the time, the seconds hand is stopped, thereby allowing easy synchronisation to a time signal.
This watch is fitted with the original Rolex USA Jubilee bracelet and adjustable flip-lock clasp. The bracelet is detachable and can be replaced with a strap if preferred. The serial number is a 3.7 million series, which dates the watch to c.1974.
As part of this watch’s service and overhaul, it has been pressure tested for water-resistance for depths up to 100 metres.
[M] Rolex calibre 1570 automatic movement, lever escapement, 26 jewels, compensation balance, 19,800 BPH, Kif shock absorber [D] silvered dial, applied gold baton hour indexes with vertical satin finish and polished tips, luminous dots above, luminescent hands (please note that luminescence will have naturally dulled with age), centre seconds, aperture for date [C] stainless steel Rolex Oyster case with polished finish, screw-down Rolex crown and case back, the tops of the lugs and centre of the case back with satin finish, milled and reeded bezel [B] stainless steel Rolex USA Jubilee link bracelet with adjustable folding clasp [S] case, dial, movement, crown and bracelet signed.
Diameter excluding crown: 36mm
Length including lugs: 44mm
Depth including crystal: 12mm
Strap width/lug gauge: 20mm
Maximum bracelet length: 190mm
Total watch weight: 87g
Serviced and overhauled by a Rolex accredited watchmaker. This watch is sold with a one year guarantee and detailed Black Bough certificate. A Black Bough leather watch pouch and card outer box will accompany this watch.