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Old 23 December 2011, 11:03 AM   #1
Jmkokopeli
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1986 Rolex DateJust Crystal

Hello everyone. I am the proud owner of my first Rolex. My local jeweler found a 1986 DateJust in perfect condition for me. He had it serviced at Rolex and also had a black dial installed by Rolex for me, which is what I was looking for. My question is about the crystal... what material should it be? I have read about some being Sapphire and some being Acrylic. I look forward to learning more about Rolex watches. Thank you!
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Old 23 December 2011, 11:08 AM   #2
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For a 1986 model it should be a plexi crystal. Models with saphir arrived after 1987.

Reference of your Rolex is 1601x or 162xx ?
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Old 23 December 2011, 11:13 AM   #3
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I might be wrong on the year of my DJ... the serial numbers are 949XXX... I typed them in on google and something came up with it being a 1986, but I could be wrong.
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Old 23 December 2011, 11:17 AM   #4
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s/n 949xxxx is for 1986.

Don't you know the ref number 16xxx. This model number is engraved between the lugs at 6 oc'lock , and is normally referenced on the papers you got with the watch from the jeweller.
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Old 23 December 2011, 11:53 AM   #5
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I do not know the reference number... it only came with an appraisal by my local jeweler, no papers or box. FYI, I just spent quite a bit of time getting the watch band off by the 6 O'Clock as you suggested and that is where the serial number is, not the case number. I then tried with all of my might to get the band off at the 12 O'Clock and am having difficulties.
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Old 23 December 2011, 12:00 PM   #6
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Sorry for that, you're right, it's 12 o'clock for the ref# and 6 for the s/n.

It's late for me here in Paris ...
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Old 23 December 2011, 12:02 PM   #7
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Congrats on your first Rolex!
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Old 23 December 2011, 12:09 PM   #8
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Sorry for that, you're right, it's 12 o'clock for the ref# and 6 for the s/n.

It's late for me here in Paris ...
No worries, I appreciate your assistance... besides, this is a learning journey for me! I will ask my jeweler to open up that end of the watch for the numbers as I am afraid of hurting it. I am going in next week to have him add links to it that he has ordered as it is too small for my wrist currently.
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Old 23 December 2011, 12:09 PM   #9
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Congrats on your first Rolex!
Thanks! I am beyond excited.
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Old 23 December 2011, 12:22 PM   #10
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Normally you should recognize a plexi crystal as it have a different aspect than a sapphire one. English words are missing from my vocabulary to describe that exactly. Others people here will do.

Another way is the movment:
. 5 digits refs 1601x have plexi crystal, movment 3035 with stop second and quickset date, are made of steel 316L , from 1977 to 1989 .
. 5 digits refs 162xx have sapphire crystal, movment 3135 with stop second and quickset date, are made of steel 904L , from 1987 to 2005 .

When you turn the crown clockwise, a 3035 will make the hands turn counter clockwise, where a 3135 make them turn clockwise.
This can help you distinguish the model you have in function of the caliber you have detected with this method (it should be a 1601x in 1986).
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Old 23 December 2011, 12:44 PM   #11
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your watch is a 16013, you need a lettered serial number to have a sapphire crystal glass on a datejust, it started with R series 1987. hope this helps regards.
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Old 23 December 2011, 12:58 PM   #12
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your watch is a 16013, you need a lettered serial number to have a sapphire crystal glass on a datejust, it started with R series 1987. hope this helps regards.
1987 is the last year of s/n with 7 numbers, and the first of lettered s/n. So for this year you can have both type of s/n on a DJ.
So the very 1st DJ with sapphire can have a 7 numbers s/n.

The one we are talking about is from 1986, so it should be a 1601x except if it was a Rolex protoytpe (what I don't seriously think of course).
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Old 23 December 2011, 09:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTmax View Post
Normally you should recognize a plexi crystal as it have a different aspect than a sapphire one. English words are missing from my vocabulary to describe that exactly. Others people here will do.

Another way is the movment:
. 5 digits refs 1601x have plexi crystal, movment 3035 with stop second and quickset date, are made of steel 316L , from 1977 to 1989 .
. 5 digits refs 162xx have sapphire crystal, movment 3135 with stop second and quickset date, are made of steel 904L , from 1987 to 2005 .

When you turn the crown clockwise, a 3035 will make the hands turn counter clockwise, where a 3135 make them turn clockwise.
This can help you distinguish the model you have in function of the caliber you have detected with this method (it should be a 1601x in 1986).


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Old 23 December 2011, 10:35 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone! It is weird, because I just cannot tell by looking at it what type of crystal it has. I tried using the same test that I do for sunglasses to see if they have glass lenses... by putting the lens up to back of your hand. If it is cold then it is glass and if it is plastic it is warm. When I put this watch up to my hand the crystal is very cold.

Could it be possible when it was serviced by Rolex that it had a saphhire crystal installed?
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Old 23 December 2011, 10:37 PM   #15
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One more question... is it more desirable to have an acrylic or sapphire crystal?
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Old 23 December 2011, 10:40 PM   #16
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I also have a 1986 DJ. The crystal is acrylic. I actually prefer it, less prone to finger marks and more transparent.
Congrats!
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Old 23 December 2011, 11:06 PM   #17
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Could it be possible when it was serviced by Rolex that it had a saphhire crystal installed?
No, case middle part is different.

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Old 23 December 2011, 11:55 PM   #18
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Very helpful, thanks all! I finally got the band off and it is indeed a 16013.
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Old 24 December 2011, 12:36 AM   #19
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A 1601 or 16013 can be easily identified by the case design where the crown is. On the acrylic crystal models the case is pointier near the crown, while the 16233 or 116233 the case is flat near the crown.
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Old 22 August 2012, 10:56 PM   #20
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Can some one tell me if there is any real difference between Acrylic and Saphire as i am looking at a 1986 case size 36mm but dont have serial number yet and am worried that one style of crystal is better than the other ? And resale and future value is worse ? I am looking to pay $ around 3650 or 2180 ? The watch is a 1 owner and being sold in UK on behalf of a client known to them..... Comments appreciated and can i ask the vendor for a part serial number to check this if so what should i ask for as i dont think they will give me the full #
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Old 22 August 2012, 11:07 PM   #21
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Personal preference.
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Old 23 August 2012, 01:49 AM   #22
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I have recieved this information now from the dealer - I dont have the full serial but presume this is confirmation of Acrylic ? Thanks for help and replies Appreciated

''The serial number is 9729###. So this is a 1986 model (16013)''
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Old 23 August 2012, 01:53 AM   #23
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Old 23 August 2012, 10:01 AM   #24
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Quote:
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I have recieved this information now from the dealer - I dont have the full serial but presume this is confirmation of Acrylic ? Thanks for help and replies Appreciated

''The serial number is 9729###. So this is a 1986 model (16013)''
You should have started your own thread rather than tack your question to the bottom of one a year old...

However, yes, a 16013 will have an acrylic crystal, as will all 160xx models. The Sapphire crystals started with the 162xx reference numbers..

No, you cannot say that it is a "1986" model. Rolex does not make any "model year" watches. The charts that date a Rolex are guesses made up from enthusiasts who have tracked sales information from other enthusiasts. You can say that your watch was probably made (or sold) between 1985 and early 1987..
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Old 24 August 2012, 05:00 AM   #25
surrey
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Thank you and sorry for no starting a new thread - the reason was i searched first under the watch model then joined the party - thanks for advice and lesson learnt !
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