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Old 21 January 2020, 04:26 PM   #1
SigmaMade
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DJ 1601 Originality and Case Condition?

Hi all,

I recently acquired a vintage datejust on the bay and it was one of my first watch purchases after some research. Not surprisingly I've passed through this forum numerous times during my hunt. The serial number on the datejust seems to suggest that it is a 1973 model (3XXXXXX). It has a sigma dial with open 6 and 9s. I was wondering if forum members can assist with their expertise in the following matters:

1) Are the parts original to the watch? Is it a redial?
2) Has the watch case been polished?

From what I can tell it is authentic, and parts look original to me but I believe the crystal may be a service replacement. Lume plots appear to match the hands and dial condition appears to be fairly consistent with the case (both in decent condition). The case seems polished but the satin brushing on the lugs still appear to be there. Fluted bezel appears fairly sharp and not too rounded. Also, the case doesn't appear as sharp. All these factors leads me to believe that polishing is slight.

Any help would be appreciated. As this is my first time putting my money where my mouth is so to speak so I'm just curious as to how I did.

Images: https://imgur.com/a/SG72rIh
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Old 22 January 2020, 02:18 AM   #2
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Looks fine for a 50 year old example.

This is likely a complete rebuild and the case has been refinished several times, so the grain you see is not original at all.
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Old 22 January 2020, 02:26 AM   #3
cads83
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Nice.
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Old 22 January 2020, 03:15 AM   #4
carwashchris
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Yes polished, date wheel is period correct, hard to know about everything else. I would think the case back should be dated under the 1601. Thanks for the post.
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Old 22 January 2020, 11:22 AM   #5
SigmaMade
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Thanks for all the replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tools View Post
Looks fine for a 50 year old example.

This is likely a complete rebuild and the case has been refinished several times, so the grain you see is not original at all.
Just curious what you mean by complete rebuild? Do you think all the parts are replacements?
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Old 22 January 2020, 11:50 AM   #6
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100% polished. Lugs look very soft. Finding an unpolished 1601 or 1803 is more difficult than any other watch in Rolex's lineup. The reason is as dress watches, owners always wanted them looking pristine. Basically, if it was ever sent in for service, it was polished.
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Old 22 January 2020, 12:32 PM   #7
Claven2
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Now you need a nice 6251H or 62510H bracelet for it.
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Old 22 January 2020, 12:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SigmaMade View Post
. . .

Just curious what you mean by complete rebuild? Do you think all the parts are replacements?
I mean that the watch has likely been overhauled and refinished to look it's best for sale. There is no way to know if all of the parts are original to this watch or not without complete service and build provenance.

Very few 50 year old watches have all their parts
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Old 22 January 2020, 12:50 PM   #9
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The only "parts" that matter in terms of originality are the case (non-service), dial, and handset -- that's it. As long as the entire watch is period-correct and authentic, nothing else matters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tools View Post
I mean that the watch has likely been overhauled and refinished to look it's best for sale. There is no way to know if all of the parts are original to this watch or not without complete service and build provenance.

Very few 50 year old watches have all their parts
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Old 22 January 2020, 02:15 PM   #10
SigmaMade
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Appreciate the lessons
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