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Old 13 September 2018, 05:17 AM   #1
Saints225
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1601 bezel question/possible swap

Good afternoon folks,

Question for the vintage experts here

Below is a picture of my 1601. Love the watch, but feel as though the bezel is a bit worn down. Do you agree? Or were the 1601 bezel's less pronounced than the newer DJ's?

Either way, say I wanted to replace it with a newer, more crisp, white gold bezel, would this be possible? If so, where can I purchase/what will fit this particular watch? Thank you!
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Old 13 September 2018, 06:03 AM   #2
JnmEaton
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Ebay or the classifieds here on TRF
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Old 13 September 2018, 06:48 AM   #3
Pureform
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What year is the watch? Hard to see on my phone so I'll look later but that looks like a coin edge bezel which they did before it became fluted
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Old 13 September 2018, 06:56 AM   #4
Richard Carver
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Yes, a sharper bezel will make a difference for sure. On an original Rolex bezel there are 2 tiny crowns stamped on the reverse, hard to see but there. A good original should be in the 200 US range more or less. Your's has value as well, to a guy with a crappier one it looks pretty good. :)

There are aftermarket 14k gold, 18k gold and plated. The originals are 3mm tall these aftermarket are generally taller. A cheap stainless replacement is also available.

If you stick with known sellers you can get a good replacement and be sure it's original. I'm pretty sure your dial is a repaint, the fonts are funky. An original dial can be had for 150 up depending on color, design and condition. With a fresh dial and bezel and getting the lug tops brushed to spec you would have a stunning new 1601. :)
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Old 13 September 2018, 07:05 AM   #5
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Excellent info! Thank you. My dial was refinished. But I really like the white/gold contrast. As far as I know, that font was used during the 1970's by one of Rolex's sub contractors who made the dials... but that could be bad info..In this case, do I need to find a "1601 bezel," or will any Datejust bezel fit my watch? I do not plan on selling this watch so I am not worried about resale/it being ALL original. I do want to use ONLY Rolex parts though, of course.
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Old 13 September 2018, 07:13 AM   #6
Richard Carver
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It's no sin to have a refinished dial, it's your watch. Search ebay and the forum markets for a replacement, shouldn't be too hard to come up with one. You can also run a WTB (want to buy) for one. Feel free to post what you find if you want help with the purchase. That bezel also fits an 1803 Day Date.
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Old 13 September 2018, 08:33 AM   #7
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Would an AD do the swap for me? I’ve heard they’re hesitant to work on anything that will alter the originality of the watch.
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Old 13 September 2018, 09:30 AM   #8
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Would an AD do the swap for me? Iíve heard theyíre hesitant to work on anything that will alter the originality of the watch.
Theyíd be happy to sell you a new bezel. If you buy one in the market it is probably smarter to go to an independant watchmaker for the work. It is something almost anyone would be able to do.
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Old 13 September 2018, 11:44 AM   #9
Richard Carver
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If you're keeping the 1601 for the long haul you should take this opportunity to develop a relationship with an independent watchmaker. Don't wait until something serious happens, use this elective modification to find someone you can work with long term. The AD is not interested in your 'old watch'. :)
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Old 13 September 2018, 12:01 PM   #10
Saints225
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Excellent advice Richard, I really appreciate your guidance! Now on to the bezel search...
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Old 13 September 2018, 12:51 PM   #11
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Looks like Mr. Carver is in a good mood today and giving great advice. THANKS!
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Old 13 September 2018, 01:10 PM   #12
Saints225
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This looks pretty sharp. Opinions? Looks like it will fit my watch too..

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F173366942938
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Old 13 September 2018, 02:09 PM   #13
Richard Carver
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This looks pretty sharp. Opinions? Looks like it will fit my watch too..

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F173366942938
Did you buy it? Looks pretty good!
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Old 13 September 2018, 09:29 PM   #14
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Think I’ll make the purchase today! Would you rate that as in prettty good condition compared to mine?
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Old 13 September 2018, 11:53 PM   #15
Richard Carver
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Looks like Mr. Carver is in a good mood today and giving great advice. THANKS!
LOL! I'm always helpful although sometimes the help is neither understood nor appreciated. :)
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Old 13 September 2018, 11:57 PM   #16
Richard Carver
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Think Iíll make the purchase today! Would you rate that as in prettty good condition compared to mine?
That would have been a good one, quite sharp. If you find a good local watchmaker they could most likely source one but probably more expensive.

Be quick! :)
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Old 13 September 2018, 11:58 PM   #17
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Bought it!
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Old 14 September 2018, 12:18 AM   #18
Richard Carver
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Very good! I saw it was gone last night and thought one of these sharks around here swiped it. :) Congrats!
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Old 14 September 2018, 02:02 AM   #19
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I asked what year was your watch cause the bezel you have looks like a coin edge bezel and might be original
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Old 14 September 2018, 02:36 AM   #20
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FWIW I still have all the original hands, dial, and bezel on my 1601 and I prefer the character of the less pronounced bezel.
I suppose its the charm of the piece and if you wanted sharp and shiny then you could opt for modern examples?
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Old 14 September 2018, 02:40 AM   #21
Richard Carver
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I asked what year was your watch cause the bezel you have looks like a coin edge bezel and might be original
This is an actual coin edged bezel from the 30s, also called knurled. At that time the bezel unscrewed from the mid-case so the knurling was functional.



I believe this is what you are calling coin-edged. It is a fluted bezel from the 50s but the flutes are tighter than today. This bezel has been referred to as a semi coin edged to differentiate it from the other two.



And this is a later fluted bezel.

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Old 14 September 2018, 02:50 AM   #22
Pureform
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This is an actual coin edged bezel from the 30s, also called knurled. At that time the bezel unscrewed from the mid-case so the knurling was functional.



I believe this is what you are calling coin-edged. It is a fluted bezel from the 50s but the flutes are tighter than today. This bezel has been referred to as a semi coin edged to differentiate it from the other two.



And this is a later fluted bezel.


Yes sir I guess semi coin edge... and they went through the 60s also... That's why I asked him cause it seems like that's what he has now and might've made a mistake and got a more modern fluted bezel for his 1601
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Old 14 September 2018, 02:55 AM   #23
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Now that’s cool. So the bezel I just purchased is a later, fully flueted, correct? That’s what I am shooting for.
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Old 14 September 2018, 02:56 AM   #24
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My watch is dated 1974.
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Old 14 September 2018, 02:57 AM   #25
Richard Carver
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Now thatís cool. So the bezel I just purchased is a later, fully flueted, correct? Thatís what I am shooting for.
Yes
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Old 14 September 2018, 03:06 AM   #26
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Case closed enjoy your new bezel
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Old 14 September 2018, 04:30 AM   #27
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Bought it!
The Auction is still running.....
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Old 14 September 2018, 04:35 AM   #28
Saints225
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Ahh yes. It ended this morning, so I bought another one he was selling. Must have re-listed it sometime today.
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Old 14 September 2018, 04:37 AM   #29
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Excited!!!

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Old 14 September 2018, 11:32 PM   #30
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Nice sharp bezel, great buy!
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