Rolex Rolex Datejust 1601 rose gold 1966

Rolex Datejust 1601 rose gold 1966

Brand: Rolex
Model: Datejust
Reference: 1601
Gender: men/unisex
Year: 1966
Material: rose gold
Dial Color: silver
Dimensions: 36 mm
Watch Movement: automatic
Bracelet/Strap: leather strap with original Rolex buckle
Box/Paper: Handmade Leather Travel Pouch IF ordered at WRIST ICONS
Condition: good

This is a rare opportunity to buy a 19636 Rolex Datejust with a rosé gold case. Rolex Datejusts are not so rare. But in rosé gold they are really rare. So pull the trigger and treat yourself on a lavish rosé pie-pan dialed Datejust!

History of the Datejust model

The Datejust has set the bar for luxury watches since 1945, when this Rolex© marvel became the archetype for the modern watch. Inspired for and by the ocean, the Datejust’s revolution was a fully waterproof, automatic chronometer framing a date in the window--the first of its kind the world ever knew. This Datejust’s elegant design features a dazzling silver dial with rose golde hour marker and rose gold hour hands, and the scratch-resistant crystal’s cyclops eye makes it one of the world’s most recognizable watches. The Oyster architecture constitutes a 36mm case and bracelet while an seals the timepiece’s dignified look.

The 1960s saw Rolex working to secure their place at horology’s top table, with an increasing focus on the sort of small, incremental changes to their range that all add up to huge improvements right across the board. It brought us the ref. 1680 ‘Red’ Submariner, the first in the series to include a date complication, as well as its bigger, Comex-inspired sibling, the Double Red Sea-Dweller.

Mid-decade, the ref. 1601 Datejust was launched. With a caliber upgrade from the previous Cal. 1065, it was now powered for the first time by Rolex’s own 1500 series. Built around the architecture of the base Cal. 1530, early versions used the Cal. 1560, and received a further update in 1971 with the Cal. 1575, which brought with it the convenience of a hacking function. While neither movement was outfitted with a Quickset mechanism, to give wearers the ability to change the date by using the crown, it was the 1500 calibers that introduced the cam and jewel system that created the instantaneous midnight change, still used by Rolex today.

The watches themselves emerged in every conceivable permutation of bezel and dial detailing, with either yellow gold or two-tone Rolesor cases, or as the version we have here at WRIST ICONS, in a handsome rose gold.

Rolex had been using pink hued gold in their designs for decades before they developed their own proprietary Everose in 2005. Achieving its unique tint by blending yellow gold with copper, the only red metal element, the resulting rose-colored precious metal offers a far more understated base around which to forge the iconic shapes of their watches.


The caliber of this Datejust

From their first in-house series of calibers, the 1560 and 1575 were to become benchmarks in the world of mechanical watch movements, for their accuracy and resilience. Beautifully simple and extremely robust, they are highly regarded even today for their engineering excellence.

Inside this Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 1601 houses a mechanical automatic self-winding Rolex caliber 1560 movement. The 1560 was the start of the second generation of the 1500 series calibers. They released this movement in 1959 and it remained in use until 1965. With a 26 jewel self-winding automatic movement, it had a Rolex p/n 7980 balance assembly with Microstella screws, a Bregeut free sprung hairspring. It also had a frequency of 18,000 bph. Furthermore, the KIF Flector shock absorbers protected the 1560. Also, it used a traditional stone lever escapement and had a power reserve of 42 hours.

Rolex released this series with a date function version, the 1565, and with the addition of a 24-hour hand in the 1565GMT. Although there was no Quickset mechanism, the 1500 calibers came with the cam and jewel system. This system was able to create an instantaneous date change at midnight, still used by Rolex today.

The unfussiness of the original, no-date movement made it the ideal caliber to sit inside the Oyster Perpetual series. This began with the ref. 1002 released at the end of the fifties. Its modest height of 5.75mm and diameter of 28.5mm, or 12.5 lignes, allowed it to fit comfortably in the 34mm to 36mm cases of the range.

Moreover, they also used this movement in two more of today’s most highly coveted vintage watches.



Our Datejust is a perfect example. The case of this Datejust with its rose gold structure gives the watch a warmer and much softer appearance than steel or white gold, but without the brashness that can come with an all yellow piece, the case of our 1601 glows rather than shines.

The pie pan dial, is finished in a more harmonizing silver with rose gold index hour markers. The rose gold stick indexes catch the light beautifully due to their beveled edging and the surrounding fluted bezel sets the whole watch apart as a modest statement of discreet luxury.

At the traditional 36mm diameter, before Rolex introduced a 41mm model to the range, the Datejust 1601 is not a watch that shouts for attention. It has a quiet reserve that brings with it a versatility to match with a wider range of situations. It is the model to wear in both business meetings and by the pool, as well as on the journey between the two.

This example is in excellent pre-owned condition and has a rosé golden 36mm size case with a chronometer rated automatic movement.

Originally this was a gentleman’s Rolex Datejust (1601) featuring a champagne colored pie-pan dial with baton hands dial with an acrylic plexi glass crystal and an external cyclops date aperture at 3 O'clock. The watch case is surrounded by a jubilee golden bezel. It comes on a WRIST ICONS leather strap of choice made by Jean Paul Menicucci. This particular watch comes complete without its original box and all relevant paperwork.

This particular watch has just undergone a full service. This work was carried out by our Rolex authorised watchmaker using Rolex parts.

As with all of our pre-owned watches this watch comes with a full 12 month warranty with ourselves that will be invoked from the day of purchase.


  • Brand: Rolex
  • Model: Datejust
  • Serial number: 15122xx
  • Reference: 1601
  • Year: Circa 1966
  • caliber: 1570
  • Case: It has a rose gold case with screw down case back. Good rose gold case that has light wear from use. It has a fluted rose gold bezel
  • Dimensions: 36mm diameter;
  • Crystal: Plexiglass
  • Dial: champagne pie-pan dial with applied rose gold baton hour markers, black inner minute divisions with five minute markers,  pink gold baton hands with luminous inserts and center seconds, date aperture at 3
  • Caliber: automatic-winding caliber
  • Bracelet/Strap: WRIST ICONS leather STRAP OF CHOICE.
  • Lug Width: 20mm
  • Box/Papers: No


12 month warranty
14 day returns