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This is an Oyster Perpetual Date reference 1500, the Datejust’s younger (and slightly smaller) brother. What sets this Rolex apart from others is its gorgeous matte black dial with golden “sigma” hour markers, this watch is iconic Rolex at its best. Grab your self the chance to buy this almost 50 years old iconic Rolex!
The Rolex Date reference 1500
This Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date (ref. 1500) is a classic vintage sports watch; versatile and understated. It’s a low key Rolex but it has a very strong wrist presence. When you go outside in the sun, this dial in combination with its golden hour markers and hands will make you start to grin and even shine!
It has its original, matte black ‘sigma’ dial with subtle orange patina on the tritium index lume-plots almost matching with the gold of the hour markers. It also has its original, yellow-gold baton handset.
This Rolex reference 1500 is your everyday watch – the watch you can wear to the beach or with a suit, the type of timepiece the founder of Rolex was proud to create. Indeed, it comes with the same waterproof Oyster case with screw-down crown that you can find on the celebrated Datejust; here it stands at only 34 mm, versus 36 mm for its cousin. Rolex signature magnified date window, the cyclops, allows for easy reading of the date, and reflects Rolex’s practical attitude towards watches. But beauty was not forgotten in the mix, as you can see from the gorgeous grey sunburst dial with thin indexes.
The case of this watch is in good condition with some signs of polishing. The dial is in fantastic condition with full lume plots and matching handset. The 78350 19 bracelet, with 577B end-links is from a later year since it does not have the period correct the riveted oyster links, but the oyster style bracelet has a stunning match. The bracelet is in good condition with little stretch and some light scuffs to the clasp with desired folded links.
The dial of this Rolex Oyster Date is in exceptionally good condition, has a matte black finish, applied yellow gold index markers, with classic 'ROLEX’ and ‘OYSTER PERPETUAL DATE' text referenced on it. The tritium index plots and baton hands have aged to a beautiful orange/yellow patina. It also has its Rolex crown and comes equipped with its Rolex Oyster bracelet and clasp. This particular case dates to 1969 (serial 221XXXX).
With this example, the index markers are manufactured from yellow gold, indicated by the lower case Greek letter σ‘sigma’ at the bottom of the dial. These small round symbols were displayed to emphasize the inherent value and investment potential of a high-quality mechanical watch, over more competitively priced quartz rivals of the period. The ‘sigma’ signature was a visual declaration of the use of precious materials, and was adopted by a number of manufactures throughout the 70’s.
Inside the watch, houses Rolex’s calibre 1570 ‘Officially Certified Superlative Chronometer’ grade automatic movement. This was the third iteration of Rolex first in house movement 1500 introduced in 1957 (first in 1957 the 1530, second in 1959 the 1560 that remained in use until 1965 followed by the 1570 caliber The 1570 became one of the most popular and highly regarded movements Rolex had so far produced. Rolex used this caliber 1570 in the continuing series of Oyster Perpetuals, it was still powering the 5512 Submariner in 1978 and even the Explorer ref. 1016 until the end of its run in the late eighties.
Before movements were produced by suppliers such as Aegler and Cortebert, one the best movement producers of Switzerland at that time. The mechanism features a lever escapement, 26 jewels, mono-metallic balance and KIF shock-absorber, beating at a rate of 19,800 BPH. A distinctive characteristic of Rolex’s Cal. 1570 is the use of brightly-colored, pink reverser gears in the automatic winding module. The unique coloration is created using Teflon, a branded form of Polytetrafluoroethylene, as a coating, resulting in far less friction.
The evolution of the Rolex Oyster inspired some of the most historically important wristwatches, surviving the harshest of conditions. From 35,000 ft. below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, to the summit of Mount Everest, without losing a beat. There aren’t many mechanical timepieces that have contributed more to the advancement of horological design, nor clearer defined Rolex’s reputation for excellence. Many have tried to replicate its success, but no manufacturer since, has consistently produced mechanical timepieces that endure everyday wear as well as a Rolex, owing much of their success to a unique market niche that the Oyster case helped define.