Rolex SOLD-Rolex Datejust 1601 sigma dial 1970

SOLD-Rolex Datejust 1601 sigma dial 1970

Brand: Rolex
Model: Datejust
Reference: 1601
Gender: Uni-sex
Year: 1970
Material: stainless steel
Dial Color: black
Dimensions: 36 mm
Watch Movement: automatic
Bracelet/Strap: steel
Box/Paper: Handmade Leather Travel Pouch
Condition: Excellent

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 1601 from 1970 with a stainless steel case and a black pie pan sigma dial

This is a rare opportunity to buy a 19670 Rolex Datejust with a stainless steel case. What sets this Rolex Datjeust apart is that it comes with a really nice black pie pan sigma dial. So pull the trigger and treat yourself on this great looking Rolex Datejust!


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 blackr dial with rose gold 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.

From their first in-house series of calibers, the 156o 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.

The Sigma Dial. What is that? In the early 1970s few watchmakers who were members of the l’Association pour la Promotion Industrielle de l'Or (APRIOR), an industry trade association for those making gold watches, started applying little marks beneath the 6 hour mark, that are actually the lower case Greek letter sigma, and the dials are aptly called "sigma dials." The reason for this was to promote when gold parts were used on a watch to enhance the perceived intrinsic value of a traditional watch.

Our Datejust is a perfect example.  The pie pan dial, is finished in a more harmonizing black 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 stainless steel 36mm size case with a chronometer rated automatic movement.

Originally this was a gentleman’s Rolex Datejust (1601) featuring a black 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 white golden bezel. It has a stainless steel bracelet. This particular watch comes complete without its original papers


This particular watch has just undergone a full service and refurbishment to both case and bracelet. 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: 20361xx
  • Reference: 1601
  • Year: Circa 1970
  • caliber: 1570
  • Case: It has a stainless steel case with screw down case back. Stainless steel case that has light wear from use. It has a fluted white gold bezel
  • Dimensions: 36mm diameter;
  • Crystal: Plexiglass
  • Dial: black pie-pan dial with applied rose gold baton hour markers, gold 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: stainless steel bracelet with a clasp signed 4 69 meaning 4th quarter of 1969 period correct and original to the watch case
  • Lug Width: 20mm
  • Box/Papers: original papers


12 month warranty
14 day returns