The Rolex 1601 has the classic Datejust measurements: 36 mm across, 11.7 mm thick, 44 mm lug to lug. It also comes on the standard five-piece link Jubilee bracelet with a lug width of 20 mm. The links are folded, and the end links are hollow. It's perhaps important to note that bracelets from this era are not particularly popular among Rolex fans. But thanks to its drilled lugs, the bracelet can easily be switched out for a bracelet or strap from another manufacturer.
What's the Rolex Datejust 1601 made of?
The Datejust 1601 comes in a stainless steel and/or yellow or rose gold case. For the watch's characteristic fluted bezel, Rolex always uses gold, so models in stainless steel will have white or yellow gold bezels. Together with a gold crown and gold center links, the yellow gold bezel creates a beautiful two-tone look.
The front surface of the Datejust 1601 is matte, regardless of the material. By contrast, Rolex gives the sides a fine polish. The solid screw-down case back and crown mean the watch is water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft). However, it's important to remember that these models are vintage and potentially have seen plenty of action in their day; you should definitely get the watch's water resistance checked and certified before buying.
Rolex Datejust 1601: Dial Options
The Datejust 1601 comes with a wide variety of dials. Silver-white and golden sunburst dials are particularly prevalent, but you'll also find models with blue, black, and gray dials. The applied bar indices can differ somewhat depending on the year, particularly in terms of their chamfer. Rolex also used different hands over the years; while most model variants feature slender baton hands (like the current Datejust), some older watches come with lancet hands.
Regardless of the color and indices, the dial on the 1601 is what's known as a pie pan dial, which means the outer edge of the dial is slightly lower than the center. On the Datejust 1601, this is where the minute track and the luminous tritium dot hour indices are located.
The dial is protected by an acrylic crystal that features Rolex's characteristic date or cyclops magnifier at 3 o'clock, which enlarges the date 2.5-fold.
Rolex 1601 vs. 1603: What's the difference?
The Rolex Datejust 1601 and 1603 are technically identical and differ only in that the reference 1603 is made exclusively of stainless steel and has a stainless steel bezel. The bezel also features different fluting.
Main Features of the Rolex Datejust 1601
- Size: 36 mm
- Thickness: 11.7 mm
- Lug to lug: 44 mm
- Material: stainless steel or gold
- Bezel: fluted; white, yellow, or rose gold
- Lug width: 20 mm
- Water resistance: 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft)