I've always wanted a Rolex. It wasn't the Submariner or Explorer that pulled me to Rolex. It is the datejust. For many people, Rolex is synonymous with Submariner or Explorer or even the Daytona but for me I was always pulled to the Datejust. Not the recent DJ41 but the old school American Psycho Datejust Two Tone. The ones worn by Tony Soprano or Fidel Castro.
So this year, I finally decided that I was going to pull the plug and get a DJ. I was looking either at a birthyear Datejust or 1601 for the value and piepan dial. I know they'll be easier to find and cheaper than getting one new. The large stick markers on the current DJs are also putting me off. I went into the AD once and put on the DJ and truthfully, I couldn't love it. I was mesmerized by the Explorer and Presidential DD 40 though... but that's another story for another day.
Anyway, it was hard to find a birthyear watch in good condition so when a Linen Dial 1601 popped up at a great price, I was smitten and decided to pull the trigger. The watch is beaten up and the owner was selling it as it is. As soon I got it, I knew it needed some work. Thankfully, everything is just superficial, a light wipe on the bezel rubbed off the discoloration and some crystal polishing made the glass look new again. The bracelet was a replacement bracelet so I might need to source a new one.
The watch is now on custom endlinks and a leather cordovan strap. I think this look is my favourite bar the bracelet. Without endlinks, I feel that something is missing.
Anyway, the watch although 36mm wears nicely and feels beefier due to the larger lug to lug / oyster case. My example has the hacking feature but no quickset date thus changing dates will be a hassle. I don't mind it as much though.
The watch is a vintage means more care is needed. I can't really test the full capability of the 100m water resistance without further bar and pressure testing but as a dress watch I'm not bothered much by it. Truthfully, this is more of a dress piece than an all rounder for me as I have other watches in rotation for sportier events.
The Sigma Linen Tritium Dial makes this example harder to find and more special. I am enamored with the datejust and it makes me appreciate Rolex more every time I look at it. Now I understand why WIS still think Rolex is King even with all the negative stigma attached to it.
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