Rolex Datejust 1601/9 'Onyx'

Museum Piece
Your eyes are not deceiving you; this is indeed a Onyx-dialed Datejust in white gold! Starting with the classic Oyster case.

Your eyes are not deceiving you; this is indeed a Onyx-dialed Datejust in white gold!

Starting with the classic Oyster case. If you disregard the hallmarks and the heft you could think it is an ordinary Datejust, but nothing could be further from the truth. In the 36mm category, the eminent precious metal model is usually the Day-Date, but there have been quite some Datejusts made in Aurum; of which the lion share in 18K yellow gold. For obvious reasons very few white gold 1601's ever saw the light of day. But you're not wrong in assuming a gentleman who would order such an uncommon watch, paying an enormous premium for a seemingly regular Datejust, has more up his sleeve. Enter an Onyx dial.

Yes, we have had dozens of Datejusts and Day-Date with dials made out of this particular stone. It is easy to drown in the jet-black dial and the absence of markers speaks to many, especially for those who enjoy simplicity. Occasionally one poses the question if there are Onyx dials made for white metal Rolex watches. We politely inform them that one can always dream but they are rare as hens teeth. Luckily hens teeth are our specialty!

If you are not a hardcore collector it might be difficult to fathom that the white gold coronet and date aperture -in combination with the white text- easily fetches a 5 X price compared to its yellow counterpart. That is what we are dealing with here: exceptional rarity that is reserved to a very small niche of aficionados, who can truly appreciate and value such a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Given there are probably only a handful of 1601/9 with Onyx dials, we don't regard the small imperfections in the text as a dealbreaker but it is something you should know. The previous owner enjoyed the watch temporarily with a different dial and the external storing -of this original and currently mounted Onyx dial- caused some signs, which can also be seen on the surface of the coronet. Underneath the plexy glass and without a loupe it is invisible to the naked eye.

The case is very strong with thick lugs, proudly displaying the hallmarks on the bottom, reassuring you it is indeed made out of white gold. Just like the Jubilee bracelet with fold-over clasp; that remains in equally good shape. The "closed" handset and white-gold twin lock crown are still present and are looking good.

We are thrilled to have this objet d'art and thank the initial owner who decided to order this highly unusual configuration in 1977 and took care of it in the following years.