Rolex Datejust 1630

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Rolex and a number of other Swiss watch manufacturers joined forces in the 1960s to produce the first Swiss-made quartz movement. The resulting Beta 21 calibre was used by Rolex in the ‘Il Texano’ (ref. 5100) in 1970. Apart from their pioneering quartz movements these watches were also revolutionary due to their angular case shapes and integrated bracelets. Indeed, they look a lot like the Royal Oak and Nautilus designed by the legendary Gerald Genta in 1972 and 1976, respectively. While the details are murky, a longtime colleague and friend of Genta has stated that it was Genta who designed the Il Texano. In any case, the Royal Oak and Nautilus followed just a few years later and feature the same design cues.The Il Texano was limited to just 1,000 pieces. In the early 1970s Rolex left the Beta 21 collective to develop its own in-house quartz calibre, resulting in the Oysterquartz line. The Oysterquartz took the angular design to a further extreme.In the second half of the 1970s, Rolex cased automatic movements in a small run of the cases produced for the Oysterquartz Datejust. It is estimated that between a few hundred and 1,500 examples of these ref. 1630 ‘Oysterquartz Datejusts’ with automatic movements were produced. A similar number of watches were produced in these cases as Rolex Dates under the ref. 1530.This ref. 1630 from 1978 features an angular stainless steel case with the iconic 18k yellow gold fluted bezel and matching 18k yellow gold crown. The case is in amazing condition and still sports the original faceted edges. The 1630 comes on a unique integrated stainless steel and 18k yellow gold integrated Jubilee bracelet, that is in remarkable shape as well.The dial on the ref. 1630 is quite unique for a Rolex watch. The 1630 essentially treats the rehaut, the sloped inner bezel ring, as part of the dial by placing the minute track and tritium lume plots there. The cool silver dial is accented by lovely 18k yellow gold baton markers and hands. Unlike other 16xx references, which still sported plexiglass crystals, the 1630 Datejusts feature sturdy and scratch resistant sapphire crystals.

Introduction

Rolex DatejustIn 1945 Rolex created the flagship Datejust to mark the company’s 40th anniversary. This model was the world’s first self-winding wristwatch with a date indication. With the Datejust, Rolex also introduced the iconic 5-piece jubilee bracelet, first in solid gold and later in bicolor and stainless steel. On the tenth anniversary of the Datejust in 1955, the magnifying ‘cyclops lens’ was introduced on the Datejust.

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