Rolex Date Watches
Rolex Date watches launched a complication that completely transformed the way timepieces were used. They are delightful examples of everyday luxury watches that boast their own rich history and variety.
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The History of Rolex Date Watches
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date, made its debut on the market during the mid-1950s. They are often considered to be the middle-ground between the DateJust and Air-King collections. Early models of the Date include the References 6530, 6535 and 6537. It is also important to note that there was also the Reference 6518 which came out a few years beforehand, but this particular vintage model was made with several different names on the dial.
A second generation of Rolex Date watches were released in the 1960s, the Reference 15XX series. These timepieces kept the 34mm case, cyclops lens and acrylic crystals, however the manufacturer switched out radium for tritium to keep the dial luminescent. A particularly interesting model in this generation is the Reference 1530, which was manufactured between 1975 and 1977. This was the very first time a sapphire would replace the acrylic crystal, something that would not happen again for Date watches until the 1990s.
The eighties ushered a new series of Rolex Date watches, with the 150XX range. These timepieces were a lot more practical than their predecessors, given that they featured the new calibre 3035 with quickset date feature. This enabled the wearer to set the date window independently from the timekeeping hands.
In 1988, Rolex unveiled its brand new calibre 3135, its latest self-winding movement. To commemorate this, the manufacturer launched a new batch of Date watches with the reference numbers 152XX. Along with the new movement, this series featured the return of sapphire crystals on top of the cases. At the beginning of the 90s, Rolex updated the luminous material once again, this time switching to Luminova. This meant that the timepieces were no longer self-luminous, instead needing to be “charged” by a light source beforehand.
The newest Rolex Date watches, known as the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 34 collection. These timepieces had a slightly broader case and featured solid end and centre links on the bracelets, along with a much improved clasp. In addition, the models have the quick-set date feature and cyclops lens. When it comes to luminescence, Rolex once again switched up the material – first of all to SuperLuminova in the early 2000s and then again to Chromalight in the late 2000s.
Rolex also released several series of ladies’ Date watches, which followed a similar path to the men’s collection. These were eventually discontinued in order to focus on the ladies’ DateJust series.
A Great Coming of Age Timepiece
The 34mm design of Rolex Date watches make them a perfect choice for many wrist sizes, especially given the fact there is now a growing trend towards smaller and more restrained watches. They are also the ideal size to be given as a coming of age gift, a fantastic heirloom to celebrate the transition into adulthood.
The reserved and sporty designs of these luxury watches make them extremely appropriate for both formal occasions and everyday life. In addition, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date line-up has really accessible price points – especially when looking at pre-owned models.
A Lesser-Known Delight
As one of the world’s most famous watchmakers, Rolex has plenty of iconic models under its belt – such as the Submariner, Daytona, DayDate and more. It therefore goes without saying that there will be some models that get overshadowed by their more flashy and famous brethren. Rolex Date watches, or Rolex Oyster Perpetual Dates to give them their full name, are perfect examples of these.
Despite the fact they are some of Rolex’s oldest models that are still in production today, there is still quite a lot of confusion surrounding this series. A possible reason for this is the fact they are extremely similar to the DateJust, an altogether more popular timepiece. Nevertheless, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date still remains a fantastic timepiece to add your collection, while the fact it flies under the radar means it has great potential as an investment opportunity.