Every Collector Should At Least Have Tried A Rolex Datejust Watch — Here Are 4 Pre-Owned Ones
A Datejust ref.1600 was actually my first Rolex. I still have it, and although that watch became a bit obsolete in my collection, I do cherish it. It is a classic and especially on a Jubilee bracelet, an incredibly comfortable watch to wear.
Later on, I added a Rolex Datejust 16200 and even an OysterQuartz Datejust 17013. The Rolex Datejust 16200 didn’t add much to the Datejust 1600 in my opinion, so it had to go, but I regret selling the 17013 a bit. That is an awesome watch, despite horological purists are known to throw a bit up in their mouth when hearing the word “quartz” or “battery”.
I selected a few different Rolex Datejusts for this article, pre-owned models, that I think are interesting to consider. Perhaps this watch will not stick around in your collection forever, but there’s nothing wrong with owning a Rolex Datejust.
Pre-Owned Rolex Datejust Watches
Funnily, when I got my Rolex Datejust these watches were somewhere between €1,500 and €2,000. Depending on the execution. It slowly crept up in the 2nd half of the 2000s. I recent years, we all saw an increase in interest in the Rolex Datejust models, not unlikely caused by the efforts from our friends of Amsterdam Vintage Watches and others. There’s little not to like about a Datejust, it is perhaps the most recognizable model they have, and it doesn’t leave a hole in your savings as some of the sports models.
Before I started writing this article, I took a 1986 brochure (with price list) from my drawer and looked up some of the prices back then. Sure, the prices were much different back then (a Datejust started at €1,330), but I found it interesting to see that there wasn’t much of a difference between the price of a mechanical Datejust and the OysterQuartz Datejust (€3,175 vs €3,135). Anyway, I made sure to include at least one OysterQuartz in this overview, and I have to say, it is tempting…
Rolex Datejust 16013 — €4,450
To me, this is the archetype of a Rolex Datejust. Steel & gold, or bi-color, that’s how a Datejust should be in my book. This 16013 dates back to 1978 and still has that Plexi crystal. It is also the first generation of Datejust watches with a quickset date feature. This particular model comes with a white dial and gold Roman numerals (applied). A handsome configuration. Another favorite of mine is the Datejust 16013 with tapestry dial. Anyway, the seller of this watch is located in Greece and claims this watch to be in very good condition (for 1978). The Datejust 16013 has caliber 3055 inside (where the balance wheel was not connected to a bridge but a cock instead) and comes on the Jubilee bracelet. Make sure to check whether the bracelet doesn’t have too much stretch. Click here for this offer on the Rolex Datejust 16013.
Rolex Datejust 16234 — €4,277
Another favorite Datejust reference of mine is the 16234. Stainless steel with a white gold fluted bezel, on a Jubilee bracelet. On top, this watch has a dial with applied Roman numerals. This 36mm Rolex Datejust 16234 is a generation later than the aforementioned 16013. Meaning it has the sapphire crystal and the new(er) caliber 3135. This movement could also be found in the Submariner 16610 and Yacht-Master 16622, for example. No box or papers with this watch, but offered by a dealer in the United States. An everyday watch for someone who loves to have a nice Datejust. Click here for the offer on this Rolex Datejust 16234.
Rolex OysterQuartz Datejust 17013 — €3,765
Here’s a 1988 Rolex OysterQuartz Datejust reference 17013. I love this watch, one of my family members has one, and it is always drawing my attention. I should have never sold mine. Mine was from 1977, which I happen to believe is the first year of production of this watch and didn’t have the “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” text on the dial, but just one single line with “OysterQuartz”. The chronometer standards for quartz movements were (and are) more strict than for mechanical watches, of course.
So don’t worry, it will be more accurate than +6/-4 seconds per day on average. Rolex had the OysterQuartz models in the collection from 1977 till 2003 or so, and then it disappeared from the catalog. I like the design of this watch, almost a bit Genta-ish. I don’t understand why people spend their money on today’s Genta look-a-likes from other brands while they can buy a nice OQ instead if that’s the type of design you’re after. Anyway, click here for the offer on this OysterQuartz 17013.
Reference 116234 — €5,795
This is the successor of the aforementioned 161234, hence the ‘1’ prefix. Also a 36mm diameter case, but with beefier lugs. It’s also powered by the Rolex caliber 3135 movement and has a white gold fluted bezel. What’s different though, is that it has a Jubilee bracelet with a concealed clasp. Just like the President bracelets on the Day-Date, you will only see a Rolex logo on the bracelet that gives away the position where you need to open it. A very cool thing, but I have to admit that I rather prefer the older models with pointy lugs. Those look a bit more elegant. Click here for the offer on this Datejust 116234.
Read our Rolex Buyer’s Guide
As always, make sure you do your homework. Some of the above watches come with boxes and/or papers, so you need to decide whether those things matter to you. Not too long ago, we published a Rolex Buyer’s Guide for those who need to read up a bit on the topic. Always make sure to feel comfortable when you do a purchase like this, in case of any doubts, just don’t.