Wrist Game or Crying Shame: Rolex Precision 6694
Welcome to Wrist Game or Crying Shame, where you can vote even if you’re not allowed to travel! This week, we’ll take a look at the Rolex Precision 6694, a relative oddity within the brand’s semi-modern repertoire. But first…
Last week, I tempted you with the ’90s Eberhard Aviograf, a watch that few of you had ever seen. Well, seeing it the first time brought feelings of amore as you blessed this watch with an 86% Wrist Game vote. That Eberhard was a manual wind watch and, with the Rolex Precision 6694, we have yet another for your consideration. This one just so happens to sit within an Oyster case while sporting a screw-down crown — better flex those fingers!
Now before you start your collective hollering about yet another Rolex here on the site, I have a request. Take as long as you’d like to handwrite a complaint to us. Once you’re done, fold it nicely and insert it into the nearest waste receptacle. Trust us, your letter will somehow arrive at our mythical doorstep.
The Rolex Precision 6694 has a Manual Wind Movement
I wrote an article about the Rolex Precision 6694 several years ago. I simply grew tired of looking at the pristine late ’80s example that habitually and effortlessly graced the wrist of one of my very good friends. With its diminutive, but somehow formidable 34mm Oyster case and familiar Rolex traits, I was intrigued by the watch. I mean, how the hell did my friend choose the one damn Oyster that didn’t contain the word “Perpetual”? The thought of having to unscrew the crown every day just to wind the watch sounded fantastic! Well, it seems my friend had more dumb luck than anything else. The watch presented itself for a song back in 1989. But dumb luck is, in the end, still luck. And dammit I was attracted to that 6694 for the reason above. But, truthfully, it was its seldomness that really got me going.
34mm But Formidable
Yes, that’s right, the Rolex Precision 6694 uses a manual wind movement. Caliber 1225 is a movement that was fitted during the 1960s, soldiering on until the late 80s. It’s a 17 jewel runner that plods along at a leisurely 21,600vph. The Oysterdate Precision was offered everywhere but seemed more popular in Europe and Asia than in the Americas. Perhaps Europeans and Asians liked their watches a tad more discreet than my own countryfolk. Plus, with that smaller diameter, it likely passed as a medium-sized watch in a place like Japan. I don’t know about original pricing, but I believe these Precisions were among the least expensive models offered by the Coronet. That probably made for decent sales in the less showy markets where someone still wanted to walk out with a Rolex quality timepiece.
Again, It’s 34mm — Stop Whining
Let’s head back to the fact that the Rolex Precision 6694 is on the smaller side. With most beefcakes thinking that 40mm is the minimum size for a watch, 34mm seems laughable. Well, meatheads, I’d advise you to try on one of these 6694s. They’re actually a lot more like the commonly acceptable 36mm Datejust. With its Cyclops and tall acrylic crystal, the Oysterdate Precision could qualify as the Napoleon of watches. If you’re a fan of cartoons and comics, perhaps it’s the Mighty Mouse. Then, when paired with a lovely solid link Oyster bracelet, it even looks better. Oh, and this makes for a no regrets daily wearer with its useful 100-meter water resistance.
A Tough Used Market to Navigate
I often liken a given marque’s entry-level pieces to the Porsche 944. As nice as that car was, it’s lower starting pricing, lower secondary prices, and high service costs often translated into worn-out used specimens. Friends, flipping through Chrono24 looking at Rolex Precision 6694 models is a lesson in true variety. Fright pigs with nasty dials, over-polished cases, and aftermarket dials are aplenty. I’d also add that some of the color combos Rolex created just haven’t aged so well. For my money, I’d take silver, black or blue in a late edition with a thick case and those solid links.
Because I’m a generally nice person, I’ve found what I think is a really nice example of a Rolex Precision 6694. It comes via Chrono24 from Swiss Watch Company Ltd. in London town, England. The seller is responsible for these lovely photos and they’ve presented a piece with thick lugs, a clean silver dial, and what looks to be the original box. Now, at €3,511 this is not cheap, but it does look nice. Ah, I remember the days when these were selling for just over £1,000 GBP. But now it’s time to decide. Is this Precision priced precisely for your pleasure? Cast your vote!