244 Rolex Possibly Unique, Fresh to the Market, Datejust, Automatic Wristwatch in White Gold, With Lapis Lazuli and Khanjar Logo Dial, Retailed by Asprey, Reference 1601, Published in John Goldberger Book “100 Superlative Rolex Watches” and Comin

Estimate: €80,000 –⁠ 160,000

Sold €351,000

Model: Datejust
Reference: 1601
Case Material: White Gold
Bracelet Material: White Gold
Year: 1975
Movement: Automatic
Caliber: 1575
Case N°: 3 924 598
Dimensions: 36 mm
Signed: Dial, Movement and Case
Literature: This specific watch is published in John Goldberger Book “100 Superlative Rolex Watches” at page 159 and 161

Launched in 1945, the Rolex Datejust is one of the most iconic models ever created. Its fluted bezel and jubilee bracelet are both immediately recognizable upon a glance, and are still deeply ingrained in the DNA of modern Rolex watches today. Over the years Rolex has created many different dial designs with a variety of materials. Rolex has and continues to experiment with many different hard stones. Due to the fragile nature of the stone, many of these hard-stone dials break during production, they are therefore costly and subsequently highly sought after by collectors. Therefore, a flawless dial will increase the value greatly. Not only is this dial in impeccable condition, but it is among the most desirable variations since presents the prestigious Khanjar logo at 6 o’clock. This lapis lazuli Datejust is among the rarest precious stone dial for a Rolex watches and only a handful were ever made in white gold. Rarely such a special and important combination of features have appeared on the watches auction market making the present specimen one of the most precious for collectors. The white-gold case is in unbelievable condition with thick lugs and sharp edges. The case back is engraved Asprey as the Sultan’s early Rolex timepieces were only available at the London-based retailer. The Asprey engraving remains clear, crisp and legible, which is incredibly rare as most engravings have been worn off over time due to general wear and light polishing. The white-gold jubilee bracelet is in equally wonderful condition. The beautiful lapis lazuli dial, which does not show any cracks, is perfect, presenting silver printed graphics denoting that the dial was destined to be cased in white metal. In comparison, lapis lazuli dials fitted in a yellow-gold case have gold graphics and are more readily available on the market. In nature, lapis often occurs together with calcite (which shows as white veins in the stone) and pyrite (which look like gold veins). This dial contains barely any calcite/pyrite deposits and only has some evenly spaced silver-colored calcite flecks, giving the dial a beautiful solid blue color. Incredibly rare and with some of the most appreciated characteristics that nowadays collectors are looking for (precious material, hard stone dial and Khanjar logo) the present lot is even more important since has been part of the personal collection of Mr. John Goldberger for many years and is, of course, published in one of his books: the “100 Superlative Rolex Watches” at page 159 and 161.