When it comes to vintage watches, appearances can often be deceiving, like this Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Ref 1530 for example.
The Oyster Perpetual Date
At first glance it looks like a fairly standard Rolex Oyster Quartz Datejust, a superb watch in its own right and one that still remains popular amongst enthusiasts today, even in spite of its quartz movement. Except the watch we have here for you today is not an Oyster Quartz but rather an Oyster Perpetual. Confused? Good, read on.
As we have seen countless times throughout the #VintageWatchFridays series, the Rolex of yesteryear was somewhat of a quirky company. Often they would use left-over parts when transitioning to new models, resulting in watches like last week’s Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513 which featured a newer-style glossy dial matched with an old-style acrylic crystal.
Not surprisingly collectors love these little nuances. They give the vintage watch a more authentic feel, making it easy to imagine some guy in a white lab coat and glasses being given free rein to experiment a bit to see what works best. Admittedly it’s a bit of a romantic notion but at the same time it somehow makes the watch that little bit more special, that little bit more personal.
The Oyster Perpetual Date is a great example of this. As you can see in the photos it is almost identical to the Oyster Quartz Datejust of the same period (i.e. the 1970’s), right down to the incredibly awesome (and angular) integrated steel bracelet. There are of course though two key differences, one clearly visible, the other not so much.
A classic Rolex Oyster Quartz Datejust courtesy of mkmotorsport.
Firstly, on the dial side just under 12 o’clock you will note that the Ref 1530 reads ‘Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date’, whereas the Datejust (not surprisingly) reads ‘Oyster Quartz Datejust’. Both models however prominently display the words ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’ just above 6 o’clock, the second key difference of course being that one is a quartz movement whilst the other is an automatic.
For me this makes it the perfect everyday watch. It has the classic understated style of an Oyster Quartz but with the added bonus of a mechanical movement. Best of all, only the most observant of connoisseurs will actually pick up on the subtle distinction, meaning that those around you will be constantly underestimating you and your wrist wear, which can be quite advantageous in business.