Famed as a wonderfully understated reference, the ref. 1500 was designed as an entry-level Rolex that could withstand daily use as a workhorse companion for its wearer. Often cased in stainless steel and offered with a plethora of dial choices, the ref. 1500 is a diverse collection that has something which appeals to most, if not all, tastes. Measuring 34mm in diameter but featuring a date complication, the Date stands on the middle ground between the Rolex Oyster Perpetual, and the full-sized (at the time) 36mm Datejust. However, while it was typically made of stainless steel, it wasn’t always, as the example we have here demonstrates. Destined for the American market, this example is made of 14kt yellow and sits on an intricate woven mesh bracelet that was itself made in America by JB Champion. Added to the watch head after its import from Switzerland into the US, this timepiece reflects Rolex’s practice to avoid taxes and duties that were payable on imported precious metals. Featuring a gray dial with yellow gold dial furniture, the resulting aesthetic is surprisingly monochromatic as the gray matches the soft warm hue of its 14kt gold surroundings rather perfectly.
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Vetted & Approved
Est. value range
$6,000 – $8,000
Watch is in excellent overall condition. Lugs are symmetrical and full, but over the years the brushed surfaces of the lugs have been finished in a high polish. Dial is in excellent condition with nice lumes that match the hands. There is a light and even spotting that has developed on the surface of the dial that is visible upon close examination. The woven gold bracelet fits a 7.5" wrist, and exhibits very little stretch.
A splendidly exuberant variant of the Rolex Date, a famously understated timepiece, this example boasts an intricate 14kt yellow gold woven mesh bracelet that has totally transformed the 1500's aesthetic and made it a fabulous expression of luxury mid-century watchmaking.