Rolex Ref. 1501 “Date”

This Rolex Ref. 1501 involved customization as well as restoration. While this piece was likely manufactured with an engine-turned bezel and sold with a narrow, 19mm oyster-link bracelet, by the time we found this piece both had been replaced. The watch work a simple leather strap and the engine-turned bezel had been replaced with a modern, aftermarket bezel in smooth steel.

We began by restoring this watch to original condition, beginning with a full mechanical overhaul. We also sourced a period correct oyster-link bracelet from Rolex and a period correct engine-turned bezel. The result was the restoration of this watch to its factory-original condition.

Once that restoration was complete, we set about redesigning the piece to better reflect the character of its new owner. A unique shade of blue was selected by the watch’s new owner, and a secondary, darker blue was selected for the lettering on the dial. The dial was refinished to factory specifications, with the exception of the lower text, which was deleted entirely.

The final accent added to this piece was a bespoke “roulette” calendar disc; the dates displayed alternate between red and black against a white background. Fully assembled, this watch represents what we strive to accomplish at Cloister; an almost imperceptible blend of pure restoration and thoughtful reimagining.