Rolex Datejust Ref. 1601 circa 1965

These two Cloister Rolex Datejusts were borne of the simple, stainless steel, Rolex Datejust Ref. 1601 circa 1965. Both watches were sourced from American dealers and came with factory original, stainless steel jubilee bracelets.

Upon receipt of the base watches, full mechanical overhauls were completed and both stainless steel casebacks were removed. Dial design was for both watches was completed simultaneously, and both pieces feature a gloss blue palette inspired by the colors of Columbia University.

Both watches were refinished by hand in Bavaria. One Datejust was accented with standard black text. The addition of a custom roulette (red and black alternating) scheme on the calendar disc provides a third visual element to the completed project.

The second watch carried the Columbia theme slightly further, with the text color inspired by the darker blue accents on the University’s logo.

While both sets of dials and calendar discs were in Bavaria awaiting refinishing, custom exhibition casebacks were fabricated with sapphire crystals.

The final step was to fit the “Columbia” Datejust with a bespoke, distressed, brown leather strap fabricated by ABP Paris. The “Roulette Blue” Datejust was fitted with a new old stock “Tropic” rubber diving strap sourced from Switzerland. Both watches were also given new old stock, stainless steel, Rolex tang Buckles.