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Not many 1980s icons survive into the 21st century with their initial appeal totally intact. The two-tone Rolex Datejust 16013 "Tapestry" dial is one of the few.
With a classic 36mm Oyster Perpetual case, a versatile yellow gold and stainless steel medley, and the coveted "tapestry" guilloche dial, this Rolex Datejust would look equally at home behind the wheel of a 1986 Ferrari Testarossa and a 2015 Ferrari F12.
Rolex's Datejust is a timeless model. The essential features - proportions, automatic winding, jump-date, Oyster case - have not changed since Winston Churchill donned the an early-production model in 1946.
But the details of any given Datejust define its place in the model's now 70-year timeline, and this Datejust 16013 is a superb specimen from the era of shred guitar and Gordon Gekko.
Start with the balance of dress and sports inflection. Unlike the rotating-bezel Rolex Oyster sports watches, each Datejust starts as something of a blank slate with the potential to be coaxed towards a sportier or more formal character. Details define the personality of a Rolex Datejust, and this 16013 boldly embraces refinement in the form of a fluted gold bezel, matching two-tone Jubilee bracelet, and that extraordinary "tapestry" guilloche dial with applied yellow gold indices.
The dial is the highlight, and it's a serendipitous match for the fluted facets of the bezel. Now discontinued and highly sought by collectors, the "tapestry" dial is defined by its vertical channels cut into the dial blank; additional character is provided by advancing patina on this Rolex Datejust.
The patina elements include the original tritium lume dots outboard of the applied gold hour indices, the corresponding ecru-faded inserts atop the hour and minutes hands, and the beautiful eggshell-beige of the veteran date wheel below the Rolex "cyclops eye" magnifier. The ultra-desirable even patina of original fabric adds real collectors potential to this watch, and the rich color of the aging elements beautifully corresponds to the yellow gold of the indices, hands, and Rolex coronet emblem.
Given the elegance of the bezel and dial, a Rolex Jubilee bracelet is the ideal match for the personality of this exquisite Rolex Datejust. Two-tone in gold and steel, the five-link Jubilee matches the aesthetic of the watch while adding a level of supple comfort that the heavier three-link Oyster sports bracelet cannot match. Moreover, the delicate intermediate links of the Jubilee do justice to the beauty of the gold that comprises their gossamer loops.
Inside the Oyster Case, an automatic Rolex caliber 3035 - in-house as always - keeps the time with COSC Swiss Chronometer precision. As one of the first Rolex movements to adopt the modern 28,800 VpH beat rate, the 3035 ensures that this vintage Rolex Datejust keeps time with the best of the modern Rolex models.
A free-sprung escapement, Breguet overcoil hairspring, and microstella balance blocks ensure that the Datejust enjoys the same shock-resistance as Submariner, GMT, and Explorer models from the same era; the Rolex sports watch DNA runs deep in the Datejust gene pool.