It took me
almost one hundred watches before I finally decided to give Rolex a try. I’d
been a bit reluctant towards Rolex just because it just felt so common and
boring. You see Rolex watches everywhere you look and wearing a Rolex doesn’t
automatically make you a watch enthusiast. I mean, if I would see someone
wearing a Datejust and I would walk by flashing my own Datejust while
saying “Hey man, I like your watch”, the person would probably just have looked
at me saying “Yeah right, nice, gotta go!” but if I would have been wearing
let’s say a Doxa SUB I’m pretty sure the response would have been quite the
opposite and we would have gone to the closet pub, have a couple of beers and
become best friends. I’m not saying people wearing Rolex’s aren’t watch
enthusiasts, many of them are of course, but it’s impossible to tell from by just
looking at his or her wrist. I’ve given compliments to people with rare vintage
Submariners or old Explorers, taking for granted they must be at least a little
nerdy, and they would be like “What? You mean this old thing?”. I’ve always
wanted to wear something that says “Hey, look at me, I really know my shit and
have given my choice of watch some careful thought and I’m not just wearing
this because it looks nice or tells the time”.
for a Rolex began one day back in 2011 at my parent’s house when I discovered a
box for a Rolex Datejust 16030. It had the outer and the inner box and
contained the books, the certificate, a jubilee bracelet and some other various
parts but the actual watch was missing. I started looking through some old photographs
and could see my dad wearing something that looked like a two-tone 16013 Datejust
on some sort of leather strap. I asked my dad about it and he told me he’d
bought the watch back in 1982 and that he a couple of years later changed the
dial, crown and glass ring to gold and put it on an ostrich strap instead of
the jubilee. When I asked him what happened to it he said “Remember that
break-in in Spain we had when you were young?”. I remembered it indeed. This must
have been around 1988 or something. We’d been on the beach the whole day and
when we came home I ran up the stairs and got greeted by this hole in the wall
where the front door usually used to hang. The thieves had of course taken
everything of value including the watch but that wasn’t anything I remembered.
All I could remember was me worrying about that my G.I. JOE figures, which I wasn’t
allowed to bring to the beach, wasn’t among the stolen items. Fortunately Snake
Eyes and the rest of the guys were fine and the incident didn’t bother me as
much as it must have bothered my parents.
had found a good reason to buy a Rolex. I decided to find a Datejust from 1982
to match the box but when I came across one from 1984 I figured it might be
funnier to have a watch from my birth year. The certificate wouldn’t match the
watch anyway. I actually got to throw in my MKII Sea Fighter in the deal as a
part trade and didn’t have to put up with much money in between. The watch came
on a quite stretchy jubilee (which I later got cheated on for $50 but that’s
another story) and had a faded blue/purple dial. The watch head was in great
condition and seemed to be unpolished. I had all the remaining parts left in
the box to be fitted in the watch so that it would look just like it did when
my dad bought his watch back in 1982. It turned out great! Up until then I
really hadn’t understood what the thing was about the Datejust. To me it had
been just a small dress watch. Boy had I been wrong! The Datejust must be one
of the most versatile sports watches ever built. It doesn’t feel or look small
on the wrist at all. It works in every occasion and is easily matched with all
types of clothing. It also has a huge variety of dials to choose from which
makes it easy to avoid it become boring.
I wore the
watch for about two weeks before I did what I knew had to be done. Hand it over to
my dad. By doing that I saved myself from accidentally selling it due to
temporary delirium (which have caused me selling too many watches that I should
have kept) and I also made him very happy. He’s been wearing it every day
since he got it in September 2011. I’ve managed to borrow it sometimes but he
always wants it back fast.
|#96 - The Rolex Datejust 16030. My first Rolex. Here with the blue/purple dial.|
|After the change to the spare parts from the watch that got stolen.|
|On a hotel bed in Ft. Lauderdale watching USA's Formula 1 Grand Prix back in November 2012. |
16030 was a full set from 1988. It had a white dial with roman index that I didn’t like at all
but it also came with a black stick dial so the white one was replaced at once.
Looking back at the pictures I think the white dial was much nicer. This one
was a little beat up and had been polished more than once. The lugs felt quite thin
and round. Didn’t stay with me very long.
|#115 - The second 16030.|
|After the change to the black stick dial.|
one was awesome. For real. It was close to NOS and also a full set and from ’88 as well.
It was really beautiful and the steel grey dial was amazing. It looked so
different depending on the light. It would have made an excellent keeper and I
sold it way to cheap.
|#139 - The third and last so far of the 16030's.|
The Datejust really opened up my eyes for Rolex. Now I love the brand. There
are few others who have contributed with that much history to the world of
watches. The Datejust also made me appreciate smaller watches. 36mm is a great
size. The new Datejust II feels so weird with its 41mm. Some things should
never change. The size of the Datejust (and that goes for the Day-Date as well)
is one of them. It’s perfect.
All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.