When we think of the classics in the Rolex catalog, we usually think of the Datejust, Submariner, Sea-Dweller, GMT-Master, Daytona, or even the Explorer. Today, the glamour associated with everything the “crown” touches, and the eagerness of modern consumers to have a Rolex watch on their wrist, have driven the prices of modern and pre-owned versions of these models through the roof. However, for some, the allure of owning a Rolex is not quelled by the financial impossibility of doing so. So, what to do?  5692_3 5692_8
Thankfully, another option lurking in the brand’s archives may be the answer to many prayers. The Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694 is a quiet classic, an unsung hero, and an affordable entry point into what often seems to be the most exclusive watchmaking club. Even better, there are many variations of this venerable hand-wound model, so there’s something for almost everyone.
As far as Rolex is concerned, the Oysterdate is the easiest. The Oysterdate Precision reference 6694 began in the early 1960s and was a huge success until it was finally discontinued in the late 1980s, earning the distinction of being the last manually wound Rolex watch.
Easily confused with the Oyster Perpetual and Oyster Perpetual Date series, the Oyster Perpetual is actually an oddity in the Rolex book. The absence of the “Perpetual” label in its name suggests that it is one of the few examples of Rolex that is not self-winding. In addition, the lack of any chronometer-certified text on the dial hints at the fact that the watch is not chronometer-certified.
Instead, the dial of the Rolex Oysterdate is marked “Precision” – a small, easily overlooked detail that is popular with hardcore watch collectors. In fact, the cleanliness of the dial and the restoration of purity is one of the things that supporters of this model point to when discussing the watch in all its lesser-known glory. The design of this watch lets the form used within it speak for itself. Whenever a less traditional color is used for the dial, the watch stays elegant and does not go overboard like some of the more famous models.