1601 ‘Sigma Linen Japan’

We are very happy to offer this magnificent 1601 ‘Linen’ Datejust to you guys. However, the fun doesn’t stop there. This Linen dial is also a Japan dial, and a Sigma dial at that. The combination of basically three styles of vintage Rolex dials in one, makes this 1972 Datejust quite the looker, and a rare watch at that – hence its nickname: 1601 ‘Sigma Linen Japan’.

The dial is nothing short of stunning! The Linen fabric style of design on the dial, in combination with those sturdy looking brushed indices and their subtle polished facets on the top and bottom, are very attractive. The Japan nickname to this dial comes from the fact that from the 1960’s up to the mid 1970’s the Japanese government banned the import of goods into the country with radio-active material in, or on them. For this reason, Rolex manufactured watch-dials and watch-hands without the radioactive material Tritium, which of course was used by the brand for the luminescent characteristics of the dial and hands. Look close and you will notice that the hands on this 1601 are ‘closed’ and without a line of luminescent material, the same applies to the dial – no luminescent dots at the end of the hour-markers as well. By the way, all indices including the hands on this vintage Datejust are manufactured from 18k white gold – which brings us to the Sigma (nick)name. In the 1970s, a group of Swiss watchmakers who were part of the L’Association pour la Promotion Industrielle de l’Or in short; APIOR (which translates to The Association for the Industrial Promotion of Gold) formed an official initiative to highlight the use of gold on watches, hence the gold indices and hands on early vintage timepieces (among Rolex, other brands also used Sigma dials) A Sigma dial can be recognized by the two symbols left and right of the tswisst marking below the six o’clock position – These symbols are derived from the Greek letter Sigma: σ

In day and/or sunlight this silver dial will show you a warm champagne tone. Also, due to the composition of alloys used in vintage gold, the 18k white gold fluted bezel shows a warmer hue when compared to the ‘cool’ stainless steel of the case and bracelet. That case remains in a great condition with thick lugs and sharp edges all around, and fitted to its original stainless steel 6251 folded jubilee bracelet with 55 end-links, which also remains in a very nice condition considering its age.

Since this 1601 ‘Sigma Linen Japan’ is so much nicer in real life than in any of the photo’s above, we’d like to invite you to our HQ so you can inspect this beauty for yourself. As always, this vintage banger was fully serviced and will be delivered with our 24 month warranty.

reference: 1601
case number: 314XXXX
year of production: 1972
case diameter: 36mm
movement: automatic, Rolex caliber 1570
box and papers: no