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Distinguished by its bark-finished bezel and bracelet, this Rolex Datejust Ref. 16078 puts a unique spin on the classic vintage watch.
The Rolex Oyster
The Rolex Oyster was first introduced in 1926, beginning as the first waterproof and dust-proof wristwatch designed specifically for professional use. The watch famously crossed the English Channel in 1927, around the neck of English swimmer Mercedes Gleitze, surviving the 10-hour long swim undamaged. A front-page newspaper advertisement followed, testifying “ten hours of submersion under the most trying conditions” failing to adversely affect its perfect timekeeping, whilst pioneering the modern concept of sports celebrity marketing.
In 1931, Rolex patented the world's first self-winding mechanism with a perpetual rotor, today at the heart of every modern automatic watch. The innovation which led to the creation of the “Oyster” case was a screw-down, moisture-proof winding crown, patented by Swiss inventors Perregaux and Perret in 1925.
Launched by Rolex in 1945, in celebration of the brands 40th Anniversary, the Datejust was the first self-winding wrist chronometer to indicate the date in a window on the dial. Since this introduction, the Datejust has become one of the most iconic and popular watches in the Rolex catalogue. It was described alongside the GMT and Submariner, in the brands marketing materials of the time as “a bit of both, and a substantial character at any level”. As second Rolex advertisement from the period puts it, “The Datejust combines the ruggedness of the Submariner with the versatility of the Cosmograph. And it has distinctive features of its own”.
As a continuation of the Datejust series, this reference 16078 was introduced in 1981, and features a unique textured finish to both bezel and bracelet, making this a rather distinctive piece. Understated in both appearance and size, the Rolex Datejust 16078 offers a practical, versatile alternative to Rolex’s other highly purposeful wristwatches.
This Datejust features a bark-finished bezel and bracelet, with the name referencing the protective outer layer from the trunk of a tree. This unusual finish was occasionally used on a handful of Rolex watches between the 1970s to 1980s, bringing a twist to the brand's usually restrained aesthetics. This type of finish was usually found on the Day-Date - perhaps the brand's most precious model - as well as a handful of Datejusts, such as this one.
The dial of this piece is a muted ivory, while the applied index markers and hands are rendered in gold. The classic "ROLEX" and "OYSTER PERPETUAL" - "DATEJUST" references are also present on this. The date aperture holds the usual "Cyclops" lens, which magnifies the date for easier readability. The lume on the hands and plots outside the hour markers is made out of tritium, having developed a warm patina over time, which complements the warm tones of the case.
Meanwhile, the caseback sports a green holographic sticker, which would likely initially have accompanied the watch when it was first sold, in 1981. This Datejust features the classic Jubilee bracelet, which is a five-piece, semi-circular linked design that allows for increased reflections of light and in turn, a more textured look for the bracelet. This Ref. 16078 is particularly interesting, as the bark-finished appearance of the three central links contrasts with the polished outer links that frame it and provide a compelling visual depth.
The watch is powered by Rolex's caliber 3035, a self-winding chronometer movement. The mechanism features a lever escapement, 26 jewels, mono-metallic balance and KIF shock-absorber, beating at a rate of 28,800 BPH. The Rolex 3035 movement is the earliest iteration of the high-beat, ‘3000’ in-house system, developed and introduced in 1977.
An improvement on Rolex’s 1500 series, the 3035 movement increased the balance speed from 19,800 BPH to 28,800 BPH, allowing for more accurate timekeeping. As with many later production models, the Rolex 16078 Datejust also features a highly-practical quick-set date function, introduced to automatic self-winding movements by the calibre 3035.
This Rolex Datejust Ref. 16078 comes with its original leather box, a leather pouch containing an official chronometer certification and manual, a seal for the chronometer certification, and three accompanying booklets on the Rolex Datejust, the Rolex Oyster, and notes on the care of the Rolex piece.
If sold within the United Kingdom, this Rolex Datejust 16078 will be subject to 20% VAT. Viewings are currently suspended for the time being.
mechanical automatic calibre 3035
date, hours, minutes, centre seconds
bark-finished bezel and bracelet
36 mm, yellow-gold
Rolex jubilee bracelet
Box & papers:
box, chronometer certification, watch manual, booklets on the watch
The case of this Rolex Datejust 16078 is preserved in very good condition overall, with superficial marks found throughout consistent with normal wear. Evenly distributed oxidisation of the yellow gold can be seen on the right side of the case, surrounding the signed crown. More noticeable grazes can be seen on the left side of the case (as captured in the product photography).The bracelet is preserved in excellent condition, with minimal stretch throughout. The watch comes with a two-year mechanical warranty from A Collected Man, along with a lifetime guarantee of authenticity.
We stand by the quality of all of our pre-owned watches and mechanical objects. If something goes wrong, we’ll always strive to remedy the situation in a timely manner and to the best of our ability. The satisfaction and trust of our clients is of the highest importance, to everyone at A Collected Man.
All of our pre-owned watches have undergone thorough, non-invasive mechanical inspections and have been serviced, if appropriate, to ensure that they meet our highest standards of timekeeping and functionality.
Our pre-owned watches, unless stated otherwise, are covered by either a full or a limited twenty-four month warranty. This excludes any damage sustained due to improper use or accident. Due to their age, some pre-owned watches should not be subjected to the same conditions as when new.
Any of our pre-owned watches which have been serviced by their respective manufacturer, will carry the manufacturer’s servicing guarantee. This is separate and supersedes, the standard warranty offered by A Collected Man. Please see our Terms & Conditions for further information. You can write to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, for further clarification.
A Collected Man is also an authorised retailer for a number of watchmaking brands. These watches are covered by the warranty from the original manufacturer.
We offer complimentary worldwide delivery on our watches. If ordering from overseas, delivery will depend on the value of the timepiece and the destination. All import taxes and duties are the responsibility of the buyer.
If ordering from the UK before 1 PM, your watch will be sent the same working day. The courier will depend on the value of the watch, with all watches delivered the next working day.
Please note that pre-owned goods (in the United Kingdom) are subject to a marginal rate of VAT, which can not be reclaimed. For further information, please seehere.