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Rolex is everywhere a recognizable watch brand of high quality (and, naturally, high price - when you can find one, that is).  And yes – we sell a lot of vintage Seiko here. 

 

But the Rolex here – a full-serviced 1985 Rolex Ref. 6694 mechanical dress watch – has one rather large aspect in common with the vintage Seiko we all love, but we will let Fratello’s Michael Stockton tell this one – “It’s something that looks easy, but is often difficult to master.  As I’ve mentioned, I think that Seiko and Rolex display this mastery time and time again in the bulk of their pieces.  

 

“To me, creating good design not only takes into account the layout of various characteristics on a timepiece, but also blends materials, textures, hues and proper proportion into the effort. It’s a primary reason why that $35, 3-6-9, drug store three-hander lacks the same appeal of what is likely a very similar, at a distance at least, watch costing multitudes more.”

 

The 6694 mechanical was a mainstay of Rolex for a few decades, introduced in the early 1960s and produced through at least 1988.  While not chronometer-certified, it does belong to the “Oyster” set, so was designed to be water-resistant to 100m with a screw-down crown.  And regarding that screw-down crown?  Winding this 6694 is a delight and allows the wearer to feel the quality of the build daily.

 

But on to the case – many may have concerns regarding the 35mm case size, but it wears incredibly comfortable, and the size feels larger than it is, usually to the tune of at least 37mm.  But light, to the point you may forget you are wearing it, which is perfect in our opinions. 

 

And didn't you hear the news?  Per GQ, smaller watches were the trend in 2023.  "It’s light, it’s beautiful, and it doesn’t have the presence of a Hummer.  “Most of us aren't Arnold Schwarzenegger,” said Nick Ferrell, of DC Vintage Watches, referencing the huge man who helped popularize huge watches in the first place."

 

The Oysterdate Precision was offered throughout the world but was more popular in Europe and Asia than in North and South America – but like Seiko (yes, it always comes back to this), it was quite popular in Japan proper. 

 

Translating from Rolex, the "Precision" nomenclature on the dial indicates a manually-wound movement, just as "Perpetual" points to a self-winding or automatic movement powering the watch.  Rolex watches like this one are perpetually compelling (sorry, we had to), and never go out of style.

 

This Rolex comes on its Rolex-signed stainless-steel bracelet, and with nlyon strap, rugged travel case, and springbar tool.

1985 Rolex Oysterdate Precision Ref. 6694 Mechanical Watch, w/Rolex Bracelet

$3,499.99Price
  • DIAL: Rolex-signed starburst dial with applied Rolex logo and correct hour, minute, and seconds hands.  The high-quality dial has a silver, radiating finish paired with such simple, slender gold hands, indices and the Rolex crown.  Small lume dots sit outside of each index and a simple minute track borders the dial itself.  The dial color itself seems identical to manual-wind Daytonas and contains different levels of depth in different types of lighting.

     

    CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 35mm (37.5mm w/crown) x 42mm, with matching caseback and drilled lugs. Case crown is of a robust design, so unscrewing it daily to wind is of little issue.

     

    CRYSTAL: Rolex 6694-correct domed crystal, with date cyclops, is deep scratch and crack-free.

     

    BAND: This Rolex comes on its stainless-steel Rolex-signed bracelet, which will fit up to an approx. 7.75-inch wrist.  This 6694 also comes with a dark blue, orange, and white nylon strap.

     

    MOVEMENT: Rolex 17-jewel mechanical movement, which beats at 21,600 bph, with non-quickset dateWe have performed a full service on this 6694.

     

    CROWN: Rolex-signed stainless-steel screw-down crown.