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Bring a Loupe

A Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 AOPA, A De Bethune DB28 Titanium, And A Tudor Submariner Ref. 7928

This week’s round-up of vintage watches from around the world. 

This week’s roundup is a bit of a longer read than usual, but fear not, we’ve got the goods as always. All bases are covered, with exotic independent creations like a titanium DB28 from De Bethune, obscure watches like an early automatic from a brand you’ve almost certainly never heard of, a range of compelling pieces from the Wilsdorf-founded brands, and the coolest damn chronograph you’ve seen in a while all making appearances. We won’t waste time – let’s get into this week’s supersized Bring A Loupe.

1984 Rolex Datejust Ref. 16018 In 18k Yellow Gold

While we could wax poetic all day about Rolex’s countless notable achievements, associations, and iconic models, just consider this – Rolex pioneered the self-changing date complication, and arguably changed the future of watch design, with the release of the Datejust. This is nnothing to scoff at, regardless of your take on the watchmaking behemoth.

What we’ve got here is a simple Datejust, and a rather sharp one at that, which left the factory in 1984. I find vintage Datejusts to still be largely undervalued watches in general, but this is no ordinary spec example, and that’s evident in the pricing. This supremely clean ref. 16018 has thick lugs, along with a perfect and uncommon stark white dial, which looks terrific against the 36mm case made of warm 18k yellow gold. It’s also currently fitted with a non-cyclops sapphire crystal, which many will like, as it shows off the dial more, and can also make the watch feel ever so slightly larger on the wrist. Steel and two-tone Datejusts of this era came fitted with acrylic crystals, but the upgrade to sapphire came early for those who sprung for the gold-cased variants.

Overall, it’s a genuinely clean watch, that one could definitely have some fun dressing up with a number of strap combinations. There are few more versatile watches than those with 36mm Oyster cases, and this just so happens to be one of the nicest I’ve seen in a while.

Wanna Buy A Watch in Los Angeles has this example fo the ref. 16018 listed for $9,500. Click here for the full scoop.