Starter Vintage with the Rolex Oysterdate Precision

Starter Vintage with the Rolex Oysterdate Precision

Rolex doesn’t have many manually wound models in its lineup. So the little known Oysterdate or Oyster Precision model, which can be found listed in pre-owned dealers such as Bob’s Watches, HQ Milton or Analog Shift, can be a great addition for a collector who enjoys winding his or her watch as a part of the ritual of enjoying being in tune with a watch.

In this day and age, why would anyone prefer to manually wind a watch versus having an automatic movement generating power as you wear it?

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There is that certain connection you feel with a manual wind mechanical watch. You have to tend to it. It’s similar to people who like to keep up with their air-cooled Porsche 911s. It’s outdated technology, but it’s a very pure expression of a machine.

If you happen to find a Precision, here are a few considerations. It’s a 34mm case and it’s thin. That is either a huge plus or a huge minus for most watch collectors. Like older Rolex models, the flimsy-feeling hollow end link bracelets feel great on the wrist, but seem very low quality when held next to a modern Rolex bracelet.

For some men, a 34mm watch veers into ladies’ watch territory. Others view it as a vintage look. Unless your wrists are huge, 36-34mm Oyster case watches look fine. But we won’t try to dissuade anyone who believes otherwise. We believe that the best watches are the ones that fit well with the wearer’s personality and style, but those who love a retro look will love the svelte proportions of the Precision.

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Analog Shift, a well-regarded seller of preowned watches, describes the Precision as “perhaps the most simple and understated representation of what a Rolex can be.”

The more common Oysterdate ref. 6694 uses a Caliber 1225 manual-wound mechanical movement, which operates at 21,600 beats per hour and has 17 jewels. Examples with a date complication do not have a quickset date adjustment, so also keep that in mind. So no-date Oyster versions, such as the reference 6326, may be your preference if you like to rotate through a bunch of watches regularly.

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