Sometimes a watch can rise from being a humble and under-the-radar hard-core collectors’ favourite to become a universally sought after piece. Today’s Spot On subject is just that – the Rolex Datejust reference 6305. But it isn’t, in this case, the reference that makes this watch hot; it’s the dial…the coveted honeycomb waffle dial.
Datejust (Date) Bubble
The Datejust first exploded onto the market 72 years ago in the form of large ‘Bubbleback’ watches. The Datejust was technologically innovative due to the instant date change that clicked over ‘just’ on midnight. Though a clever spring mechanism, the date change occurred in an instant. Then, after nearly a decade of production, the Cyclops was introduced; Rolex’s name for the date bubble or date magnifier. The Cyclops crystal was different to previous glasses due to the introduction of Rolex’s new three-piece Oyster case design. The 6305 was one of the first new and improved Datejusts and it has now become one of the most coveted references of Rolex’s most prodigious watch line.
This watch is very wearable. The case is a classic, and still relevant today, 36mm but the early movement meant that the case was much deeper than modern DJs. This depth means the watch sits higher on the wrist; a lifted presence that collectors love. But this watch is all about the dial – so no more waffle (sorry!) from me. Here are some pics…
Oyster watches, both Rolex and Tudor, have always been a key area of focus for me as a collector and researcher – especially watches that have textured dials. There are numerous names and variations including hobnail, waffle, honeycomb and guilloche. Our 6305 has what collectors refer to as a honeycomb waffle dial, due to its construction being reminiscent of honeycomb from a bee hive. What I always find staggering is the fact that these dials were printed on so accurately and legibly, considering how uneven and complex the dial plate surface is on these dials. As you can see, the printing on this watch is flawless…
I really love the hour markers, especially the quarter hour ones at 6 and 9on the dial. The double triangular prisms, fade away towards the centre of the dial as they meet – like 3D perspective when vied from certain angles. The five minute markers are like arrows from one angle and again like triangular prisms from another. The detail is amazing and the more you look, the more you see. The crowning mark on the dial is the iconic applied Rolex coronet at 12 o’clock. Majestically timeless…
Odds and Evens
It’s a 1950s Datejust and so the all-important roulette date wheel is present. Framed by a metal window around the date aperture, the date wheel alternates between red numbers on even dates and black numbers on odd dates. This is a key feature of these watches and on this 6305 they almost just off the watch from beneath the Cyclops…
Coining a Phrase
The bezel on this watch is a coin edge type. So called due to the similarity to the serrated edge of a coin. Less ‘blingy’ than the more modern fluted bezels, the coin edge has a vintage look, especially when gently worn and patinated like on this example.
Clean and Simple
Such classic character and simplicity is hard to match when it comes to this watch. The clean lume dots around the edge of the dial are in great condition and the whole dial is framed by a raised outer minute track with half-minute markers. The case is strong and retains its elegant lines beautifully. It looks fantastic on this jubilee bracelet, but works equally well on an Italian leather strap in whatever hue matches your mood!
Black and White
What’s better then a black waffle dial Datejust? Two waffle dial Datejusts…or three. Check out the family of waffles. What’s not to love?