On the wrist, it wears like any Datejust, but its unusual features make it stand out from the ocean of 1603s out there. The case has not been polished too extensively so it still feels like a good 36 mm, and the silver sunrays increase the perceived size of the dial. The watch is powered by caliber 1560, a perpetual chronometer movement with “butterfly” rotor. We only regret the absence of an original bracelet, although this Rolex wears very well on any leather strap.

The estimate on lot 312 ranges between 1,500 and 2,000 GBP, or around $2,100 to $2,900, before fees here. Note that you can find another early 1603 as the next consecutive lot, but it’s not in as good condition.