Part precious yellow gold, part rugged stainless steel, and all around fantastic, the men’s two tone Date watch boasts classic Rolex style at a price that’s accessible. The relatively underrated Rolex dress watch sports a restrained 34mm Oyster case, a date window (naturally) at 3 o’clock with the accompanying magnifying Cyclops lens, and an automatic movement powering it. A great choice for those who like smaller Rolex watches, let’s explore three generations of the men’s two tone Rolex watch.
Early models of the men’s two tone Date watch from the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s include the Date ref. 1500 and the Date ref. 1505. Like all Rolex two tone watches, the predominately steel construction of the timepiece is accented with a yellow gold bezel, a yellow gold winding crown, and yellow gold center links on the bracelet. It’s worth noting that the yellow gold bezels of the two-tone Date watches are engine-turned rather than the more traditional gold fluted bezel style found on other Rolex watches.
As vintage Rolex watches, these particular models have the standard acrylic crystal above the dial and a non-quickset automatic movement housed within the case. To set the date on non-quickset Rolex watches, the wearer has to turn the center hands around the dial until the correct number appears in the window.
In the early 1980s, Rolex introduced the quickset date feature to the men’s two tone Date watches by including the Caliber 3035 automatic movement. As a result, the date window was now adjustable independently from the center hands, offering much more practicality. However, the watches still have the acrylic crystals protecting the face of the watch.
Style-wise, there’s the choice between the two tone Date ref. 15053 with a dressier gold engine turned bezel or the Date ref. 15003 with a sleek domed gold bezel.
Later that decade, Rolex added two significant upgrades to the men’s two tone Date collection. First, there’s the inclusion of the famed Caliber 3135 automatic movement, offering enhanced accuracy, resistance, and precision. Plus, Date watches finally received the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
In similar fashion to preceding models, there’s the men’s two tone Date ref. 15223 with a yellow gold engine turned bezel and the Date ref. 15203 outfitted with a smooth yellow gold bezel. These two models are, in fact, the last of the men’s 34mm two tone Rolex watches. Rolex eventually discontinued the model around 2005 and replaced them with stainless steel versions.
Since Rolex no longer manufactures the men’s two tone Date watch, it can only be sourced from the secondary market. Pricing for this particular yellow gold and stainless steel Rolex dress watch is particularly attractive. You can buy a pre-owned men’s two tone Date Rolex watch for less than $2,500 (bargain!) for an older model. Alternatively, on the higher end of the range, a newer model will set you back around $5,000—a great deal for a Rolex watch with yellow gold and a date window!
Regardless of the era you select, the men’s two tone Date watch is a great entry-point to own a yellow gold and stainless steel Rolex dress watch.