Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694 Review: A Timeless Classic

Vintage watch enthusiasts often seek out pieces that combine simplicity with elegance, and the Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694 is a prime example of this. Its stainless steel Oyster case and distinctive dial capture the essence of classic watchmaking. 

Produced from the early 1960s to the late 1980s, the 6694 has a storied place in Rolex’s history. One of the reasons the Rolex Oysterdate 6694 is so well-regarded is its blend of sophistication and resilience. It has a presence on the wrist that is both noticeable and comfortable. 

This Rolex 6694 review will delve into what sets this watch apart and why it continues to capture the hearts of Rolex owners.

History and Legacy

Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694 dial

The Rolex 6694, also known as the Oysterdate Precision, is a special watch in Rolex’s history. It started in the early 1960s and was made until the late 1980s. It was the last watch Rolex made that you had to wind by hand. The Oysterdate Precision was a popular choice because it was more affordable and had the famous date display at 3 o’clock.

The Oysterdate Precision is different from other Rolex watches because it doesn’t have “Perpetual” in its name. This means it wasn’t an automatic watch. Also, it didn’t have a special certification for keeping time very accurately, which some other Rolex watches have. Instead, it had “Precision” on its dial, which watch lovers really like. 

The Rolex Oysterdate Precision Ref. 6694 has a long history. Here’s a timeline of the Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694:

  • Early 1950s: Rolex introduces the Oysterdate, starting with reference 6094. It features a 34mm Oyster case, an acrylic crystal, a three-link Oyster bracelet, and a 17-jewel Rolex caliber 1215 movement.
  • Mid-1950s: Reference 6294 is released with a more modernized dial, replacing sword-shaped hands with straight hands. Some models have a Cyclops magnifier over the date.
  • Late 1950s: Reference 6494 is introduced, offering a wider variety of dial colors.
  • Early 1960s: The fourth and final iteration, reference 6694, is launched. It includes a Breguet overcoil hairspring and a higher-beat movement, increasing the frequency from 18,000 bph to 21,600 bph.
  • Late 1980s: The Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694 is discontinued, marking the end of Rolex’s production of manual-wind watches.

Over the years, Rolex made some changes to the design, like different hands and dials. The last version, ref. 6694, had a better movement and kept time more accurately. The Oysterdate was a big part of Rolex’s lineup until it was discontinued in 1989.

Design and Features

Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694 case

The Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694 is a vintage Rolex watch that combines a classic design with unique features, making it a favorite among collectors.

The watch has a 34mm case, which used to be considered small. But now, people really like this size because it’s comfortable to wear. It has a smooth bezel, vintage-style Plexiglass front and a glowing tritium material for visibility in the dark and is equipped with the sturdy Oyster Bracelet, common in many Rolex models.

The dial is where this watch really shines. It has shorter hour markers than usual, which makes the watch look bigger on your wrist. The dial also has a beautiful finish and a bit of a vintage look, which is really appealing.

The Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694 is not an automatic watch; it is a manually-wound timepiece, meaning you need to wind it by hand to keep it running. As for water resistance, the 6694 features the iconic Oyster case, which is designed to be waterproof and has a screw down crown.

Movement and Precision

Caliber 1225

Inside the Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694 ticks a special kind of manual wind calibre that is Caliber 1225. This is a manually-wound movement, meaning you need to wind it by hand, unlike many other watches that wind themselves. This movement has 17 tiny parts inside (jewels) that help it run smoothly, and it moves at a speed of 21,600 times per hour. 

Even more surprising, when Rolex updated other watches with automatic (self winding movement) movements, the Oysterdate Precision kept its manual one. This gives the watch a unique charm, especially since it doesn’t have a quick set date function. You have to turn the hands around the dial until you get to the right date in the date window, which takes a bit more time.

Collectability and Value

As of August 2023, the retail price of the Oysterdate Precision 6694 from authorized dealers is approximately S$3,200 and can be considered as an entry level Rolex. 

In the pre-owned market, the estimated price stands at S$3,796. With 2,073 sales in the past 12 months, the market range for this watch is between S$2,950 and S$4,643, indicating a market volatility of 22.3%. 

This suggests that the Oysterdate Precision 6694 is not only a timeless piece but also a valuable investment for watch collectors.

New Rolex Watches Similar to Vintage Rolex 6694 

If you’re a fan of the classic Rolex Oysterdate collection, you might be interested in exploring other Rolex watches that share similar qualities.

Here are some Rolex watches that are similar to the Oysterdate:

  • Rolex Datejust: Both have a date feature and a classic look. The Datejust usually has an automatic movement and comes in different sizes and materials.
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual: This watch with its elegant black dial has the same Oyster cases as the Oysterdate and is known for being simple and elegant. It doesn’t have a date function, but it looks similar and comes in various dial colors.
  • Rolex Air-King: Also similar to the Oysterdate, Air-King has its classic design. It has a clean dial and a history linked to aviation.
  • Rolex Explorer: This Explorer with its two tone bracelet has the same Oyster case and focuses on precision and toughness. Its design is more sporty, but it still has a simple style like the Oysterdate.
  • Rolex Day-Date: This is a fancier version of the Oysterdate, with both day and date functions. Daydate has classic design elements but is usually made of precious metals.

Model

Key Features

Retail Price 

Pre-Owned Price 

Rolex Datejust

Date function, automatic movement, various sizes

S$12,800

S$15,500

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Oyster case, simplicity, range of dial colors

S$9,350

S$11,600

Rolex Air-King

Clean dial, aviation history

S$9,600

S$11,300

Rolex Explorer

Oyster case, sporty design, precision

S$17,350

S$14,200

Rolex Day-Date

Day and date function, precious metals

S$56,500

S$52,900

Maintenance and Care

Taking care of a Rolex watch is important to make sure it lasts a long time and keeps working well. Here are some simple tips:

  • Keep It Clean: Gently wipe your Rolex with a soft cloth to remove dirt and sweat. You can also use a soft brush and warm soapy water for a deeper clean, but make sure the crown is tightly screwed down first.
  • Wind It Regularly: If you have a manual wind watch Rolex, turn the crown gently every day to keep it running. For automatic models, wearing it regularly will keep it wound.
  • Avoid Extreme Conditions: Try not to expose your Rolex to extreme temperatures or strong magnetic fields especially in vintage watches, as these can affect its performance.
  • Water Resistance Check: If your Rolex is water-resistant, have it checked by a professional every year to make sure the seals are still tight.
  • Professional Service: Every 3 years, take your Rolex to a certified service center for a complete check-up and servicing. They’ll make sure everything is working perfectly and replace any worn-out parts.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your Rolex stays in great condition and continues to be a reliable timekeeper for years to come.

Final Word

The Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694 is a timeless classic that showcases the brand’s commitment to precision and elegance. Its manual wind movement mechanism and understated design make it a cherished piece for vintage collectors and watch enthusiasts alike.

Key Takeaways

  • The Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694 celebrates the beauty of manual craftsmanship in an era dominated by automatic movements.
  • With its understated elegance, the 6694 proves to be a versatile accessory that complements any attire, be it formal or casual.
  • Beyond its aesthetic appeal and historical significance, the Rolex 6694 holds potential as an investment piece. In the pre-owned market, prices can range from approximately S$2,950 – S$4,643, depending on condition and availability.

Looking to buy a Rolex? From classic Rolexes to unique, storied pieces and valuable investments, we’re your guide on this journey. Chat with us or visit our boutique today to find a watch that suits your lifestyle.

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