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CHRIS-CHAN 2006-5-28 10:18 PM

Dear All,

The famous and expensive vintage Rolex models,
like the old Bubble backs, or the well sought after vintage sports models,
are quite beyond me, who only has a very limited budget,
Their conditions or rarity, also hindered them to be a daily wearer.

For a budget buyer who wishes to buy an entry-level Rolex oyster watch for daily use,
the hand-winding 6694 Oysterdate is an all time affordable choice.

I first came to know about 6694 several years ago from some watches magazines.
It was the last hand-winding oyster watch produced by the company.
and the production of the series ended in the early 1980s.

If they are still in production today, I strongly believe the model number,
would be changed to be 66948, or some other more lucky numbers.
Just like Rolex had changed their HK regional number from 400 to 888.

After several months' search back in 2003 (after the dark era of SARS),
I finally found a 6694 with a good condition dial from one of the 2nd hand shops in Tsim Sha Tsui,
The baby, according to its serial number  '555xxxx', was produced in 1978,
(maybe older than some of the friends here).
The price by then, after a short bargain, was around $6xxx, which was still affordable for my thin wallet.


The case of the 6694, is the typical oyster case,
with the screw-down crown, smooth bezel and very sharp lug ends.
It had water resistance of 50m.

Its diameter, is only 34mm,
which is a bit small by today's 'Big is Beautiful' standard.
The dial of which was the simple and traditional design,
and were available in the usual white, blue, black and silver colours.
Though some may find it a bit old styled and uninterested,
I like the design which was subtle and ever-lasting,
and the rectangular index are simply elegant in my eyes.


The sharp-edged hour and minute hands, as one can see,
are quite different from today's Date or Datejust models,
and attracted me in the first place.
The glass it used, was made of plastic,  
which is much more thicker and not as reflective as today's sapphire crystal.

The bracelet which came with my 6694, is the 19mm solid oyster bracelet.
The joints were still intact and the well tested bracelet,
is another icon of Rolex oyster watches.  


The 6694 was powered by a 17 jewels hand-winding movement,
and the hand-feel of winding it, is silky smooth and a pleasure.
The watch runs for around 40 hours after a full-winding.
Though an old watch of almost 30 years, its accuracy,
after the overhauling at the RSC, was quite agreeable with deviation of +4 to +6 seconds per day.

Recently, I accidentally found the watch also has the 'adjust back to yesterday' function as the current models.

The only drawbacks of the 6694 in my view, are that the second hand is not hackable and there is no quick change date function.  Anyhow, maybe I should not expect these advanced function from the old calibre of 6694.

Though not my daily wearer, I believe the 6694 is a desirable hand-winding watch.
The simple and subtle dial, together with its unique hands, its reliable accuracy,
plus the affordable price, is really a good watch.
Its smooth hand-winding feel,
is an additional bonus in enjoying this lovely little gem.


Thanks for watching. :D

happyman17 2006-5-28 10:22 PM

Very well written watch review report!  Really wish to see more and more of such excellent articles here.

L_ 2006-5-28 10:23 PM

hey my dad got one of these too...it's plain and simple!  i like it 2

bagel 2006-5-28 10:27 PM

Congratulation and enjoy wearing the watch ....... :)

happyman17 2006-5-28 10:33 PM

The vintage lady datejust that I just bought some 2 weeks ago is bearing a serial number of 3XXXXXX which was produced in 1973 does have hack feature.  It is not easy to understand why yours doesn't....


浪蕩子 2006-5-28 11:06 PM

Nice watch, the dial is very simple but elegant.

AXLROSES 2006-5-29 10:10 AM

morning brother chris,

thanks a lot for your sharing with this vintage rolex, very details and very nice scans! :$

btw, let try to find the "rivet bracelet" for this watch, i believe it'll look better! :smile_35: (but now it looks very good already!!!!! :P )

33888688 2006-5-29 11:33 AM

i have one too, but mine is black dail, i got it for $7200 couple years ago 2....!!
隻表最大缺點係無  quick date...:o:smile_27:

seikomatic 2006-5-29 01:04 PM

nice watch and review...just love the simple classic look...I came across an auto SS Rolex in MK like yours and it was asking for 6,8xx..too pitty that the HS is still below 17,xxx.........

CHRIS-CHAN 2006-5-29 01:19 PM

Dear All,

Thank you for your appreication on the post, and I am glad to know that many friends here love the simple and unique design of the 6694.  :handshake:D

[quote]原帖由 [i]happyman17[/i] 於 2006-5-28 10:33 PM 發表
The vintage lady datejust that I just bought some 2 weeks ago is bearing a serial number of 3XXXXXX which was produced in 1973 does have hack feature.  It is not easy to understand why yours doesn' ... [/quote]

Bro happyman17,

Your question is an interesting one.  
Though there is not much info in hand,
my wild guess is that:

1. You got what you paid for.

I had no info on when the lady Datejust movement #2035 was introduced.
Yet the movement used in the more expensive Datejust,
should be more accurate and better than that of the budget priced 6694,
the hacking function, maybe one of the better features of the Datejust movement.   

2. The 17 jewels handwinding movement was an old product.

The 17 jewels movement used in 6694 of 1960s was movement #1215,
and #1225 in the 1970s. I believe they are from the same base family,
Being an entry-level hand-winding movement and for the reason at (3),
it might not pay to to further improve / modify the movement.

3. Hand-winding movement was a sunset product.

Following the popularization of Japanese quartz/electronic watches in 1970s,
the market share of mechanical watches receded acutely.
To maintain its market share,
Rolex concentrated its efforts to improve its automatic movements,
and the innovative oysterquartz movements.
The hand-winding movement, was then outdated,
and did not deserve further investment or production.
The 6694's gradual fading away in early 1980s,
seems to support the thought.

(#1225 movement's photo borrowed from eBxy)

Just my 2 cents.  :D

happyman17 2006-5-29 01:27 PM

Very reasonable deduction.  Thanks!

slim2005 2006-5-29 04:10 PM

very good article for 6694 , if u can transfer to chinese is much better . The power reserve ability is good (more than 48 hrs)

This is mine 6694 but the condition is poor than yours


rolex1601 2006-5-29 04:48 PM

six six nine four never die !!.........  all rolex fans lover ..cheer       classic watch .


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suball 2006-5-29 06:02 PM

好喜歡看這類圖文 review.

mr_v852 2006-5-29 07:18 PM

My one below : Nice watch isn't it ?


happyman17 2006-5-29 07:39 PM

The picture is superb and of course the watch too!  Mind sharing with us the story of your 6694?

rickyfai 2006-5-29 11:25 PM

I had a black dial 6694 bought at Prince Edward "Luen Hop Plazza" Uncle Chau's shop in 1997 at HK$7,000. I regret to sell it in 2002 at HK$5200.  BTW, any bro buy watch at Uncle Chau's shop before?  I remember that he even sold 6263, 6265 10 yrs before.

野原新之助XD 2021-5-4 06:19 AM

6694果然唔錯VINTAGE 新手入門

明日野性的老闆 2021-8-16 06:15 AM

二叔公話  no investment  in this style of rolex:smile_04::smile_04::smile_04::smile_o07::smile_o07::smile_o07:
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