Burlwood Dial 16019 Rolex Datejust

You’re used to wood dials in Day-Date, but Datejust? Yes, it happened, they’re just far less common. Particularly in white gold, and this is the rarest of the lot. Only seen in 16019, it’s a much darker burlwood than what we usually see in Day-Dates, likely walnut, and it was made with extra long minute indices and silver print. There are very likely fewer than 25 of these surviving out there today, Rolex hardly produced them at all. In a controlled dial-to-dial comparison, this might be the only reference where the Datejust is valued equally by the market to its closest Day-Date peer.

Interestingly, know one seems to know the exact wood Rolex used on these. It’s darker the birch we see in most dials, but still just as burled. Most think this is walnut, but no one seems to know for certain. Lore holds that Rolex kept a very high rejection rate to make these dials as beautiful as possible, the legend states that 10 would be cut and only 1 dial, the most beautiful section, would be selected. Fittingly, these wood 16019 we’ve seen have usually had uprated bracelets as well, usually President bracelets, but also an occasional white gold Oyster or Jubilee. It’s a fitting elevation for such a regal Datejust. The conical, polished indices are pretty rad too.

You do see this walnut tone in Day-Dates as well, but they’re not quite as rare. In the day, this 16019 was nearly as expensive with this dial as a Day-Date, and so if you were spending that much, might as well go all the way. These sold horribly in period, which is why there are so few now. It’s the Paul Newman of wood dials, one of the greatest Datejust out there right up with honeycomb, lapis, khanjars, and red jasper. FWIW, a T Swiss T and non-luminous hands is correct here, as it is for many Day-Dates. Rolex might’ve not been able to distinguish luminous and not in their dial printing process back then, but they definitely knew how to create wood.


This example isn’t let down anywhere. The case has seen a very light polished but still has defined edges and case shape. Its bracelet matches and is correct, the dial is not damaged anywhere. It comes from a well-regarded Dubai retailer, watch only.