Vintage Rolex ‘no lume’ dials

The export to Asia of Rolex watches
Rolex has come up with a creative solution for the export of Rolex watches to the Asian market in the 1970s. At the time there was a strict import and export policy regarding chemical and radioactive goods for this market. Rolex naturally wanted to continue to export to Asia because this was a large sales area. Rolex decided to produce dials that did not have tritium on them.

‘No lume dials’
These dial variants later where known as the “no lume dials”. The remarkable thing about these dials is that at the bottom of the 6 o’clock position the inscription ‘T-Swiss-T’ is printed while the letter T is an indication for a dial with tritium. There is often discussion about this. Rolex chose at the time to change the printing process – presumably for financial reasons – as little as possible for the dials intended for the Asian export market. The “no lume” dials have an identical print compared to the other variants from the same period with tritium.

At the bottom of the page, two Rolex Datejust examples from the 1970s with a “no lume dial” follow. These watches are sold by HODINKEE, renowned vintage watch seller.

Vintage Rolex Datejust 1601 linen dial no lume 1970

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