First introduced in 1988, the two-tone stainless steel and 18k yellow gold ref. 16233 was an important model in the Datejust’s history, featuring some big upgrades. For one, the reference 16233 was the first Datejust to feature a sapphire crystal, replacing the acrylic crystal used for decades before.
The ref. 16233 Datejust was also outfitted with the, at the time, brand new Caliber 3135 – the legendary workhorse that continued to power the next generation of Datejust models through 2016. The reference 16233 is also an icon among Rolex models, its two-tone case and bracelet entirely reminiscent of the trends in the 1980s and widely considered a status symbol of the time. The iconic Rolex Datejust ref. 16233 stayed in production until 2005.
The ref. 16233 is what could be considered a neo-vintage Rolex model, because it may no longer be purchased at a retail store or Rolex boutique.