Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Monaco, Jan 19, 2023

LOT 135


EUR 45,000 - 75,000

USD 48,200 - 81,000 / HKD 378,000 - 630,000 / CHF 44,600 - 75,000

Fine and extremely rare, 18K yellow gold, self-winding, "tonneau"-shaped, gentleman's wristwatch, water-resistant with screwed case-back, blood-stone (jasper) dial with applied diamond-set indexes, centre-seconds, date of the month (aperture at 3 o'clock under Cyclops lens) and day of the week (aperture at 12 o'clock; indication given in Italian).

Grading System
Case: 2

Very good

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original

Brand Rolex, Geneva

Model "Day-Date"

Reference 18038 / 18000

Year sold on July 11, 1986

Movement No. 1 513 321

Case No. 9 459 763

Material 18K yellow gold

Bracelet 18K yellow gold Rolex "President" bracelet with deployant clasp

Diameter 36 mm.

Length 150 mm. (approx.)

Caliber 3055, 27 jewels

Weight 141.2 gr. (approx.)

Signature dial, case and movement

Accessories COSC


Considered as the most luxurious everyday dress-watch model of Rolex, the "Day-Date" was introduced in 1956. It holds the title of being the world’s first watch to display both the date of the month and the day of the week (spelled out in full), through separate windows in the surface of the dial.

In modern Rolex terminology, the “President” name actually only pertains to the semi-circular, three-piece link bracelet found on the "Day-Date". However, as the model has been worn by American presidents such as Eisenhower and Johnson – and later, Kennedy, Roosevelt, Reagan, Nixon …. –, the nickname of “President’s watch” has stuck with it. In 1966 Rolex released a U.S. magazine ad referring to the "Day-Date" as “the presidents’ watch.”

In 1977, the "Day-Date" was updated again, equipped with a sapphire crystal glass and the 3055 calibre with the newly developed quick-set date function. The watch was still available in lots of combinations : the material/finish was indicated in the last digit of the serial number.

Therefore reference 18038 was produced from 1977 to 1988. Similarly to its predecessor, the 3 in the reference number indicates the watch is fitted with a fluted bezel, an option on the brand’s models which dates back almost to the very beginning. The final 8 in the reference stands for “yellow gold”.

What makes this lot exceptional is the rare blood-stone dial. Due to the complexity of assembling wristwatches hard-stone dials, many examples encompass hairline cracks after being fitted to a watch case, or following shocks due to wear. Hence, with its intact dial in crisp condition, this lot is a stunning example for collectors. In excellent overall condition it demonstrates the “savoir-faire” of Rolex.