Rolex Oyster cases are well-known designs, they naturally have their sports range type Oyster cases and their, shall we say more demure dress watch Oyster type case. Of late, I’ve become more and more intrigued with their 36mm Oyster cases, in my opinion they’re just inherently perfect. However, something else has also started to happen of late – I am slowly but surely finding yellow-gold watches more attractive (perhaps I’m just getting old – actually let’s say I’m becoming more seasoned).
During our visit to Phillips, London offices, to look at some of the highlights from the Geneva Watch Auction 5 (of which we have highlighted a few here and here), for some unknown reason this stunning burgundy, diamond-set dial Day-Date caught my eye. Why? I think it just looks downright stupendous!
The Day-Date is without doubt one of Rolex most diverse wristwatches and has been nicknamed The Presidential Rolex, quite simply because it has been donned by various Presidents throughout the decades. Made from either yellow, white or pink gold – the Day-Date has been a cornerstone of Rolex catalogues for over 60-years (you can see our little write-up on the 60th anniversary piece right here). It is of course no secret that Day-Date’s over the many, many years they have been in production have been fitted with dials made from exotic stones, such as Lapis Lazuli, Jade, Onyx and so on. That said, among the most collectible examples are those that have been fitted with “Stella” dials. What are these you may ask?
Stella dial Day-Dates are rare variants of the run-of-the-mill Day-Date, not often produced in high numbers and came in a variation of colours, such as ox blood, pink, orange, green, etcetera, etcetera. However, the thing with these dials is that because they were lacquered, no two dials are the same – so it adds a somewhat personal touch to each one made – making it unique. But as you can see, this example features no ordinary “Stella” dial. Instead of gold baton markers, this rich Burgundy “Stella” dial Day-Date sports polarising diamonds, with baguettes placed at 6 and 9. The dial itself is in excellent overall condition, displaying nice fat creamy lume, which is still intact.
And if that wasn’t enough it is housed in an 18-carat yellow gold case, that is also in exceptional condition. But I’d have to say the pièce de résistance of this Day-Date has to be the bracelet it has been paired on; it is exquisite. Rolex don’t shy away when it comes to pairing the Day-Date with rather elaborate bracelets and while the Presidential style is iconic, this eye-catching, handcrafted woven intertwined bracelet is just so cool. Stamped Rolex I.65 (first quarter of 1965), the overlapping textured link design, kind of reminds me of cross hatch sketching but what it also displays is Rolex willingness to create such bold designs, way back in the sixties.
As already mentioned, for some unknown reason this piece really caught my eye and ordinarily I’d perhaps gloss over this piece, yet here I am completely lusting over it. While it may look rather ostentatious, I truly believe it has a great balance to it. It is by no means understated but that “Pepita Burgundy” dial paired with that sumptuous bracelet, is just mwah! While “Stella” dial Day-Dates have become quite popular, which has only been helped further by the Phillips Glamorous Day-Date auction back in 2015, this example has been priced at a rather moderate 15,000 – 30,000 CHF.
For more lot information on The Phillips Geneva Watch Auction: Five that will take place on the weekend of the 13th & 14th of May at La Reserve Hotel, Geneva, visit the official Phillips Watches website to view the entire catalogue