Perhaps one of the most iconic watches to ever emerge from modern horology, the Rolex Datejust's reputation precedes itself in just about every way possible. Iconic for several reasons, the Datejust's design has remained relatively unchanged since the collection's 1945 launch, much like several of Rolex's other designs throughout the years. However, in the early 2000s, Rolex decided to expand the Datejust collection and explore uncharted territory. As such, they decided to launch precious metal Datejust variants on leather straps attached to their case via fixed end links.
One of those very watches, this 2005 Datejust ref. 116138 is presented in Like New Old Stock condition due to the simple fact that it lived its entire life in its dealer's vault. Featuring the Datejust's classic 36mm case in 18kt yellow gold, this ref. 116138 sports an entirely polished surface across its lug hoods, mid-case, and even the fixed end links used to anchor its original black leather strap to its case. Fitted with the Datejust's iconic fluted bezel, this ref. 116138 retains the soul of the Datejust's design where it matters.
On top of its beautifully executed case, this ref. 116138 also sports an incredibly rare onyx dial. Jet black in color and sought after as a gemstone, Rolex has used onyx as a dial material for their most exclusive designs throughout the years, and this ref. 116138 is no different. With diamond-set Arabic numerals at 6 and 9 o'clock, the Datejust's dial is symmetrical as Rolex's coronet at 12 o'clock, and the Datejust's iconic Cyclops lens at 3 o'clock balance with the Arabic numerals and break the dial into four even sectors. With golden inscriptions throughout, this Datejust's dial represents the ultimate in luxury and exclusivity.
Powered by the workhorse cal. 3135 automatic movement, this watch operates exactly like any other Datejust of its generation but looks exceedingly unique and special. A rare bird indeed, regardless of its condition, the ref. 116138 is a special watch, but given the amazing condition of this example, it will truly provide its next owner with a clean slate to enjoy and put their own stamp on.