The Rolex Day-Date, without a doubt, has to be one of the most iconic watches ever produced. Even to those who don’t know much about watches, the Day-Date is instantly recognizable. First released in 1956, the vintage reference that is the most well-known is the example you see here today, the Ref. 1803.
One rule that has stuck to the Day-Date since day one is that it was only to be produced in precious metals, with yellow gold being the preferred choice. Quickly, with Rolex’s iconic branding and reputation for high quality, it became one of the most revered luxury watches and became known as ‘the President’. Mind you, while the Day-Date was certainly a luxury watch, it was also built like a tank as per Rolex’s standards.
On the topic of Ref. 1803s, it is no secret that this specific reference is particularly desirable and collectible. You see, back in the early 1970s, Rolex decided to extensively experiment with the Day-Date by attempting to pair various configurations with different precious metals and dial materials, resulting in a rich diversity of combinations. During the Ref. 1803’s production lifespan, there are a few variants that have emerged in recent years as some of the most sought-after among hardcore collectors. An exemplary instance is the incredibly rare and highly coveted 'Stella' dial, like this "Coral Red" variant which we are delighted to offer today.
Produced by Rolex from the 1970s up until the early 1990s, these 'Stella' dials gained acclaim for their opulent lacquered hues which exude a distinctive ornate quality truly unparalleled at the time. Following the cessation of production, these ‘Stella’ dials eventually ascended to an almost cult-like status within the watch collecting space.
Moreover, it is also important to note that the name ‘Stella’ is not a moniker coined by Italian collectors; rather, it traces its origin to a company (named Stella) based in Châtelaine and Geneva, which supplied Rolex's dial makers with the unique lacquer and vibrant pigments used in the creation of these extraordinary ‘Stella’ dials.
With a case crafted from 18-carat yellow gold, our Ref. 1803 features the signature three-piece link "Presidential" bracelet and the classic 36mm case adorned with a fluted yellow gold bezel. Needless to say, the remarkably arresting Coral Red 'Stella' dial is what sets this dial apart from the other Ref. 1803 variants. It possesses a striking quality that harmoniously complements the warm yellow gold case, distinguishing this Day-Date as one of the most stunning examples of the Ref. 1803 currently available.
Another noteworthy aspect here to highlight is that our example originates from the inaugural series of ‘Stella’ dials ever produced, spanning from the early to late 1970s. This is distinguished by the distinctive 'pie-pan' shape of the dial, featuring a step-down towards the periphery, complemented by the 'T Swiss T' designation at 6 o'clock.
When it comes to a piece like this, words can hardly capture the depth and beauty of the dial, so I'll allow the images to speak for themselves.