An iconic timepiece that has donned the wrists of the world's most influential people, the Rolex Day-Date has long been touted as the "Watch of Prestige", and for excellent reason. Released in 1956, it quickly became synonymous as the timepiece of choice for athletes, visionaries, and world leaders, earning its distinctive bracelet the nickname 'the President' – a nickname that has since stuck to the entire collection as it continues to develop upon its standing as Rolex's flagship offering with its luxurious construction and timeless design.
Itself debuting in 1977, the Rolex Day-Date ref. 18038 introduced several upgrades to the collection that enabled it to remain ahead of the competition and continue building upon the lead it had created as the watch to have for the rich and famous. Two of these major upgrades were the introduction of a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal (replacing plastic acrylic) and the "single quick" date set function via the brand new Cal. 3055 that allowed the watch to rapidly cycle through the date without having to cycle back and forth between midnight like with the previous references.
Constructed of 18kt yellow gold, this 1982 Day-Date ref. 18038 that I have here features the iconic three-piece link "Presidential" bracelet and its signature 36mm case with a fluted yellow gold bezel. While those aspects are to be expected, its stunning black double diamond string dial is far from ordinary and sets this timepiece aside as one of the most stunning, rare and truly exclusive variants of the ref. 18038 on the market today.
While diamond-set string dials are rare in their own right, they usually feature a single string of diamonds around the dial that accompany larger stones set as the hour markers. However, this example is different in that it features a double string of diamonds for a total of 78 round brilliant cut diamonds with slightly larger diamonds found along the periphery and smaller on the inside. Furthermore, third diamonds can be found at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock. Paired with the vast expanse of the black dial they are set upon; these diamonds give this stunning ref. 18038 a wonderfully exuberant aesthetic that is like none other.