Over the course of human history, we have always prized natural stones that have resurfaced on the face of the earth ever since the Greeks started using gemstones in jewellery around 1600 BC. In various cultures, different stones or gems are treasured for many reasons, as decorative objects, religious symbols, or amulets as good luck charms to ward off the evil. Regardless of why we treasure these stones, every natural stone has its unique charm, colour, texture and patterns.
While precious stones in the likes of diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds, have been used by Rolex in the past and still today, it was the introduction of the use of semi-precious Hardstone dials that have captivated collectors over the years. To this date, Rolex has incorporated a total of 25 species of hardstones for collectors to admire, with a recent introduction of Eisenkiesel.
Rolex first introduced hardstone dials in the 1970s to further elevate the space of luxury watches and to cater towards the vibrant trend of the era. The innovation to execute the wide array of stones requires various techniques that Rolex has mastered over the years, as each has its own unique composition resulting varying hardness, luster and inclusions.
Everyone has their favourite colour or colours, and hardstone dials offer more than just that, it offers a sense of uniqueness that most of these stones featured on one’s wrist are older than the human civilization, and they come in all sorts of different colours, that are natural.
From the iridescence of the various hues of mother-of-pearl and the amount of pyrite and calcite inclusions in Lapis Lazuli, sometimes it really is like a lucky draw to find the dial that resonates to you the most. Sodalite dials comes in various shades of blue, and depending on that, Rolex would either print the text in white or black to provide the optimal contrast. Fossil dials or also known as Jurassic, for its obvious reasons, are one of the hardest to execute due to the nature of its hardness, featured only on Day-Dates, Rolex displays their excellence in incorporating diamond-set indexes, gold apertures for its day and date windows and its coronet, without showing a single crack.
At the PHILLIPS Hong Kong Watch Auction: XV we are extremely thrilled to offer our collectors a selection of fine and rare Rolex Daytonas and Day-Dates featuring some of the most attractive hardstone dials Rolex has ever produced. From sodalite to meteorite, mother-of-pearl to grossular garnet rubellite, each natural hardstone dial will never be the same as one another.