Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII Geneva Saturday, May 8, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1977
    Reference No: 1831, inside case back stamped 1850
    Movement No: DD336356
    Case No: 5'055'759, case further engraved No 001
    Model Name: Day-Date
    Material: Platinum and diamonds
    Calibre: Automatic, 1566, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Platinum Rolex King Midas style bracelet, 200 mm. maximum length
    Clasp/Buckle: Platinum Rolex concealed double deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 37mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Literature: Reference 1831 is featured in Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, pp. 178 & 179

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 1831 is understood to be the result of a special order made for His Highness Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, and takes a unique position, not only within the Day Date family but even within Rolex’s entire history.

    In fact, hardly any models in Rolex’s history are so different and made in such small quantities. Nearly every component of this watch differs from any other reference and demonstrates impressively that its development and production was never subject to cost efficiency but rather, to produce a model of “Imperial” dimensions.

    In modern times a batch of 8 at Rolex is unthinkable knowing the company’s set up. It is even less than the all time grail Split Seconds chronograph reference 4113 said to be have made in 12 pieces.
    In fact, scholars today believe that only eight examples of the reference 1831 were ever produced, all cased in platinum. The present watch is engraved No 001 to the case back, leading us to believe that it was the first within the batch to be released. Out of four known examples, two are fitted with Stella dials, and two are fitted with diamond-set numerals.
    Reference 1831 in platinum weighs nearly 300 grams and sets itself apart with a number of features. The case is similar to the Oyster Quartz and has a bracelet design never used again on any other Day-Date. Composed of massive satin finished platinum links, it is similar to the bracelet used for the King Midas, designed by the celebrated Gerald Genta.

    The beautiful blue dial with sunray pattern is completely different in size and design from other Day-Date models. The oversized diamond markers are set in the middle of the minute track, which is slightly further outward in position compared to the regular Day-Date watches.

    In every collecting field there is a holy grail, and in the world of Day-Date reference 1831 is definitely one of the strongest and most prominent candidates for this title.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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Ref. 1831, inside case back stamped 1850
An incredibly rare, important and heavy platinum and diamond-set tonneau-shaped calendar wristwatch with sweep center seconds, light blue dial and bracelet, numbered 001

Circa 1977
37mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF140,000 - 280,000 

Sold for CHF289,800

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724



The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII

Geneva Auction 8 - 9 May 2021