A very fine and rare yellow gold calendar wristwatch with center seconds and pistachio-colored lacquered “Stella” dial

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1975
    Reference No: 1803
    Movement No: DD'919'181
    Case No: 4'147'637
    Model Name: Day-Date
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1556, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Dimensions: 36mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Collectors within the horological community have questioned the origin of the nickname given to the firm’s beloved “Stella” dial. It has been inferred that “Stella”, Latin for “star”, was given its nickname due to the spectacular multi-layered lacquer coating combined with vibrant and rich colors that create an impressive, reflective surface that glistens like stars in the night, and are often mistaken for porcelain or enamel.
    The Rolex Day-Date was made available with these so-called Stella dials for approximately two decades beginning in the late 1960s. Originally sold to American, Arab and Oriental markets, interestingly “Stella” Day-Dates were unsuccessful in Europe and have since achieved cult status amongst enthusiasts.
    The present reference 1803 features a very rare and hardly ever seen pistachio-colored dial that perfectly complements the yellow gold case. Housed inside the case is the upgraded automatic caliber 1556, which features a hacking mechanism that allows for precise time-setting of the piece.
    Preserved in excellent overall condition, the present example made in 1975 will certainly please the discerning collector.

  • Maker Bio

    Rolex

    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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189

Rolex

Ref. 1803
A very fine and rare yellow gold calendar wristwatch with center seconds and pistachio-colored lacquered “Stella” dial

1975
36mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF12,000 - 18,000 
€11,000-16,500
$12,400-18,600

sold for CHF23,750

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016