A fine and rare yellow gold and diamond-set calendar wristwatch with center seconds, green lacquer dégradé dial and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1970
    Reference No: 1803
    Movement No: DD'773'541
    Case No: 2'578'849
    Model Name: Day-Date "Godfather"
    Material: 18k yellow gold and diamonds
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1556, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18k yellow gold Rolex Milano Rope Chain bracelet, 195 mm. maximum length
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k yellow gold Rolex folding deployant clasp stamped 4.69
    Dimensions: 36 mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: The present watch is illustrated in "Day-Date, The Presidential Rolex" by Pucci Papaleo, page 296.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Day-Date, also known as Rolex’s “President” watch, was first presented at Basel in 1956. Since its inception, the beloved model has continued to evolve from classic designs through various colors, textures and artistic techniques.
    The present watch, lovingly dubbed the "Godfather", is without a doubt a very powerful Day-Date. The dial features brilliant and baguette diamond-set numerals, set in white gold chatons as evidenced by the "Sigma" notation. In the early 1970s, Rolex introduced ‘dégradé’ dials that feature vibrant colors in the central portion that fade almost entirely to black along the outer edge. The dial displays a rare green colour which shows off the dégradé effect wonderfully, with the center green shade emanating outwards to a darker tone at the edge. Such effect can only be achieved with Rolex's superior use of lacquer. The round brilliant and baguette diamond-set hour markers are perfectly highlighted against the dial’s darker edge. Along the dial’s bottom edge at six o’clock features the sigma designations flanking “T SWISS T”, signifying the use of gold for the hour markers and hands. The watch is furthermore accompanied by a gold mesh bracelet made by Rolex, reference 7722, named the "Milano Rope Chain". The uncompromised condition of this watch is breathtaking, and was rightfully dubbed the "Godfather" in Pucci Papaleo’s "Day-Date, The Presidential Rolex" book, for its commanding presence on the wrist.

  • 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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Rolex

Ref. 1803
A fine and rare yellow gold and diamond-set calendar wristwatch with center seconds, green lacquer dégradé dial and bracelet

1970
36 mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF20,000 - 40,000 
€9,200-13,800
$10,300-15,500

sold for CHF30,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016