A fine and very rare platinum calendar wristwatch with center seconds and bracelet

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  • Condition Report

  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1981
    Reference No: 18026
    Case No: 6’628’005, inside caseback stamped 18000
    Model Name: Day-Date
    Material: Platinum
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3055, 27 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Platinum Rolex President bracelet, maximum length 200mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Platinum Rolex concealed deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and slap signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex Day-Date was introduced in 1956 as a more exclusive and complicated alternative to the Datejust (which was released 10 years before, in 1945). In order to highlight the exclusivity of the model, it was offered only in gold or platinum. The model immediately positioned itself at the top of Rolex offerings and soon became one of the best sellers of the brand, and it is now one of the models most recognizable and associated with the brand.

    In 1977 the Day-Date was given an important upgrade: the new caliber 3055 with quick date setting was introduced, along with a new 5-digit reference system. Indeed, reference 18026 is a representative of this innovative line. The full offer comprised 4 models in yellow gold (with either bark-finished, diamond-set, blank or ribbed bezel) 3 in white gold (with bark-finished, diamond-set, or ribbed bezel) and two rare versions in platinum: ref. 18046, with diamond-set bezel, and the present ref. 18026.

    An undisputed champion of understatement, only the weight of the piece gives away the importance and rarity of this model. The unequivocal collectability and appeal of this iconic watch go alongside its highly elegant, discreet and wearable looks.

  • 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. 18026
A fine and very rare platinum calendar wristwatch with center seconds and bracelet

1981
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and slap signed

Estimate
CHF15,000 - 25,000 
€13,800-23,100
$15,100-25,200

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East
+ 41 79 637 1724
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction X

Geneva Auction 9-10 November 2019