Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV Hong Kong Friday, May 27, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1989
    Reference No: 18238
    Movement No: 5’444’898
    Case No: L879’101, inside caseback stamped “18200”
    Model Name: Day-Date
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3155, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex President bracelet, endlinks stamped “55B”, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex concealed folding clasp stamped “8385”
    Dimensions: 36mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied with blank Rolex guarantee, instruction manual, product literature, cloth, 1988-1989 calendar card, red leather card holder, cloth, red leather bound notepad, hang tags, service guarantees, fitted presentation box and outer packaging.
    Literature: A similar example prominently illustrated in Day-Date: The Presidential Rolex by Pucci Papaleo, pp.378-379

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex Day-Date Stella has long been a collector’s favorite since its debut in the 1970s. Admired by many due to its fruitful offering of various vibrant colors that consists of almost every spectrum in the color wheel, these special lacquered dials further enhances its appeal setting itself apart from others alike with its vivacious glossy luster. Today, Day-Dates featuring these rare and exciting dials are among some of the most sought-after and collectible examples in the vintage scene.

    Launched during the 1970s, these colorful dials were manufactured by a company called Stella based in Châtelaine and Geneva, the firm supplied Rolex’s dial makers at the period with special types of lacquer that resulted in the name it proudly deserves. In production for about a decade, Stella dials has been known to be offered in various hues of the colors it incorporated due to the fact that over the course of its production of these dials, the colors were hand mixed and hence varied in consistency, making them today one of the most interesting dials to collect as some differ from one another.

    The ref. 18238 was introduced in 1988 with an upgraded cal. 3155 featuring a double quick-set function for the day and date enhancing its practicality by a mile. With aesthetics similar to its forefather, the reference was available with various dials. Boasting an exhilarating contrast between the yellow gold case against the vigorous glossy red Stella dial, the case is preserved in absolutely exceptional condition, ticking all the box with sharp edges, strong lugs and crisp hallmarks. But that is not all, the present example also comes with its original guarantee, and full set of accessories. Illustrated in the Day-Date: The Presidential Rolex published by Pucci Papaleo, a similar configuration of the ref. 18238 fitted with a red Stella dial cased yellow gold bears a L879’576 serial was sold in Italy during 1990. The present example with immense resemblance bears a slightly earlier L879’101 serial from circa 1989 not only wows with a flawless dial with Roman minute track, the condition of the timepiece is no doubt an exciting example. Impressive all around, this red Stella Day-date is surely a collector’s gem.

  • 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. 18238
A rare, extremely well-preserved and attractive yellow gold wristwatch with center seconds, day, date, red “Stella” dial, bracelet, guarantee and presentation box

Circa 1989
36mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$200,000 - 350,000 

Sold for HK$604,800

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia 
+852 2318 2031

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV

Hong Kong Auction 27 - 28 May 2022