Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIII Hong Kong Thursday, November 25, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1979
    Reference No: 18038
    Movement No: 0’242’295
    Case No: 5’988’185
    Model Name: Day-Date
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3055, 27 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex President bracelet, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex concealed folding clasp
    Dimensions: 36mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by blank Rolex guarantee, instruction manual, service warranty, hang tags, caseback sticker, 1980 calendar card, product literature, outer packaging and fitted presentation box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    A true charming icon with an established heritage as being one of the finest, the Rolex Day-Date offers collectors a truly unique experience. In 1978, Rolex released the ref. 18038 replacing its former ref. 1803. Regarded as a major upgrade, the new reference was the first model to feature a reliable sapphire crystal and a robust cal. 3055 running at 28,800 vph as well as a practical quick-set date function.

    While regular Day-Dates are elegant and refined, examples featuring a hardstone dial exudes a differing appeal. Being known for one of the most innovative manufacturer of horology, Rolex has featured various hardstones on their dials including onyx, bloodstone, sodalite as well as tiger’s eye. While each natural hardstone requires a specific technique and skills to cut and craft, the rigorous process usually results in a large amount of wastage making these dials very rare to come across, each with its own characteristics and texture.

    The present Rolex Day-Date ref. 18038 in yellow gold from circa 1979 features a beautiful and flawless tiger’s eye dial, a chatoyant gemstone with a reddish brown hue with a silky luster that matches effortlessly with the yellow gold case and bracelet. The present example is offered in attractive overall condition and is complete with its full set of accessories.

  • 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. 18038
A fine and rare yellow gold wristwatch with center seconds, day, date, “tiger’s eye” dial, bracelet, guarantee and presentation box

Circa 1979
36mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$120,000 - 200,000 

Sold for HK$378,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIII

Hong Kong Auctions 25-26 November 2021