Rolex - Rolex Milestones: 38 Legendary Watches That Shaped History Hong Kong Sunday, November 27, 2016 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1977
    Reference No: 1831, inside case back stamped 1850
    Movement No: DD336356
    Case No: 5'055'759, case further engraved No 001
    Model Name: Day-Date
    Material: Platinum and diamonds
    Calibre: Automatic, 1566, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Platinum Rolex King Midas style bracelet, 180 mm. maximum length
    Clasp/Buckle: Platinum Rolex concealed double deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 37 mm. diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: For another example of a reference 1831 however fitted with a burgundy 'Stella' dial, please see Day-Date, The Presidential Rolex by Pucci Papaleo, page 274.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 1831 is the exclusive – and elusive – automatic platinum Day- Date that is fitted in an OysterQuartz case. In fact, the reference can be considered the most mystical among all Day-Dates ever produced.

    According to our research, reference 1831 was manufactured in 1977, exclusively for the Shah of Iran. The watches were gifted to His Majesty’s most distinguished dignitaries, and members of his close circle. Research suggests that the model was released in 8 examples only, with each watch cased exclusively in platinum.

    The present watch is engraved No 001 to the case back, leading us to believe that it was the first within the batch to be released. Out of four known examples, two are fitted with Stella dials, and two are fitted with diamond-set numerals.

    Another similar example, however fitted with a burgundy ‘Stella’ diamond- set dial and bezel was sold at Phillips’ Glamorous Day-Date sale in 2015, achieving a staggering price of 305,000 CHF.

    John Goldberger's Opinion

    This watch fulfills every description of a superlative Day-Date: majestic, exclusive and incredibly precious. Reference 1831 is particularly unique as it merges the OysterQuartz case with the King Midas style bracelet. This unusual combination is really extraordinary, and displays Rolex’s strength in designing a spectrum of watches, from practical tool watches, all the way to luxurious masterpieces for royalty.

    At first glance, this example is immediately distinguished by its sheer weight. The watch weighs an impressive 287 grams. The case is preserved in excellent condition and is virtually unworn. I particularly admire the sharp and deep hallmarks, as well as the reference and case numbers, which are clearly engraved beneath the lugs.

    The dial, preserved in fantastic condition, is set with brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds to an attractive light blue dial. Most interestingly, the diamond hour markers are set in the middle of the minute track, which is slightly further outward in position compared to the regular Day-Date watches. The bezel is furthermore fitted with 50 round-cut diamonds.

  • 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. 1831, inside case back stamped 1850
A very rare, important and heavy platinum and diamond-set tonneau-shaped calendar wristwatch with sweep center seconds, light blue dial and bracelet

Circa 1977
37 mm. diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

HK$1,200,000 - 2,400,000 

Sold for HK$1,750,000

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Rolex Milestones: 38 Legendary Watches That Shaped History

Hong Kong Auction 28 November 2016