A very fine and highly attractive platinum and diamond-set calendar wristwatch with center seconds, blue lacquer dégradé dial, and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1998
    Reference No: 18026, inside caseback stamped 2096
    Movement No: 7’994’985
    Case No: A656056
    Model Name: Day-Date
    Material: Platinum
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3155, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Platinum Rolex President bracelet, end links stamped 55B, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Platinum Rolex concealed deployant clasp, stamped no. 8385
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.
    Literature: For a similar example of a Rolex Day-Date with diamonds and blue dégradé dial but with a fluted bezel, please see Pucci Papaleo Editore’s Day-Date: The Presidential Rolex, pp. 308-309.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Since its introduction in 1956, the Day-Date has continued to embody the Rolex ethos of luxury and power. Myriad combinations were made possible by the variety of dials and case materials, the innumerable bezel patterns, and the different bracelet assortments. With the Day-Date, Rolex was able to offer almost bespoke wristwatches that would excite their global clientele – as simple or as lavish as a customer could desire. The Day-Date is additionally notable for its ability to grace the wrist of any gender due not only to its perfectly balanced case size but also an uncanny knack of taking on the persona of its wearer. Whether worn as an embellishment, status symbol, or versatile daily companion, the Day-Date is instantly recognizable and much beloved.

    The current watch possesses a number of superlative features: an unpolished case in the noblest of metals, an attractive and sleek smooth bezel, double quick-set function for the day and the date, and beautiful dégradé blue dial set with brilliant-cut and baguette diamonds. The latter element truly sets this piece apart. The fluted bezel version featured in Pucci Papaleo Editore’s Day-Date: The Presidential Rolex is nicknamed "Poseidon", and it is easy to see how the blue centripetal color gradient would inspire notions of the Greek God of the seas. Starting at a dark navy – almost black – at the outermost parts of the lacquered dial and smoothly transitioning to a vibrant ocean blue, the dégradé (or "vignette") effect is quite arresting. Paired with perfectly aged luminous plots and vibrant diamonds at the hour markers, this mid-1990s Day-Date is elegant opulence at its best.

  • 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, inside caseback stamped 2096
A very fine and highly attractive platinum and diamond-set calendar wristwatch with center seconds, blue lacquer dégradé dial, and bracelet

Circa 1998
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.

Estimate
$20,000 - 30,000 
CHF19,900-29,900
€17,400-26,100
HK$157,000-235,000

sold for $38,750

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas
+1 212 940 1293
pboutros@phillips.com

STYLED. Timeless Watches & How to Wear Them

New York Auction 5 December 2018