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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1981
    Reference No: 16018; inside caseback marked 16000
    Movement No: 1’878’464
    Case No: 7’061’394
    Model Name: Datejust
    Material: 18K yellow gold and malachite
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3035, 27 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gold-plated Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and buckle signed.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Malachite was first known to be mined as early as the Neolithic era, around 3,800 years ago, in an area of limestone headland in Wales, Great Britain. Since antiquity, malachite has been utilized in decorative arts and adornments for its vivid green palette and spectacular banded and swirled patterns. Malachite was even ground and used as paint pigments, most notably by Italian Renaissance painter Pietro Perugino in his Natività located in the Church of Saint Francis in Montefalco, Peruggia.

    This specific malachite dial displays beautiful uniform bands, made by slicing and polishing a larger banded mass of malachite. Rolex clearly was extremely selective in choosing the specific slice of malachite, further affirming their mastery of applying of such delicate natural materials as watch dials. Typically, the most harmonious and attractive banded specimens of malachite are found in Central African deposits.

    The present Datejust, produced in the early 1980s, pairs the resplendent malachite dial with an immaculately preserved yellow gold case with fluted bezel. It combines the exotic, the elegant, and absolute rarity sure to delight the nascent or experienced collector alike.

  • Artist Biography

    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.

    View More Works

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Ref. 16018; inside caseback marked 16000
A very fine, rare, and highly attractive yellow gold wristwatch with date and malachite dial

Circa 1981
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and buckle signed.

Estimate
$15,000 - 30,000 
CHF13,500-27,100
€12,500-25,000
HK$116,000-233,000

Sold for $31,500

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas & International Strategy Advisor
Senior Vice President
+1 212 940 1293
[email protected]

Racing Pulse

New York Auction 12 December 2020