Rolex - The New York Watch Auction: SEVEN New York Saturday, December 10, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1966
    Reference No: 1803
    Movement No: D'D68’277
    Case No: 1’522’167
    Model Name: Day-Date “Stella”
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1555, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex President bracelet, endlinks stamped 53
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex deployant clasp, stamped 2.68
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rolex’s Day-Date model is a horological legend, which nearly 70 years since it was launched in 1956, retains a classic modern aesthetic and remains one of the brand’s top selling models. The timepiece was the first to feature the day of the week fully spelled out in an aperture at the 12 o’clock, with the date aperture at 3 o’clock. The second-generation reference 1803 was released in 1959 and remained in production until 1977. It was a multifaceted reference featuring a variety of dial and case styles, from smooth bezels, to fluted examples, to Florentine and bark finishes, as well as a wide range of dial types. A 1966 Rolex advertisement referred to the model as “The President’s Watch” and an icon was born.

    The present example features one of the most desirable configurations with azure blue “Stella” dial. Brilliant, lacquered “Stella” dials were produced for over a decade in a range of powerful colors, including oxblood, turquoise, orange, black, and tobacco. Some of these colors were especially rare and extremely sought after, including the present reference 1803 with its rarely seen azure blue dial. The extraordinary color perfectly complements the yellow gold case providing for a mesmerizing result. The dial is well-preserved and original with a radiant hue enhanced by the warm light brown hue of the luminous hour markers.

    While “Stella” dials are no longer available in modern Rolex Day-Dates today, this rare vintage model is an exciting opportunity to own a stunning example of one of the most diverse watch models produced by any brand.

  • 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. 1803
A very rare and highly attractive yellow gold wristwatch with azure “Stella” dial, day, date, and bracelet

Circa 1966
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed.

$40,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $69,300

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293


Isabella Proia

Head of Sale, New York

+1 (212) 940 1285


The New York Watch Auction: SEVEN

New York Auction 10 - 11 December 2022