Before diving into the minutiae, it’s worth asking the most basic, but primary of questions. Why should we care about Stella dials? And, by extension, why do some seem so fascinated by them? In our view, beyond the obvious element of rarity, there is a paradox intrinsic to Stella dials which makes them so appealing. In the same way an all-gold sports watch doesn’t make sense, and therefore ends up being alluring for precisely this reason, such is the way for Stella dials.
Rolex is commonly associated with rugged, utilitarian sports watches. Be it the Daytona or the Submariner, it is Rolex’s no fuss and no thrills approach to watchmaking which has partially contributed to its success. Even the Day-Date, which has historically been its most precious and high-end model, hasn’t varied much from its original formula over the several decades it’s been in production. Even there, there is a predictability and control to the design which feels very Rolex.
And then we have Stella dials. Not only did Rolex choose to introduce some colour into possibly their most conservative watches, which was already an unusual choice, but they went as bold as they could. From bright yellow to a rich purple, Rolex introduced a series of whimsical, playful colours into their Day-Date line, in a way that was unprecedented.
The contrast between these bright colours, the precious metals of the case and Rolex’s approach and reputation in watchmaking all combine to make Stella Day-Dates rather unusual. It is not only the rarity in numbers that matters, but the rarity of the thought behind these watches that makes them so captivating.