Day-Date Ref. 1803 | blue dial | yellow gold
Originally introduced in 1956, as the reference 6510 and 6511, the highly-successful Rolex Day-Date was designed as a luxury sports-watch, manufactured exclusively in precious metals. Perhaps one of the most famous of a breed of dress-watches from the late 1950s and early 60s, the Day-Date, is simple and clean in design, with excellent resistance to both shock and moisture.
Since its introduction, the Rolex Day-Date has become one of the most popular watches in the Rolex catalogue. Understated in appearance and size, it offers a practical, versatile alternative to Rolex’s other highly-purposeful wristwatches - Chronometer-certified, waterproof and with a near-perfect aesthetic balance.
Colloquially referred to as the “President”, the Rolex Day-Date earned the nickname in a typically genius marketing move by the brand - reportedly gifting a Day-Date watch to then President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower. The brand claimed in its marketing materials of the time that “Men who guide the history of the world, wear Rolex watches”" and neither the Day-Date’s ageless elegance, prestige, nor high value, have faded since. The “President” name is often associated with a particular style bracelet, accompanying many Rolex Day-Date watches.
The reference 1803, of which this watch is an excellent example, was introduced in 1958 and shares that classically Rolex quality, of utilitarian functionality, married with classical design. The reference 1803 was part of the second series of Day-Dates, identified by their fluted bezel.
The Day-Date combined many of Rolex’s most successful innovations, including Rolex’s two-piece, screw-down case. In 1926, the ‘Oyster’ case became the very first waterproof wristwatch case to be produced serially, as well as the first fully-integrated waterproof case overall. This particular case dates to 1971 (serial 264 XXXX).
The dial of this Rolex Day-Date reference 1803 is in exceptionally good condition, with a slate-blue matte finish, applied gilt index markers and the classic 'ROLEX’ and ‘OYSTER PERPETUAL’ - ‘DAY-DATE’ references on it. Like the index markers, the hands are also gilt, with tritium lume, aged to a creamy yellow patina, matching the indexes perfectly. Both the day and date windows on the dial are subtle in colouration, complimenting the index markers and hands.
Powered by Rolex’s calibre 1556 ‘Superlative Chronometer, Officially Certified ’ grade, automatic movement, constructed with 26 jewels,a mono-metallic balance and KIF shock-absorber, beating at a rate of 19,800 BPH. The calibre 1556 was the last of the 1500 series to power the “presidential” Day-Date, and saw a marginal increase in accuracy over its predecessors, along with added shock-resistance (owing to the increased beat rate).
The watch comes fully-equipped with its original, 18-carat gold Rolex “president-link” bracelet and folding-clasp (stamped 1 71). The bracelet is preserved in exceptional condition, with uncharacteristically-little stretch throughout.
With a rare, dark-blue dial, set in an 18k yellow-gold case, this Rolex Day-Date truly stands out from most examples of its type and era.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment only.
|Model:||Oyster Perpetual Day-Date Ref. 1803|
|Movement:||mechanical automatic Cal. 1556|
|Functions:||date, weekday, hours, minutes, centre seconds|
|Features:||unrestored blue dial|
|Case:||36 mm 18-carat yellow gold|
|Bracelet:||Rolex 18-carat president bracelet|
|Box & papers:||N/A|
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