Monaco Legend Group, a revered name in the world of luxury watch auctions, is poised to host an enthralling event on October 21st and 22nd. This prestigious auction house has earned a reputation for curating and presenting extraordinary timepieces that leave watch aficionados and collectors spellbound. In 2019, Davide Parmegiani, an esteemed expert in the watch market, became a partner in the group, joining forces with Claude Cohen, a distinguished authority in fine jewels. Together, they offer a commitment to transparency, honest guidance, and unwavering discretion, fostering enduring relationships with discerning buyers and sellers. Among the treasures awaiting passionate collectors are four exceptional Rolex Day-Date watches, each graced with a distinct stone dial, exemplifying the zenith of horological craftsmanship and artistic expression. These watches have ignited considerable anticipation and are poised to be highly sought-after in the forthcoming auction.
Introduced in 1956, the Rolex Day-Date stands as an enduring testament to horological innovation. Designed to be a valuable companion for daily life, this iconic timepiece showcased unprecedented watchmaking prowess at its inception. It addressed the needs of individuals who sought precise control over their schedules, marking a pivotal moment as the first self-winding, waterproof chronometer wristwatch. Notably, it featured a groundbreaking design that simultaneously displayed both the date and the full day of the week in separate windows, with both switching seamlessly at midnight. This revolutionary mechanism, captivating even after nearly seven decades, continues to evoke fascination. This iconic watch, often referred to as “The President’s Watch,” has evolved into a symbol of prestige, representing luxury and sophistication. Over the years, Rolex has crafted a variety of Day-Date, Datejust, and Daytona models, experimenting with exotic dial materials, including marble, onyx, opal, coral, malachite, and lapis lazuli dials. What sets the specific Day-Date watches we are spotlighting apart is their exquisite stone dials in lapis lazuli, malachite, diamond-set rubellite, and stunning coral, enhancing the allure of an already iconic timepiece.
Lot n°3: 1978 Rolex Day-Date ref. 18038 (15.000€ – 30.000€)
The first Rolex Day-Date in our selection is a 1978 masterpiece that features a lapis lazuli dial. Lapis lazuli is composed of Lazurite and besides Sodalite, it often contains Calcite (white) and Pyrite (yellow). This gemstone, favored by Egyptian pharaohs and royal dynasties throughout history, graces this watch with its deep blue hue and natural inclusions, adding depth and character to the dial. Crafting such a dial is a laborious process, requiring the finest quality and size of the mineral. The result is breathtaking, and in this case, it complements the watch’s yellow-gold case beautifully. This reference 18038 is a rare gem, showcasing the perfect blend of versatility and elegance, making it an irresistible addition to any collection. In general, the lapis lazuli dial comes in the same configuration possibility as the Onyx but tends to be slightly more valuable. Notably, the Lapis Lazuli Daytona in platinum achieved a record-breaking price at auction.
Lot n°31: 1988 Rolex Day-Date ref. 18038 (15.000€ – 30.000€)
Malachite’s vibrant green hue boasts a rich history of being utilized in various decorative artifacts dating back to ancient times. The unique shades gracefully ripple across the dial like verdant waves. Rolex’s unwavering embrace of malachite, commencing in the mid-’70s and persisting to the present day, remains exclusive to the Day-Date and Datejust models. Notably, Day-Date variations featuring malachite dials eschew markers, inviting enthusiasts to immerse themselves fully in the intricate patterns. Our second Rolex Day-Date, hailing from 1988, proudly showcases a captivating malachite dial. These dials are a rarity, owing to their fragile nature, with many succumbing to breakage during production or later on in the life of the watch, contributing to increased manufacturing costs and heightened collector interest. The yellow-gold reference 18038 watch adorns itself with a dial characterized by captivating streaks of green, a testament to Rolex’s mastery in working with delicate natural materials. Rolex’s choice of malachite for this watch dial underscores its unwavering commitment to luxury and rarity, culminating in a timepiece that exudes charisma and vibrancy.
Lot n°153: 1984 Rolex Day Date ref. 18078 (40.000€ – 80.000€)
A variant of the reference 18038 is the 18078, distinguished by a peculiar finish on the central bracelet link and bezel that resembles bark, hence earning it the name “bark finish”. This particular timepiece hails from 1984 and boasts a dial crafted from the rare and exquisite grossular/rubellite hard stone. The burgundy-coloured dial, adorned with ten diamond hour markers, creates a visually rich and intricate appeal. The watch’s yellow-gold case has gracefully weathered the years, retaining its pristine condition, crisp hallmarks, and uniquely textured bark finish on both the bezel and bracelet, adding a distinctive touch.
Lot n°182: 1996 Rolex Day-Date ref. 18338 (180.000€ – 360.000€)
Among these highly sought-after variations, the Day-Date models adorned with Coral dials truly stand out due to their remarkable rarity, making them one of the most elusive natural stone dials to acquire. It’s worth noting that, although Coral dials are classified among stone dials, they are, in reality, derived from a species of animals, further enhancing their exceptional rarity. The final Rolex Day Date in our collection, dating back to 1996, is undeniably a true gem. Its coral dial sets it apart from the rest, boasting a fiery colour and delicately veined texture that immediately captures attention. Rolex’s decision to forgo numerals on the dial accentuates the stone’s unique beauty and vibrant hue. This watch, identified as reference 18338, is further distinguished and made uncommon by its diamond-set lugs, adding an element of extravagance to its allure. With a well-preserved case and bracelet, accompanied by its original warranty, this Day Date is not only a precious timepiece but also an exceptionally attractive find for collectors. In recent times, Day-Date watches have witnessed a resurgence in popularity among collectors, drawing increasing attention in the collector’s market. This heightened enthusiasm is especially noticeable for those featuring rare and distinctive references or dial variations, including the scarce hard stone dials. These dials, showcased in these Rolex Day-Date watches, hold immense appeal for several reasons. Firstly, they introduce a touch of natural elegance and uniqueness that sets them apart from conventional dials, instantly recognizable at first glance. The intricate patterns and vibrant colours within these stones transform each dial into a genuine work of art. Additionally, the rarity and delicacy of some of these stone dials, such as malachite and coral, make watches featuring them highly sought-after due to their scarcity on the market. Lastly, collectors deeply admire the skill and craftsmanship required to craft and maintain such dials, further enhancing their desirability. In the world of luxury watches, Rolex Day-Date watches with stone dials stand as timeless icons of elegance and sophistication. The upcoming Monaco Legend Group auction offers collectors a rare opportunity to acquire these exquisite timepieces, each with its own unique charm and character. With their rich history, stunning aesthetics, and exceptional craftsmanship, these watches are more than just timekeepers; they are works of art that transcend the boundaries of horology. Whether it’s the deep blue allure of lapis lazuli, the vibrant green waves of malachite, the rich burgundy of rubellite, or the fiery elegance of coral, these stone dials elevate the Rolex Day-Date to a new level of luxury and desirability. Don’t miss the chance to own a piece of history at this prestigious auction, where the allure of these stone-dial Rolex Day-Date watches will undoubtedly shine bright on October 21-22.