A matter of taste; a unique Rolex Day-Date

Written by Martin Green 

If you have ever read the amazing stories of the “One thousand and one nights”, you are probably also familiar with Ali Baba and how he found a hidden treasure cave. Well, when you lay eyes on this unique Rolex Day-Date you will most certainly get an idea how he must felt after he spoke the magical words; “iftah ya simsim” or “Open Sesame” in plain English.

Although until recently Rolex has always been pretty conservative when it came down their collections. Cases, bracelets and movements slowly evolved rather than changed. However, Rolex always been quite generous with different dial, bezel and bracelet options. Sometimes even special requests from distinguished collectors were granted, although these were almost exclusively gemstone set models.

Sometimes you didn’t even need to ask Rolex, they simply made some extraordinary gem set watches of their own. Such was the case with this exceptional Day-Date that Rolex created in very limited quantities in the early 1980’s. Exceptional in this matter is not only the abundance of rubies and diamonds, but also the extreme attention to detail that Rolex practiced while making this model. Take for example the golden day and date indications on the burgundy colored background that match the overall look of the watch. Or the Rolex crown and name applied in gold on the inside of the crystal so that the diamond pavé set dial doesn’t have to be interrupted?

But there is a problem with this Rolex. Not a huge problem, but still something that might have some people pass on this exceptional watch. The problem with this Rolex in the 21st century  is that it cannot decide whether it is a men’s or a ladies’ watch. It was definitely born as a men’s watch. Manufactured in 1982 it was simply out of the question, and most certainly out (or not yet in) style for women to wear such a large watch. But time and tastes have changed, causing this Rolex to have an identity crisis.

Whole generations of powerful men wore 35mm Rolex and there is a reason the Day-Date is also referred to as the “President”, being the favorite of a couple of US Presidents. Even the dial, pavé set with brilliant cut diamonds, cannot change the perspective that it is a men’s watch. Especially not since it is nicely counterbalanced by a beautiful bezel of baguette cut rubies. The main reason for the identity crisis has to be the bracelet. It is also the bracelet that gives this watch its nick-name “Octopussy”, because of its resemblance to this animal’s tentacles. The two large brilliant cut diamonds, set on either side of a bracelet link, give it a rather feminine look, and even the large baguette ruby on the centre link cannot change that.

But hold on a second! The larger a diamond gets, the more rare they become, taken that you get the same quality as Rolex did with this watch, and actually the same goes for rubies. Of course this doesn’t change the look of the bracelet, but it does indicate what a rare and precious road Rolex followed to make this piece possible.

So ladies, wear this watch as it is! Gentleman, get yourself a nice strap for this Day-Date and put the bracelet in the safe for those occasions when you want to show it all out! And when your friends might refer to the lack of masculinity of the bracelet, you can always tell them that the bigger the diamonds you wear, the more man you are! Christie’s auctions this exquisite Rolex as lot No. 139 on May 14th in Geneva.

Thanks to Martin Green for this article and insight into the Rolex Day-Date, also our lovely Meehna Goldsmith The Watch Match Maker will be attending the auction in Geneva so hopefully we get a little more feedback when she is back.

Original article can be found at http://www.watchmatchmaker.com/2_womens_watches/a-matter-of-taste-a-unique-rolex-day-date.html


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