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Rolex Datejust Ref. 16018 - 'Tiger's Eye' Dial

Sale price$17,950.00 USD

Hard to believe - but the Datejust has been around since 1945. It is far older than its bigger and attention-hogging Submariner brethren. The Datejust was Rolex’s idea of the perfect everyday watch. The robustness of the Oyster case, combined with the elegance of an Oyster Perpetual. The 4-Digit Datejusts was the first series to become available with a myriad of dial colors and case and bracelet materials — something that has stuck with the Datejust name ever since. What the 4-digits watches do lack, is a quickset date — something that was resolved with the introduction of the 5-digit pieces in the late 1970s. 

There are levels to collecting. For starters, this is a solid-gold Datejust which are rare to begin with - Rolex did not make a lot of these so it didn’t compete with its more expensive sibling, the Day-Date, which were exclusively produced in solid gold. Not only is this one such example of a solid gold Datejust, but this also houses a factory stone dial. Throughout the years Rolex produced a number of highly exclusive, limited production, stone dials. These were dials made from shaved down pieces of Onyx Malachite, Coral, and in this case - Tiger's Eye. These dials were fragile and difficult to work with - but when they got it right they offer such depth and natural beauty it easy to see why collectors lust for these pieces. While these were also made as Day-Dates, we actually prefer the cleaner dial of the Datejust which allows for more of the stone to come through to a truly stunning effect.

The piece that we have here, a Reference 16018, features a striking 'Tiger's Eye' dial, which belongs to a family of watches produced with a series of rare and exotic stones. These dials are as rare as they are beautiful to behold. Produced for a limited time these dials were handmade by artisans — something we don't usually associate with Rolex and the sports watches that they are known for — and have always been coveted as some of the more collectible vintage Rolexes, full stop.

This example dates to circa 1989 and remains in very nice, strong condition, with thick case that has seen a light previous polishing and exhibits no significant wear, and of course, that beautiful stone dial — which in this case, exhibits a few faint vertical hairline fractures hardly visible to the naked eye, and one on the top right corner of the framed date aperture. This of course means that you can wear this one!

While not the rarest of the stone dials, the variety of color ranging from gold to brown in the stone is always a pleaser and never short in demand.

Yellow Gold 1989 Automatic 36mm
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From Rolex & Patek Philippe, to Cartier & Audemars Piguet. As collectors first, we love the small details that separate the Submariner from Daytona and Calatrava from Royal Oak. This is why you'll find our curated assortment spans decades of generations of models and brands. We believe that watches don't just tell time, they tell history - and life is too short to wear a boring watch.

Oliver & Clarke