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Rolex Day-Date Ref. 1803 - Early Salmon 'Claw' Dial

Sale price$53,650.00 USD

When the Day-Date was released in 1956, Rolex had made numerous attempts to capture the market with more complicated timepieces such as the Ref. 6036, the Ref. 8171, and the Ref. 6062, but it seemed like buyers were not particularly fond of complicated Rolexes. All of that changed when President Dwight D. Eisenhower was spotted wearing one Rolex in particular: a Day-Date. The model has since become known worldwide as ‘The President’ and as a symbol of success and prestige. Simply put, this one stuck.

The Day-Date has only ever been made in precious metals, with yellow gold not only being by for the most common, but also the most synonymous with the the Day-Date's colloquial nickname: The President. It was also produced in both rose and white gold, as well as platinum, with all examples being offered on a leather strap, or on a bracelet (called a 'President' bracelet), like the example that we have here.

White gold Day-Dates, while not outright rare, are uncommon. At a glance, they look like a steel watch — not nearly as eye-catching as its yellow gold siblings. These pieces epitomize the if you know, you know element in watches.

In the case of this piece (no pun intended), the dial further plays into that idea...

This particular white gold Reference 1803 from circa 1963 features a wildly rare, early dial. Known as a 'claw' dial for the shape of the applied indices, this example is further rarified by the color of the dial itself: a shade of pinkish-orange, or salmon. The dial itself is non-luminous and shows faint, uniform oxidation throughout and is hardly visible without a loupe. The 'claw' indices also exhibit light oxidation in some areas, and are complimented by a correct non-luminous 'obelisk' handset. The case shows signs of a light, thoughtful previous polishing, retaining symmetrical lugs and showing only light signs of wear throughout with no significant blemished or damage. The matching, though slightly later white gold President bracelet also exhibits a light previous polishing and light wear. This also piece retains a correct white gold crown, white gold 'fluted' bezel, and an English day disk within.

Salmon dials fitted within a white gold or platinum case are an elusive combination. Something about the combination is a horological grand slam and is cherished within the collector community. This exceedingly rare configuration is one heck of a looker — fit for a collector looking for something that you're unlikely to see in the wild. And if you do, well, you should probably tip your hat at that person.

White Gold 1963 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.

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