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Rolex Day-Date Ref. 1803 - Gilt Dial


Straight Facts

When the Day-Date was released in 1956, it was the only complicated Rolex for sale. Hard to believe, but people didn’t want Rolex’s previous attempts at complicated wristwatches. All of that changed when President Dwight D. Eisenhower was spotted wearing the Rolex, and the watch became known as ‘The President’. An internationally known symbol of success and prestige, the Rolex Day-Date was available for many years on a strap or matching solid gold bracelet.

However, this is no ordinary ‘President’

The present watch features what is known as a ‘Gilt Dial’. Despite that this is a gold watch, the dial does not contain any gold or gilting. Instead, the term refers to the gold colored text that pops onto the dial. Early Rolex watches used a complex (and hugely beautiful) process in which paint and lacquer was applied onto the brass dial plates, and the lettering was poking through in relief. This gives the illusion that the text is in gold - when what you are really seeing is the bronze plates popping through. As you can imagine - this process was not cheap, easy, or fast. All three of those being the kiss of death for the gilt dial process, and those dials were completed phased out going into the second half of the 1960s.

Fortunately, this present example is fitted with a nearly flawless Gilt Dial! Every line of text perfect, every hash mark on the outer track accounted for. Each lume plot and the handsets match perfectly and have all aged to an even attractive cream color which pops beautifully against the deep glossy black dial. Last but not least, the watch is fitted to a very tight and period correct Presidential bracelet with oyster clasp. There are levels to collecting - especially with Day-Dates, and this is a level up from the rest.

*Some marks or spots on the dial are reflections or dust on the crystal and are due to high intensity strobe lighting used while photographing. They are not actually on the watch or visible in natural lighting.

Yellow Gold 1967 Automatic Dress

"As collectors themselves, Oliver and Clarke are on a mission to make buying vintage watches as painless as possible."

"The company focuses on good prices for its pieces, elite customer service and full transparency."

"The appointment-only space is inviting, with comfortable seating areas and exposed brick walls."

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

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