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Rolex Day-Date Ref. 18038 - 'Pinball' Dial Unpolished

Sale price$19,950.00 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 was available for many years on a leather strap with a matching gold buckle, but also on a solid gold bracelet (called a 'President' bracelet), like the example that we have here.

This particular Day-Date, a Reference 18038, features one of the rarest dials ever fitted to an normal production, or 'on-menu' Day-Date. It is sunburst champagne in color but instead of your typical 'stick' or 'baton' indices, it features applied, solid yellow gold plots everywhere except the 6:00 and 9:00 positions, where there are rectangular indices. The resulting silhouette is more reminiscent of what you would find on something like the 'nipple dial' on the Submariner or GMT of the era! The dial itself remains in outstanding, seemingly-flawless condition, with fully-intact and evenly aged Tritium plots and a perfectly matching handset. The case is unpolished and shows normal signs of wear with only a few minor impressions and blemishes. The ubiquitous 'fluted' yellow gold bezel is also unpolished and retains crisp factory finishing. Last but not least, the matching 'President' bracelet is in matching unpolished condition and show matching normal wear with a few minor blemishes and virtually no 'stretch' to speak of.

This then, is a wildly rare piece, enhanced with an always handy 'quickset' date function, and the allure of an engraving on its caseback. It's a must if you are looking to add a Day-Date to a collection of many, or simply snag a sneaky rare piece that might not look like it from ten feet away.

Yellow Gold 1986 Unpolished Automatic 36mm

"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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