Rolex Day-Date 1802 'Eastern Arabic'

Language can be needlessly confusing, even in the world of watches.

Museum Piece
Rolex Day-DateIn 1956, Rolex introduced one the most iconic watches ever made: the Day-Date.
Language can be needlessly confusing, even in the world of watches. Arabic numerals on a Rolex dial? Not that exotic since they refer to the ‘Western’ numerals we use on a day-to-day basis. Eastern Arabic numerals, on the other hand, are the actual numerals used in the Arabic language and exceedingly rare when found on a Rolex dial!Rolex Day-Dates produced for the Arab market are some of the most unusual and coveted ones you can find. Among these, those with Eastern Arabic numerals on the dial are the most illusive. They were only produced in very low numbers, mostly for precious metal Day-Dates, in the 1950s until the 1970s. This lovely design feature was resumed only a few years ago when Rolex released a limited number of 40 mm platinum Day-Dates that were sold exclusively by selected Middle-Eastern retailers.This amazing ref. 1802 from 1959 is like a time capsule from a bygone era. The 36 mm 18k yellow gold case with domed bezel comes with the original 18k yellow gold riveted Oyster bracelet with the date stamp “59”! The rare and flawless Swiss-only champagne dial features thick applied 18k yellow gold Eastern Arabic numerals and, of course, matching Arabic day and date discs. As with any true 1950s Day-Date, the watch sports elegant 18k yellow gold alpha hands.This ref. 1802 is in excellent condition with a thick case and a tight bracelet with period-correct big-logo clasp that is elegantly engraved with the letters “VD”.
Rolex Day-DateIn 1956, Rolex introduced one the most iconic watches ever made: the Day-Date. The Day-Date was the first waterproof self-winding chronometer certified wristwatch with a day and date function. And to top it off, it was only available in gold or platinum! Rolex also designed a new three-link bracelet, known as the ‘President,’ to pair with this special watch. With exception of the most modern executions, the Day-Date comes exclusively in a 36mm case.Ref. 18xxA new era dawned for the Day-Date when the earliest references (65xx & 66xx) were replaced by the 18xx series in 1959, which contained the cal. 1555 and later the cal. 1556 movement.The 18xx Day-Date was produced with a wide variety of dial colors and configurations. Characteristic for this era is the so-called ‘Pie-Pan’ dial that looks like an upside-down pie-pan (a concentric ring that slopes down from the flat centre).The last two digits of the 18xx references indicate the type of bezel or the bezel/case decoration:
  • Ref. 1802:    Domed/polished bezel
  • Ref. 1803:    Fluted bezel
  • Ref. 1804:    Diamond-set bezel (and dial)
  • Ref. 1806:    Florentine-finish bezel and case
  • Ref. 1807:    Bark bezel
  • Ref. 1811:    Engraved (Morellis or Moiré) bezel and case