Rolex Day-Date 18028 'Salmon Stella'

Museum Piece
A happy accident or maybe hindsight really is 20/20.


A happy accident or maybe hindsight really is 20/20. What it all boils down to is that the outrageously colored Rolex dials from the 1970s and 1980s are among the most sought after vintage watches nowadays.

And it’s not that hard to understand why. During the 1970s and 1980s Rolex offered brightly colored lacquered dials, nicknamed ‘stella’ by Italian collectors, as an option for the Day-Date. This option wasn’t particularly popular. After all, you had to be a gentleman (or lady) of considerable means to be able to afford a Day-Date and it was unlikely that a person of that stature would wear a gold watch with such a loud, dare we say gaudy, dial. As a result, stella dial Day-Dates are very collectible nowadays.

A number of different stella colors exist, but the salmon one is one the rarest among them. And this particular salmon dial is a superlative execution in every which way. The lacquer is in absolute pristine condition (whereas many stella dials have developed cracks over the years). Moreover, the tritium luminous compound in the hands and the plots have turned a sensational deep cream, almost brownish, color over time.

An exceptional dial requires the right case and bracelet. To us, the best packaging for a stella dial is the ref. 18028 Day-Date: the classic 36 mm Oyster case with the polished domed bezel and a rare riveted Oyster bracelet.

This superlative watch dates back to 1978 and comes with  a sturdy and scratch resistant sapphire crystal. The ref. 18028 is powered by the caliber 3055 automatic movement with a convenient single-quickset mechanism. The watch is in amazing condition with thick lugs, sharp lines, and a tight bracelet.