Rolex Day-Date 18038 'Onyx'

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There’s some hesitation among our team each time we’re about to post an Onyx dial Day-Date. It has little to do with the watch itself but rather with the chaos that ensues.

Onyx Day-Dates are among the most coveted and asked about watches in our store. Each time we have one for sale, dozens of people beg us to sell it directly to them. But we’ll have none of that. These babies go straight into our drop so everyone gets a fair shot!

Onyx is, without a doubt, the most popular stone dial. And one look at that stunning deep black beauty tells you all you need to know. While gemstone dials are beautiful, they’re also quite fragile and many of them have developed cracks or rips over the years. Therefore, a flawless dial, like the one on this watch, greatly increases its desirability. 

This particular watch is an early and rare execution of the Onyx dial. Most Onyx dials appear in 182XX series Day-Dates, which generally feature ‘Swiss Made’ at the 6 o’clock position. This beauty, however, is cased in an early ref. 18038 Day-Date and is characterized by the ‘T Swiss T’ text at the bottom. A way rare Onyx dial.

This ref. 18038 dates back to 1979 and comes in the classic Day-Date package: a 36 mm 18K yellow gold Oyster case with matching fluted bezel and the iconic President bracelet with concealed folding clasp. The watch is powered by the cal. 3055 automatic movement with a convenient single quickset functionality to independently adjust the time and date.


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 the exception of the most modern executions, the Day-Date comes exclusively in a 36mm case.Reference 18xxxThe arrival of the 18xxx series Day-Dates in 1978 ushered in the first signs of the ‘modern’ watchmaking era for Rolex. These Day-Dates were the first regular production Rolex watches to receive a sturdy and scratch resistant sapphire crystal. To accommodate the new crystal, the iconic Oyster case had to be increased in thickness as well, giving the Day-Date a more modern look.Other significant developments were the change from the beloved pie-pan dials to the new flat dials and the unveiling of a brand new movement. The caliber 3055 introduced a single quickset function, which meant that the date could finally be adjusted separately from the time and date.



Packages are generally dispatched within 2 days after receipt of payment and are shipped within the Netherlands by Registered Mail through the Dutch carrier PostNL and for other countries by Fedex. Consult us if you prefer another method of shipping. For most destinations tracking is available.