Rolex Day-Date 18038 'Salmon Stella'

Museum Piece
There has been a lot said about "Salmon" dials, and equally much about Stella dials; so this truly is a conversation piece.

There has been a lot said about "Salmon" dials, and equally much about Stella dials; so this truly is a conversation piece.

A happy accident or maybe hindsight really is 20/20. What it all boils down to is that the outrageously coloured Rolex dials from the 1970s and 1980s are among the most coveted vintage watches nowadays; and it’s not that hard to understand why. During this period Rolex offered bright lacquered dials, with the paint being provided by a company called Stella SA. 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 dial. As a result, Stella dials are very scarce and collectible nowadays.

A number of different colours exist, and since the paint was mixed by hand; none of them have exactly the same tone. The salmon ones are one the rarest and most sought-after among them. This tint is, in the world of watches, often associated with special releases and vip-orders. Happy to share that this particular specimen is in a superlative condition in every which way. Most importantly: the lacquer is absolutely pristine, whereas many have developed cracks over the years. Moreover, its magnificence can be best enjoyed around the day and date window; where it displays the thickness of the glaze. Lastly, the tritium luminous compound in the hands and the plots have turned sensationally creamy.

An exceptional dial requires the right case and bracelet. To many, the best packaging for such a vibrant dial is the ref. 18038 Day-Date: the classic 36 mm Oyster case with the iconic fluted bezel and a timeless President bracelet. .

This wonderful timepiece dates back to 1984 and comes with a sturdy and scratch resistant sapphire crystal that protects the most important part of the watch. Day-Dates from this period are powered by the caliber 3055, an automatic movement with a convenient single-quickset mechanism. It remains in very strong condition with thick lugs, sharp lines and a tight bracelet.