Rolex Day-Date 18038 'Wood Dial'

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Bur, burr or burl wood is outgrowth on a tree often in the form of a knot. These knots are caused by growth in a deformed manner, which is in turn caused by disrupted hormones. It appears ugly on the outside but magnificent on the inside: instead of perfect growth rings, the nerfs twist, twirl, spiral and swirl each in their own way creating a highly-unique pattern of wood grain. Thanks to its distinctive look, bur wood is often used for decoration and also for Rolex wood dials.The Day-Date we can offer you dates back to 1981, has reference 18038 meaning it has a single-quickset function (caliber 3055) and an 18k yellow-gold fluted bezel. The case, which measures 36 mm, and the President bracelet, with concealed clasp, are from 18k yellow gold too and are both in good condition. At first sight it looks like this watch has a gold champagne dial but if you take a closer look you will discover it has a wood dial. This specific wood dial appears to be lighter than the other ones we have seen so far, which makes it even more special. The day disc is Italian, so the previous owner probably was a very stylish Italian matching the wood of his Rolex dial with the wood of the interior of his Ferrari.


Rolex Day-DateThe very essence of luxurious time-keeping, provided with a day and date function. It was launched in 1956 as a niche model and was only produced in precious metals (yellow-, white- and rosegold or platinum). Its retail price was way costlier than any other Rolex model. However, due to its popularity among a lot of prestigious people, for example presidents (hence, its nickname), it became Rolex’ flagship model. Over the years this model has enjoyed associations with a wide variety of people, from world leaders, athletes, celebrities and mafiosi (like Tony Soprano). Regardless of the differences, they all had one thing in common: being successful in their area of expertise. Therefore, to this day the Day-Date is still synonymous with luxury, prestige, style and success. With exception of the most modern models, the Day-Date comes in at 36mm. Do you earn this watch?Reference 180XXThe 18XX references were replaced by the 180XX references in 1978. Again, a new era - both, aesthetically and technically - began for the Day-Date. Firstly, the plexi crystal got replaced by sapphire crystal (glass), which is harder and shines more than plexi crystal. Because of the use of glass the case also got slightly thicker providing the watch with a modern design. The classic pie pan shape of the dial got dropped and, instead, the flat dial was introduced. Furthermore, the concealed clasp already was an option since '72 but since '78, all President bracelets were standardly delivered with a concealed clasp. Last but not least, the caliber 3055 got introduced, which provided the watch with a single quickset function. From now on, the date could be adjusted separately from the time and day making the Day-Date a more convenient watch. The most common references are:

  • Reference 18026: Domed bezel (Platinum)
  • Reference 18028: Domed bezel
  • Reference 18038: Fluted bezel
  • Reference 18039: Fluted bezel (White gold)
  • Reference 18046: Diamond-set bezel and index (Platinum)
  • Reference 18048: Diamond-set bezel and index
  • Reference 18049: Diamond-set bezel and index (White gold)
  • Reference 18078: Bark-finished bezel (Often paired with President bracelet with bark-finished centerlinks)
  • Reference 18079: Bark-finished bezel (White gold) (Often paired with President bracelet with bark-finished centerlinks)


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.