Rolex Day-Date 18039 'Lime Stella'

Rolex’ dial designers in the 1970s must’ve been dabbling in psychedelic drugs when they came up with the funky-colored stella dials for the luxurious Day-Date.

Museum Piece
Rolex Day-DateIn 1956, Rolex introduced one the most iconic watches ever made: the Day-Date.
Rolex’ dial designers in the 1970s must’ve been dabbling in psychedelic drugs when they came up with the funky-colored stella dials for the luxurious Day-Date.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 rock a gold watch with such a loud, dare we say gaudy, dial. As a result, stella dial Day-Dates are very collectible nowadays.This ref. 18039 features a wonderful lime green stella dial in the uncommon white gold variant with factory set diamond indices. The watch comes in the classic Day-Date packaging: a 36 mm 18k white gold case with matching fluted bezel and an 18k white gold President bracelet.The 18039 houses Rolex’ caliber 3055 self-winding movement with a single-quickset function, allowing for the independent adjustment of the date disc. The watch is in great condition, with a sharp case and tight President bracelet. However, you should know that the lacquer on the dial displays some cracking.
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.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.Like its predecessors, the 18xxx Day-Dates were available with different bezel and case decorations. The most common references are:
  • Ref. 18026: Domed bezel (platinum)
  • Ref. 18028: Domed bezel
  • Ref. 18038: Fluted bezel
  • Ref. 18039: Fluted bezel (white gold)
  • Ref. 18046: Diamond-set bezel and index (platinum)
  • Ref. 18048: Diamond-set bezel and index
  • Ref. 18049: Diamond-set bezel and index (white gold)
  • Ref. 18078: Bark-finished bezel in yellow gold (usually paired with President bracelet with bark-finished centerlinks)
  • Ref. 18079: Bark-finished bezel in white gold (usually paired with President bracelet with bark-finished centerlinks)