Rolex Day-Date 18238 'Lapis Lazuli'

For a long time, the most reliable way to produce blue paint was to ground down lapis lazuli.

Museum Piece
Rolex Day-DateIn 1956, Rolex introduced one the most iconic watches ever made: the Day-Date.

Introduction

For a long time, the most reliable way to produce blue paint was to ground down lapis lazuli. Due to its beautiful hue, and exorbitant price, Renaissance and Baroque painters used it almost exclusively to depict the robes of the Virgin Mary. It’s no surprise that this regal gemstone makes for a beautiful watch dial.Stone dials are beautiful due to the natural variation of the stones used, but they’re also quite fragile. Many of them have developed cracks or rips over the years. Therefore, a flawless dial will increase the value greatly. This lapis dial is in faultless condition and the most desirable variation of lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli often occurs in nature with deposits of two other minerals: calcite (which shows as white veins in the stone) and pyrite (which look like gold veins). This dial contains no calcite deposits and some evenly spaced golden pyrite flecks. Stone dials typically contain no markers and together with the gold and gold applied Rolex coronet the dial takes on a mesmerizing ultramarine and gold hue.This ref. 18238 comes in the classic Day-Date packaging: a 36 mm 18k yellow-gold Oyster case, with an 18k yellow-gold fluted bezel, and a matching 18k yellow-gold President bracelet with a concealed clasp.This fifth-generation Day-Date dates back to 1991 and features a sturdy sapphire crystal as well as the updated caliber 3155 automatic movement with the convenient double-quickset function to separately adjust the day and date discs. The watch is in amazing condition with a thick and sharp case and a bracelet with barely any stretch, and comes with the original Rolex papers.

Description

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 182xxThe 182xxx series Day-Dates were introduced in 1989 and shepherded the line in the modern-era. While the previous 18xxx series Day-Date from 1978 had already introduced a single quickset function for the quick adjustment of the date as well as a sturdy sapphire crystal, the 182xx series saw the unveiling of the new caliber 3155 movement with a double quickset function. This new movement finally allowed all the functions of the watch (time, date, and day) to be adjusted quickly and conveniently through different positions of the crown.