Rolex Day-Date 18388 'Diamond Sapphire'

Just when you think you’ve seen ‘em all.

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

Introduction

Just when you think you’ve seen ‘em all... This isn't the first ref. 18388 we’ve had, but it certainly is the first Day-Date with this magnificent gem-set dial variation.The iconic 36 mm 18k yellow gold case comes with a special reference number, 18388, with the first ‘3’ indicating that the case lugs are factory-set with diamonds and the first ‘8’ referring to the factory-set diamond bezel. If that weren’t enough, the iconic 18k yellow-gold President bracelet sports diamonds on all centre links as well!The unique dial is a configuration we’ve never had before. The solid 18k yellow-gold base plate features neat rows of brilliant cut diamonds that are set in such a way that it almost looks like a fine floral motif. In between these rows, the plate is engraved with vertical and diagonal lines, giving the impression of each diamond being encapsulated in an intricate geometric pattern of interspersed rhomboids, pyramids, hexagrams, and octagons. The inclusion of deep blue sapphires on the hour positions injects a discreet pop of colour in an otherwise monochrome watch.As the 18338 is a sub-reference of the 182xx-series Day-Dates, it houses the caliber 3155 automatic movement with a double-quickset function for the independent adjustment of the day, date, and time. The watch is in excellent condition with a razor sharp case and super tight President bracelet with the iconic concealed clasp.

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.