Bloodstone Dial 18039 Rolex Day-Date

There is no more scarce standard production Day-Date than the jasper, or here Bloodstone, dial in white gold or platinum. Readers of Hairspring will know, in white precious metal, there are fewer than 10. Probably 9. Bloodstone is a jasper, just one with red veins, iron spots that gemologists—or ‘stoners’ as I like to call them—name hematite. Usually the ones we call Bloodstone are slightly darker, with more ferric spots. But both are equally uncommon. So uncommon that 90% of this particular Day-Date’s value is in its dial. Which really puts the pressure on its owner. Let me explain.

This Bloodstone is particularly interesting for a few reasons. In conversation with a fellow obsessive Day-Date collector, I heard the line, ‘It’s really only a matter of time until every stone dial made has some small type of fracture.’ That’s a bit extreme in my estimation, but the sentiment is valid. Fragility is inherent to the material. You can be as careful as Kim Jong Un’s accountant, setting it down on a bed of roses every night, but sooner of later in the middle of winter while you’re out for a coffee, you’re going to notice the tiniest hairline at the edge of an aperture. Given collector’s recently fervor for stone dial Day-Dates, we need to have some open discussion about the fact that these are delicate. Even with hairlines, this is a 135K Day-Date. Without, double or more.

No watch better represents this need than the uber rare, stuff-of-dreams white gold jasper. The outright scarcity outweighs all considerations, always desirable. But imagine an onyx dial with a line. What are the acceptable guidelines for value? And restoration or stabilization? This is still such a nascent world that the guidelines are yet to be determined. One thing’s for certain though. The white metal Day-Dates are the ultimate canvas to let a stone dial shine. The market agrees. Whether for the slight discretion or neutral tone, this just may be the ultimate Day-Date spec. Hairlines or not, it appears. But if you manage to find one without, don’t you dare ship it. That’s a pick-up-in-person watch if ever there were one. There’s something to be said though, for just enjoying a bit of wabi sabi. Just ask the spider dial enthusiasts, probably the most contentious patina in all of watches, this is just part 2.


This example is great overall. The obvious debate above about dial hairlines will determine the majority of the valuation. But its case is very sharp, probably not touched. The bracelet center links are patinated evenly and well. It’s a cohesive wear with little else to detract. As it should be. It comes from a well-regarded Miami retailer.