Guilloché Dial 1802 Rolex Day-Date
The history of the Day-Date flows much like a river or family tree, there are tributaries branching every which way leading to exciting new places. Many of these historical tributaries were dead ends, never to be revisited or referenced again in Rolex production. Some of the better known paths are the Stella dials, Stone dials, Khanjars, or even the ‘Big Kahuna’ if you’re a real nerd. This, the ref. 1802, is one such tiny branch very early in production. It was released in the early 60s and varied from the standard 1803 only in its bezel, indeed it is the only vintage Day-Date ref. to have a smooth bezel.
Any 1802 today is serious collector fodder, they just weren’t made in 1803 numbers. But this one houses a dial you’re very, very unlikely to see again anytime soon. I often say of piece unique Journe or commissioned Cartier Crashes that, ‘this is likely not a repeatable proposition in the marketplace’. For almost all of Rolex, even a Stella dial, that is untrue. Rolex mass produce everything. But this 1802 houses a fully guilloché dial. This really is quite uncommon, and when you come across a guilloché dial Day-Date, 9/10 times the dial has diamond indices. Moreover, to put it simply, you just never come across this dial in an 1802. The pattern is even relatively unique, almost a straight clous de paris, where you normally see circular patterns or varying cut texture.
The smooth bezel disappeared for many years until it was brought back for the modern platinum Day-Dates, a sort of nod to this history. But it doesn’t hit anything like as sincerely as this simple yellow gold with no fluting. The magic of this Day-Date is that it blends in totally in a room. This is perhaps the most unassuming precious metal Rolex one could wear. But if someone knows watches, you’re absolutely going to make their day, hell possibly even month. But to everyone else, it’s just a normal vintage President, if there is such a thing. I once visited Slovenia. You’d never think to travel there if you didn’t have reason. But LjubLjana was one of the most enjoyable places I’ve visited. Great people, history, industry, and culture, plus surprisingly optimistic for Eastern Europe. Hidden depths . . .they’re kind of attractive aren’t they?
The dial is very well-preserved on top of everything. It’s got a Spanish day wheel and tritium that is all still there and equally golden. Printed text still strong. The case is very full, with slight bits of oxidation starting on the end links. It’s just lovely. It comes from a well-regarded California retailer.
Find this 1802 here from Oliver & Clarke available by DM on Instagram only for 85000 USD.