Red Jasper Dial 1601/8 Rolex Datejust
Meet the only Rolex dial, Datejust or Day-Date, that can make Lapis look utterly plebeian. When you hear someone say jasper dial Rolex, they’re normally talking about a green hardstone with red veins. But jasper occurs naturally in varying shades and one of those is this rich red. It’s what’s known as a red jasper dial and it’s far less common than the already hard-to-find green jasper. Interestingly, while traditional green jasper was used in Day-Dates and Datejusts, red jasper has only surfaced in the market (so far at least) in Datejusts only, making this something of the ultimate 1601.
The markets are showing strong preference for rarer Datejust and Day-Date dials these days. Wood, stella, double signed, and indeed hardstone are all as hot as they’ve ever been. But not all are created equal. Lilac stella, for example, is approximately 10x as rare as oxblood in the market. Opal Day-Dates have only been seen a handful of times ever, where there are always onyx examples available. And coral dials, not to be confused with lighter red stella, are always right up there (particularly without hairline cracks). Green jasper is rare in yellow metal, downright unattainable in white precious metal. Red jasper is right up there in the top 10 of scarcity for standard production dials, arguably even top 5 of the most desirable, unarguably one of the ‘holy grails’ for collectors.
Only one sale has been documented in white metal, a white gold sold at Monaco Legends for 195K USD in ’21. To my knowledge there are only two white gold examples known. In yellow gold, there are but a few recent results to study. Christies sold one just last May that was quite polished at 74K USD, sans bracelet. Two of our friends have listed examples recently, Amsterdam Vintage have one listed on an Oyster rivet at 98K and Collectors Gallery Dubai, too, have an example currently offered at 120K. The market is sporadic and stochastic, as is often the case when comparable sales are in the single digits. It’s all about the quality of any given example and its provenance. (And for those uninitiated, it’s entirely correct to see T Swiss T on hardstone dials with non-luminous hands.) I would not be remotely surprised to find Datejusts and Day-Dates of this calibre continue to multiply in value; we’re really still only piecing together knowledge about them. More concretely, peer review studies have demonstrated multiple times that wearing red makes you appear both more confident and attractive to the opposite sex. So it’s jasper for me, I’ll take all the help I can get.
This example is fantastic as well. Its dial shows no cracks, most importantly. That can often be the case with these fragile hardstones but this shows none. It’s definitely a watch I’d prefer to fly and pick up in person rather than ship for this exact reason. The case shows light surface wear and full lugs. May have seen a light polish but only very light. It looks mega on the 8385 President bracelet, this thing deserves it more than most Presidents. It comes from a well-regarded Malaysian retailer.