Red Jasper Dial 1601/8 Rolex Datejust

In Datejust collecting, this is the peak. It’s a stone that’s not found in Day-Dates, a shade of royalty reserved for the Datejust only, which elevates the model to something far beyond 1601. 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 surfaced in the market (so far at least) in Datejusts only, making this something of the ultimate 1601.

It is interesting how changes in collector’s taste can seemingly pull examples out from hiding. I saw one or two of these for sale from all of 2010-2020. In the last few years, I’ve seen probably six. But the same sort of thing happened with the rarer Stella dials around the Phillips Day-Date sale. What Lilac is to Stella dials, red jasper is to 1601s. It’s easily in the top 5 for rarity of standard production dials, probably top 3. Onyx is always available somewhere in the market, but you have to hunt and seek out a red jasper. They used to be the fodder of auction houses only but we’ve increasingly seen them appearing at retailers who love a stone dial, as collector’s tastes have moved toward hyping this part of the market.

Only one sale has been documented in white metal, a white gold sold at Monaco Legends for 195K USD in ’21. In this 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. Amsterdam Vintage had one listed on an Oyster rivet at 98K and Collectors Gallery Dubai, too, have an example currently offered at 120K. S Song offered a great one at 80K last year. 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. We’re really still only piecing together knowledge about these rare birds. In my opinion, it’s one of the cooler stone dials specifically because it doesn’t appear in Day-Dates, it’s Datejust only. Somehow, with more stone to view and on a President bracelet, it feels even more regal than a green jasper Day-Date. The king is dead, long live the king, etc.

Condition on these is dial first, and it’s good news. Not a hairline to be seen. The dial is T signed and for once the hands are luminous with tritium, though it’s still correct on these to see T signatures with non-luminous hands. The case has been lightly polished but doesn’t look at all abused with thick and even lugs still. It comes from a well-regarded Miami retailer.