Red Jasper Dial 1601/8 Rolex Datejust

In stone dial Rolex, most will know the sought-after, vibrant, verdant jasper. It’s a deep green 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) in Datejusts, making this something of the ultimate 1601. And stone dials, as a whole, are less seen in Datejusts to begin with. It’s about the only thing that can make a lapis dial look utterly plebeian.


Now, there’s a lot of interesting science around wearing red. Everything I’m about to say has credible peer-reviewed research to support it, from journals like Science and Nature. Wearing red, even just a tie, makes its wearer more confident (perhaps more than they should be). It also makes one more attractive to the opposite sex, repeatedly, on both sides. Perhaps most outrageously, women wearing red are seen as 1.5-2X as promiscuous as those in neutral tones or other colors, a study so famous it’s now known as the red dress effect. Red, it seems, is the hue of confidence, style, and sex appeal. I don’t think there’s any evidence to suggest these effects are replicated in watches, but perhaps the fact that seemingly all watch collectors find this dial sexy is a start. It can’t hurt, except your bank manager.


Interestingly, of the handful of documented examples that the market has seen, the majority have papers emanating from South America, particularly Caracas. If this is just coincidence from a very small sample size (the science speak has worn off on me, sorry) or indicative of an actual trend remains to be seen. More certainly, these are mega-desirable to collectors. Monaco Legends auctioned one in white gold for 195K USD. Christies sold one just last May that was quite polished at 74K USD, sans bracelet. Amsterdam Vintage have in a similar 1600/8 smooth bezel now with a red jasper dial for 103K USD. I can find records of about five sales at auction, which tells you this is probably as scarce as Datejust dials get. And sexy. Just not attainable. But if you aspire to a Datejust over Day-Date for whatever reason, this might be as good as it gets or as good as it ever will get, to use the JM parlance.

This example is lovely. Its dial shows no signs of cracks, the most common and terrifying fault to watch for in your stone dials. All script is clear, and the date wheel has a lovely warm tone. It is pictured on both a gold jubilee and rivet, I’m not sure which is original if either, that’s one for the seller. But the case is full, the dial is ace, and it’s one for the ages. It comes from a well-regarded retailer in Dubai.