We love a Day-Date around here. Whether oxblood, khanjar, or more the more restrained offering shown today, the 1803 is cemented in Wilsdorf’s lore and the iconography of watch history. Yet, collectors will still usually freak out only for the more exotic variants: lapis, missoni, rubellite, Jurassic park dials, etc. I am today singing the praises of the ‘basic’ white on white gold. Stealth by comparison, steel at a glance (to the layman), and here in an exceptionally well preserved state.
In production for nearly three decades as the halo product, Rolex’s innovative Day-Date complication became synonymous with status after a 1966 ad with a red phone which simply stated, ‘the president’s watch.’ A few prototypes were made in steel, but the model was originally available to the public exclusively in precious metal. This 36mm 1803 is manufactured in full white gold with a suitably matched white dial. If discretion had a personality in the context of modern watch releases, it would be this.
This example is a clear standout not only for its condition but completeness of provenance. The Italian Day wheel is a lovely touch, but backed up by a full Italian set. Moreover, it includes the little paper labels with movement, case number, and original price in Italy, 706000 Italian lire. This sort of clear heritage is the stuff collectors like us gathered here adore.
Find this 1803 here from Phillips Perpetual for 27500 GBP.