Finds Vintage

Lilac Stella 1803 Rolex Day-Date

Lilac-Stella-Rolex-Day-Date-1803

Aside from the strata of piece unique one-offs for royalty, this is unquestionably one of the rarest Rolex dials to ever be produced—in single digits. Moreover, it’s a Stella. Stella Day-Dates are increasingly sought after for many reasons; this is the original colorful OP with added complication, one of Rolex’s earliest attempts to flirt with outrageous color. And they sold terribly; one had to be of considerable means to acquire a Day-Date in period and bright color with precious metal was often considered too gaudy for its era. Hence, the extra dimension that is rarity is in play for those who care. For my attention, this is simply one of the most unique and considered aesthetics I’ve ever seen a Day-Date wear.

Lilac-Stella-Rolex-Day-Date-1803

Stellas were produced first for this ref. 1803, which followed the 6611(B) and was produced from 1960 to 1978 until the 18038 five digits took over. What the calibre 1556 lacked in a quickset date, the dial made up for as it was Rolex’s last pie-pan shape and a beautifully subtle one. In the mid 1970s and into the 80s, Rolex introduced a series of enamel dials for the Day-Date in riotous tones.

Lilac-Stella-Rolex-Day-Date-1803

The dials were listed in catalogue as ‘Lacquered Stella’. Stella was a company based in Châtelaine and Geneva who supplied the a special brightly-pigmented lacquer to Rolex. Each dial was finished by hand through multiple lacquered layers, mixed and dried individually to the eye of their creator. These layers would then dry to create this tone and get a varnish, polished by hand. Stella Presidents were available in a range of metals and stone configurations, but only a few explosive dial hues.

Lilac-Stella-Rolex-Day-Date-1803

The dials were believed to have been produced originally for the Middle East and Asia but over time began to be retailed through other markets. The watch sold slowly in period, leading Rolex to allegedly destroy multiple remaining batches in the late 80s. The slow sales (read: low production, rare) and intense laborious process have spelled insane levels of collectibility all these decades later. This lilac and 18k confluence is undoubtedly one of the best, and fewer than five examples are known to the market.

Lilac-Stella-Rolex-Day-Date-1803

This examples has a full case with light to moderate surface wear, matched across its correct bracelet. There is nothing out of place. Its incredible dial is spectacularly well-preserved. The lilac tone has mellowed slightly compared to some previous examples I’ve seen at auction lending to a nearly pastel floral tone. Undoubtedly, a thing of beauty. As are the tritium plots, turned an even cream in both the handset and plots. It comes from a well-regarded Dutch retailer.

Find this Lilac Stella 1803 here from Amsterdam Vintage Watches for 250000 EUR.

0 comments on “Lilac Stella 1803 Rolex Day-Date

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *