Rolex Oyster Perpetual Model Ref.1803 18ct Pink Gold 1972 ‘Stella’ Ox Blood Dial
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared For And Lightly Used Example
Original, Unrestored, Extremely Rare ‘Stella‘ Ox Blood Dial
Rolex Model Ref. 1803, Calibre 1556, 26 Jewels Movement
Officially Certified Highly Accurate Rolex Chronometer Automatic
Immaculate Lightly Polished Case with Excellent Definition and Fluted Bezel
‘Stella’ Ox Blood Dial with Original ‘Stick’ Hands, ‘Baton’ Indices in Spectacular Condition
Large Size 36mm, 18ct Pink Solid Gold Case, Excluding the Rolex Screw-down Crown
Original Rolex 18ct Pink Gold President Bracelet Full Size with 19 Links
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
New, Matching Rolex Presentation Box Included
VGWL 12 Months Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
Founded in 1905 in London by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis, as Wilsdorf & Davis, the partnership became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving to its new Geneva headquarters in 1919. The success of the wristwatch can be largely attributed to many of Rolex’s innovations which made the company one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These have included its famous “Oyster” case — the world’s first water-resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and its “Perpetual” — the world’s first reliable, self-winding movement for the wristwatch, launched in 1933. These would form the foundation for Rolex’s Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956. Also and equally importantly, Rolex is known for its sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.
During the 1930s and ’40s, Rolex also became quite masterful at courting publicity and excitement through literally being ‘on hand’ during numerous world-record events. These were, for example, swimming the English Channel (1927), breaking the world automobile speed record (300mph, 1935), breaking the sound barrier (1947) and climbing Everest for the first time in 1953. No matter how well orchestrated this sequence of events came to be, we must hand it to Rolex for becoming masters of self-promotion. It capitalised on every opportunity while creating some of the world’s first and most successful world-wide marketing campaigns.
Of course, Rolex is so ubiquitous today its watches are almost thought of as a super currency. So a Rolex watch is what you want on your wrist when you’re in a Third World country and a revolution breaks out. There’s only one seat on the plane, and a guy standing in your way with a gun in his hand… You give him the Rolex, and he’ll give you the seat!
Rolex’ Day-Date has been the range-topping gentleman’s dress watch for over 60 years! First released in 1956 the 6611 reference was later followed by the perennial 1803 and soon became one of the most desirable “luxury” watches to own of its time.
The Day-Date is often referred to as the President or President’s watch, after a gift of the 150,000th Officially Certified Rolex Chronometer was accepted by General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Later of course, in 1952, Eisenhower won the presidential race, becoming the 34th president of the United States. A famous image shows Eisenhower wearing his Rolex while waving, on his way to his inauguration in 1953. This was yet another a master-stroke of marketing for Rolex which would later claim in successive advertising campaigns that the Rolex Day-Date was ‘the watch worn by Presidents everywhere’. And so, it came to be true.
Incidentally, Winston Churchill also wore a Rolex after he accepted his gift of the 100,000th Officially Certified Rolex Chronometer a few years earlier in 1947.
When the Day-Date was unveiled by Rolex in 1956, the watch immediately broke new ground in two important ways. It was not only the first watch to display the date as well as the day in its entirety, but it was also the first waterproof watch to display the date as well as the day, in its entirety.
Here we have a very rare limited release, original Stella dial Rolex in a wonderful Ox Blood colour. Here we feel this really suits the original 18ct Pink Gold case and bracelet. Stella dials were produced in a small number of pastel colours in very small numbers, mainly to cater requests by Rolex Authorised Dealers in the Middle East market. Other colours included dark green and the dark red colour we see here, popularly known as the Ox Blood. The colour changes depending on the ambient light from a dark red through dark brown and purple.
These Stella dials make an already desirable watch, super rare and sought after. Here his a wonderful article about these dials on the a collected man website which can be found here.
This is an otherwise beautiful example of the rarer 18ct pink gold Rolex Model Reference 1803, with the Cal.1556, 26 Jewel movement from 1972. The dial is original, unrestored and completely untouched, and carries baton hour indices and stick hands.
Note; This watch will be 50 years old next year. It will therefore make a fantastic 50th birthday present, or anniversary present, for that special someone in your life.
As discussed above, this is one of the very rare and highly collectable Rolex Day Dates with an original Rolex Stella dial. Here in Ox Blood red, we feel the combination with the 18ct pink gold case and bracelet really sets this Rolex apart. Rolex also produced Datejusts with Stella dials and used 18ct white, pink and yellow gold on all models.
In 2020 Rolex announced the addition to its Oyster Perpetual range of five pastel coloured dials referencing the original Stella dials, drawing even more attention to the originals from fanatical collectors.
Original Stella dials are interesting because almost no two are alike. This is due to slight variations during production along with differences in the way these pigments age, dependent on their exposure to sunlight and humidity. This means there is almost a rainbow of colours available, depending of course on what comes to market, since the vast majority of these are in the hands of collectors reluctant to let them go.
As we have tried to demonstrate in the images, this example is really interesting as it retains its dark red colour, but it also carries distinct hues of purple and dark brown, depending on the the kind of light in which it is viewed. It is also in superb original condition. Needless to say this dial looks much better face to face under natural light. It is in completely original unrestored and untouched condition. It is also in remarkable tip-top condition.
Otherwise, this is the classic 1970s style Day-Date dial with its original ‘stick’ style hands matched with ‘baton’ hour indices. The dial carries the Rolex Coronet at 12 and is signed ‘Rolex Oyster Perpetual’, ‘Day-Date’ with ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’ below and ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom.
We think the lens is original to this watch although may possibly have been replaced in the distant past by Rolex.
The Watch Movement
The original, high grade “Officially Certified Superlative Chronometer”, 26 Jewel, Calibre 1556 Day-Date movement is highly regarded for being very accurate, reliable and robust. As can be seen in the photographs, it is in sparkling condition and it is working perfectly following a thorough overhaul and service by our vintage Rolex specialist watchmaker. This means the movement has been completely disassembled to each of its component parts, cleaned and inspected under high magnification and then rebuilt using only original Rolex parts where required, before testing and careful calibration. The watch has just been re-tested (as it will be prior to delivery) and is running to within +7 seconds per day, which is outstanding for a vintage watch of this age! The movement also has a 48 hour power reserve when fully wound.
These movements are strong, accurate and very reliable making this watch perfect for regular everyday use, as well as evening wear. This movement is in top condition and with regular servicing every 3 – 4 years we would fully expect this watch to run very happily for many more decades to come! We are therefore pleased to offer a 12-month warranty on this watch movement*, along with servicing in the future. The movement is signed ‘MONTRES ROLEX SA GENEVA’ and ‘TWENTY SIX JEWELS’, ‘ADJUSTED to FIVE POSITIONS’, and carries the movement reference number DD637340 and the calibre number 1556.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.
The Watch Case
The 18ct pink gold case measures 36mm, excluding the Rolex Oyster screw-down crown. The case has been cleaned, inspected and very gently hand polished to bring it back to the condition you see here. Even though this is over 40 years old, no definition has been lost at all and all lines and edges, including the bezel, remain well defined. The case, lugs and case-back are in superb condition with no scratches, dings or similar marks visible to the naked eye.
This watch is also complete with its lightly fluted bezel, which is much easier on the eye and has much subtler lines than the later, more heavily fluted bezels. This gives the watch a more refined appearance and defines this watch as a vintage Rolex Day-Date. As can be seen, the bezel is free from any marks, which is unusual as the bezel is the most prone part of the watch case to damage and scratches.
The screw-down case-back is of full-thickness and has never been inscribed. The inside of the case-back carries the Rolex model number 1803 with 18ct Swiss Geneva hallmarks and is signed ‘Montres Rolex SA Geneva Switzerland’. Very importantly, the case also carries its clearly defined serial number 3639438 between the lugs at ‘6’. This confirms the date of manufacture of the watch, which is 1972. The Rolex model reference number 1803 is also shown again, between the lugs at ’12’.
Please note, although the waterproof seals have been replaced and this watch was originally specified as waterproof when new, this has not been tested and it is not guaranteed. As always, our standard advice applies: vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
This watch comes with its original full length 18ct pink gold bracelet which is in excellent condition. It is of 19 links and so will fit an extra large wrist. Or links can be easily removed to tailor it towards a smaller wrist. There is are also 5 points of adjustment on the Rolex signed bracelet catch.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, all the numbers and markings on the watch are correct, dating the watch to 1977.
Our detailed ‘Particulars’ document will be included in the sale, along with our detailed receipt and 12 months warranty*. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will also be provided at the time of sale, along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If at any time, this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.
The matching Rolex Oyster Inner and Outer presentation boxes shown in the photographs will be included with this watch.
To summarise, this is the iconic top of the range dress watch from horology’s most famous name. it is a highly practical vintage watch and one which will provide an excellent financial investment as well as be something to wear, treasure and enjoy! It will make the perfect evening wear dress watch as well as a practical, accurate and reliable timepiece to use on an everyday basis.
Although this is one of our more expensive watches, its quality will be remembered for long after its purchase price will be forgotten.
Vintage gold Rolex ‘Day-Date’ watches are highly collectable and the rarity of this watch means the value will always remain strong, making this an excellent investment and family heirloom piece. Even though vintage Rolex prices have risen markedly in recent years, we still feel first-class examples such as this remain undervalued. Each year as the world market for vintage watches grows and availability becomes more limited, prices are inevitably destined to climb ever higher.
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring these to the highest possible standards. We then offer them for sale at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post-sales care and service. This approach inevitably means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are a number of well-known stores in West London which are very successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore feel our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept PayPal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you would wish to pay by bank transfer, we will be pleased to pass on a 3% transaction saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or International Bank Wire Transfer, we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges and if you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss.
We will be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Fully Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions, we welcome your call at 020 7727 7095. If calling from overseas at +44 207 727 7095.
We are ready, and available, and await your call. We will be happy to answer any questions and offer advice about this or any of our watches listed for sale. If you would like some general advice regarding any aspect of vintage watches, including buying, selling, or collecting vintage watches, we will also be happy to hear from you.
Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine vintage gold watches.