"According to its serial number this stunning reference 18238 dates to 1993 with a possible sale to market in 1994. It has a highly unusual and rare dial fabricated from polished, fossilised limestone giving it an ornate lustre, with fossils of prehistoric remains visible in the glossy pattern."

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Rolex
Day-Date 36 Fossilised Limestone 18K Yellow Gold - 18238 18K Yellow Gold 18238

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The Rolex Day-date is considered a vital watch in the Rolex calibre evolution. It’s manufacturing became the draw of the most horological research and development for Rolex probably since the days of developing the watertight Oyster case. This was due to the additional strain on the movement relating to the day disc which needed to change once every 24 hours along with the date at midnight – this may sound like a small action, but the additional calibration of cogs, wheels and springs was not a simple addition when attempting to retain chronometer grade timekeeping. It’s no surprise that this additional jump in the movement at midnight threw the calibre off a little. This action required more stability, and more regulated power reserve to carry power through this calibre’s action each day. Henceforth the introduction of the incredible calibre 1055, launched along with the Day-date in 1956. This calibre was later upgraded to the 3055 in 1977, present in the model here.

Another lingering impressive general fact about the Day-date is that the presidential bracelet was developed with great attention for the its release. The presidential bracelet’s concentric rounded links replaced the famous flat oyster links. As of 1969 the presidential bracelet was made with a hidden clasp giving it a more jewellery-like feel with continuous links around the wrist and no visible sport deployment. Ostentatiously designed, often with diamond set dials, the Day-date has been loved by leaders and stars throughout the decades famously including (the interesting mix of) President Johnson, Fidel Castro, JFK, Jay Z and our favourite fictional gangster Tony Soprano.

Back to technicalities, the Day-date was the first Rolex with an automatic chronometer grade movement, a watertight case and display window for the day at 12 o’clock (in up to 24 languages at time of release, now 26). As with the well-known Datejust model the date display was kept at 3 o’clock. The Day-date was released first in the form of references 6510 and 6511 which were only produced for a year in total. There were then several other references including 6611 and 6612 over the coming years, until the five digit incarnations that you see in this particular model began in 1978.

According to its serial number this stunning reference 18238 dates to 1993 with a possible sale to market in 1994. It has a highly unusual and rare dial fabricated from polished, fossilised limestone giving it an ornate lustre, with fossils of prehistoric remains visible in the glossy pattern. The dial colour is a mixture of greys and blacks, with flicks of blue in certain light. Another highly rare feature of this dial are the numerals 6 and 9. Both are diamond set and open numerals in a unique typography to this numeral type. As the only hour indicators on this otherwise sparse dial they stand out and are hardly seen on any other models. The “Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date” writing is printed in gold along with the “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” below the hands and “Swiss Made” at the base of the dial. Gold rimmed day and date windows and gold applied Rolex coronet.

The 18k yellow gold 36mm case, fluted bezel and presidential bracelet are all in excellent condition and have undergone and Rolex certified watchmakers inspection. Deployment clasp is stamped 8385. The watch comes with a Rolex box.

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