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Why We Love It
The Day-Date is not just a beautiful, iconic, and important timepiece in its own right - it is also the perfect canvas for horological art.
Stone, enamel, mother of pearl, meteorite, gem-set - just about every exotic material you can think of has found its way into special, limited production Day-Dates in their 65-year continuous production run. For years, the popularity of these watches has ebbed and flowed depending on the prevailing style tastes of their day, but in today's market they are seeing unprecedented interest across the board.
Dating to circa 1977, this particular Day-Date Reference 18078 features a factory 'bark' finished bezel and bracelet, Spanish language calendar, and is fitted with a factory walnut dial! This is a non-luminous, lacquered wooden dial that has taken up artistic residence in a quickset yellow gold Day-Date. Furthermore, the dial has faded evenly over 40+ years of UV exposure giving it an entirely unique look to every other wood dial Rolex we've ever encountered.
The resulting look is nothing short of astounding - and the pairing of these wildly disparate earth materials is shockingly good, making it an absolutely epic example of Rolex's ability to flex their more artistic capabilities!
The Day-Date Story
When you’ve got a good thing going, sometimes you just know.
Such is the case with the Rolex Day-Date. At the time of the Day-Date’s release in 1956, it was Rolex’s most complicated wristwatch: all previous attempts had failed to resonate with consumers.
But as soon as Rolex secured the patent in July of 1955, production of the Day-Date was rushed for a debut at the Basel Fair the following spring.
Although early Day-Dates were plagued by technical problems resulting from the complexity of the automatic movement with dual calendar function, those were soon resolved. After President Eisenhower sported one (a gift from the manufacture), its success was secured. The watch came to be known as the “President,” (due to the fact that several U.S. presidents since Eisenhower have worn one), and it certainly lives up to its dignified nickname.
For a brand that has built its reputation on its sports watches, it's perhaps unsurprising that the Rolex Day-Date is amongst the brand's best-sellers. True, the brand has always produced dress watches, but while the brand's more overt dress watch, the Cellini, often seems out of place among the brand's Oyster-cased offerings, the Day-Date is sturdy, solid, and at home alongside the Submariners and GMTs that make up the Oyster Perpetual collection.
Rolex has approached continual development of model as they do every other, making quiet improvements over the following decades, ensuring the Day-Date is worthy as the centerpiece of Rolex's Oyster line as horological technology evolves.
Whether a simple 36mm yellow gold piece or a Day-Date II 41mm Day-Date in platinum with a gem set dial, the Day-Date is internationally recognized as time timepiece of success and leadership, and of great taste.
18k Yellow Gold Oyster case is approximately 36mm (excluding the crown). Automatic winding movement by Rolex. Rolex Reference 18078. Circa 1977.
Overall Condition: The case is in very good condition overall showing light wear consistent with age and use. Non-luminous factory burled walnut dial shows heavy fading from UV exposure condition with luminous handset showing rich patina. Signed crown.
Includes solid link factory bark-finished Presidential Bracelet 8385/55 with signed hidden clasp.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options