04 May Rolex Day-Date ref. 1803
When the Day-Date was created, it represented a worldwide innovation: it was the first watch to indicate the date in the three o’clock position, and the day of the week in the 12 o’clock position.
We can read in a 1963 Rolex catalogue that the calendar existed in eleven languages, in a Rolex lea et in 1979 in 24, whilst in 1985 in 25 different languages. Today Rolex presents the calendar in 26 languages.
The first versions of the Day-Date launched on the international market were the references 6510 and 6511, that remained in production for a year and were substituted by the refs. 6611, 6612 and 6613.
The new reference of the Day -Date appears in the Rolex catalogue in 1961: the mythic 1803, which was produced until 1977-1978 with the introduction of the new five figure numbering, 18000, which identified not just the model, but also the material.
Together with the ref. 1803, a chronometer in 18 ct yellow, red or white gold with reeded bezel and plexiglas crystal, the following references were also launched on the market: 1802, always in gold with very few examples in platinum, but with polished bezel: 1804 in platinum or in 18 ct gold with bezel bearing 46 round diamonds; 1806 in 18 ct yellow gold with case finish called “Tuscan”.
The ref. 1807 in yellow or pink gold with “bark-effect” decoration appears only in 1964 in the Rolex catalogues for the Italian market, while in 1966 we can find the ref. 1811 only in 18 ct yellow gold with “gravée” bezel. All these references could have been equipped either with caliber 1555 or with caliber 1556.
The Day-Date dials with bright lacquered colors are called “STELLA DIALS”.
An example of the ref. 1803 is available at this link
More information about Rolex Day-Date in the book “Rolex Day-Date”