January 24, 2020
1977 Rolex Datejust Ref. 16018
We've all been there. You're watching a movie, or binging a show, and you out yourself as the watch obsessed individual in the room who's constantly hitting pause when someone's wrist enters the frame. That was me while making my way through Master of None, with far too many dealer listing tabs for onyx dial Day Dates open on another screen. For the record, I did focus back on the show itself after satisfying the hunch, putting an end to the mildly concerning bout of compulsive behaviour, but I’d be lying if I said my interest in the watch has since lessened. Materials aside, the main aesthetic appeal of most stone dial Day Dates is the absence of any markings aside from the Rolex coronet and usual dial text.
This bare bones, sterile look allows you to really focus in on the beauty of the semi-precious stone and design as a whole. This is also true of pieces like this Ref. 16018 Datejust, which arguably takes this concept to the next level. Although you do lose some functionality without an aperture indicating the day, that sterility really gets amplified, making for an even more pure appearance on the wrist.
Though my own hunt might've already ended, I still keep my eyes out for examples of note, and upon discovering one the other day, I knew it had a place in the column this week. As with any other vintage watch, condition and originality is the name of the game when looking to acquire a stone dial Datejust. With correct hands, a perfect dial, and a nice thick case, this example checks all boxes imaginable, and looks damn good doing it. Gold watches with black dials are a uniquely badass look, and without going into Daytona territory, this is the peak of badassery.
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