When it comes to Rolex, the dial can make all the difference. Think of the Stella dials on the Day-Date or the Paul Newman dials on the Daytona, while with the Rolex Submariner the difference is all in the details. With the Datejust however, there is not one particular dial that made a prominent name for itself, but there are some out there that should, like this Lapis Lazuli dial.
Hard stone dials are always interesting because they are not the easiest to produce. They are in fact a slice of a larger stone, but the challenge is, apart from cutting it so thin, to find a stone large enough and of high enough quality. One of the prime places to find high-quality Lapis Lazuli has always been Iran, but after the fall of the regime of the Shah, that was no longer an option. Fortunately, other sources in, among others, South America and Siberia could provide high-quality Lapis Lazuli as well.
In some cases, traces of gold can be found in Lapis Lazuli, which seems to be absent on the dial of this Datejust. While this can give the dial an extra dimension, it is good that it isn’t present in this watch. While the vast majority of the Lapis Lazuli dials in Rolex can be found in yellow gold Datejust and Day-Date models, usually in combination with diamond hour markers, this is not the case with this watch. It features a white gold case, providing a beautiful contrast with that vibrant blue of the Lapis Lazuli.
This particular watch was sold in 2016 by Phillips for CHF 33.750,-, which places it just above the middle of its estimate which was between CHF 20.000,- – 40.000,-. Personally, I believe that these Datejusts are among the most beautiful examples made of the watch that Rolex created to celebrate its 40th birthday back in 1945. While its increase in price in recent years has not been as steep as that of other Rolex models, I do believe that they make a very fine addition to the collection of any discerning Rolex collector.