Rolex Day-Date Ref. 1803

This his & hers project began with a months-long search for two watches so special that each merits individual description.

This watch was difficult to locate. The Rolex Day-Date Ref. 1803 was manufactured during the same era (1960s through 1970s) as the Ref. 1807, but the moniker refers to the Day-Dates made with traditional fluted bezels rather than bark finish bezels. This Ref. 1803 is solid white gold and was located in new old stock condition from a dealer in Germany.

Once both watches were delivered, each received a full mechanical overhaul as well as restorations of the original President bracelets to remove all give in the links.

The dials were redesigned with a focus on subtle modernization. Both watches received identical dial treatment, with a deep blue metallic scheme applied with a sunray finish. The text was rendered in a deep grey, with lower text on both dials deleted and replaced by the initials “MB.”

The only divergence in design between the rose gold Ref. 1807 and the white gold Ref. 1803 can be seen in the treatment of the calendar discs. Both watches feature date discs rendered in an inverse scheme, with the background color matched to the dial text, and the text color matched to the background of the dial.

The day disc of the rose gold Ref. 1807 features the seven days of the week executed in a the same inverse color scheme as the dial of the watch. The white gold Ref. 1803’s day disc, however, was altered to display the names of the new owner’s children.

Both watches were reassembled and fitted with their restored bracelets. Additionally, however, both watches received a set of interchangeable custom fabricated straps from ABP Paris. Straps were rendered in matte brown crocodile and brown suede, and each strap was fitted with a period correct 18 karat gold Rolex tang buckle.