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Rolex White Dial

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Präferenz-Cookies speichern Informationen über das Verhalten oder das Aussehen der Website für den einzelnen Benutzer. Diese Cookies werden beispielsweise verwendet, um Ihre Standort- und Sprachpräferenzen zu speichern oder um dafür zu sorgen, dass Sie auf der Website angemeldet bleiben können. Die Übersicht der Cookies können Sie sich auf unserer Cookie-Seite ansehen.This a crisp and cool looking vintage Datejust from the early 1970s with a strong case and lovely fluted bezel. The white dial has a matte finish that gives the watch a sporty edge that we love. The dial has large markers at six and nine and sharp black text. The folded link Jubilee bracelet is in good condition with reference 55 endlinks. The slow-set movement has been fully serviced by our watchmaker.

We are passionate about vintage watches and we love talking about them! That is why we don’t sell our watches with a simple “Add to cart” button, but instead try to emulate a truly boutique experience online. Helping you find your perfect vintage watch is our Watch Department’s raison d’etre. Whatever you would like to ask, please do. Building our community of watch lovers is central to our mission at Bulang and Sons.At the heart of everything we do is an unconditional love for vintage masterpieces. We sell authentic collector’s vintage watches from brands like Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe or Omega. The exclusive range of our very own leather watch straps will complement any watch lover’s style. Among the select lifestyle accessories in our shop, there are high-quality products from internationally renowned brands.

At Bulang and Sons we have sold thousands of watches over the years. We are a small team of experienced collectors and connoisseurs who are all part of an extensive global network of buyers and sellers. We have a great reputation for offering only the highest quality watches. We have one simply rule: we only buy and sell watches we want to own ourselves. And yes, we are still collectors too.
As collectors, we know how intense the search for a specific vintage watch can be. Once you find it at Bulang and Sons, we want to make things easy, safe and fast for you. Therefore, we offer the most comprehensive return policy and warranty; you will not find a safer place on the internet to buy a vintage watch. You can relax and enjoy your deal with Bulang and Sons.Bulang and Sons is home to watch lovers that have a taste for timeless quality and nothing to prove to anyone but themselves. We offer style statements for the understated. Designed and curated by Bernhard Bulang.

We offer a two-yearwarranty on the mechanical function of the watch from the day of purchase. Wedo not guarantee the water resistance of (vintage) watches unless expresslystated in writing. Therefore, our warranty does not cover damage to the caseand / or movement caused by water or moisture entering the watch. Our warrantydoes not cover accidental damage or improper handling of your watch and doesnot cover the bracelet, case parts (including pushers, winding stem, crown andbezel), watch glass, dial and hands.

Marconi was an early brand of the Rolex Watch Co. and you can find some real Rolex Marconi watches from the 1920’s, but the Rolex Marconis that litter the landscape of ebay (usually in the $1,000-$1,500 price range) are almost entirely fakes. They are hodgepodges of old watch parts with a “Rolex Marconi” stamp added to the dial, often found in South America and Japan. Stay away from watches that look like this:
So you’re considering buying a Rolex. Maybe it’s your first luxury watch, or maybe you’ve just never bought a pre-owned luxury watch before. Whatever the case, you want to make sure that you don’t end up with a fake Rolex, and we want to help!Fake Rolex watches are such a part of the zeitgeist that it seems like they’ve been around forever, but they haven’t: fake Rolex watches weren’t really a thing until the 1980’s. While Rolex has been successful ever since the launch of their Oyster in 1926, they didn’t become “hot” with celebrities until the mid-1960’s, and they only started surpassing Omega in sales (based on chronometer certifications) and leading the luxury watch world around 1970. Knowing what hollow end links look like, and when they were phased out, is helpful when assessing the age and legitimacy of a “Rolex” watch. Let’s go over a timeline of useful Rolex milestones to know: For years, Rolex put stickers on their casebacks, apparently as an anti-counterfeiting measure. Naturally, counterfeiters were quick to start faking those too. Although Rolex dropped caseback stickers around 2006, counterfeiters actually kept putting stickers on much longer. So a caseback sticker that looks “too new” can be a red flag. Here’s an idea of what some legit caseback stickers look like:Ultimately, one of the best ways to spot a fake is by knowing what a real version of that particular model looks like. If you’re looking at a Submariner Date, try to figure out if it’s a 16610 or 116610 etc. and know the characteristics of each.

What is the most popular Rolex dial color?
The classic black and white dials are perhaps the most iconic of all Rolex dials. These timeless designs have been around since the early days of Rolex watches, and they remain popular today.
Although some obscure gold-plated vintage Rolex models (like 3386, 1550, 1024 etc.) do exist, Rolex has never used gold plating on any sports model, Day-Date, or Datejust. If you see gold plating that has rubbed off on these models, stay away.

Rolex uses solid 18k gold in its gold and two-tone watches. Fakes often use cheap gold plating, so any sign of gold plating rubbing off is almost always indicative of a fake.
Counterfeiters tend to fake the most popular Rolex models of their day, primarily because they are liquid, and these are what they fake most accurately. The most common fake Rolex models floating around are the Datejust, the Submariner, the GMT-Master II and the Daytona. A good starting point when assessing if a Rolex is genuine is to pay attention to the watch movement. The seconds hand on a real modern Rolex ticks 8 times per second (or 5-6 times per second on a vintage model), creating a “sweeping” visual. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a fake Rolex and a real one without an expert eye. In recent years, criminals have gotten a LOT better at creating convincing knock-offs, specifically fake Rolex watches. If you’re considering an expensive watch, you may want a second opinion.Vintage Tudor watches have several parts that are similar (and often interchangeable) to those of their Rolex counterparts. However, Tudors have their own distinctive date fonts. Sometimes, counterfeiters will use a mix of counterfeit, Tudor, and Rolex parts. Since many Tudors use ETA movements, and many fakes do too, it’s easy for fakers to use Tudor date wheels. If you recognize the Tudor date font on a so-called “Rolex,” that’s likely a “franken” like the watch below:

Even within a single reference, Rolex has been known to produce several variations. For ref. 16610 Submariner Date models, for example, solid end links (“SEL”) replaced hollow end links (“HEL”) around 2000. The SEL’s aren’t really that much more solid than “hollow” ones (“slightly reinforced” might be more accurate, as you can see below). However, collectors almost universally agree that the SEL’s indeed feel significantly more solid than the HEL’s, which have their own lightweight charm.
Powerfunk is a Boston-based watch collector known for posting about obscure vintage Rolexes on various watch forums over the years. An expert enthusiast, you can find his “Cool Rolex of the Day” posts in r/rolex on Reddit where he’s the head moderator.From 2002 onward, Rolex started engraving the crystal with a tiny crown logo next to the 6 o’clock mark as an anti-counterfeiting measure. Counterfeiters often fake this, but they make it too visible, so counterintuitively, seeing this laser-etched coronet in photos is actually a red flag. A skilled photographer can capture a real LEC with the right lighting though, as shown below, and legit LEC’s are more pointillated and less “foggy” than fake ones.Note that on vintage Rolexes, cheap aftermarket crystals are common, so bad magnification alone isn’t a guarantee of inauthenticity. Also, Rolex notoriously produced a faulty batch of cyclops in about 2015 (it was so bad they had to remove all mentions of “2.5x magnification” from their website), so if you see a watch from that era with a “low-mag” crystal, it could be legit. Also, as noted below, If you’re looking at a Sea-Dweller manufactured before 2017, it should not have a cyclops.As with the serial number, the stampings on the front of a fake Rolex may look faded, uneven or even misspelled. In this macro shot of a ref. 116500 Daytona, we can see crisp, glossy, slightly raised lettering: Rotating a Submariner bezel results in smooth, subtle clicks. It feels noticeably better than bezels on cheap divers. Modern GMT-Master II models have spring-loaded ball bearings underneath their bezels, resulting in a smooth, satisfying rotating action. If you’re not sure if the Sub or GMT in your hands is legit, give the bezel a spin and see if it feels “cheap.” Knowing the reference number helps you know what the watch should look like. For example, if you’re looking at a Sea-Dweller manufactured before 2017, it should not have a cyclops. Only the current Sea-Dweller (ref. 126600) has a cyclops. In general, a Rolex sales listing without a proper model number is a red flag.Also, other than 4 Cellini Prince references from the early 2000’s, Rolex has never made clear casebacks. Counterfeiters often try to get overly fancy and go overboard with clear casebacks. Although aftermarket sapphire casebacks can be installed on Rolexes, it’s certainly a red flag when assessing authenticity.

What is the most faked Rolex?
The most common fake Rolex models floating around are the Datejust, the Submariner, the GMT-Master II and the Daytona.
“Rolex is a widely known status symbol, with over 700,000 of its timepieces pumped out annually. It’s also one of the most counterfeited watch brands out there.“

Did Rolex make a white dial Submariner?
White albino dials have been found in early references of these sport models: 6610 and 1016 Explorers, 6542 and 1675 GMT-Masters, and 6204/6205 Submariners. Most come in cases dating to the ’50s, though some have come from the early ’60s. Of these albino Rolex watches, the albino GMT-Master has the most lore around it.
Aside from the rare ref. 5100 prototypes, Rolexes never say “Quartz” on the dial unless it’s part of the word “Oysterquartz.” This tip can be useful when scrounging through estate sales or Goodwill, so you can quickly disregard watches such as this:

Some fake clasps are pretty convincing these days, but let’s tackle one that can be pretty quickly dismissed. A quick search of “62523H” reveals that code belongs on a two-tone Jubilee bracelet, not a steel Oyster. The low-quality black writing, combined with the poor embossing of the Rolex logo, are more signs of a fake.
Since 2008, all Rolexes have had the “ROLEXROLEXROLEX” engraving on the rehaut. The serial number should be at 6 o’clock, so if the “ROLEXROLEXROLEX” writing goes all the way around with no break for a serial number at the bottom, that’s a sure sign of a cheap fake.With few exceptions (such as the Sea-Dweller and Milgauss), Rolex watches do not have specs, logos, or branding on their casebacks. A few vintage ladies’ models actually do say “stainless steel” on the back, and a handful of old Rolexes with certain third-party cases have a crown logo on the caseback, but as a rule, Rolex casebacks should be blank aside from personal engravings. Rolex’s cyclops provides a distinctive 2.5x magnification, and the date should fill up the cyclops window nicely. A lack of magnification is a common indicator of a counterfeit. The date numerals should be nicely centered within the white box; fakes are often off-center, like the two images on the left below. The cyclops on the right is real. With few exceptions, if a Rolex has no lume on the dial, it shouldn’t have lume on the hands, either. Sometimes collectors and resellers of genuine Rolexes do “dial swaps” and forget to match the hands, but in general, lumed hands on an unlumed dial are a red flag.Before the engraved rehauts, Rolex serial numbers were engraved on the case between the bottom lugs. Fakes often have poorly-engraved serials, or none at all.

Rolex watches are made with high quality materials, and their modern bracelets are quite heavy. Fakes often use cheap materials, leading to a much lighter watch. However, it should be noted that vintage Rolexes are far lighter than new ones, and owners of modern Rolexes sometimes (wrongly) assume old Rolexes are fake because of their lack of heft.The prospect of identifying counterfeits can be intimidating for first-time and seasoned buyers alike. “How do I tell if a Rolex is fake?” is a question that doesn’t have a short, conclusive answer. But if you’re aware of a few fundamentals, it can be a lot less daunting.

Are white dial watches good?
If you want to buy a high-quality watch, then it’s worth considering white dials. White watches are classic, elegant, and luxurious looking. They’re perfect for any occasion and will never go out of style.
One might think that “U.S.A” stampings on the bracelet of a Swiss watch would be a red flag, but from about 1959-1979, Rolex often used locally-sourced bracelets. Complete watches were often taxed more heavily than incomplete ones, which is why you can find real vintage Rolex bracelets from the U.S.A, as well as Mexico, Japan, and South America.Real Rolex rehauts aren’t always aligned perfectly, but they should be close. The minute lines might not exactly bisect each letter, but if any minute line is so far off that it’s not even touching a letter, that’s a pretty conclusive sign of a fake.

While you’re avoiding ebay Marconis, go ahead and skip ebay Rolex buckles too. Fake Rolex buckles are so common that it’s healthy to be skeptical if you get one anywhere except a Rolex Service Center. Often, gold-plated fake buckles will say “ACIERINOX” which, humorously enough, means “stainless steel.” Real gold-plated vintage Rolex buckles do exist but they say “PLAQUE.”
Real fluted Rolex bezels are made of solid gold, and they are extremely shiny. The fluted bezels of stainless steel fakes often show smudges and fingerprints more than a real one would. On this same fake Rolex we can also see the poor rehaut alignment mentioned earlier. Minute markers should each go through a letter of the word “ROLEX” and although even real ones are often aligned imperfectly, the spacing won’t be this wonky:

Modern luxury watches should always be accompanied by warranty documentation, a good sign of authenticity. A 2-year-old Rolex with no warranty card is a red flag, although it’s common for vintage watches to be missing their box and papers.
Very old unpopular Rolex models are very unlikely to have been faked, so if you see a tiny 1940’s Rolex cocktail watch, it’s probably real. However, nowadays there are many fairly convincing fakes of popular Rolex sports models, not to mention “Frankenstein watches” or “super-frankens” which are fakes hobbled together with some real parts. The good news is you should usually be able to tell a fake Rolex from a real one, as long as you’re careful about it. The best place to start is in the details.

Although the accuracy of counterfeiters is only going to get scarier and scarier, if you keep these guidelines in mind, you should be able to spot most of the fake Rolexes on the market today. Just remember to research the model you’re purchasing, and that there’s no substitute for buying from a trusted, reputable dealer!
While it is theoretically possible for resellers of genuine Rolexes to wrap their watches in plastic, it’s not a common practice. Seeing the lugs wrapped in this stupid shrink wrap is a huge red flag, and often “904L” will be written in red: Without a doubt, Rolex’s most hyped sports watch at the moment is the stainless steel Daytona 116500LN chronograph with a white “Panda” dial. The combination of the black Cerachrom ceramic bezel, white dial with black rings outlining the trio of counters, and all-steel case and bracelet is a classic one. This Daytona retails for $14,550 but is valued well over $30,000 on the secondary market. As mentioned, Rolex does make a few white dials. While the Explorer II, Sky-Dweller, and Oyster Perpetual 39 are some of my favorites right now, there are others worthy of an honorable mention.Below we have picked out a few of our favorite white dial Rolex watches from the brand’s lineup, including current production and discontinued references.

What is the poor mans Rolex?
Back in the days, Tudor solely used off-the-shelf movements with Rolex parts. This gave the Tudor watches the label “poor man’s Rolex”.
On top of that, those once challenging looks seem to have matured over the intervening years, now less of an acquired taste and becoming more and more accepted. A mix of unorthodox aesthetics and some truly formidable engineering, the Sky-Dweller is one of a handful of white dial Rolex watches and is a future classic in the making.There’s no white dial Rolex Submariner or Sea-Dweller for instance. Nor currently is there a white dial available on the original Yacht-Master, although the Yacht-Master II does get one. And the closest the GMT-Master II gets to having a white dial is the new meteorite version which is not so much white as, well, meteorite colored.

One of the best parts of the Oyster Perpetual series has always been its value for money. Prices for the entry-level offering from the world’s most successful watchmaker start at less than $6,000. However, like just about every Rolex watch these days, these models cost more in the pre-owned market due to their demand. Prices for the now-discontinued Rolex Oyster Perpetual ref. 114300 with a white dial hovers around the $10,000 mark.

Paul Altieri is a vintage and pre-owned Rolex specialist, entrepreneur, and the founder and CEO of – the largest and most trusted name in luxury watches. He is widely considered a pioneer in the industry for bringing transparency and innovation to a once-considered stagnant industry. His experience spans over 35 years and he has been published in numerous publications including Forbes, The NY Times, WatchPro, and Fortune Magazine. Paul is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest research and developments in the watch industry and e-commerce, and regularly engages with other professionals in the industry. He is a member of the IWJG, the AWCI and a graduate of the GIA. Alongside running the premier retailer of pre-owned Rolex watches, Paul is a prominent Rolex watch collector himself amassing one of the largest private collections of rare timepieces. In an interview with the WSJ lifestyle/fashion editor Christina Binkley, Paul opened his vault to display his extensive collection of vintage Rolex Submariners and Daytonas. Paul Altieri is a trusted and recognized authority in the watch industry with a proven track record of expertise, professionalism, and commitment to excellence.
All of my picks so far have been steel cases, yet, yellow gold Rolex watches pair beautifully with white dials too. Case in point is this ultra-luxe Day-Date President 36 ref. 118238 in yellow gold–from its case and fluted bezel to its three-link President bracelet and Roman numerals on the white dial. The ultimate Rolex power watch, a Presidential with a white dial is one of the finest luxury watches to own. There is a lot happening on the Sky-Dweller’s frontage. Alongside the basics, Rolex had to find a way to display a second time zone, as well as its SAROS calendar. That is a heap of information to cram in, even for a 42mm watch. Sticking to a monochromatic palette helps to keep things legible, making it easier on the eyes, and the white dial is especially readable. The off-centered GMT disc is an ever so slightly different shade from the rest of the dial, and the bright red of the indicator triangle and month markers stands out perfectly. Of those, a personal favorite is the Sky-Dweller ref. 326934, featuring a stainless steel case fitted with a white gold bezel. It is available with either a blue, black, or white dial; the fresh white dialed version is one of my favorites.The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of a Sky-Dweller ref. 326934 is $15,200. However, the watch is valued much higher on the secondary market, ranging from $20,000 to $23,000.One of those perpetual underdogs in the Rolex collection for most of its life, the Explorer II is started to attract real attention over the last few years. While its more famous tool watch counterparts get less and less tool-like with each passing year, their gold and platinum shells liberally sprinkled in diamonds, the Explorer II remains the essence of Rolex. Bombproof steel cases and not even a whiff of Cerachrom to be found (let alone gemstones); it is what the brand used to be all about and has garnered a steadily growing cult following because of it.

In 2018, Rolex doubled down on the Oyster Perpetual’s basic straightforwardness with the release of a new pair of black and white dial 39mm models joining the existing lineup of red grape, dark rhodium, and blue. Both are exceptional – the black is actually given an understated sunburst effect; however, it is the white version that really impresses.Say white dial Rolex and most people will think of the Explorer II. Introduced in the model’s second iteration, the transitional ref. 16550 from 1985, the white (or Polar) dial has remained an immensely popular choice to this day. It produces such a radically contrasting effect from the black-dial variant that it is almost like looking at two different watch models.

Which is better black or white dial watch?
Overall, black is the right watch dial colour for practicality — for the simple fact that watches with black dials often come with white or luminous or hands that make it easier to tell the time in conditions of low light and poor visibility.
With all the big hitters in the Rolex fold, the humble Oyster Perpetual can often find itself somewhat overlooked – which is a shame, because the OP collection is really the undiluted essence of what a Rolex watch should be. Three hands to show you the passing hours, minutes, and seconds, with typically faultless Rolex accuracy – and that’s it. No dual time shenanigans, no calendar-based nonsense, not even a lowly date function. Just a perfectly practical and achingly stylish time teller.Created in the 1950s to serve the scientific community and quietly shelved in the 1980s, the antimagnetic Milgauss collection returned to the Rolex catalog in 2007. One of the models of the revived line was the Milgauss ref. 116400 with a white dial, which allows the quirky orange lightning-shaped seconds hand to really pop. This discontinued white dial Rolex is currently valued at around $10,000 to $11,000 on the secondary market.

While many found the 39mm size of the Oyster Perpetual line to be the perfect one, Rolex discontinued the OP 39 in 2020, replacing it with the larger OP 41 models. As a result, the white dial Rolex Oyster Perpetual ref. 114300 was only in production for two years.

The Datejust is the quintessential Rolex watch, available in a multitude of sizes, materials, and colors. However, there’s something effortlessly charming about the white Datejust 41 ref. 126334, featuring a steel case, white gold fluted bezel, Roman numerals on the dial, and a five-link Jubilee bracelet. Classic in style yet modern in size, this is one white Rolex watch that can wear anywhere, anytime.
Powered by the Cal. 3187, the reference 216570 marked the first time the Explorer II was granted a movement of its own, having shared all previous ones with the GMT-Master series. It also saw the dimensions increase, up to 42mm from 40mm, a move made to broaden its appeal with a younger audience.

The Polar Explorer II is just about the most iconic white dial Rolex watch you can buy. Proving its popularity, white Explorer II watches generally command higher prices than their black dial counterparts on the secondary market. Expect to pay anywhere from $10,500 to $12,000 for a pre-owned Explorer II ref. 216570 with a white dial.
Where the black piece is all low-key stealth, with its phantom hands and little pops of color, the Polar Explorer II is bright and invigorating – not exactly shouting, but certainly not hiding its light behind a bushel either. The Explorer II ref. 216570 launched in 2011 on the 40th anniversary of the Explorer II collection. It was discontinued in 2021 to make way for the new-generation ref. 226570, which was released on the Explorer II’s 50th anniversary.With very few exceptions (vintage Daytona references, Oysterquartz models, the Cellini series, etc.) almost every Rolex watch since 1931 has technically been an Oyster Perpetual. The two words; ‘Oyster’ for the waterproof casing Rolex devised in the 20s, ‘Perpetual’ – the name for the brand’s self-winding system, have formed the backbone for their output for nearly 90 years. So while we may be more used to seeing them followed by words like Submariner or Datejust, there has been simply the Oyster Perpetual range for much longer than either.There you have it; a round-up of some excellent white dial Rolex watches for you to consider adding to your watch collection. Whether you go sporty like the Explorer II, casual like the Oyster Perpetual, or dressy like the Sky-Dweller, a Rolex watch with a white dial is a great choice.Bob’s Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex S.A., Rolex USA, or any other brand listed on its website. Bob’s Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. The brand names and associated model names for Rolex, OMEGA and other manufacturers are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Originally released in 2012 as an exclusively precious metal option (sort of like a Day-Date with an annual calendar and dual time function), the Sky-Dweller was perhaps a bit too avant-garde in design (and expensive), to really capture the imagination of Rolex buyers. Fast-forward to 2017, and Rolex answered the calls of many fans when it launched new additions to the collection; a series of both white and yellow gold Rolesor models, with a range of different dial colors and vastly reduced sticker prices.
But it is something the brand seems to be addressing. While black dials will always be quintessential Rolex, the last few years have seen a few of the brand’s staples also receive white face options. White dials can add a very special quality to design, something that grabs attention but not in an overt way. Although it could be argued that white dials are not quite as versatile as their opposite number, the crisp clean hue is a refreshing blank canvas.Talking about Rolex white face dials never seems to get old. It’s one of those things that doesn’t really occur to you until you stop and make a mental list of it, but there aren’t that many white-dial Rolex watches. That’s relatively speaking of course, when you compare it to all the black dial watches in the portfolio. What’s more, they’re more often than not confined to the dressier end of the catalog rather than making appearances on Rolex’s tool watches.Beautifully glossy and with a soft warm tone, it doesn’t jump out at you in the same way the Explorer II does, but rather offers something a little more restrained. It is the perfect tenor for such a simple watch and turns it into a true class act that can be worn as an everyday beater or a special occasion favorite. The white dial is home to lume-filled baton indexes with white gold surrounds, which match the white gold baton hands (also luminescent) flawlessly.There’s probably some uncertainty already baked into how bidders are thinking about this albino 1016. If Phillips’ estimate of CHF 40,000 to 80,000 is to be believed, they’ve baked a fair amount of uncertainty into their expectations, though the auction house is also notorious for low estimates, so grain of salt. At the end of the day, it’s basically impossible to truly tell if a Rolex dial was born with a particular case. While this albino 1016 is a bit later than others we’ve seen, that silver-albino 1675 I referenced above also has an exclamation point dial and a serial dating it to 1962, similar to this Explorer. This could indicate that some of these dials were laying around longer than some had previously assumed and slapped into cases. Those I talked to seemed to agree this albino dial looked legit, but there’s really no way to know whether it was born in this case or put in at some later time (and whether that time was 1962 or 2022). How much that actually matters is up to each potential bidder. For a while, Rolex didn’t really make white dial sport watches. That changed with the Explorer II 16550 and 16570 in the ’80s, which is probably one of the reasons the “Polar” has such a cult following. Still, there were no white-dial Explorers, GMT-Masters, or Subs, much as those annual Rolex predictions articles tried to manifest them.

Is Rolex white tag important?
The tag is a good piece of corroborating evidence that confirms the dial that you paid a good premium for is indeed original to the Rolex that you just purchased. . . . #rolex #watches #watchcollector #watchcollection #watchdealer.
“I always think of Rolex as very Swiss-German in a way,” Ku said. “If they made something, they’re going to use it.” Watchmakers will tell you that the easiest way to check whether a dial stamping and printing pad is working properly is to test black ink on a blank white dial. Ku and others like Rolex Passion Report have speculated that Rolex would do short production runs to make sure its printing pad was running properly. After these white dials were printed, they figured they might as well use them, and they were put into circulation.

A few years later, Ben had one in the Hodinkee office and a few experts agreed that one was legit too. In his book 100 Superlative Rolex Watches, Goldberger features a couple more albino GMT-Masters, one a gold ref. 6542 and one a steel example. These few examples have formed a body of knowledge leading to the general belief that the albino GMT-Master is real and incredibly rare.
While Rolex might never tell us what it thinks of these albino dials, here’s to hoping the albino Explorer 1016 at Phillips has piqued the crown’s interest as much as it has mine, and perhaps there’ll be a white dial Explorer in the future after all.

White albino dials have been found in early references of these sport models: 6610 and 1016 Explorers, 6542 and 1675 GMT-Masters, and 6204/6205 Submariners. Most come in cases dating to the ’50s, though some have come from the early ’60s.
With the introduction of the Explorer, Submariner, and GMT-Master in the mid-’50s, Rolex started to standardize its collection, and one of the decisions it made was to mostly use black dials in its steel sport watches. But not before a few curious white dials slipped their way into watches. (There’s also the legendary “albino” Daytona, only four of which are known, including one that belonged to Eric Clapton for a while. But those are a different thing and aren’t really like the albino dials I’m talking about here, so we’ll leave them for another day.)

Before Rolex introduced the Explorer, Submariner, and GMT-Master, it wasn’t even that uncommon to see white or silver dials on its early ’50s sport watches: Edmond Hillary’s Everest Rolex that served as inspiration for the Explorer had a white dial; so did early examples of the Turn-O-Graph, the Submariner precursor; even Deep Sea Special No. 3, the one that actually went to the bottom of the Mariana Trench and now sits in the Smithsonian, had a white dial. There was simply more variety in the Rolex sport lineup: more references, more dial variations, more everything – it was a weird time when the exact same reference could have elegant stars on the dial or look like enough of a tool to be taken to Everest.
There are a couple others we know of that have changed hands privately or sit in private collections – my colleagues in Hodinkee’s private sales team recently placed another albino 6610, and an example from 1957 is featured in our Explorer Reference Points – but the number of known albino Explorers is still probably literally seven or fewer. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for where these watches pop up: that Menta Watches example came from South America; Ku sourced another from a vintner in France. This has led most to believe they weren’t intended for specific markets or retailers.More recently, I’ve been following this thread on Vintage Rolex Forum like a slow-moving thriller, where a collector discovered an early ref. 1675 with a silver, albino-like dial. There seems to be a general consensus on VRF that the dial is real, and the collector sent it to Rolex’s heritage department about a year ago for inspection – we’re awaiting a response like the final season of Game of Thrones. Even in an established segment of collecting like vintage Rolex, it illustrates how there’s still information to learn and discover. This brings us to the albino 1016 at Phillips. It dates to 1962, a little later than some of the previous albino dials we’ve seen, but not concerningly so. It’s an exclamation point dial (named after the lume dot below six o’clock), though it doesn’t have the tall crown logo you’d typically expect on such dials (so-called Type 3 dials, per our Explorer Reference Points). That said, the crown logo does match that seen on previous albino 6610s and 1016s, which might be a more useful comparison than contrasting to a typical black dial Explorer. People have long wondered if these albino dials were tests, prototypes, display models, or maybe even gifts to very important people. Today there’s no way to know the story, but none of these convoluted explanations are likely true – if you’re a believer in Occam’s razor, the simplest explanation might be the best. For that, dealer and Loupe This co-founder Eric Ku offered his.Of these albino Rolex watches, the albino GMT-Master has the most lore around it. You can probably count the number that have surfaced on one hand. For years, it was unclear if the albino GMT-Master was even authentic. Then in 2010, Rolex expert Stefano Mazzariol published a blog post (fire up Google Translator for this link if you don’t speak Italian) forensically dissecting an albino dial and claiming it as legit. He pointed to a number of details – asymmetries in the crown logo, serifs on certain letters – that matched across the black and white dials that seemed to indicate they were made using the same equipment.Finally, just a few albino Submariners in reference 6204/6205 cases have appeared. Years ago, Ku showed us a ref. 6204 that he sold. A couple years after that, another 6204 came up at Christie’s, where it passed at auction – presumably there were just too many questions about it at the time, which is always the risk with something so rare. Like with most albino GMT-Masters and Explorers, these are early Subs dating to the mid-’50s.

Will Rolex change dial color?
” The chemical reaction that changes the color of the dial from white to light green is mainly caused by the thin layer of condensate that it’s deposited on the surface – condensation caused by major temperature changes.
While Rolex used a time-intensive gilt process at this time to make beautiful, black dials with the text printed in relief, these white albino dials are simple and pad-printed with black ink. Compared to those black dials, they’re downright flat. But they look cool, they’re rare as hell, and they’re some of the most mythical watches in all of vintage Rolex.That changed, kind of, just a few years ago when Rolex released the meteorite GMT-Master II. Sure, it’s white gold, not steel, and it’s a meteorite dial instead of pure white, but it’s an awesome take on the GMT-Master. And, with more information surfacing about the albino 6542 only in the past 15 years or so, it almost felt like Rolex’s way of saying “We’re paying attention” for those of us prone to reading tea leaves. Not a full-on endorsement, of course – Rolex would never – but a wink to those albino dials of the past. While the albino Explorer isn’t quite as mythical as the GMT-Master, it’s no less rare. It also happens to be my favorite of the bunch. Most of the albino Explorers you’ll see (which is to say: no more than a few) will be ref. 6610, produced in the ’50s before it gave way to the 1016. Only a few have appeared publicly, so here are a few notable examples: Ten years ago, Christie’s auctioned an albino Explorer 6610 and we were able to go hands-on with it for a few minutes. The watch eventually sold for CHF 171,750.At Phillips’ Geneva Watch Auction this week, they’re offering an albino dial Explorer 1016. It’s the first albino 1016 we’ve seen at a major auction since 2007. These dials have always raised a lot of questions among collectors – are they real? If so, what’s the story behind them?

While Rolex might not comment directly on its historical models, in very Rolex fashion, its sister brand Tudor did fan the flames of curiosity this year by introducing a white dial (technically, “opaline”) to its Black Bay GMT. With that, let’s take a closer look at the elusive albino dial.
“We’ve seen true prototype dials, especially for Daytonas,” Eric Wind of Wind Vintage said. “But it doesn’t make sense that these would be test dials.” If they were true tests or prototypes, there wouldn’t have been much of a reason to finish the dials, complete with that Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified text at 6 o’clock. Ku and Wind both agree these albino dials were true “production” watches.

What is Rolex white dial made of?
Aside from some special dials made from materials such as meteorite, mother-of-pearl, and hard stones, Rolex dials are made from brass, while the dial markers are fashioned from 18k gold (also made in-house at Rolex’s own gold foundry) to prevent tarnishing.
Then in 2023, that wink turned into a full-on head nod with the release of an opaline Tudor Black Bay GMT. With other releases like the new Perpetual 1908 collection and the updated Daytona, Rolex has made overt references to its historical models, and since Tudor is where it plays with its heritage, it felt like this new white-dial GMT could’ve been a hint.However, this myth did catch the ear of fraudsters: a commonly-faked version of the albino GMT-Master is engraved with the Pan-Am logo on the back, a nod to their supposed origin (the real example that sits in a private collection has no caseback engraving). Many of these fakes are from the same place that would produce so-called Rinaldi dials in Italy – head to the right antique fair and you might come across one. They’re pretty easy to spot to a knowing eye; for example, the caseback engraving is done with a laser, which, shall we say, isn’t period correct.

As far as I can tell, the Rolex in what I’ll call the “Explorer family” that has the highest auction result is Jürg Marmet’s 6298, which sold for CHF 289,800 last November. Despite Phillips’ estimates, if you look at the prices I’ve thrown out in this section, there’s no reason this albino 1016 can’t top Marmet’s watch if the mood is right.
Either way, rarity is the overriding factor driving its value, so these unanswerable questions might not matter much by the time the hammer comes down on Lot 19. Let’s be honest: With a watch as rare is this, it’s also a true “buy the seller” situation. Some people trust auction houses; many others don’t.

It reminds me of, way back in 2008, when Sotheby’s sold a handful of loose Space-Dweller dials. Like these albino dials, the 1016 Space-Dweller is another one of those vintage Rolex myths – no one really knows the story around them, except that they’re super rare. Some of these loose Space-Dweller dials have been found cased up since – sure, it makes these watches a little less interesting knowing that they were put together for rarity’s sake and weren’t born that way, but their rarity and desirability is already due to the dial anyway.A first-of-its-kind white Explorer 1016 is set to be auctioned this week – here’s the fact and the fiction behind these ridiculously rare vintage Rolex dials.

So what is an albino GMT-Master, Explorer, or Submariner? It’s an early example of one of these models with a white dial – simple as that. At first blush, it doesn’t sound like much.
These are curious and ridiculously rare dials – we’re probably talking less than 20 or 25 known watches across Submariners, GMT-Masters, and Explorers from the ’50s and early ’60s. As much as the rarity, they’re just damn cool-looking watches. And lately, I can’t get these albino dials out of my mind.In 2011 we interviewed dealer Eric Ku and he singled out this albino Submariner 6204 as one of the rarest watch he’d had the opportunity to sell. Image: Courtesy of Eric KuClose your eyes and picture a Rolex sport watch. Chances are, the watch you’re thinking of has a black dial. But that wasn’t always the case. When Rolex first introduced a trio of sport models we know and love today – the Explorer, the GMT-Master, and the Submariner, all launched between 1953 and 1955 – it quickly standardized around black dials. In the early years of these models though, there was a rare breed of dial: the white “albino” dial.Back in 2015 an albino GMT-Master 6542 made its way into the Hodinkee office. It was a moment for us to go hands-on with one of the most mysterious and mythical Rolex watches around.

There’s probably a kernel of truth somewhere in this story – there is a presumed legit albino 6542 that’s been floating around and lives in a private collection right now with provenance from a former Pan-Am employee. But over time, this little fact grew into urban legend, with new harder-to-believe details added every step of the way.
But the story behind it is still a mystery. There’s this myth that, when Rolex originally developed the GMT-Master for Pan-Am pilots as commercial aviation took hold in the 1950s, it produced a small number of albino GMT-Masters for Pan-Am execs (the legend usually puts it at 50 or 100) who may have been jealous of the high-flying pilots who were getting cool new Rolex watches.

The Datejust Tiger’s Eye dial is one of the rarest Rolex watches. It was released in 1980 in limited numbers so it wouldn’t compete with the Day-Date watches. Solid gold Datejusts are already rare, and the Tiger’s Eye dial’s supply lessens yearly. It features a unique finish, with an orange and brown coloration that stands out while you’re wearing it.
The first wood-dial Rolex watches first appeared during the 1970s and have been a sporadic addition to their collections. They’re very few and far between because high-quality wood that can resist wear over time can be hard to find. There are only four types of wood that Rolex uses, and you see them in these limited Day-Date releases. These are: Malachite is one of the rarest stones you can find naturally, and it’s even harder to find large chunks of them enough to produce fine watches. The Day-Date Malachite dial is one of the exotic watches from Rolex. It and its Datejust Malachite dial sibling were released decades ago when the company decided to create different exotic dials such as Meteorite and Onyx. The Cosmograph Daytona comes with a high-performance Tachymetric scale to measure speeds. The platinum finish also helps add vibrancy, and is one of the rarest metals on earth. It also matches well with Rolex’s signature oyster bracelet. You’ll often see Marble finishes among Rolex auctions. The white marble is also a popular choice because you can see the natural formations of the rock clearly on the dial. You’ll find that they were a popular choice during the 1990s but are harder to find now. The creation of the President and Jubilee straps was because of the marble dial. Apart from its rugged yet beautiful meteorite dial comes the two-color Cerachrom bezel. The red and blue match its otherworldly feel. It also uses high-quality 18 kt white gold alloys to create the desired finish. With the dichotomy comes the ability to tell two time zones, noted with the GMT series.The beautiful Cosmograph Daytona stands out because of its ice-blue dial. It is a timeless piece honoring the original Daytona meant for high-octane racing. Ice blue is discreet yet demands your attention. It exudes nobility, and Rolex uses platinum to add durability and finery to the finish, making it a feature that many watch enthusiasts desire.In 2021, Rolex released the Coral red dial as a part of their Oyster Perpetual series of watches. You can no longer find this rare limited edition which has shot up its demand and price shortly after its release. One thing that makes it stand out is the red color which can attract the attention of onlookers. The vibrant red comes with a screw-down crown and a stainless steel case.The Datejust sodalite was one of the series released for women, having a fluted white gold bezel and stainless steel jubilee bracelet. Crystal sapphires adorn the watch itself. One of the classics returns with a new finish in Rolex’s latest Onyx dial creation, the Day-Date. The onyx finish makes the watch stand out alongside its 18 kt yellow-gold body. Combined with a diamond-set dial and a President bracelet, it appeals to those who love classic designs. The first Day-Date was created in 1956, revolutionizing watches that featured the date with the time. The Datejust Lapis Lazuli dial is another rare watch from Rolex, first released in the mid-1990s. Hardstone dials like these are hard to find because they come in limited numbers. It is also a testament to the difficulty of creating a high-quality piece. They have to cut a fine thin slice of hard rock. You’ll have to go through a lot to find one that can fit the prestige that Rolex demands.Models like the Datejust 41 use a combination of Mother of Pearl diamond set dials with Oystersteel and white gold finish to effect. These exude an elegance you can appreciate once the watch reflects light. The mother-of-pearl version of the Datejust is one of Rolex’s most recognizable pieces. It has a price to match, carrying signature Rolex engineering with a unique finish that you won’t find with any other watch.

This classic watch features a fluted bezel and a President bracelet. You’ll even get a serialized hangtag to solidify its rarity. It’s definitely for the enthusiast or the collector looking for Rolex watches that are no longer in production. It’s a simple yet eye-catching piece that many would enjoy having.
This version stands out because of its green color and the striations you can see on the dial. As with the rare dial, you can also find it paired with a hidden clasp President bracelet, which is uncommon among Rolex watches.

What are rare Rolex dials?
Black marble dials are rarer and as such, demand higher prices. You’ll often see the natural stone as you look closer, even with all the polish. It’s also common to pair them with white gold cases and bracelets. You’ll often see Marble finishes among Rolex auctions.
Those looking for unique and rare Rolex watches will have something that resonates with them in the market. Some may be harder to find than others, but they are worth their price. In good condition, these unique dials will only increase in price over time according to their demand. Check out these watches to see if any fit you.

The white gold case matches perfectly with the Lapis Lazuli dial. You’ll even find some versions of the watch with traces of gold, as they can naturally form within these rocks.
However, if you are looking for a truly unique piece, here are some dials you can proudly add to your collection. The following showcases the best Rolex has to offer in terms of craftsmanship. Let’s look at all of these pieces:With that in mind, Rolex used to actually make watches with dials made from actual pieces of coral, in much the same way that other types of stones or minerals would be used. Just like the modern Oyster Perpetual watches from Rolex, the goal of the coral dials was to make the vivid colors stand out, and brightly colored pieces of coral were chosen for them. In addition to the fact that Rolex didn’t produce all that many coral dials, the number of surviving examples is significantly fewer, due to the fact that many have been damaged over the years.

Another sought-after stone dial from Rolex’s past is the Bloodstone one. You’ll see that this has the green coloration from Jasper while having red blood-like marks, hence the name Bloodstone. Most of the watches with Bloodstone dials were in yellow gold bracelets, and it’s rarer to find them in white gold. You’ll find it has the signature fluted bezel.This model comes with the signature fluted bezel seen in many Rolex watches. It helps secure the case, ensuring it’s waterproof while also serving as a visually pleasing element. It also uses the Rolesor, a combination of two metals that enhance the watch’s strength.

Marble dials were once popular finishes among Rolex because of their clean white or black finish. Black marble dials are rarer and as such, demand higher prices. You’ll often see the natural stone as you look closer, even with all the polish. It’s also common to pair them with white gold cases and bracelets.

The Rolex Datejust Sodalite is one of the rarest entries in this list, with its release dating back to the early 2000s. Sodalite is a beautiful opaque royal blue gemstone that was rare until the discovery of a mine in Canada in 1891. The dial looks like how you would see the texture and color of sodalite up close. This creates a unique finish and one that’s hard to find, given that Rolex no longer produces new models with this ornamental stone.
As usual, Rolex designs watches with longevity in mind. The hour markers of the onyx dial are made from gold to help prevent tarnishing. The president bracelet matches the original 1956 Day Date, now implemented with modern technology.The dial is the most eye-catching part of the watch and makes up its spirit and personality. Many of today’s popular watches have dials that resonate with their wearers. As such, some buyers are out there looking for more unique Rolex dials. These typically aren’t sold en masse to the public, making them harder to find and thus pricier options.

The wood finish is something that can be appealing to any desiring Rolex watches. It gives off a unique vibe. Mahogany is the rarer dial to find because Rolex eventually stopped producing these dials.