Tropical 1978 Rolex Day-Date (Ref. 18038) 18K YG "Lizard King"

The Rolex Day-Date is one of the most iconic and beautiful watches in the Rolex catalog. The Rolex Day-Date earned the nickname "President" after it was rumored that President Dwight Eisenhower began wearing one.  In reality, Eisenhower wore a Rolex 18K yellow gold Oyster Perpetual Datejust which Rolex gifted to him in 1950. However the nickname President stuck and is quite fitting for the Day-Date as Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Ford, Reagan, Nixon, and Roosevelt, all wore the Rolex Day-Date model.  It has always been a symbol of status and luxury as the Rolex Day-Date is only made in precious metals most commonly 18k yellow gold and possesses both the day and date complications within the movement. 

1984 Rolex Day-Date (Ref. 18038) "Factory Diamond Dial" W/ Rolex Service Card

Rolex finds the perfect balance between luxury and functionality, and this 1981 Rolex Day-Date ref. 18038 is the ideal representation of this statement. There is always rigorous approval testing for any materials used by Rolex, therefore only the finest materials are used to make Rolex watches. The beautiful tropical "Lizard King" dial of this Day-Date has organically aged to reveal an exquisite and truly unique dial patina, comprised of abstract blue and grey spots separated by vivid brown and gold lines that resemble reptilian scales.

Stock #
Brand Rolex
Style Day-Date
Model 18038
Serial 54XXXXX
Size Men's
Material 18K Yellow Gold
Dial Tropical "Lizard King"
Millimeters 36
Strap 2pc Handmade Leather Strap



The strong 18k yellow gold case appears to have only been gently polished in the past as it retains crisp edges and finishings with very thick and symmetrical lugs. The 18k yellow gold fluted bezel has been lightly polished and remains in overall excellent condition. The watch will come supplied on a 2pc handmade leather strap with a gold-toned buckle.


The one-of-a-kind and extraordinary "Lizard King" dial has achieved one of the most unique and beautiful tropical patinas we have witnessed on a Day-Date. Amplified by the rich and contrasting brown and gold tones, the blue and grey "scales" create an organic and almost reptilian appearance that is consistent throughout the dial. Some of the original gold printed text around the dial is missing, though it is not very noticeable due to the way the dial has aged. The yellow gold tritium hands have a lovely ivory coloration that accents the dial beautifully. The day wheel is in Spanish.


None. The watch was recently serviced and is keeping time within COSC spec, backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.