Tropical 1981 Rolex Day-Date (Ref. 18038) 18K YG "Purple Haze"

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 perfect representation of this statement. There is always rigorous testing of approval for any materials used by Rolex, therefore only the finest materials are used to make Rolex watches. The beautiful tropical purple dial of this Day-Date originally came from the factory as blue but has organically changed to this beautiful purple coloration with a gold speckle. We see color changes similar to this sometimes occur in blue dials which can create beautiful and very unique dials that collectors highly desire for the one-of-a-kind nature.

Stock #
Brand Rolex
Style Day-Date
Model 18038
Serial 65XXXXX
Size Men's
Material 18K Yellow Gold
Dial Tropical 
Millimeters 36
Strap Rolex President 18k YG



The excellent 18k yellow gold case remains thick and symmetrical, showing minimal signs of previous use, and has been very gently polished in its past. The 18k yellow gold fluted bezel is in great overall condition with only subtle signs of previous use. The original Rolex 8385 President bracelet retains 23 links and displays light stretch from use.


The original and exceptional "Purple Haze" tropical dial has aged to achieve hues of deep purple with a subtle golden under glow and matching gold speckling. The tritium lume plots all remain fully intact when inspected under U.V. light and have taken on a rich golden patina. The original tritium yellow gold hands have aged slightly lighter than the dial while matching the overall aesthetic of the watch and exhibit no degradation under U.V. light inspection. The date wheel is original with open 6's and 9's and the day wheel is English.


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