Since its launch at the 1956 Basel Fair, the popularity of the Day-Date has never ceased. A symbol of luxury and prestige, the model was particularly appreciated by Middle Eastern clientele, resulting in the production of these watches bearing the emblems of the various states to be given by the rulers as token of esteem.
The Day-Date reference 1831 offered here for sale is however without doubt amongst the most mystical models ever made by the celebrated house. Until to date exclusively published in 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, pp. 178 & 179, it is generally understood that an extremely small series of only eight examples of this model were produced upon special order of one of the firm's most distinguished clients. The eight watches may have differed by the colour of the dials: No. 2 from the series, illustrated in John Goldberger's tome, is fitted with a burgundy-coloured lacquered version whereas the present example, no. 4, is distinguished by the silvered brushed variant. It is interesting to note that the serial numbers of the two watches are only two digits apart: no. 2 bears 5'086'929, the present watch no. 5'086'531.
The watches were exclusively cased in platinum, the case shape resembling the design of the famous "Day-Day Oysterquartz", however featured the automatic calibre 1566. Further characteristics included a diamond-set dial and bezel and an integral bracelet never seen before on any of Rolex's sports models: consisting of rectangular links, it very much resembled the bracelet used for the celebrated "King Midas" model launched in the late 1960s. Weighing between 150 and 200 grams depending on the model, the King Midas was Rolex most expensive model at the time and considered the heaviest gold wristwatch on the market.
With the impressive overall weight of nearly 290 grams, reference 1831 certainly beats also the record of being Rolex's heaviest platinum wristwatch ever produced. As a matter of fact the bracelet is surprisingly massive and the links are thicker than any other types known from Rolex's production.
Considering that neither the "King Midas" nor the "Day-Day Oysterquartz" were ever available in platinum one can safely assume that these eight platinum reference 1831 Day-Date examples were a truly "special order", most likely made for a Middle Eastern dignitary.
The present "Day-Date" reference 1831, unquestionably one of Rolex's most exclusive designs ever made, stands furthermore out by its excellent, close to new overall condition. In today's vintage watch market such rare find represents one of the exceptionally scarce opportunities of adding a true treasure to any discerning collection.