Part of an exceedingly rare series made especially for His Majesty Qaboos Bin Said Al Said, Sultan of Oman, the present Rolex Day-Date reference 18078 with light green lacquer or “stella” dial is amongst the rarest and most exclusive examples of the so-called “Qaboos” Day-Dates ever offered at auction. Scholarship and the appeal of collecting these ultra-exclusive watches has increased over the past few years pushing them to the top of collectors’ wish lists worldwide. These special watches made for the Sultan of Oman usually have, as with the present watch, the “khanjar” dagger emblem of the Sultanate on the dial. This watch is one of the very few known examples with the emblem situated at 9 o’clock instead of at 6 0’clock, furthermore the emblem is also engraved and red lacquered on the back of the case and the dial itself is light green lacquered one of the rarest of the "Stella" dial colours.
Very few, probably less than five examples of this reference exist with the crowned “Khanjar” emblem on both the dial and caseback and even fewer with a “stella” dial. The present watch is perhaps unique with this configuration on a highly desirable light green dial, certainly it is the only example known publically.
Offered fresh to the market, attractive as it is rare, this watch is in an excellent state of preservation overall, the perfect untouched dial and almost unworn very crisp case and bracelet still with the original reference numbered tag.
Stability came to Oman only after the end of the Dhofar rebellion in 1976 with the help of Iranian, Jordanian and British forces. It was leading up to and during this period that Sultan Qaboos was ordering watches from Patek Philippe, Rolex and Audemars Piguet via Asprey in London who, having direct access to him, coordinated the commissions and supplied the final purchases. Naturally these special watches were personalized with Oman’s “Khanjar” emblem making them very special and highly prized gifts for those lucky enough to receive them. Prior to 1976 the “Khanjar” emblem was used without a crown above, after this date the crowned emblem, as seen on the present watch, was displayed.