In the world of luxury watches, Rolex is renowned for its conservative approach. Yet, in the heart of the United Arab Emirates, a special chapter unfolds, revealing a side of Rolex that represents an important piece of history and evokes a strong sense of pride for every Emirati. Join us on a captivating journey through time as we uncover the story behind two Rolex Day-Dates we have in our collection and their special connection with the UAE.
A Special Bond: UAE and Rolex
Over the years, Rolex has consistently risen as a preferred brand in the Middle East, celebrated for its prestige, status, and fame. Since the UAE's inception in 1971, these exceptional watches, featuring distinctive dials crafted exclusively for the UAE, have served as more than mere tools.They have evolved into diplomatic envoys, playing a crucial role in the nation's grand gestures of appreciation. Notably, these watches, with their unique UAE dials, were not only presented as gifts to foreign authorities during special occasions and diplomatic visits but also bestowed upon those serving in the military of the UAE. This dual significance underscores the profound impact of Rolex beyond its functional utility, transcending into a symbol of diplomatic appreciation and honor.Except some very rare iterations featuring HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, HH General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Mubarak Bin Mohammed Al Nahyan signatures, the main symbol present on UAE dial is the falcon.
This unique relationship leaves a lasting impact on the entire Rolex catalog, showcasing a variety of timepieces. From the Oyster Precision ref. 6694, often given to retiring officials, to the prestigious Day-Date featuring the President's signature—reserved for top diplomats and dignitaries.
The Emblematic UAE Armed Forces Dials
Among the rarest gems in the world of UAE Dials are those sporting the emblem of the UAE Armed Forces. These watches feature the golden Eagle surrounded by two branches and seven stars, each representing an emirate of the federation. Reserved for a select few, including retiring officials and esteemed foreign representatives, these watches transcend mere timekeeping; they become symbols of collective pride.The UAE Armed Forces emblem gracefully graces various Rolex models, from steel "daily- wearers" like the Oyster Precision ref. 6694 to diverse interpretations of the Datejust, including two-tone variations. However, it's the rare golden pieces that cast an enchanting spell, such as the white dial Day-Date ref.18038, where the golden eagle pops out from the dial matching with the warmth of the gold case.
A Rare Variant: Armed Forces Logo White Dial
Let’s have a look now into a really rare piece, this Rolex Day Date ref.18038 from 1978 (click here to check it).While most Day-Dates of this kind boast champagne, silver, or brown dials, this piece is a rare variation with a pristine white one. The contrast between the white dial and the vivid colors of the UAE Armed Forces logo elevates its prominence, enhancing every small detail that makes it unique.The hour indexes, bearing a charming patina, add the sign of the passing of time to the impeccable dial, and paired with a green alligator strap, which elegantly complements both the seal on the dial and the yellow gold case, this watch becomes a real tangible piece of UAE history.
The Charming Toasted-Barley Dial
Our attention now shifts to a remarkable Rolex Day-Date ref.18038, distinguished by its captivating toasted-barley shade dial (click here to check it). This exceptional model carries historical weight, having been originally commissioned for the United Arab Emirates armed forces. The striking brown dial features the emblem of the armed forces—a majestic golden falcon, alongside the UAE flag and seven stars symbolizing the federation of seven emirates.The eagle, or falcon, carries great importance in Emirati culture due to the traditional practice of falconry. This ancient custom involves using hawks or falcons to hunt prey in the desert, representing a fundamental and cherished element of their cultural heritage.
The watch is in pristine condition, with a flawless dial where the tritium dots have slightly left their mark on the surface. It is impeccably complemented by a lavish president bracelet in yellow gold, giving it an additional touch of prestige.
A Spectrum of History and Prestige
Beyond the Day-Date references, Rolex has curated a rich assortment of customized watches for the United Arab Emirates. Small Oyster Precision, Datejust, and sports models have all etched their mark in history, bestowed upon army officers, foreign dignitaries, and State guests during special occasions. Notable mentions include the exclusive and enigmatic Daytona “Quraysh", as well as bespoke creations bearing the signature of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Crafted for the closest and most respected dignitaries, these watches exude an indescribable charm and they are extremely collectible.
Preserving History: Our Curated Collection in Dubai
We encourage enthusiasts and collectors to visit our boutique and to explore the unparalleled connection these timepieces share with the country we call home. Let our experts guide you in acquiring a piece of history—a Rolex that not only tells time but narrates a unique chapter in the story of the United Arab Emirates. It's more than a watch; it's a testament of pride and elegance.
Are you planning to buy your first vintage watch? Don't forget to read about the five rules of watch collecting here.