Watches & Jewelry

Is the Rolex Day-Date Watch Now THE Most Collectible Watch Of 2022?

A Rolex Day-Date wristwatch has always been a popular model to collect. Overshadowed by stainless dive watches and chronographs, the Day-Date is the only watch Rolex does not offer in stainless steel. The watch officially became a million dollar watch this February 9, 2022 in a Sotheby’s auction. Collectors Dashboard recognized the history and prominence and found several available at auction as well as past sales to compare trends. With a recent sale price over $1 million, is the Rolex Day-Date Watch now the most collectible watch of 2022?

Collectors Dashboard evaluates high-end collectibles as an alternative asset class. This means collectibles are attracting the same capital that could have been invested into stocks or bonds. Many collectibles now cost thousands of dollars (or much more). Collectors with a passion to own a collectible for years frequently have to compete directly against investors whose only desire is to make a profit in the future.

According to the Rolex website:

“Launched in 1956, the Day-Date made its debut as the first waterproof and self-winding chronometer wristwatch to offer a modern calendar with an instantaneous day display, spelt out in full in a window on the dial, in addition to the date.”

The original Sotheby’s million-dollar sale of the Rolex type is listed as follows:

‘Rainbow Khanjar’ Day-Date, ref. 18059 White gold and diamond and sapphire-set wristwatch Circa 1984 had an estimate of 150,000 to 250,000 GBP or $200,279.32 USD to $333,798.87 USD and sold for 983,000 GBP or $1,307,853 USD. The watch was one of 5 estimated pieces produced as special orders for Sultan Qaboos in 1984 by Ramdas.

Day-Date, Reference 6612B A platinum and diamond-set wristwatch with day, date and bracelet circa 1959 had an estimate of 200,000 to 280,000 HKD and sold for 604,800 HKD or $77,440.83 USD on December 8 2021.


As the watch enters a new phase of high-end collectible in 2022 here are some that are available right now on the auction site Invaluable.

March Madness Estate Auction:

  • Lot 45: Rolex 36mm Day Date Platinum Presidential Watch with an estimate of $50,000.00 to $80,000.00 and an opening bid of $25,000.00 with zero bids. Auction ends March 6, 2022 at 11:00 AM EST.

Montres-Watches Auction had these examples:

  • Lot 194: Rolex, Day-Date, Ref.118296, n° P19xxxx, circa 2001 with an estimate of 28,000 Euros to 32,000 Euros or $31,217.27 USD to $35,676.88 USD. Auction ends March 7, 2022 4:00 PM CET Monaco, Monaco.
  • Lot 196: Rolex, Day-Date, Réf. 1803, n° 1498xxxx, vers 1966 with an estimate of 10,000 Euros to 12,000 Euros or $11,141.86 USD to $13,370.23 USD.

Here are sales from Heritage Auctions:

  • Rolex, Very Fine President Day-Date, 18K Yellow Gold, Ref. 18038, circa 1978 sold on November 17, 2021 for $15,000.00 after 8 bids.
  • Rolex, Ref. 1803 Gold Oyster Perpetual Day-Date, Buckley Dial, circa 1977 sold on November 17, 2021 for $9,062.50 after 15 bids.
  • Heritage Auctions has one available in its June 1 Timepiece Signature Auction: Rolex, Fine 18k President Day-Date Wristwatch Ref: 18038 circa 1978 with no estimate provided.

A key understanding in the Rolex Day-Date in 2022 is the prices paid above estimates. Sotheby’s sales were well above estimates. Like other categories of collectible, the sale above $1 million dollars was a low population example.