Relative to the long history of horology, stone dials are relatively new to watches, gaining prominence around the 1950s. Machining hardstones such as lapis lazuli, malachite, tiger’s eye, onyx, obsidian, jasper, agate, and others, is challenging given their varying hardness, brittleness, and durability. However, despite the difficulties, making stone dials are worth it for some watchmakers as the resulting effect can be striking. Rolex is one such brand with a history of making stone dials, going back to at least the 1970s.
Rolex Watches with Stone Dials
Aside from its iconic watch models, excellent craftsmanship, and robust movements, Rolex is also known for its mastery of making dials made from exotic materials. For example, Rolex watches with stone dials are popular thanks to their superb style and rarity. It’s estimated that Rolex has made exotic dials made from at least two dozen semi-precious stones, spread across various models such as the Day-Date, Datejust, Pearlmaster, and Daytona.
One of the appeals of owning a hard stone dial watch is that no two dials are exactly the same – every stone made by Mother Nature is different, so every dial cut from these materials will, of course, be different.
Here’s a list of some of our favorite Rolex watches with stone dials, ranging from classic dress timepieces to casual everyday watches to sporty chronographs.
Rolex Day-Date Masterpiece 18946 with Meteorite Dial
Some of the most beloved stone Rolex watches are those with meteorite dials, which feature patterns that were formed in a cooled-down asteroid millions of years ago. Rolex was one of the first (if not, the first) watchmakers to use meteorite as a dial material. And as with anything Rolex does, the slices of meteorite selected for its watches must adhere to a stringent set of parameters, which make way for incredible-looking watches.
One example is the Rolex Day-Date Masterpiece ref. 18946, crafted in platinum. Inside the 39mm platinum case is a meteorite dial with the characteristic crystallized iron and nickel composite ribbons running through it. This unique space rock dial is home to the two signature calendar windows – day at 12 and date at 3 – and like all Rolex Masterpiece watches, this version of the Day-Date is paired with a Pearlmaster bracelet, also fashioned from platinum. Finally, adding to the luxuriousness of the watch are the diamond-set bezel and duo of diamond hour markers on the meteorite dial.
Rolex Day-Date President 128235 with Eisenkiesel Dial
Eisenkiesel, which is a quartz stone that comes in a variety of shades, is German for “iron pebble.” Eisenkiesel is one of the newest stone dials found in the Rolex catalog, having debuted in 2021 in the Day-Date collection.
Rolex pairs the Everose gold Day-Date ref. 128235 with a brown-toned eisenkiesel dial, enhanced with reddish-tinted veins running through it. The brown and red tones of the exotic dial complement the warm pinkish hue of the 36mm Everose gold case and matching Everose gold President bracelet. The dial is further beautified with diamond-set Roman numerals that sit alongside the namesake day and date apertures.
Rolex Day-Date President 18238 with Onyx Dial
Onyx, prized for its deep, rich black hue, has long been a favorite material for Rolex stone dials. Take for example this neo-vintage yellow gold Day-Date ref. 18238 (a reference that was in production from 1988 until 2000) fitted with an onyx dial.
Yellow gold and black is a classic combination, and it’s clear to see why with this particular Day-Date example. To give the alluring onyx dial as much space to shine as possible, Rolex opted not to include any hour markers at all. Instead, you get an expansive black background, punctuated with the day and date calendar windows, yellow gold hour, minute, and seconds hands at the center, and the world-famous Rolex coronet just below 12 o’clock.
Rolex Day-Date President 18238 with Ferrite Dial
This is another example of the same Day-Date 18238 reference, yet it’s coupled with another exotic dial, this time made of ferrite. Ferrite is an iron compound with a delightful textured black and blue-grey finish, which contrasts beautifully with the yellow gold 36mm case, yellow gold fluted bezel, and yellow gold President bracelet of the Day-Date watch.
On that naturally rough striped dial sits yellow gold Roman numerals, in addition to the customary yellow gold-framed day and date displays. The polarity of the cool gray and black tones of the dial with the warmth of the yellow gold metal comes together beautifully on this Rolex watch.
Rolex Pearlmaster 69318 with Lapis Lazuli Dial
Lapis lazuli is yet another semi-precious stone that has been a part of the Rolex catalog for decades. Beloved for its rich blue color sprinkled with streaks of gold, lapis lazuli has been coveted since antiquity. While you’ll find lapis lazuli dials across several Rolex models, one of our top picks is found inside the Pearlmaster ref. 69318.
The now-discontinued Pearlmaster collection was Rolex’s line of women’s jewelry watches, characterized by Pearlmaster bracelets that featured curvy links in a five-piece configuration. Pearlmaster watches are exclusively available in precious metals such as gold and platinum and almost always set with diamonds. This Rolex Pearlmaster with a lapis lazuli dial includes a 29mm yellow gold case and a yellow gold bracelet. Its bezel is embellished with a dozen diamonds, which stand in for the hour markers since the stunning blue stone dial is void of any.
Rolex Lady-Datejust 6917 with Tiger’s Eye Dial
Tiger’s eye is yet another Rolex classic when it comes to exotic stone dials. With its handsome brown striped pattern and silky luster, tiger’s eye is a natural choice for yellow gold timepieces – such as this vintage Rolex Lady-Datejust ref. 6917.
This Lady-Datejust includes a petite 26mm yellow gold case, complete with a fluted yellow gold bezel on top of it and a yellow gold President bracelet attached to it. As with many vintage Rolex watches with stone dials, this Lady-Datejust doesn’t include any hour markers to not obstruct the natural beauty of the tiger’s eye dial.
Rolex Datejust 16234 with Sodalite Dial
Sodalite is yet another stone that’s cherished for its blue tone, which can range from light powdery hues to darker richer shades. What sets sodium-rich sodalite apart from other blue hardstones is its white streaks and black inclusions, which add texture and depth to the stone’s finish.
Rolex has used sodalite to make dials in the past, including this neo-vintage Datejust ref. 16234 – a reference manufactured from about 1988 to the early 2000s. The watch includes a stainless steel 36mm case, white gold fluted bezel, and stainless steel Jubilee bracelet, all of which are the ideal companions to the textured blue sodalite dial. Plus, there are the diamond hour markers, which add a touch of sparkle to this already head-turning Rolex stone watch dial.
Rolex Daytona 16519 with Sodalite Dial
Rolex does just reserve stone dials for its dressier watches – the sporty Daytona chronograph also benefits from these exotic materials. Here we have a neo-vintage white gold Daytona ref. 16519 “Zenith” watch, furnished with a splendid sodalite dial.
The Daytona ref. 16519 is already a low-production Rolex reference, manufactured only from about 1997 to 2000. However, the addition of the sodalite dial with diamond indices is even rarer to find. Complementing the Daytona’s blue stone dial is the blue leather strap, which is, of course, equipped with a white gold deployant clasp.
Rolex Watches with Stone Dials at Gray & Sons
Charming, colorful, and collectible, it’s no wonder that Rolex watches with stone dials are a favorite among watch enthusiasts.
From meteorite dials made from rocks that fell to Earth from space to alluring stones that have fascinated us for millennia found right here on our planet, dials crafted from these special stones exemplify the lengths that high-end watchmakers will go to create the most aesthetically spectacular timepieces possible.
Gray & Sons is proud to offer a wide selection of pre-owned Rolex watches with stone dials, including meteorite, onyx, lapis lazuli, sodalite, tiger’s eye, and others. If you haven’t already, browse our selection of used Rolex watches to find your perfect timepiece. Alternatively, if you have a pre-owned Rolex watch to sell, visit our sister site Sell Us Your Jewelry for the best price on the market.