rolex onyx dial

The Rolex Onyx dial is a minimalist watch collector’s dream. This complication is made of a rare natural stone and can only be found on a few select Rolex models.

Black onyx dials typically lack lume and indexes, keeping the design basic and monochromatic.

Read more about this stunning dial and peep a few of our favorite pieces!

History of Rolex Onyx Dials

In late 70’s through the the early 90’s Rolex featured stone and wood dials on Day dates and date just. Rolex called these the ‘natural series’. These dials were interesting with high grain and/or mineral content.

The release of these natural dials met with some pushback from Rolex buyers. Like many innovative releases, they were either loved or hated.

No two wood or stone dials are the exactly the same due to the natural, unique material’s composition. This 100% uniqueness make these dials even more valuable. Therefore, these exotic dials are becoming harder and harder to find.

The most sought after models feature the black onyx dials. Finding one in good condition is becoming increasingly more difficult. Natural stone is more prone to chipping and cracking over time.

Next, let’s take a look at a few Onyx dial examples!

Rolex Onyx Dial Examples

Rolex Onyx Dial Day Date Ref. 18238

Rolex black onyx day date 18238

This model is known as a “Double quick set Day Date” which debuted in 1988. Simply put, the feature simplified setting the day and date by rotating clockwise and counter clockwise in the secondary position.

In other words, setting the watch was quicker and easier than ever before. This feature bypasses the need to rotate the hands in 24 hour intervals to set the day and date. Far fewer double quick Day Dates with stone dials were produced compared to single quick versions.

Today’s Day Dates all feature the double quick set feature.

Rolex Onyx Day Date 18238 features:

  • Dial: Deep, black onyx stone
  • Bracelet: 18 ct gold jubilee bracelet
  • Case: 36 mm 18 ct gold with fluted bezel.
  • Caliber: 3155

Rolex DateJust 16018

Secondly, some vintage Datejusts were fitted with the black onyx dial. Rolex produced reference the Datejust 16018 in 1982. It features a few different dial varieties: one with diamond hour markers and 6 and 9, or a pure onyx version.

As with any vintage Rolex made in precious metals, the lugs are not drilled, which further makes this Datejust model stand out. These stunning and unusual vintage Datejusts will set you apart.

Rolex Datejust 16018 features:

  • Dial: deep, black onyx stone or deep black onyx stone with diamond markers at 6 and 9.
  • Bracelet: 18k yellow gold jubilee
  • Case: 36mm diameter, 18k yellow gold
  • Caliber: Automatic movement 3035

Rolex Datejust Onyx Dial Reference 16014

Rolex Onyx Dial with stainless steel case and bracelet

This model was produces around mid 1980, and is another vintage, rare find.

The contrasting metals make this model even more unique. A yellow gold outlined date window accent the yellow gold second and hour hands. Then, the dial is offset by a stainless steel case and bracelet.

  • Dial: deep, black onyx stone with yellow gold hour markers, date window framing
  • Bracelet: stainless steel
  • Case: 36mm diameter, stainless steel
  • Movement: self winding

Final Thoughts on the Rolex Onyx Dial

We can’t help but love the look of black onyx dials. They’re sleek, minimal, and elevate the wrist like no other Rolex model can.

They are minimal, yet eye catching in the same instant. Elegant, but not overtly grandeur. Basic, yet extremely attractive.

Rolex black onyx dials are increasingly hard to find. Collectors are scooping these up, and hanging on to them for extended amounts of time. They’re already highly sought after, but we expect their popularity to increase as more collectors seek these models out.

Do you have a favorite?

Are you in the market for a black onyx dial Day Date or Datejust?

Jonathan’s Fine Jewelers occasionally may come across one of these models. Schedule an appointment today to see our incredible Rolex collection along with several other fine watch brands.

Have something else in mind? Fine by us! Jonathan’s can overnight any fine watch to our showroom upon request. Take a second to stop by our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter, and check out all of our personal watches on Instagram:

Sergio Nuncio

Jay Freedman

Kiefer Nuncio

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