Discover more about the Rolex Day-Date
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The story of the Rolex President
Introduced in 1956, the Rolex Day-Date series combines classic Rolex design with a novel twist: As the name implies, it is the first wristwatch to combine the date display and the weekday advertised on the dial. In addition to the iconic date window with cyclops magnifying glass at 3 o'clock, it is also equipped with a window for the day of the week at 12 o'clock, which is available in 26 languages and is still used today as a recognition feature of the Day-Date watches. As part of the Oyster Perpetual series, it is equipped with the Rolex-typical Oyster case, which protects the movement from environmental factors such as dust and water, and is one of the brand's great innovations of excellence. Also in the material selection Rolex has set on exclusivity; The Day-Date is exclusively available in 18k gold and platinum. At the same time, the President bracelet was introduced. Provided with three rows of semicircular elements, it underlines its high-quality and elegant design. Initially, exclusively the President bracelet on Day-Date came with the famous Crown clasp, meanwhile it is sometimes seen on other Rolex watches, but this is more of an exception or the explicit request of the owner.
Over the years, the inner design of the series has been revised over and over again, but it remained true to its original appearance and thus still has a high recognition value. The first wristwatch with the reference 6511 was equipped with the caliber 1030, which led to a decline in the precision values during the date change. As early as 1957, the series with the caliber 1055 received a new movement, which gave the watch the lettering on the dial "Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified" and solved the problem. It was also one of the first series in which scratch-resistant sapphire glass replaced the previously used plastic glass in the 1970s. Shortly thereafter followed, at the end of the 1970s, the conversion to the “instant date change”-movement. Since then, day and date can be changed much faster and easier with the Quick Set complication. Visually, little has changed, the case has been minimally flattened by changing movements, its diameter has changed, but the iconic appearance of the watch has remained unchanged over the last few decades. The original model has a corrugated bezel, which kept the watch for decades. Only in 2001, various models were also presented with cambered bezel.
The latest generation of the Day-Date was presented at Baselworld 2015: Its case has a diameter of 40 mm and is equipped with the new 3255 caliber. The watch is available with a number of special dials, which were made exclusively in elaborate laser technology for the Day-Date 40. In 2016, another model in Everose with green dial and green alligator leather strap was added. Incidentally, the Rolex Day-Date is equally popular with male and female audiences alike. Slender wrists are advised to choose the smaller Day-Date 36.
The presidential watch - the Rolex Day-Date and great personalities of history
Whether the watch has its nickname thank to its President Bracelet, or if the name is more a result of the preference of high-level U.S. Politician for the series emerges, is unclear. What is certain, however, was that it was equally popular with presidents and influential men of history. With a Rolex Day-Date on your wrist you are in good company! Its fans include greats such as Warren Buffett, Pope John Paul II and the Dalai Lama. Fidel Castro wore a combination of Day-Date and Submariner in the famous photographs with the two watches on his left arm. Also U.S. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy were known to have Day-Dates. For the latter, the legend that he should have received his model from Marilyn Monroe for the 45th birthday, engraved with the engraving "Jack, with love as always from Marilyn, May 29th, 1962.". He said to have given the watch to an employee to protect his reputation. A copy with just this engraving was auctioned in 2005 for $ 120,000. However, there are no official confirmations for the story, and there are many doubts as to whether this is a well-staged fake.
In Hollywood, the Day-Date has already made some appearances: In Rain Man (1988) can be seen a golden model on the wrist of Tom Cruise. Also in Goodfellas (1990) is one of the iconic Rolex watches to see. Director of the film was Martin Scorsese, also a self-confessed Day-Date lover, who co-wrote the cinema world with films like The Color of Money (1986), Gangs of New York (2002) and The Departed (2006).
Interesting models of the Day-Date at a glance
The Day-Date is available in different variants, which are distinguished by material, bezel and additional ornaments. As before, the Day-Date is only available in various precious metal variants, some with precious stones and diamonds or elaborate dials.
- Rolex Day-Date 1803 is the epitome of the series: President bracelet and case are made of yellow gold, its dial held in champagne, and provided with Roman numerals in addition to the golden stick indexes.
- The Rolex Day-Date 18038 is one of the classic models in the series. Case and President bracelet are made of yellow gold, the grooved bezel is also golden and provided with Roman numerals next to the prominent Strichindizes.
- The Rolex Day-Date 118238 is an exclusive model whose 36 mm case and President bracelet are made of yellow gold. The watch is fitted with caliber 3155 and features a grooved bezel and precious Roman numerals in gold.
- The Rolex Day-Date 118235 is an Everose model with a brown dial. It has a rose gold riffing bezel, Roman numerals and stick indices on the dial.
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