BaselWorld 2015 was full of Rolex surprises and an updated Day-Date caught everyone off-guard. Rolex updated the prestigious Day-Date only a few years ago by releasing a 41mm case, 5 mm larger than the original sized 36mm stalwart. Buzz forward a few years where Rolex released an updated Day-Date complete with a new movement (covered here earlier), new size, and new dial designs.
Debuting in 1956, the Day-Date was the first self-winding chronometer certified wristwatch offering an instantaneous day display, spelled out in a full display window in the dial in addition to the numeric date. Known technically in Rolex catalogs as the Rolex Day-Date, it is more commonly known as the Rolex President, because more presidents and leaders and visionaries have worn the watch. Only available in 950 platinum or 18K white or yellow gold, the Rolex President is as exclusive as the office for which it is named. Rolex believes that the Rolex President is a symbol of excellence and prestige and represents the summit of Rolex’s art of watchmaking.
Further making the Day-Date stand out is the President bracelet only found on the Day-Date. Unlike other Rolexes where the Jubilee and Oyster bracelet designs are commonplace, the Day-Date has its own exclusive bracelet and clasp. The distinctive President bracelet utilizes three solid link pieces pressed together in a design similar to how current Oyster bracelet links are assembled, but in a distinctive shape and done well before utilizing solid links was commonplace among Rolex watches. Making the President bracelet look seamless is the concealed folding Crownclasp. Unlike the OysterClasp that has adjustment features and a clasp cover, the Crownclasp is almost invisible other than a simple five-pointed Rolex crown that acts as the locking and release lever.
Rolex made other changes to the updated Day-Date as well. Rolex reduced the case size by 1mm making the 40mm Day-Date in the same size category as Rolex’s professional sport watches such as the Submariner and GMT. Additionally, Rolex released six new dial designs utilizing laser-etched motifs adding a very sophistication and visual appeal to the dials. Rolex’s unique expertise in dial making make the new watch faces exclusive to the new Day-Date.
The Rolex Day-Date has always been Rolex’s pinnacle wristwatch. Although not as mechanically complicated as the Yacht-Master II or the SkyDweller, the 14 new patents inside Caliber 3255 (covered here two-weeks ago) puts the Rolex Day-Date ahead of any exclusive modern wristwatch today. Be sure to experience the Day-Date’s beauty the next time you are at Fourtané and experience the watch’s distinctiveness in person.
– Sheldon Smith