Our Most Popular Models
The Presidential Watch: The Rolex Day-Date
The Rolex Day-Date is synonymous with luxury, prestige, and power. Also known as the "President Watch," it displays the date and the day written out in full. It is only available in gold or platinum, making it a fantastic investment.
The Watch of Heads of State and CEOs
Rolex released the original Oyster Perpetual Day-Date in 1956. It was the first wristwatch to ever feature both the date as well as the unabbreviated day of the week on its dial, thus underscoring the Genevan company's role as an innovator in the industry. Furthermore, Rolex released this model alongside the then-new "President" bracelet. This bracelet combines the Oyster bracelet's three-piece link look with the hemispherical-shaped links made famous by the Datejust and its Jubilee bracelet.
The Datejust debuted seven years before the Day-Date, and the two models are strikingly similar. Both have an Oyster case, a narrow fluted bezel, a simple dial, and a Cyclops lens above the date display at 3 o'clock. However, thanks to its day display at 12 o'clock and President bracelet, there's no mistaking the Day-Date for its closely-related cousin. Another difference is the range of materials, as the Day-Date is only available in precious metals like platinum and yellow, white, or rose gold.
The Rolex Day-Date has appeared in all sorts of configurations over the years. From different dial colors and designs and varying case sizes to models with or without diamonds, there's something for everyone. Watches with a 36-mm case leave an especially classic impression, while the 40-mm editions exude a somewhat sportier feel.
No matter which Day-Date you choose, you will be in good company. This model has long enjoyed widespread popularity among politicians, CEOs, and celebrities. President Lyndon B. Johnson was one of the first to don the Day-Date. Today, you'll find this timepiece on the wrists of Warren Buffett, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Aniston, and Jay-Z.
5 Reasons to Buy a Rolex Day-Date
- Available exclusively in 18-karat gold or platinum
- Date display and date written out in full
- Exclusive three-piece link President bracelet
- In-house caliber 3255 with a 70-hour power reserve
- A prestigious timepiece with the potential to appreciate in value
Prices at a Glance: Rolex Day-Date
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Features|
|228396TBR||110,000 USD||40 mm, platinum case, diamond bezel, caliber 3255|
|128345RBR||61,000 USD||36 mm; rose gold case; diamonds on the dial, bezel, and bracelet; sapphire indices; caliber 3255|
|218206||57,500 USD||41 mm, platinum case, polished bezel, caliber 3156|
|118206||49,500 USD||36 mm, platinum case, polished bezel, caliber 3155|
|228238||33,500 USD||40 mm, yellow gold case, fluted bezel, caliber 3255|
|218239||31,500 USD||41 mm, white gold case, fluted bezel, caliber 3156|
|18078||16,500 USD||36 mm, yellow gold case, "bark" bezel, diamond indices, caliber 3055|
|6612||10,500 USD||36 mm, yellow gold case, fluted bezel, caliber 1055|
How much does a Rolex Day-Date cost?
Prices for a Rolex Day-Date largely depend on the particular model. For example, you can purchase a vintage watch from the 1970s for as little as 9,400 USD. Well-maintained timepieces from the 1950s and 60s demand about 10,500 USD and upwards. If you're looking for an Oysterquartz Day-Date or a Day-Date Bark from the late 70s and early 80s, be prepared to spend some 2,500 to 4,000 USD more.
Models from the current collection require a significantly larger investment, with prices ranging from 31,500 USD for a 36-mm yellow gold watch to over 65,000 USD for 40-mm platinum timepieces.
The Day-Date 36 in Detail
Like the original from 1956, the most classic-looking Day-Dates have always come with a 36-mm case. In fact, the models released in 2019 look nearly identical to their predecessors except for their use of the state-of-the-art in-house caliber 3255. This certified Superlative Chronometer movement boasts a maximum daily deviation of only two seconds and Rolex's proprietary Chronergy escapement, which provides the watch with its 70-hour power reserve. Another interesting feature of this high-precision movement is its blue Parachrom hairspring made of a niobium-zirconium alloy. This material is resistant to both fluctuating temperatures and magnetic fields. Furthermore, Rolex's Paraflex anti-shock system protects the movement from the effects of heavy impacts.
If you'd like a modern watch with the classic Day-Date design, you should take a closer look at the Day-Date 36 ref. 128238. It comes with a yellow gold case and a fluted bezel. Like the rest of the collection, this model is available in a wide range of options. There's everything from simple versions with golden sunburst dials and stick indices to luxurious watches with diamond-studded bezels and colorful sapphire indices. Prices for more modest timepieces begin around 29,500 USD, while colorful, gemstone-encrusted editions sell for between 58,000 and 68,000 USD.
Other popular variants of the ref. 128238 feature so-called "ombré dials" that go from light in the middle to dark around the edges. They also use diamond indices to mark the hours. Color options include green and chocolate brown. Plan to spend roughly 41,000 USD on one of these timepieces.
In addition to yellow gold, Rolex also offers a wide variety of white and rose gold Day-Date 36 models. One example is the white gold ref. 128239 with a blue ombré dial. This watch typically costs around 36,500 USD. If you prefer rose gold, you should check out the ref. 128345RBR. It has a mother-of-pearl dial and diamond indices. Precious gems also adorn its bezel and the middle links of its Oyster bracelet. This exquisite timepiece changes hands for around 61,000 USD.
The Day-Date 36 With the Caliber 3155
Rolex equipped the Day-Date 36 with the caliber 3155 until 2019. This movement debuted in 1988 and, like all Rolex calibers, comes with chronometer certification from the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (Contrôle officiel suisse des chronomètres, or COSC). It also has a 48-hour power reserve and a double quickset function that enables you to set the day and date independently from the time.
The selection of different Day-Date 36 models with the caliber 3155 is even larger than that of watches with the modern caliber 3255. This is mostly due to the fact that Rolex formerly produced versions with polished bezels in addition to the familiar editions with fluted or diamond-studded bezels. What's more, you can also choose from watches on an Oyster bracelet or leather strap.
Two perfect examples of this are the refs. 118135 and 118205. Both are made of Rolex's proprietary rose gold alloy, known as Everose gold, and feature a chocolate brown dial. However, while the 118135 has a fluted bezel and black crocodile leather strap, the 118205 comes with a polished bezel and 18-karat Everose gold Oyster bracelet. Prices for these models range from 20,000 to 35,500 USD.
You can save a few thousand dollars by purchasing the similar ref. 18238 from the late 1980s or 1990s. This watch can cost as little as 16,500 USD.
The Day-Date 36 Bark
Rolex produced so-called "Bark" versions of the Day-Date 36 from the early 1970s to the late 1990s. These models stand out thanks to the texture of their bezels and middle links, which are finished to resemble tree bark. Most "Bark" watches are yellow gold, and select timepieces also boast bold dials designed to mimic wood grain.
Older references like the 1807 get their power from the caliber 1556 and sell on Chrono24 for about 8,000 USD in good condition. The 1980s saw the release of models like the ref. 18078, which has diamond indices and uses the caliber 3055. You can call one of these watches your own for around 16,500 USD. Watches powered by the caliber 3155, such as the ref. 18248, demand roughly 13,500 USD.
Vintage Day-Date Watches
Due to its long history, there are many vintage Day-Date models on the market. Collectors and Rolex enthusiasts are particularly interested in watches from the 1950s and 60s. These timepieces house the caliber 1055. One such watch is the yellow gold ref. 6611B with a black bezel and diamond indices. It is worn on a crocodile leather strap and costs around 13,500 USD in good condition. Another popular option is the ref. 6612. This yellow gold timepiece comes with a polished bezel and silver dial with stick indices. You can purchase this edition on a yellow gold President bracelet for about 10,500 USD.
Models from the 1970s sell for similar prices on Chrono24. For example, the yellow gold ref. 1803 changes hands for roughly 9,400 USD. The caliber 1556 ticks away inside its case and, unlike the previous caliber, features a stop-seconds mechanism and quickset date function. This movement also appears in the ref. 18108, another yellow gold watch. The 18108 has a black dial with Roman numerals, which is protected by sapphire crystal. It requires an investment of around 11,500 USD.
The quartz crisis of the 1970s and 80s prompted Rolex to produce quartz-powered Day-Dates in 1977. You can easily recognize these models, including the white gold ref. 19019, thanks to their more angular cases and the word "Oysterquartz" inscribed on their dials. These watches are fairly rare and popular among collectors. You can find well-maintained examples on Chrono24 for about 14,000 USD.
Larger Day-Date Watches
Calls for a larger, more contemporary Day-Date were growing ever louder after the turn of the millennium. Rolex eventually responded in 2008 by releasing the Day-Date II. At 41 mm, this newer model is 5 mm wider than the Day-Date 36. In addition to a larger size, the Day-Date II came with a new caliber: the 3156. This movement features a blue Parachrom hairspring and Rolex's Paraflex anti-shock system and is, thus, protected against magnetic fields, fluctuating temperatures, and heavy impacts. The white gold Day-Date II ref. 218239 can be yours for around 31,500 USD.
In 2015, Rolex replaced the Day-Date II with the Day-Date 40. As its name implies, this version is only 40 mm in diameter. The manufacturer outfits this watch with the caliber 3255, which has a 70-hour power reserve.
The ref. 228238 comes in 18-karat yellow gold and costs about 35,500 USD new. Pre-owned pieces demand slightly less at 33,500 USD. Fans of colorful watches should take a closer look at the ref. 228235. This Day-Date 40 pairs a rose gold case with an olive green sunburst dial and Roman numerals. While rare as a used watch, never-worn versions sell for approximately 39,000 USD. The Day-Date collection's true highlights are the models crafted from 950 platinum, a precious metal even rarer than gold. The reference number 228396TBR is especially striking thanks to its icy blue dial, diamond indices, and diamond-studded bezel. This platinum Rolex Day-Date 40 costs around 108,000 USD in mint condition and 94,500 USD pre-owned.
Forward-Looking Manufacturing Techniques
The first Day-Date bears the reference number 6511 and is powered by the automatic caliber 1030. A disc with the days of the week rotates above the date ring. The full name of the day appears in an arched window above the Rolex logo at 12 o'clock. Furthermore, the date window at 3 o'clock sits below a Cyclops lens. Today, you can choose from 25 different languages for the Day-Date's day display.
The caliber 1055 powers the ref. 6611 from 1957. This movement features an optimized date mechanism. In the earliest versions of the Day-Date, the date feature had a negative impact on the watch's overall accuracy. This problem was solved with the new generation of calibers.
More improvements followed in the 1970s. Starting in 1972, some watches were available with the caliber 1556. This movement has a stop-seconds mechanism, which enables wearers to set the time to the exact second. Toward the end of the 70s, Rolex introduced the quickset date feature – a highly practical function for the Day-Date. The wearer can pull the crown out halfway to quickly set the date and day displays without stopping or changing the time.
State-of-the-Art Technology: The Caliber 3255
Rolex has used their in-house caliber 3255 in the Day-Date since 2015. This movement is protected by 14 patents. The manufacturer's engineers reworked and optimized more than 90% of the caliber's components. For example, they shrunk the barrel's thickness by 50%, thus making room for a higher-capacity spring.
Thanks to Rolex's highly efficient Chronergy escapement, the movement has an impressive power reserve of 70 hours. This means you can set the watch aside over the weekend and it will still be ticking come Monday morning. The Chronergy escapement is made of a nickel-phosphorus alloy and improves upon the conventional Swiss anchor escapement. Thanks to this material, the movement is not affected by magnetic fields. The manufacturer also claims that this escapement makes the watch 15% more efficient.
At the core of the movement is the classic Rolex blue Parachrom hairspring, which ticks at 28,800 vibrations per hour. It is made from a niobium-zirconium alloy and, like the escapement, is resistant to the effects of magnetic fields. According to the manufacturer, it is also up to ten times more precise than other movements when subjected to jolts. Furthermore, the balance spring's final coil is raised and oval-shaped. This detail is known as the "Breguet overcoil" and helps improve the movement's accuracy.
Microstella nuts on the inner side of the balance wheel enable watchmakers to regulate the movement. Every Rolex caliber comes with certification from the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). The caliber 3255 also undergoes internal testing that subjects it to more realistic conditions. The manufacturer claims that this process' criteria are twice as strict as those of the official testing authorities.
- 70-hour power reserve
- Chronergy Escapement made of an anti-magnetic nickel-phosphorus alloy
- High-precision blue Parachrom hairspring
- Paraflex shock protection