Few timepieces enjoy the prestige, recognition, and desirability of the Rolex President watch. In fact, for the past six decades, the Day-Date President has remained as Rolex’s signature status watch.
While this famous Rolex timepiece is instantly recognizable, the brand has managed to offer some fantastic variations to suit a range of tastes. Join us as we explore four ways to wear a Rolex President watch.
The Signature Details of the Rolex President Watch
But first, let’s get some context by investigating the signature design details of the Rolex President.
When the Day-Date came out in 1956, it was the first watch that included both the day of the week written in full, as well as the date on the dial. The pair of windows displaying the day at 12 o’clock and day at 3 o’clock is where the Day-Date gets its name from. However, the Day-Date is more commonly known as the Rolex President thanks in part to its iconic bracelet. But, it’s the fact that the Day-Date has always been the go-to watch for presidents, world leaders, and captains of industry that has really cemented its popular nickname.
Almost as famous as the watch itself, the President bracelet features semi-circular three-piece links. And as part of Rolex’s most prestigious dress watch, the President bracelet is exclusively available in precious metals including platinum and gold. There are, of course, diamond bracelet choices too. More recently, Rolex has included other types of bracelets to the Day-Date collection including Oyster bracelets and leather straps.
The gold Day-Date watches typically don Rolex’s characteristic fluted bezel while the platinum models include a smooth one. However, just like the bracelets, there are diamond bezel choices as well. Dial variations are abundant, with a slew of materials, colors, gem, index, and pattern options. Like the majority of Rolex date watches, the Day-Date’s window at 3 o’clock is magnified via the Cyclops lens.
Day-Date 36 Rolex President Watch
The first and most traditional type of men’s Rolex President is the one with a 36mm Oyster case. This elegant size is the classic way to sport the Rolex Day-Date. As a matter of fact, the 36mm case size was the only choice for a men’s Day-Date until quite recently.
A stunning example of the classic Rolex President watch is the Day-Date ref. 18239. Crafted almost entirely in 18k white gold, the Rolex ref. 18239 is an elegant and understated way to wear the President watch due to the subtle look of this precious metal.
Although the Day-Date ref. 18239 is an older model, first having made its appearance in the late 1980s, it does come equipped with the double quickset date function. What this means is that both the date and day calendar windows are set independent from the center hour hands, thus are more practical. Powering the Day-Date ref. 18239 is the Rolex Cal. 3155, which operates at 28,800 beats per hour and offers about 48 hours of power reserve.
Day-Date II Rolex President Watch
After over 50 years of only being offered with only a 36mm case, Rolex finally unveiled a larger version of the President watch in 2008 with the Day-Date II. The Day-Date II was Rolex’s answer to the prevalent trend of larger men’s watches.
Sized at a generous 41mm, the Day-Date II is a much bigger way to wear the Rolex President watch compared to the original one. However, similar to the classic Day-Date 36, the Day-Date II is available in three shades of gold as well as platinum. A popular version of the Rolex President II is the Day-Date II ref. 218235 in 18k Everose gold. For the uninitiated, Everose is Rolex’s patented rose gold alloy that the company claims will never fade.
Along with the larger Oyster case of the Day-Date II, the watch also has fatter lugs and a wider bezel. The overall look is a hefty version of the Rolex President watch–perfect for the man looking for a more robust edition of Rolex’s quintessential luxury dress watch.
Day-Date 40 Rolex President Watch
Even though the Day-Date II was a highly sought-after Rolex President watch, it was discontinued in 2015 to make way for the new Day-Date 40. As its name suggests, Rolex reduced the case size of the larger President watch slightly to 40mm rather than 41mm. Moreover, the lugs slimmed down, as did the bezel.
In addition to the aesthetic changes, the new Day-Date 40 watches also boast Rolex’s newest generation movement, the Caliber 3255. Not only does the new Rolex in-house Cal. 3255 automatic mechanical movement include 14 patents, it also has an increased power reserve of 72 hours. Plus, since 2015, the Swiss watchmaker redefined their “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” designation, where Rolex watches from that year onwards now have an accuracy rating of -2/+2 seconds per day.
A top metal choice for a Rolex President watch is yellow gold. This Day-Date 40 ref. 228238 also includes a champagne dial to match its full 18k yellow gold 40mm Oyster case and President bracelet.
Oysterquartz Day-Date Rolex President Watch
Finally, one of the most unique ways to wear a Rolex President watch is the Oysterquartz. It may come as a surprise to some, but Rolex did indeed manufacture quartz watches too. Rolex introduced the Oysterquartz in 1977 after five years of research and development. The two versions of the Oysterquartz were the Datejust and the Day-Date, which were eventually discontinued in the early 2000s.
The Rolex Oysterquartz Day-Date watch shared plenty of traits with its mechanical counterpart including a 36mm case, President bracelet, and the pair of day and date windows on the dial. However, all of these components are fashioned in a different way on the Oysterquartz President. Firstly, while the case measures 36mm on paper it actually wears larger than the mechanical version due to the angular shape. Secondly, the President bracelet of the Oysterquartz Day-Date is an integrated bracelet–a signature design detail of all Oysterquartz watches. Finally, powering the duo of calendar windows and center hands on the dial is the Cal. 5055 quartz movement.
The Oysterquartz Day-Date President watches are available in either white or yellow gold. This particular Day-Date ref. 19018 is an 18k yellow gold model. Along with the characteristic angular case and integrated bracelet, there are also custom diamond adornments on the dial, bezel, and bracelet.
Which Rolex President Watch Will It Be?
Whether you decide on the classic Day-Date 36, the larger Day-Date II, the newer Day-Date 40 or the unique Oysterquartz Day-Date, all Rolex President watches are a thing of beauty. Undeniably one of Rolex’s most iconic models, the President timepiece is one that will continue to be a leader in the luxury watch space for a long time to come.