Rolex has had a long-standing tradition of gifting watches to U.S. Presidents, various world leaders and influential figures. A few Presidents accepted the gesture, some opted out. Previous Presidents who have worn Rolexes during their term(s) included: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Ronald Reagan. But when was the iconic term Rolex President created?
Eisenhower was the first to wear a Rolex in office. Before entering into the presidency. He was given an 18k yellow gold DateJust in 1951, to celebrate the production of the company’s 150,000th chronometer-certified watch. It featured the jubilee bracelet and an engraved caseback with his initials. The date that he was appointed Supreme Allied Commander of Europe by NATO as well as 5 stars, since he was a 5-star general in the US Army. The bracelet clasp also bore his initials.
John F. Kennedy was the next President to briefly acquire a Rolex, but this time it was gifted by Marilyn Monroe. The caseback read: “Jack with love as always Marilyn May 29th 1962.” Controversially, Monroe gave the watch to an aide to give to Kennedy. When he was shown the watch, he told the aide to “get rid of it” so that his wife, Jacquelyn, would not see this seemingly intimate gift.
Rolex President – Oyster Perpetual Day-Date
However, it wasn’t until the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date debuted in 1956 and was gifted to Johnson while in office. The names ‘Rolex President’, ‘Rolex Presidential’, and ‘The El Presidente’ first appeared. The bracelet known as the ‘President Bracelet’ was an exclusive feature of this Day-Date. The timepiece was originally available in 18k gold but later models were released in platinum, 18k white gold and 18k pink rose.
Reagan was the last-known President to wear a Rolex while in office. He wore his DateJust on the inside of his wrist. Apparently so he could check the time without anyone noticing. Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton opted out of a gifted Rolex, but later acquired a Rolex President (Ford) and Submariner (Clinton), when they were out of office.
President-elect Donald Trump has been photographed wearing a Rolex President. Making him the first to own a Rolex President prior to entering the White House. The Donald doesn’t seem too interested in owning a prestigious watch collection because one would assume he would be the first to boast about his huuuge collection.
Check out our Rolex President selection HERE.