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New Rolex Day Date Watches

Rolex Day-Date Watch: A Luxury Watch of Prestige and Power

In 1956, Rolex released the original Day-Date — the first waterproof and self-winding chronometer wristwatch that featured a modern calendar with a date display and an instantaneous day display fully spelled out on the dial. The watch boasts exceptional functionality, precision, legibility, and reliability in addition to its timeless design. It’s a watch that’s perfect for busy and important people.

The Rolex Day-Date watches come exclusively in four precious metal case materials: yellow gold, white gold, Everose (rose gold), and platinum. To further enhance their luxurious appeal, these prestigious watches also come in varying displays of precious stones. It’s a dress watch that’s truly one of a kind. Because of this, the watch has ties to many famous names and continues to gain global acclaim. Wearing this watch has become a symbol of status and prestige — a power move in the form of a watch.

Prices at a Glance: The Most Popular Rolex Day-Date Watches

ModelPrice (Approx.)SizeFeatures
Rolex Day-Date II Ref. 218398$111,400 USD41mm
  • 18K yellow gold case and bracelet
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Champagne dial
  • Diamond-set bezel
  • Day and date displays
  • 100m water resistance
  • Automatic Cal. 3156 movement
Rolex Day-Date II Ref. 218399 RBR$127,300 USD41mm
  • 18K white gold case and bracelet
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Transparent dial
  • Baguette diamond-set bezel
  • Day and date displays
  • 100m water resistance
  • Automatic movement
Rolex Day-Date 36 Ref. 18038 18238$17,460 USD36mm
  • 18K yellow gold case and bracelet
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Green dial
  • Diamond hour markers
  • 48-hour power reserve
  • Day and date displays
  • Automatic Cal. 3055 movement
Rolex Day-Date 40 Ref. 228238-0005$41,180.0040 mm
  • 18K yellow gold case and bracelet
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Champagne-colored dial
  • Diamond hour markers
  • 100m water resistance
  • 70-hour power reserve
  • Day and date functions
  • Automatic Cal. 3255 movement
Rolex Day-Date 40 Ref. 228206-0004$64,100.00 USD40 mm
  • Platinum case and bracelet
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Ice blue dial
  • Luminous silver-tone hands
  • Automatic Cal. 3255 movement
  • 100m water resistance
  • 70-hour power reserve
  • Day and date functions
Rolex Day-Date 40 Ref. 228348RBR-0002G$54,530.00 USD40 mm
  • 18K yellow gold case and bracelet
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Champagne-colored dial
  • Gem-set bezel
  • Diamond hour markers
  • 100m water resistance
  • 70-hour power reserve
  • Day and date functions
  • Automatic Cal. 3255 movement
Rolex Day-Date 40 Ref. 228235-0004G$49,750.00 USD40 mm
  • 18K rose gold case and bracelet
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Rose gold dial
  • 100m water resistance
  • 70-hour power reserve
  • Day and date function
Rolex Day-Date 36 Ref. 118238-0438G$43,210.00 USD36 mm
  • 18K yellow gold case and bracelet
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Diamond-set carousel of green jade
  • 100m water resistance
  • 48-hour power resistance
  • Day and date function
  • Cal. 3155 movement
Rolex Day-Date 40 Ref. 228239-0007$42,370.00 USD40 mm
  • 18K white gold case and bracelet
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Royal blue dial
  • Silver Roman numerals
  • 100m water resistance
  • Day and date function
  • Automatic Cal. 3255 movement
Rolex Day-Date 36 Ref. 118348-0054$52,170.00 USD36 mm
  • 18K yellow gold case and bracelet
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Green dial with diamonds along the outer rim and bezel
  • 100m water resistance
  • Day and date function
  • Automatic Cal. 3155 movement

 

How Much is a Rolex Day-Date Watch?

As expected from a luxury watch that holds such prestige and popularity, the Rolex Day-Date watch costs a pretty penny. Still, given its legendary reputation and high-quality materials, it is a worthwhile investment. After all, they’re exclusively available in precious metals (18K gold and platinum) and some models have intricate designs of real diamonds.

Prices differ for each model, with vintage models costing upwards from $2,500 USD to $10,000 USD. Because of the increased intricacy and advanced technology of the more modern models of the Rolex Day-Date, the watches require a significantly bigger investment.

Dating back to 2012, the Rolex Day-Date II Ref. 218206 exhibits a platinum case and bracelet that plays well with its ice blue dial with concentric details. The watch includes Roman numerals, a smooth bezel, and the brand’s signature Presidential bracelet. This watch costs around $59,000 USD.

The Rolex Day-Date 40 Ref. 228206-0001 model is a modern luxury watch that the brand released in 2015. It’s an iconic timepiece that features an eye-catching light blue dial with dark blue Roman numeral hour markers to improve legibility. It also has Rolex’s proprietary Cal. 3255 movement. You can get this watch for around $65,070 USD.

Another popular model produced in 2015 is the Rolex Day-Date 40 Ref. 228238-0003, showcasing an attractive 18K yellow gold case and bracelet. The champagne dial of the watch blends in well with the yellow gold and focuses your attention on the simple yet powerful details of the watch. This attention-worthy Rolex dress watch is priced at $40,500 USD.

The Rolex Day-Date Ref. 228239-0033 is a treasure from 2016. This watch has a powerful olive green dial that sits within its shiny white gold case and bracelet. One unique feature of this watch is its use of alternating indices and Roman numerals — this improves the watch’s legibility without sacrificing its clean and classy design. This watch costs around $49,770 USD.

If you’re interested in a smaller dress watch, you may want to consider the Rolex Day-Date Ref. 118138-0005. This 36mm Rolex watch has a cognac-colored dial resting on its 18K yellow gold case. It has a comfortable leather strap and a 48-hour power reserve that’s perfect for the man on the go. At $20,000 USD, this lovely watch is worth pulling out some money from the bank.

New Rolex Day-Date 2021 Models

In 2021, Rolex released a rich new array of men’s watches to add to its various iconic collections: Rolex Explorer, Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, Rolex Datejust and of course, Rolex Day-Date. The new Day-Date 36mm watches come loaded with carefully selected diamonds — 254 stones on the case, 52 on the bezel, and an astounding 450 pieces of diamond on the dial. These new Rolex Day-Date watches come in cases of yellow gold, white gold, and Everose (rose gold or pink gold).

The yellow gold Day-Date comes with a coral strap, while the white gold comes with a turquoise strap, and the Everose watch comes with a burgundy strap. Although these luxurious watches are certainly breathtaking, it should be noted that they’re only available for special orders and will not be available in stores.

The Rolex Day-Date — Is it a good investment?

Given the astounding prices that come with the luxurious Rolex Day-Date watches, you may be wondering whether or not they are worth investing in. Although some people might find the watch a bit dated, many reviews on the Internet — in addition to numerous celebrities and other people of power — agree that this watch is a must-have for any watch aficionado. This is why this luxury dress watch retains its powerful reputation as a symbol of success.

In contrast to many other watches that boast tons of features and complications, the Rolex Day-Date chronometer mostly features two complications: the day and date displays. However, unlike other features such as moon phases and countless sub-dials, the day and date displays are often the most essential and most frequently used. The day and date features provide the Rolex Day-Date with the utmost functionality without being overly complicated and confusing.

The Rolex Day-Date collection is a unique jewelry watch that’s only available in precious metals of 18K gold and platinum — that aspect alone keeps these watches in high demand. Additionally, these watches get the best Rolex treatment with their precision and reliability. Even when you’ve had them for years, Rolex Day-Date watches remain worth your time and money.

Rolex Day-Date 36mm and Rolex Day-Date 40mm: What’s the Difference?

Rolex Day-Date watches typically come in 36mm and 40mm case sizes. Apart from the case sizes, the models mostly have the same reliable specs that the watches are famous for. The Rolex Day-Date 36 models, such as the Rolex Day-Date 36 Ref. 118238-0116, have case sizes of 36mm and evoke a more classic look to them. 

On the other hand, the Rolex Day-Date 40 models have 40mm cases that provide a larger display and a more sporty appearance. Debuted in 2015, these timepieces provide a more modern look to the classic Day-Date watches. 

What is a Rolex Day-Date II?

For fans of bigger watches, there are also Rolex Day-Date II models that are slightly larger than the Rolex Day-Date 40 models. These watches debuted in 2008 and feature 41mm cases that enhance the display of the original Day-Date models. 

The Day-Date II models provide a contemporary twist on the original models — alternating indexes and bold Roman numerals, a magnified display, improved precision, and more innovative styles. However, their form and function do not stray too far from the design that made Rolex Day-Date watches so popular. They still have the distinct date display and the day of the week spelled out in an arc at the 12 o’clock mark. 

Coveting Vintage Rolex Day-Date Models

If you’re on the hunt for vintage Rolex watches, vintage Day-Date timepieces are staples for collectors and enthusiasts alike. Ever since their production, these luxury watches have always been ahead of their time and still hold significant value even as Rolex releases newer watches. There are numerous vintage Rolex Day-Date watches available in the market due to the product’s long and rich history.

One of the most popular vintage Rolex Day-Date models is the Day-Date 36 Ref. 1803, which the brand produced from the 1960s to the 1970s. The 1803 has an acrylic crystal, in contrast to the more modern models that sport synthetic scratch-resistant sapphire crystals. It has a unique “pie pan” dial, an aspect absent in more modern models. This vintage Rolex watch currently costs around $8,790 USD to $9,400 USD.

History Behind the Rolex Day-Date

The Rolex President watches have been around since 1956, with the first models being the Ref. 6510 and Ref. 6511. Like the more modern models, these Day-Date watches were exclusively available in a variety of precious metals. Rolex then improved the movements of these iconic watches and released the Day-Date 18xx series in 1959, including the famous Day-Date 1803 collection. Early models of these watches had a Cal. 1555 movement, and in the mid-1960s, Rolex improved them to the Cal. 1556 automatic movement.

In 1977, the Cal. 3055 movement began to power the new President watches. In addition to having a frequency of 28,800 beats per hour, the Cal. 3055 also allowed users to change the date independently of the center hands. That year, Rolex also produced the Day-Date Oysterquartz watches that had the in-house Rolex Cal. 5055 quartz movement. These watches had President bracelets with an integrated style, as well as a distinct angular shape that was unique at the time.

Rolex presented big innovations on the Day-Date’s movements yet again in 1988. This year was the debut of the Cal. 3155 movement which allowed users to change both the day and date displays independently of the center hands. 

In 2008, Rolex presented the Day-Date II which remained in production until 2015. The Rolex Day-Date 40 replaced the Day-Date II and showcased more modern looks with their attractive 40-mm cases. They also run on a Cal. 3255 movement, ensuring outstanding accuracy.

Five Reasons to Buy a Rolex Day-Date Watch

  1. 1. Rolex Day-Date watches are a symbol of prestige — only available in precious metals (18K gold or platinum).
  2. 2. They boast a long history and ties with the famous and powerful.
  3. 3. These watches are remarkably accurate and run on the Rolex in-house Cal. 3255 movement.
  4. 4. They boast a 70-hour power reserve.
  5. 5. Their day and date displays are distinct and provide unparalleled functionality.

Famous People and Their Rolex Day-Date Watches

Rolex Day-Date watches have been iconic since their production, and they’ve graced the wrists of numerous famous personalities.

President Lyndon B. Johnson

Perhaps the name that’s most popularly associated with the Rolex Day-Date watches is Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States. He wasn’t the first president to sport this luxurious watch, but he wore his Day-Date watches so often that the Day-Date came to have the reputation of being the timepiece of presidents and other world leaders. Lyndon B. Johnson famously wrote that he often would feel “less-dressed” without his Day-Date watch. The former US President also gifted Rolex Day-Date watches to his circle and, in one instance, he reportedly gave an 18K gold watch to his cardiologist later in his life.

Michael Jordan

Famous basketball player Michael Jordan also has a number of Rolex pieces in his collection, including multiple Day-Date watches. One of those watches is the Rolex Day-Date Ref. 118296, an elegant platinum diamond model. This 36mm model sports diamond pieces in its hour markers. The monochrome color, although providing a more subdued appearance to the watch, gives a clean and stylish look that’s easy on the eyes.

Dalai Lama

The 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, is known for sporting rare and valuable timepieces throughout his life. He even tinkers with their mechanical pieces and makes repairs occasionally. His Rolex Day-Date is an 18K yellow gold watch with a lapis lazuli dial — a gift that was given to him many years ago.

Many more famous and powerful personalities such as Rihanna, Victoria Beckham, Bruno Mars, Drake, and Aziz Ansari also wore (and continue to wear) the iconic Day-Date watches. It’s clear to see that the Rolex Day-Date is a watch of great renown.

Final Thoughts: Purchasing a Rolex Day-Date

Among all the Rolex watches in the brand’s arsenal, the Rolex Day-Date remains among their most iconic and recognizable timepieces. These luxurious watches are powerful symbols of success, and they certainly still earn praise and admiration throughout the decades. Whether it’s politicians, celebrities, or esteemed watch connoisseurs, most can agree that these historical timepieces are worthy investments.

Editor's Choice

Eric Adams
Associate Editor
Rolex Day Date Watches

There really are not many watches like the Rolex Day Date around. Since its inception in 1956, this most prestigious of watches has become something of a legend among watch enthusiasts and even the general public. Due in part to the Day Date’s popularity among presidents, particularly US presidents, the watch has gained near mythical status in recent decades and continues to be seen as a byword for luxury, wealth and, yes, power.

An elegant watch without too many frills, the Day Date is only available crafted from 18ct gold or platinum, which goes some way to explaining the particular prestige this watch holds. The Day Date was the first chronometer to show the full day of the week and of the month in individual dials, something which ensures the watch continues to stand out today. Aside from its obvious beauty, the Day Date carries with it a special kind of aura due to the fact that this watch has been the choice for so many of the globe’s most esteemed celebrities, politicians, sportspeople and more. Indeed, this super accurate wrist piece is the ideal choice for elites with its blend of opulence, elegance and practicality. As much as the Rolex Day Date is a symbol of the wearer’s success and prestige, it represents everything that Rolex as a brand has long striven to be: elite, alluring and powerful.

By the time the Day Date was released, Rolex was already a highly esteemed name in the watchmaking world. In fact, the brand had realised many watchmaking firsts, such as the very first waterproof wristwatch - the Oyster - way back in 1926. Then in 1931 came the watchmaking world’s very first self-winding wristwatch, the Perpetual, which used a groundbreaking technology that would go on to be used by the entire industry.

And yet, for all of this pomp and prestige, the release of the Day Date in the mid 1950’s continues to be seen as the brand’s defining hour. It is known that the brand’s founder, Hans Wilsdorf, who created the Day Date as his final flagship piece, considered it to be his finest achievement as a watchmaker. This was mostly due, in part, to the fact that the Day Date was the first watch of its kind to implement an instantaneous jump calendar system. By showcasing a window in which the day of the week could be displayed in full in any one of 26 languages, Wilsdorf had created the globe’s first luxury, self-winding chronograph of truly international status.

Whilst the inclusion of the day of the week window at the apex of the face was a truly innovative feature of the Day Date, the watch is endowed with a range of further revolutionary features. The date aperture, for example, is enlarged via the use of a cyclops lens, which was another Rolex innovation that was pioneering at the time of release and indeed, which has become standard for many watches to this day. Furthermore, the exclusive use of precious metals in producing the Day Date casing and bracelet - either 950 platinum or 18ct yellow, white or Everose gold - only served to deepen the mythical status that surrounds this most prestigious of wristwatches.

Having experienced innumerable updates and improvements since its release in 1956, the Day Date continues to be one of, if not the most prestigious watch in the Rolex arsenal. Today’s iteration of the watch - the Day Date 40 - is more elegant and refined than ever, with the brand having mastered the iconic semi-circular presidential bracelet to appear more seamlessly constructed than ever before. Featuring Rolex’s patented 3255 movement, the item benefits from some of the most accurate technologies around. This innovative self winding movement represents significant leaps forward for both Rolex and watchmaking as a whole with its attention to precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetism and its ease of use and reliability levels.

Undoubtedly, the Rolex Day Date is one of the most iconic watches of all time. As the choice of presidents and many more of the globe’s most successful and powerful people, this elegant wristwatch continues to set standards across the industry. Crafted exclusively from precious metals, the Day Date is a truly high end luxury watch whose complex internal movement is a triumph of modern micro-engineering.

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