Looking Back: The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date Watch

The Rolex Day-Date is a watch of many firsts: the first watch to indicate the date in the three o’clock position, and the first to indicate the day of the week in the 12 o’clock position. Created in 1956, the Day-Date was launched in two different versions, references 6510 and 6511, both housing the real star of the show, caliber 1055.

Rolex Day-Date ref 18038 watch 2
Rolex Day-Date Ref 18038

Soon though, Rolex would substitute the original model and make even greater improvements to its caliber, by introducing caliber 1055 featuring a new balance wheel that made the movement Swiss Office of Chronometer Control (C.O.S.C) certified. Over the years, the Day-Day would become a cult watch within a brand which already boasts many icons in its collection. Between 1956 and 2000, Rolex released more than 20 different Day-Date models, featuring several calibers and even a quartz version, with calendars translated in more than 26 languages worldwide.

Rolex Day-Date ref 18038 watch
Rolex Day-Date Ref 18038.

During that time, the Day-Date became the preferred watch of many Heads of State, including Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President Of The United States, from which it gets its nickname of the president’s watch.

Phillips Watch Auction Geneva Rolex Day-Date green lacquer "Stella" dial for the Sultanate of Oman watch
Rolex Day-Date made for the Sultanate of Oman in 1978

A symbol of excellence and prestige, it’s no wonder Phillips are dedicating a special auction of rare Day-Date watches in Geneva next week. The auction house, under the guidance of Aurel Bacs, will present “Glamorous Day-Date”, a thematic sale featuring some of the rarest variations ever made, including the above special edition with green-lacquered “Stella” dial made for the Sultanate of Oman in 1978.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 Watch Baselworld 2015
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40

Meanwhile, Rolex celebrated the icon with a new release at this year’s Baselworld. The Swiss brand presented the Day-Date 40, the latest generation Oyster Perpetual Day-Date, featuring a modernized design with a 40 mm case as well as a new mechanical movement, calibre 3255, which sets a new standard for chronometric performance.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 Watch Baselworld 2015
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40

Aesthetically, the new watch celebrates the look of the original design, with refined lugs and middle case, a broad and clear dial, as well as an exclusive return to the original bracelet that was created specially for the Day-Date in 1956.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 Watch Baselworld 2015
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 Close-Up

The new Day-Date also pays homage to its original caliber, which established te Day-Day as COSC-certified. The new caliber, which presents 14 patents, offers fundamental gains in terms of precision and reliability.

Photo Credit: Haute Time. For more information, please visit the official Rolex website. You can also find out more about Rolex Day-Date in the “Rolex Day-Date“, the first publication entirely dedicated to this typology.

Luxury Watch Trends 2016 - Baselworld SIHH Watch News

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