Since 1956 Rolex has been producing the Day-Date watch as their flagship men’s model. The most recent version of the Day-Date (also commonly referred to as the “Rolex President”) is the Rolex Day-Date 40 reference 22823X series that includes the 18ct yellow gold reference 228238, the 18ct Everose gold reference 228235, the 18ct white gold reference 228239, and the smooth bezel 950 platinum reference 228206. This aBlogtoWatch review is of the 18ct white gold Rolex Day-Date 40 reference 228239BLRP with the blue colored dial. In addition to the four precious metal case materials, Rolex offers a compelling range of dial color and style options, as well as versions of the Day-Date 40 with varying levels of precious stone decoration.
Early on in my career reviewing watches, I always found the Rolex President to be a challenging watch to categorize. That is because the Day-Date does not fit into any of the traditional categories of watches that we tend to think of. It isn’t simple and basic enough to be a traditional dress watch, it isn’t built for specific physical activities even though it has the resistance of many sport watches, and its design isn’t inspired by any specific items that might put it in the category of an art or “design” watch. Despite its iconic status and massive global popularity, what exactly is the Rolex Day-Date President?
I’ve come up with a two-part answer to that question and it is that the Rolex Day-Date is both the quintessential men’s jewelry watch, and the quintessential masculine gold watch. Each part of the Rolex President theme is about combining core horological utility with a status-communicating showiness that isn’t meant to be particularly brash or assertive. Rolex seemed to hit on a design that said “look at me” without saying “look too closely.” The outcome is a product that clearly says “I have money and at least recognize good taste, but I’m also concerned about long-term value and functionality.”
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