The name Rolex is respected around the world for many good reasons. It is synonymous with quality, expertise and achievement in all possible realms of humanity. From exploration and adventure to leisurely strolls along the world’s finest beaches, there is a suitable place to wear a Rolex. That said, we are not here today to sing the praises of the Rolex Professional.
No, in this issue we are taking the opportunity to look once again at the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36, even though we took a swing at this piece in our annual Jewellery issue. The reason we featured it there was down to the diamonds on the dial, and one very special dial execution that we found mesmerising.
While this is well and good – Rolex pays serious attention to its gem-setting, with an entire facility for this express purpose — we may have unintentionally obscured the fact that the standard version with the green ombré dial does not have a gem-set bezel. The watch looks properly classical, in an old-school way that has never gone out of style. Launched in 1956, the watch has appeared on the wrists of some of the world’s most prominent individuals and visionaries. There is a reason that the Day-Date 36 is called the watch of prestige…
Close up of the arc-shaped day display
10 diamonds in 18 ct yellow gold setting line up around the dial; two of which are baguette-cut at 6 and 9 o’clock
Its distinctive features include an immediately recognisable display of the full day of the week (abbreviations being functional but hardly elegant) in an arc-shaped window at 12 o’clock; this is in addition to the more typical date window at 3 o’clock, but with the Cyclops lens to make things clearly legible. It may be hard to imagine this but when the watch was launched, it was the only one to spell out the day of the week in full.
This illustrious fact might account for why it is made only in precious metals of yellow gold, white gold, Everose gold and 950 platinum. The ground-breaking status of the Day-Date and the ultra-exclusive precious metals used makes the watch an acknowledged symbol of prestige.
In 2019, Rolex enriched the Day-Date collection with new Day-Date 36 references in yellow gold, white gold and Everose gold. Yes, the watch was available previously in all those, but now there are some highly desirable dial variations in the mix, including the green ombré dial seen here. Given that the colour green is having a real moment in watchmaking, it is worth considering what a brand that makes the colour its calling card has to say about this. Basically, those concentric gradients with sunray finish should have you convinced that green is an entirely legitimate colour for a dressy watch.
That brings us to the bracelet, which is the iconic three-piece link President bracelet – not many bracelets are iconic but this is certainly one of the most prominent examples.
MOVEMENT Automatic manufacture calibre 3255 with day and date; 70-hour power reserve
STRAP: Three-piece solid link President bracelet in 18 ct yellow gold