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History And Evolution Of The Rolex Daydate President Watches

History And Evolution Of The Rolex Daydate President Watches

Rolex Day-date President watches

Speak quality. A unique aura that speaks of prominence. The watch was made for presidents. That’s what makes up the Rolex Day-date President watches. Their journey to fame began in 1956, the same year they hit the watchmaking scene. Ever since then, the Rolex president watches continue to stand as the brand’s trademark status timepiece. They come fully framed in precious stones, and as a result, only a few luxury timepieces come close. 

In 1956, when Rolex launched the Day-date President watches, it was the first of many things. It was the first watch to include days of the week written boldly at the 12 o’clock position and was also the first to include the date window set at the 3 o’clock position. The band it features is what gives it its presidential status. It is rightly named the “President Bracelet” because of its one-of-a-kind status. In fact, the bracelet is nearly as popular as the watch itself. It also stays true to the tradition of Rolex wristwatches as it continues to feature the same Rolex qualities. Although some slight styling modifications have been made alongside a few technical improvements, the Day-date President remains the same. If you’re looking for the watch that’ll leave you in awe, this is the one. 

An Overview Of The Rolex President Watches

Rolex President watches

It was clear right from the beginning that the Rolex President watches are exceptional. They feature some unique qualities that make them stand out from other luxury watches. Some of them include:

  • A rare tiny metal Oyster case
  • The modern President bracelet
  • A complication that challenged the status quo at the time
  • A full day window together with a date window feature.

Presently, with over six decades past, the Rolex Day-date President watches remain a top product. This timepiece is tagged as the emblematic ‘gold watch.’ This is thanks to its classic style that features only a few tweaks since its introduction. Regardless of how little it changed over time, it remains unmatched even compared to the luxury Patek and Audemars timepieces.

In this text, we present a review of the evolution and history of this classic time tool. In addition, we also examine the references that most considerably hallmarked its evolution. These iconic references paved the way for what is now one of the best modern-day Rolex timepieces.

History Of The Day-date President Watches: A Rolex Classic

In this section, we present an exploration of the history of the Rolex Daydate President watches. This exploration will take us through all of the collection’s notable releases over the past 60 years. Follow through as we tick through the hands of this classic Rolex timepiece.

  • The Beginning In 1956

Just 11 years following the launch of the Rolex DateJust, the Rolex brand debuted a fresh model collection. This time it was a step beyond the present date-only feature. 

With this new watch came a similar fluted bezel as its companion. There was also the exact 36mm Oyster case featured on the DateJust.

Regardless of these similarities, this novel wristwatch added its unique perks. It featured a never-before-seen type of bracelet. Presently, this bracelet bears the name the President bracelet. Together with the existing date complication, a full day display is set at the 12 o’clock position.

Similar to how it was previously, the watch only came in 18K gold or platinum models. More so, it existed as the 6510 and 6511 references. However, these references would only stay in production for only one year. After that year, their replacement was the 66XX series.

These new replacements paraded the COSC-chronometer certification. No other watchmaker has achieved this feat in recent years. Rolex has always had a knack for consistent accuracy, which is one of the reasons why it remains on top of the competition. 

  • The Early 60s And The 1800 Series

The next edition of the Daydate President watches was the 18XX series. This new series came into the watchmaking scene in the early ’60s. Alongside this reference, Rolex broadened the dial selections for the Rolex President collection.

Furthermore, this brand introduced several bezel and bracelet textures to accompany the new Rolex President watches. The most significant of these new textures is the “bark” bezel and the President bracelet. This was a combination that hardly had any difficulty pleasing its wearers.

The 18XX reference Rolex Daydate President watches went on in production until the close of the 1970s. As the watch ended its run in production, Rolex upgraded the movement and added a “hacking seconds” feature.

A drawback with these models was in configuring the date on them. It took a lot of time. This continued until 1977. Eventually, Rolex upgraded the movement featured in the watch.

  • The Five-Digit Day Date In the Late 70s

The introduction of the 180XX series of the Daydate President watches came with a longer reference number. Likewise, it also featured the effortless “quick-set” movement. With these two additions, particularly the last, the date setting happens quickly without using the hour hand. That way, the user does not go through the stress and time-wasting process of setting the watch anymore.

Aside from the inclusion of the 3055 calibers, there were no additional changes to the structure of these timepieces. As for the dial and bezel varieties, that one continued to expand. Yet, the appearance and aura of the watches remained unchanged.

  • Welcome The Oysterquartz Daydate In 1977

Meanwhile, with this rebooted Rolex President watches again came another version. This time, it was a version that presented itself as a clear sign of the times. This new model achieved this in more than one way. In 1977, Rolex again introduced their most outstanding quartz offerings. These were:

  • The Oysterquartz Datejust
  • The Oysterquartz Daydate

For these new quartz designs, we had a mix between the classic edition styles and Rolex’s first quartz timepiece. That was the reference 5100 model.

Daydate President watches evolution

When we leave out the in-house quartz caliber, these Oysterquartz watches contained an integrated bracelet. This bracelet looked more like a Royal Oak than a Daydate or Datejust. Apparently, Rolex did not fail to recognize the achievements of its steel rivals.

After that, the Oysterquartz models grew in popularity. However, their production only came in limited volumes. Twenty-five years later, the Oysterquartz timepieces get discontinued. Presently, they are gradually ticking up in the pre-owned market as well. The Oysterquartz, like other vintage Rolex versions, will become rare and costly in the next couple of years.

  • The 182XX Series Day-Date Over A Decade Later

Over a decade after refurbishing the movement of the Rolex Daydate with the quick-set ability, Rolex went a step further. The brand once more improved the caliber featured in their President product. This new movement turned out to be the Rolex in-house 3155 caliber. The most notable feature about this series is that it featured a “double quick-set” ability. This feature gave users the chance to fix both the day and date on the timepiece swiftly.

To engage this function, you simply need to pull the crown out down to the first position. As soon as it is in this position, the crown can then take a new rotation in one direction. That helps to cycle the day. As for the opposite direction, it helps to cycle the date. Easy peasy!

  • Welcome To A New Millennium

A new millennium of watches

The Rolex brand deemed it relevant to boost one of their most elegant model collections, the Daydate President watches. This upgrade came with the welcoming of a new millennium. Therefore, at Baselworld 2000, Rolex introduced the six-digit Rolex Daydate President watches. That was the reference 118XXX.

This time, the modifications came in the bracelet and the clasp areas. More so, the movement continued to be the same 3155 in-house caliber from Rolex. This was the same movement featured in the 36mm Oyster case timepiece.

  • The Advent Of The Daydate II

Just a day before Baselworld 2008, Rolex sent waves of thrills and shock through the watch industry. This time it was with the advent of the precious Day Date design. And this time, it was in a new 41mm Oyster case. This was the Day-Date II wristwatch.

Prior to this time, Rolex didn’t provide the Daydate in any other version than the 36mm case version. That introduction also came around the same time as the oversized watch aesthetic grew in fame. Certainly, Rolex soon took note and hurried to appease its eager customer base.

Besides the bigger case, the Daydate II (reference 218XXX) showed off an exceptional Rolex caliber 3156. As it turned out, this new size was well-received. After that, it would bask in its huge success until its production was discontinued in 2015.

  • The Best Of Rolex Daydate President Watches In History

Naturally, the present-day Rolex President watches are the most technologically developed Day-Date timepiece of all time. In fact, the reference 228XXX collection of Rolex Daydate President watches hit the market in 2015.

This particular reference is available in 36mm or 40mm sizes. Occasionally, these timepieces come equipped with a fluted or a diamond-set bezel. And, every one of these Rolex President watches come in dozens of various dial designs. To crown it all, these designs all feature grandly on the mystifying President bracelet.

These iconic Daydate President watches get their power from one of Rolex’s most contemporary movements. This is the in-house 3255 caliber. Particularly, this movement fulfills Rolex’s most rigid chronometer requirements (-2/+2).

Furthermore, the movement comes equipped with an industry-leading 72-hour power reserve. This movement shows off the brand’s most recent anti-magnetic and shock-resistant technologies.

Similarly, the bracelet comes in its best model. Ceramic sleeves presently surround the pins featured inside the links of the bracelet. All of these help to prevent wear and tear inside each link.

All of these further fight against the dreaded “bracelet stretch” totally.

The Fame Garnered By The Rolex Daydate President Watches Over The Years

Historically, the Rolex Day-Date earns its recognition today from its fame among famous figures. This watch appears on the wrist of many celebrities and heads of state also. These moments of fame happened both through its glory days as well as in more recent times. 

Particularly, this timepiece earned itself the moniker “Rolex President” from such instances. The same goes for the “Rolex Presidential,” which is a wrong version of its nickname.

History has it that this moniker is thanks to President Eisenhower. He famously rocked an all-gold Rolex that turned out to be a Datejust. This particular one was a timepiece separately designated by the brand to celebrate their 150,000th manufactured chronometer.

Aside from the President, other notable figures that rocked this timepiece include:

  • JFK
  • LBJ
  • Nixon
  • Donald Trump
  • Jay-Z
  • Warren Buffet 

They all at certain times sported a Daydate timepiece. Over time, new dial substances and diamond models continue to hit the wristwatch market. Yet, the champagne dials combined with fluted bezels retain the reputation of being the ultimate Rolex Daydate President watches. They are, in fact, undefeated in that regard.


No matter your particular model, the Rolex Daydate President watches remain the same grand luxury watches. These Daydate President watches are totally in a league of their own. 

Thanks to the long six decades of history these watches parade, the legacy is out there for everyone to see. Numerous fans scattered all over the world continue to push forth the legacy of this Rolex hero. There is no doubt that the fame and prestige of this series will continue to keep a great legacy, even many years after production.

If you’re looking for a grand timepiece with a wealth of growth and technology advancements, the Rolex Daydate President watches are just what you need.



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