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Review: 18K Yellow Gold Rolex 18108 President Day-Date

Review: 18K Yellow Gold Rolex 18108 President Day-Date

Rolex President 18108
When you think of iconic dress watches, the Rolex President has got to be the first one to come to mind. For the better part of six decades, the Rolex President has been the go-to watch for power brokers and influentials. The Rolex President is not just a luxury dress watch, it is the ultimate statement of power and wealth.

We’ve recently acquired a very special Rolex President, it is the diamond-set, bark-finished all 18k yellow gold Day-Date 18108. With that, we want to give you a hands-on review of the Rolex 18108 President. 

So, without further ado, here is the one and only watch for Presidents.


What is a Rolex President

The Rolex President, also referred to as the Rolex Presidential, is a precious metal Day-Date. It only comes in 18k gold or platinum (with the exception of one esoteric collector’s piece, ref. 6611, which is stainless steel).

The Rolex Day-Date “President” was introduced to the world back in 1956. It was the first waterproof, self-winding chronometer wristwatch to include a day display that is fully spelled out in a window on the dial, along with a date display. 

It was an instant success. The Rolex President immediately became a status symbol and the world’s most prestigious watch after its launch.


The Rolex Day-Date President has never been called the Rolex President by Rolex themselves. They only call it “The Ultimate Prestige Watch”, from the Day-Date line.

It got the name “President” from watch enthusiasts as the precious metal Day-Date collection was a favorite among the most influential people of the 20th century.

Since it’s release over 6 decades ago, it has adorned the wrists of Presidents, the world’s greatest businessmen, royalty, rappers, and influential leaders and elites from all areas of the globe.

rolex day date president all gold review


Here is a quick timeline of some influential people who have worn the Rolex President.

1962: Marilyn Monroe gifts President JFK with an all Yellow Gold Rolex Day-Date.

1963-1966: President Lyndon B. Johnson 

1969-1974: President Richard Nixon

1974-1977: President Gerald Ford

1981-1989: President Ronald Reagan 

1980s: Warren Buffet (he still wears the same Rolex President to this day)

1999-2007: James Gandolfini wears the Rolex President as Tony Soprano on the hit TV show.

Rappers throughout the 90s-Present Time: Jay-Z, Birdman, Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Kanye West, Drake, and the list goes on.

The above is not an exhaustive list, of course. Pretty much anyone who is anyone has a Rolex President in their collection. The Rolex President watch epitomizes the words elite, rich, first-class, and A-list. 

Rolex Day Date President 18108


The watch of this Rolex President feature is the Day-Date reference 18108. It’s a Rolex President with exquisitely unique features, even by the high standards of the Presidential line, and a timepiece that clearly states ‘you’ve made it’. 

As we recently acquired this beautiful Rolex President, and are currently selling it at Diamonds By Raymond Lee, we wanted to give you a quick hands-on review.

Below we will take a closer look at the bracelet, case, dial, movement and price of the Rolex Day-Date President reference 18108. 


Rolex President Day-Date 18108

As you know, Rolex doesn’t nickname their watches, it is the masses who do. For example, the Rolex Hulk, Pepsi, Coke, Kermit, Batman, and so on, were all coined by avid watch collectors, and then the names stuck among the general public. 

That being said, the Rolex President, which was also a nickname given by watch enthusiasts, as we mentioned, is one that Rolex embraces…Yet, only in the form of the bracelet. 

The watch is still officially named the Day-Date and Rolex does not present it as the “President” on their website or any marketing materials. However, they did end up naming the then-new, special bracelet design as the President Bracelet. That’s official by Rolex themselves.

This happened in 1969, 13 years after this collection of precious metal Day-Dates were introduced and the new bracelet design was created.

The Rolex Day-Date of 1956 was the first Rolex to began using this bracelet design, the President Bracelet. It is a fine, three-link bracelet with a concealed clasp. 

The President bracelet is almost always paired with the Day-Date. However, there are but a few exceptions of other collections and limited edition watches using the President bracelet. 

Prior to the creation of the President bracelet, Rolex only used their Oyster and Jubilee bracelets. Jubilee for the dress watches, mainly, and Oyster bracelets for sports watches. 

The Jubilee bracelet has a 5-link (small link) design, and it is more “dainty” you could say. Nevertheless, beautiful.

The Oyster bracelet has a more blocky, heavy visual look. It is very durable, being that it is designated for Rolex’s sports watches. That said, it is easily their most iconic bracelet and it is a wonderful design. 

However, the President bracelet definitely plays a special role. It is more durable than the Jubilee, but also just as sophisticated. It’s like the perfect mix of the Oyster and the Jubilee, but with a completely original look. 

Moreover, the concealed clasp of the President bracelet is a wonderful touch that the other bracelets don’t have. Sometimes the slightly protruding clasps of the Oyster and the Jubilee bracelet can be obtrusive and it compromises the lines of the bracelet. The President bracelet doesn’t have this “concern” thanks to the concealed clasp. It has one seamless integration of a deployant clasp by way of the 5-point crown clasp. The Rolex crown is the only indication of where the clasp parts. Just another President exclusive. 

day-date 18108 review

While the President bracelet on the Day-Date 18108 is the same design as all other Presidents, it does showcase one unique feature. That is the bark finish center links, which match the bezel of the case.

A bark finish is similar to a satin finish but it does have a distinct look of its own. It displays horizontal striations that give it an almost rustic appearance. It has a stronger brushed look.

The bark finish center links contrast strongly, and handsomely, with the tapered outer links, which are delicately brushed in vertical fashion. 

When it’s all said and done, you are left with a bracelet that has a complete life of its own. The President bracelet of this watch is as special as the entire watch as a whole. It stands out in a striking manner and is an aspect of the watch to admire all on its own. 

Presidential watch Review


When you see diamonds on a Rolex, the first thing you ought to think is, are those factory set or aftermarket. Well, with the Rolex 18108, you’ll be pleased to know these are factory set diamonds in the bezel. 

The bezel showcases 12 round brilliant diamonds. The diamonds are set in correspondence with each of the hour markers. And make no mistake, these are the highest quality diamonds that exist. Rolex only uses the best of the best for their watches, and that extends to the gems. 

You’ll notice the diamonds contrast beautifully with the gold of the bezel. That is because the bezel is a bark finish like the center links of the President bracelet. The brilliance and shine of the diamond juxtaposed between the rustic luster of the gold creates a wonderful aesthetic. But make note, for a diamond set watch, it is far from overly extravagant. It’s really just a nice, discreet, elegant touch for us diamond lovers. 

The same goes for case and bezel. The bark-finished bezel on top of the 18K gold, lightly and vertically brushed case makes it pop like you wouldn’t expect from an all yellow gold watch. 

As for the bark finishing specifics, unlike the horizontal bark brush of the bracelet, the bezel uses a radial bark finishing, to produce even more distinction of the different elements of the watch. 

All in all, the bezel is just another reminder of how this watch emphasizes good taste.


who wears a presidential watch

The original Day-Date Presidents were all 36mm. It wasn’t until the Day-Day II that Rolex introduced the President in 41mm. So, as this is a traditional Day-Date, it is a 36mm, which by popular opinion is the most classic size for a Rolex President. 

Now, while in essence the watch is 36mm, it does wear a bit larger than that suggests, as you really need to consider the lug to lug size…

Lug to lug, the Rolex President Day-Date 18108 measures 44mm. Then, from the outcroppings of the bracelet where it starts to contour the wrist on both sides, it measures 47mm.

While this is still somewhat compact, as it is completely yellow gold, it offers a powerful wrist presence that will impact all those around you. 

As for thickness, the watch is 12.5mm thick. However, it is an easy to wear 12.5 as it slips under any dress cuff with ease thanks to the ergonomics of the case, bezel and sapphire crystal. An essential factor, as most of us who wear Presidents like to get dressed up on a regular basis. 

In terms of finishing, the case is lightly brushed like the outer links of the bracelet, yet with radial lines rather than vertical.

The watch should be appreciated even more by just how special the finishing is on the watch as a whole. Thanks to the expert finishing by Rolex, this all 18k yellow gold watch has incredible contrast. The finishing alone is something to marvel. Not only does it create a stunning luster, but it also breaks the watch up so each part stands out. 


Fun fact, this was the first generation of the Day-Date to embrace the sapphire crystal. So, while we are all use to watches having scratch-resistant sapphire crystal in modern times, this watch is special as historically it was one of the first to do so. Moreover, you get a classic, vintage watch with a modern Rolex experience. Best of both worlds…and this truth continues into the movement.


day-date 18108

This generation of the Rolex President watch utilizes the calibre 3055 movement. The calibre 3055 was the first to introduce the single quick set. 


Before the single quick set was developed, you would have to spin the hands around through all of the days to get to your preferred reference time. But, with the single quick set, you can swap the date simply by putting the crown in the second position. A very convenient touch at the time. In Rolex’s mind, they knew the elites of the world who were wearing this watch wouldn’t want to waste time on anything, they were obviously busy doing things like conquering territories, running countries, and conquering Fortune 500 lists. Rolex was right.


People who wear a Rolex President undoubtedly value their time, highly. So does the Rolex President. Every single Rolex President since the very beginning has achieve COSC – the Swiss authority that tests chronometers for accuracy over a two-week period. This particular reference, Rolex 18108, was the first to receive the term Superlative Chronometer on the dial. 

We all know how thorough Rolex is with all facets of watchmaking, especially their movements. They test every watch’s movement before it’s cased up and afterward, just to ensure the performance is, well, superlative. But that’s not all, they even test it when they get the watch back after its COSC certification. “Rigorous” only begins to explain Rolex’s dedication to fine watchmaking. 


If there was ever a definition for “clean, sophisticated dial”, it would be the Rolex Day-Date President 18108. 

The dial keeps the yellow gold tone by using a champagne board. It has a vertical satin finishing to complement the rest of the watch as well.

The 18K yellow gold theme continues on the dial with the hour marker sticks, hands, and Rolex crown. This ensures nothing on the dial will ever tarnish.

You also have a classic Day-Date minute track, representing the historical watch that it is with Roman numerals at the hour markers. 

In low light settings, legibility is not forgotten due to the small lume “bulbs” above each stick, and the hour and minute hands have a graceful touch of lume too. 

Then, of course, you have the Day and Date complication, hence the name “Day-Date”. The Day-Date was the first watch ever to display the full name of the Day. It’s a feature that is as iconic as the Rolex name itself. 

Overall, the dial is completely no-nonsense, like the powerful figures who don it. The layout is tremendously smart, easy to read, and peerlessly classy. 

Price of president watch


This particular Rolex Day-Date 18108 President is available from Diamonds By Raymond Lee. It is in excellent condition and it comes as a complete set. So, you get a magnificent historical timepiece that is fully documented with everything you would have received when purchasing it new. 

Price: $19,995. 

If you know the MSRP of Rolex President watches, you know this is a steal. Most Rolex Presidentials sell from $31,000 to $60,000. 

The benefit of purchasing pre-owned is you don’t lose any value upon purchase like you do when buying new. In fact, it is likely to increase in value, especially this specific model. It’s more than a classic watch for a classy man, it’s also an investment that can be worn and cherished day in and day out. 

Buy this Rolex Day-Date 18108 watch now

See More Rolex Presidents


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