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Rolex President Review: Peep this Chunky Diamond Bezel Yellow Gold Black Dial Day-Date 40

Rolex President Review: Peep this Chunky Diamond Bezel Yellow Gold Black Dial Day-Date 40

rolex day-date 40 with diamonds

Presenting a hands-on, in-depth review of an absolutely exquisite aftermarket diamond bezel and black dial yellow gold Rolex Day-Date 40 President ref 228238.

If you want a loud watch that will get attention, there may be no better choice than this Rolex Day-Date President reference 228238. Not only is this Rolex Presi’ crafted from solid 18k yellow gold, which is already incredibly sumptuous, but it also has a chunky round brilliant diamond bezel and a unique smooth black dial with baguette diamond hour markers. This is a timepiece for someone who appreciates Rolex’s most Presidential dress watch in its newest form and with a blinged-out touch.


day date 40mm president review

We all know the traditional and original Day-Date (aka The President) is 36mm, which Rolex has never removed from the Day-Date lineup. The 40mm is just a larger version of the classic 36mm Rolex President. It supplants the Day-Date II, Rolex’s initial advance to a bigger, more sporty version of the Day-Date.

The Day-Date 40 was released in 2015, thus discontinuing the 41mm Day-Date II, which had a production run from 2008-2014. Most say the 41mm is like a completely different watch than the original 36mm Day-Date, yet the 40mm is just a larger version. 1mm may not seem like a big deal, but in the world of Rolex, that is a significant change.

The truth is, on the wrist, 40mm vs 41mm is a very considerable difference. Far more than 1mm would suggest. The Day-Date 40 truly does feel like a modern version of the classic Day-Date. It’s not too big and it’s not too small. It’s a watch made for the contemporary man (or woman) who wants his watches (yes, even dress watches) a little bigger. The Day-Date 40 gives the size update in just the right amount. Apparently, one millimeter makes all the difference. We can confidently say, the Day-Date 40 is here to stay. It is the Rolex President of the 21st century.


aftermarket diamond day-date 40

While you are looking at a genuine yellow gold Rolex President (the most classic metal choice of them all), this particular model has a couple of customizations, or “mods”, as we like to call them. The bezel and dial have undergone an opulent upgrade of diamond encrustation. However, everything else about the watch is entirely original.

As we peruse the bracelet, case, bezel, dial and movement, we will go into more detail about the aftermarket diamonds set into this lustrous Presidential watch.


yellow gold black dial day-date 40

No one commits to excellence like Rolex, and this is especially true for their precious metal alloys. Rolex operates its own foundry, allowing them to cast a very special and extremely high quality 18k yellow gold that no one else has. Rolex uses only the purest metals for their 18K yellow gold alloy, while also meticulously inspecting everything at their in-house lab with expert eyes and state-of-the-art equipment. A yellow gold Rolex is extremely hypoallergenic, durable and tarnish-resistant. Not to mention, it has an unrivaled luster thanks to Rolex’s rigorous and superior finishing techniques.

Overall, the painstaking attention to quality is obvious as soon as you pick up a yellow gold Rolex Day-Date 40. It has a heft on the wrist and a beauty to the eyes that immediately justifies the price. In our opinion, there are only a few things in the jewelry or watch world as stunning as an all-gold Rolex President.


rolex president bracelet

While “The President Watch” is a nickname for the Rolex Day-Date, the bracelet is officially named ‘The President Bracelet’ by Rolex itself. It was first introduced in 1965 with the release of the first Day-Date. It is easily one of the most recognizable watch bracelets on the face of the earth.

The President Bracelet is a semi-circular three-piece metal bracelet that has an almost jewelry-esque look to it. However, it is highly durable. It’s like a crossbreed between the Oyster bracelet and the Jubilee bracelet, in terms of durability and dressiness. However, the look of the bracelet is entirely unique.

Besides the special link configuration, it also has a hidden articulated Crownclasp. The Rolex coronet that rests at the center of the bracelet when it’s on the wrist is the only point that shows the actual partition. You use the Rolex Crown coronet to unhinge and open up the bracelet, thus revealing a beautiful high polish and incredibly strong two-part clasp.

Like all modern Rolex watches, the Day-Date 40 reference 228238 has a solid metal bracelet. This was a major improvement for the President bracelet as the ones from the past with partially hollow links would stretch over time. This solid President bracelet will not. Moreover, it has a much greater heft to it, which you must appreciate when buying a gold watch that costs as much as a C Class Mercedes Benz sedan.

Another update that we love came in 2015, specifically with the launch of the Day-Date 40. Rolex redesigned the way the bracelet integrates with the case. It now meets between the lugs, rendering an appearance of the bracelet and case coming together in a more distinct, effortless, and natural way.

Overall, the President defines refinement and comfort. It is the ultimate bracelet made for those with a presidential taste and mindset.


rolex president with diamonds

As the name Day-Date 40 implies, this watch is 40mm across the round of the case. The thickness of the watch is respectably thin at 12 millimeters. It has a cupped case back, so when it is strapped to the wrist it nestles down and sits even lower than 12mm would suggest.

Now, for a 40mm watch, it is surprisingly compact, which is another reason it is noticeably smaller than the Day-Date II’s 41mm case. The outermost end-cropping of the solid end link of the President bracelet to the opposite side of the case (the two rigid points that connect the bracelet to the case) measures 47.5mm. That’s only 3mm more from extremity to extremity than the standard 36mm Day-Date.

Nevertheless, the watch is very substantial on the wrist. Much more than a 36mm Day-Date. If 1mm makes a big difference, you can imagine how much 3mm makes. The wrist presence of this watch is colossal, even if the case is compact in regards to 40mm watches in Rolex’s sports watch catalog. The rich yellow gold plays an important role in this.

The case is, of course, solid 18k yellow gold. It has a gorgeous finishing with the sides being gloss and the top satin. It creates a powerful look that is dressy, modern, and just a little bit sporty.

What’s unmistakably “dressy” about this watch is the case doesn’t have a crown guard. The sweeping lines of the round case are undoubtedly that of a dress watch, as are the big round brilliant diamonds in the bezel….


diamond bezel day-date 40

Most yellow gold Rolex President watches have a fluted bezel. However, there is a diamond bezel option. Just not like this. Rolex factory diamond bezels have smaller stones. This diamond bezel Day-Date 40 is as chunky as it gets. Rather than a channel setting, it has a pave-style prong setting, which allows for bigger diamonds. In our opinion, it makes for a much more impressive, contemporary appearance. Of course, a Rolex factory job is what you want in terms of collectibility, but looks-wise, this is better. Too bad Rolex doesn’t do this kind of work themselves.

As for the setting workmanship, the diamond bezel is up to par with Rolex’s standards. You won’t have to worry about a diamond going missing. Plus, if there were to be an issue, we’d replace the diamond for you. But, you’d have to really do a number on the watch for a diamond to come loose.

All in all, this chunky bezel only adds to the magnitude of this watch’s powerful wrist presence.


rolex day date 40 review

Although yellow gold Rolex Day-Date 40 watches come with a black dial, it is much more unique and rare to see. The most common are the champagne dials for the yellow gold Presidents.

This black dial is smooth style, so it has that glossy look that reflects beautifully with the diamonds. Moreover, the contrast with the yellow gold is superb. It really makes the dial pop.

The hands, the Rolex crown, and the indices are all 18k gold. The writing is gold colored as well. It sits on the black base delightfully.

Of course, this is a Day-Date, so it has a day and date complication. The day of the week is displayed in full at the top (fun fact: the Day-Date is the first watch to ever have this). And the date is at the 3 o’clock. Standard stuff we are used to nowadays thanks to the Day-Date, but when this first came out in 1956, it was a game-changer.

Now, where the aftermarket work shows itself is within the indices. As you can see, they are filled with baguette diamonds. This is actually a standard style for the Day-Date 40, as Rolex has factory set baguette diamond indices in the Day-Date 40 catalog. However, when its Rolex factory-set, it costs a whole lot more. With this watch, you get the same diamond shine and quality craftsmanship for a much more affordable price. One of the big benefits of going with aftermarket diamond customizations.


whats new with the day-date 40

Underneath the handsome black dial is the calibre 3255 movement, which was new to the Day-Date line when the Day-Date 40 was introduced. Besides the case size, this was actually the biggest change from the Day-Date II to the Day-Date 40, as this movement really brings the watch into the modern world. The calibre 3255 is a movement with specs that are up-to-date and worthy of the times.

The 3255 movement has several advantages over the previous movements. First, it has a substantially upgraded power reserve of 70 hours (rather than 48 hours of the Day-Date II, which had a calibre 3155 movement). Second, it has a greatly altered escapement arrangement. It has inherited some of the materials from the Milgauss, allowing the watch to be far more anti-magnetic. In fact, the anti-magnetism of this watch far exceeds the ISO standards. Lastly, it has a Chronergy escapement. It is like a tangential form of a lever against a unique skeletonized escape wheel. It’s really too bad that the caseback is solid because the movement is absolutely stunning with this one. What’s inside this watch is as extraordinary as what’s outside.

Overall, if you want a workhorse movement, this is the one. It’s durable, precise, accurate, and everlasting.


This yellow gold, diamond bezel, baguette diamond smooth black dial Rolex President Day-Date 40 reference 228238 is for sale at Diamonds By Raymond Lee in Boca Raton. It is in excellent condition, the movement has been thoroughly checked, and it comes with its original Rolex card.

You can purchase this watch in-store or online for $44,995.

See the full sales listing for our yellow gold Rolex 228238 Day Date 40 with Diamond Bezel Black Dial Watch

Have questions about this yellow gold diamond bezel Rolex Day-Date 40 President? Please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.


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