A watch present on multiple of the finest stages of world history, it is true that every iteration within the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date collection has the unshakable reputation of the “President’s watch.” Although the stories are shared, as are the outstanding engineering qualities, when it comes to materials, there is a particular Day-Date that is considered by many to be the be all and end all: the Day-Date crafted entirely of 950 platinum.
Platinum has a specially reserved place in watchmaking. Whereas both gold and platinum can boast the “precious” designation, platinum has a sheen and heft to it that no other material in watchmaking could measure up against.
Before we were to discuss weight and aesthetics moon, there is another, hidden aspect of platinum that makes it all the more exotic among materials used for the cases and bracelets of fine timepieces. That special attribute is the extraordinary challenge that platinum poses when it comes to shaping, refining and finishing this metal.
While immensely dense and therefore uniquely heavy, platinum is also highly malleable. In practice, this means that a block of platinum, when turning into the shape of a Day-Date’s Oyster monoblock case, or a link of its President bracelet, is extremely difficult to machine.
A single piece of platinum, as they say, eats through drills and tools like a thousand gold pieces would, as the density and malleability of the material makes its reshaping oh-so-challenging.
With that challenge overcome, the next stage is finishing — so as to attain the luster and sheen that a Day-Date must by all means possess. Despite the greatest care and most advanced techniques — using even the softest polishing wheels and special pastes —, platinum still heats up very quickly during the finishing process. Uncompromized patience and a set of most highly trained eyes and hands are required to achieve the beautifully polished surfaces of the Day-Date case, and the brushed, curved surfaces of the President bracelet’s outer links.
Still, all that effort and dexterity pays dividends when the Day-Date 40 in platinum is first taken into hand. The weight it carries is immediately noticeable and distinguishable when compared to 18kt gold watches — not to mention the much lighter steel sports watches. This heft aids a unique wearing experience, as though all inherent qualities and refinement of the Day-Date 40 had materialized.
Currently, only the 40mm wide Day-Date 40 is available in platinum — the freshly updated Day-Date 36 comes exclusively in 18kt white gold, yellow gold or Everose gold, but no longer platinum, for the time being.
As is the norm, accompanying the 950pt case and bracelet is the Ice Blue dial — a special dial color specially reserved for platinum Rolex watches, and not available with any other metal.
Part of the dial are the hand-applied Roman numerals that are constructed from blocks of solid 18ct gold for added depth and three-dimensionality. The hues of blue stand against the 18ct white gold Rolex Crown, applied under the day aperture at the 12 o’clock position of the dial.
Powered by the Manufacture Rolex Calibre 3255, inimitable presence meets a unique wearing experience of utmost elegance in the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 Platinum, reference m228206-0001.
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