Introduced in 2015, the Rolex Day-Date 40 is the latest generation of what many would agree to be the most prestigious Rolex of all – and that is no small feat given the outstanding line-up of long-standing, world-famous collections within Rolex. Today, we look at three Day-Date watches, two of the larger, 40-millimeter-wide variant of the Day-Date 40, as well as a most fitting companion, a Day-Date 36. Historical aspects, pedigree and evolution we shall discuss in a separate essay for that would serve as a distraction from the more tangible values of the Day-Date line-up.
2015 saw the ground-up re-design of the Day-Date, a necessarily and no less difficult task undertaken in an effort to fine-tune and update the proportions of the previous model, the Day-Date II. Rolex has shaved off a mere millimeter from the overall diameter, rendering this new generation 40mm wide as opposed to the Day-Date II's 41mm case size; hard proof that not even a single millimeter goes unnoticed or ignored at Rolex.
The width-ratio between bezel and dial got considerably remodeled, rendering the bezel of the Day-Date 40 noticeably thinner. The case profile, lug style and bezel-to-dial ratio cumulatively made the new Day-Date carry an appreciably smaller footprint on the wrist, now with absolutely stunning and timeless proportions.
Oftentimes and globally acknowledged as "The President's Watch," the Day-Date 40 has to look good today, tomorrow, as well as decades from now – and with a bit of care and proper service, not only its inside, but its exterior will last that long, and much more, with utmost ease.
The tricky thing to be understood here is the balancing act Rolex mastered between creating a large watch that makes a statement – as is expected from The President's Watch, while maintaining a form factor that isn't too large, ostentatious or is part of a "large watch trend" that will – and has, in effect, already begun to – fade. In other words, a timeless watch must be large enough to make an apt statement, but compact enough to fly through the passing and intermittent trends of smaller and larger watches, as they become accepted and expected in general taste.
Furthermore, finding the correct size – which, at 40mm, is absolutely perfect for a dress watch designed to test of the time –, another crucially important aspect of a precious timepiece's exterior is proportions, a subject we had already mentioned briefly.
When taking the Rolex Day-Date 40 in hand, and especially after strapping it around the wrist, we strongly suggest admiring and inspecting the watch with a different eye, particularly seeking to appreciate the fine balance between the overall size of the watch head, the width of the bracelet in relation to the slender, yet robust, curved lugs, the large crown that makes for easy winding and setting of the watch without being uncomfortable for the wrist, as well as the size of the dial elements and overall dial size.
Alas, the Rolex Day-Date 40 is a stunning piece of design that absolutely nails the aforementioned intricacies and gives its proud owner the promise of ever-lasting excellence in aesthetics.
At Petite Geneve Petrovic, we photographed two Day-Date 40 models, one in all 18k white gold with the case, bezel, as well as bracelet crafted from this illustrious, yet discreet precious metal, fitted with an ultra-rare real meteorite dial and large baguette indices.
Also, there is a variant in 18k Everose gold, Rolex's proprietary rose gold alloy designed for outstanding sheen and lasting color. This particular piece is matched to a chocolate dial finished with the most subtle sunray brushed surface treatment and, once more, ten baguette-cut diamonds.
Both these watches have been fitted with the latest generation Rolex 3255 Manufacture Caliber, at the forefront of 21st century watchmaking with a paramagnetic Parachrom hairspring, high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, Chronergy optimized escapement, Perpetual winding rotor, impressive, 70-hour power reserve and an absolutely remarkable -2/+2 seconds daily accuracy, all accompanied by the Rolex Superlative Chronometer Certification and a 5-year international warranty.
A most fitting companion to the Everose piece is the Day-Date 36, once again with beautiful details such as a fluted bezel, diamond-set hour markers as well as baguette-cut rubies at the 6 and 9 o'clock positions, a highly legible display of Day and Date, along with the President bracelet, sized and fitted to the case to create unparalleled harmony in this smaller, 36mm wide case.
A selection of Rolex Day-Date 40 watches can be viewed in person at our Rolex Petite Geneve boutiques in Budapest, Belgrade, as well as in beautiful Porto Montenegro.
All Day-Date watches can be fitted with a wide range of dials, allowing one to completely transform the appearance and style of this ever-lasting model in Rolex in history.