Rolex first released the Day-Date collection in 1956. It showcased a number of innovative and unique features for the time. This included the date and day discs from which the model gets its name. The Day-Date quickly became the flagship model for the Rolex brand. The popular 18-karat yellow gold variation of the iconic model was eventually nicknamed the President after being sported by some of the most famous and accomplished leaders, including several U.S. presidents. Buying a Rolex Day-Date watch means owning a model of prominence and historical significance. Shop our wide array of exceptional used Rolex Day-Date watches for sale.
Rolex initially introduced the Day-Date in 1956. It immediately garnered attention because of its unique display of both the day and date on the dial. It was the first watch to do so and was aptly named the Day-Date.
The Day-Date was not just significant because of this groundbreaking feature. It also illustrated Rolex’s efforts to diversify their offerings. The brand made a name for itself with its tool watches. However, the Day-Date exemplifies the brand’s ability to branch out and create equally stunning and technically impressive dress watches.
Rolex released the original model in two references, the 6510 and the 6511. Both housed an automatic movement and boasted water resistance up to 50 meters. With the date complication and automatic movement, the initial Day-Date was somewhat bulky, particularly by 1950s standards. However, in typical fashion, Rolex soon began to improve upon the model.
The initial references only remained in production for a year and were followed by the Reference 6611, 6612, and 6613. The next generation models came equipped with an upgraded self-winding movement, the caliber 1055. It was the brand’s first to receive the coveted COSC certification. This version also boasted an increased water resistance up to 100 meters.
The aesthetic of the Day-Date has remained largely unchanged over the years. However, the original more bulky case design has been streamlined with the refinement of Rolex’s automatic movements. Several other notable modifications came in the 1970s. First, in 1972, Rolex added a hacking seconds function. This feature allows the wearer to stop the second hand and set the time to match a source clock. Later in the 1970s, the brand began adding the quickset function to its watches, including the Day-Date. This addition streamlined the process of setting the day and date on the watch. Finally, as the Day-Date continued to evolve, it gained the addition of a sapphire crystal in place of the original Plexiglas.
Then, in the 1990s, Rolex introduced the double quickset function in the Day-Date Reference 18238. This feature simplified the process of setting the watch even further. It allowed the day, date, and time to be set independently.
To this day, the Day-Date remains one of the most popular models in the Rolex lineup. The model has a rich history and undeniable appeal as stunning dress watch. Although its design has only seen small modifications over the years, Rolex continues to keep the collection interesting. For instance, in 2019, they introduced the first rainbow variation of the model at Baselworld.
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