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A Short History of the Rolex President Day-Date

October 7, 2011

BY Paul Altieri

This model became popular because of President Dwight Eisenhower.

Yellow gold Rolex Day-Date President

Rolex President Day-Date

To further our quest in spelling out Rolex’s rich history, we would like to share information about the Rolex President Day-Date. It is perhaps one of the most beautiful models in the Rolex lineup. Patented in 1955 and released in 1956, it is quite a complex watch. The Day-Date comes with automatic movement, day and date discs, and elegant fixtures. In 1969, the watch introduced a concealed clasp and became known more prominently as the President.

From Day-Date to President

Before the world knew it, the Day-Date became Rolex’s premiere Day-Date sported by the likes of government leaders, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians and artists. It has even been rumored that the watch became the President after Dwight Eisenhower began wearing one. However, fact-checkers have revealed that this rumor is false and he actually wore a normal DateJust. It has however been proven that the likes of Presidents. From Kennedy, Johnson, Ford, Reagan, Nixon to Roosevelt, they were proud wearers of the Day-Date.

The Rolex Day-Date is can come in 18k rose gold with a fluted bezel.

Rolex Day-Date President in rose gold.

To accommodate the unique tastes of its customers, Rolex has offered a wide variety of Day-Date models. It is possible to find new and used Rolex Presidents in yellow gold, pink gold, white gold and platinum. Some models are quite basic, while others include intricate designs with diamonds and other precious stones. Rolex watch aficionados often search for older models that were a bit bulkier than today’s sleek models. Perfect for celebrity and musical geniuses around the world.

Rolex President 18078 Bark Accents

The Rolex President comes in all sorts of variation, this is ref. 18078.


In 1972 Rolex added a new feature to the President Day-Date. The technology allowed for wearers to stop the second hand if they wanted to reset the time. Later in the 70s, the Day-Date added the “Quick Set” feature. This feature allows for a button to be easily pulled out to readjust the date. There is no need to turn the entire crown several times.

New and pre-owned Rolex President Day-Date owners also tend to be thrilled when they discover they can swim and dive with their elegant watches. Early President Day-Date models can be taken to depths of 165 feet (50 meters) and newer models up to 100 meters deep.

Yellow Gold Day Date Ref 18038 Circa 1978

Not only is the Rolex Day-Date a watch common among Presidents, it can be a utility or tool watch.

No matter which Day-Date model one wears, they can revel in the fact they are wearing a piece of Rolex history. If you are looking to buy a used Rolex watches, you may want to consider purchasing a “President” for yourself!



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