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Watch 101

What Watch is the Rolex Presidential?

Paul Altieri

Whether you’re new to the world of Rolex or a long-time seasoned collector, you have almost certainly heard of the Rolex President. Despite being one of the most iconic watches in the world, you won’t find the Rolex Presidential name scrawled across the dial or even promoted on their official website. That’s because it’s a nickname – only something the most beloved and iconic Rolex watches ever receive. Now, let us tell you all about it.

Rolex Presidential - which watch is it?
The ‘Presidential’ is not actually a watch in the Rolex catalog.

Where did the Rolex Presidential nickname come from?

Typically you hear this Rolex watch referred to as the ‘President’ rather than the ‘Presidential’ but in both instances, they’re referring to the Rolex Day-Date (we’ll come back to this in a minute).

Rolex Presidential Definition Day-Date Gold
Both ‘President’ and ‘Presidential’ are actually just nicknames for the Rolex Day-Date.

Many of the most famous and influential individuals throughout history have worn Rolex watches, from sportsmen to actors and politicians. United States President, Dwight D. Eisenhower is often incorrectly credited as being the first President to wear a Day-Date; however, the watch he actually owned was a solid gold Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet – frequently mistaken for a Day-Date in old photos. With that in mind, many other American Presidents have owned and worn Rolex President watches throughout the years, including Lyndon Johnson, Donald Trump, and John F. Kennedy, the latter of whom was gifted one by Marylyn Monroe.

The numerous instances of U.S. Presidents favoring the all-gold Day-Date on its iconic matching bracelet quickly earned this watch its iconic Rolex Presidential nickname. Over the years, the ‘President’ nickname stuck, forever cementing the associations between Rolex watches and success and personal accomplishment. 

Rolex Presidential Platinum ice blue dial
Most Rolex Day-Date watches are crafted from 18k gold, but some are crafted from solid platinum.

What are the features of a Rolex President? 

The Rolex Day-Date, aka the President, has three distinct and unique features that make it stand out: 

Rolex Presidential Vintage gold 1803
The Rolex Day-Date is the brand’s flagship watch collection.

It was the first Rolex watch to feature both the Day and Date

  • The President was the first Rolex watch that featured both day and date complications. You can always recognize the President because at the top of the dial, between 10 and 1-o’clock, you’ll see the day of the week, spelled out in full, through an arch-shaped window. Over at 3-o’clock, you can read the numerical date display through a separate window in the dial, which is enlarged by Rolex’s signature, ‘Cyclops’ magnification lens.

The Rolex Presidential only uses precious metals

  • Another unique feature about the Rolex President is that it is only ever crafted from precious metals. Modern options include all three flavors of 18k gold – white, yellow or Rolex’s proprietary pink Everose, along with a small handful of ultra-premium versions crafted from solid 950 platinum. Because the Day-Date is positioned as Rolex’s flagship timepiece, it remains an exclusive option within their catalog, and you will never find this iconic watch offered in stainless steel. 

The Rolex President has its own bracelet

  • In the same way that the Jubilee bracelet was created specifically for the Datejust collection, Rolex designed a new bracelet style specifically for their new flagship Day-Date watch: the President. A combination of their Oyster and Jubilee bracelet designs, the President band features semicircular three-piece links, with the vast majority finished with hidden clasps. 
Rolex Presidential Day-Date President Bracelet solid gold
The President bracelet was designed specifically for the Rolex Day-Date.

Because this metal bracelet is unique to the Day-Date ‘President’ watch, you will also hear the bracelet referred to as the President in its own right – Rolex even now formally refers to this bracelet style as the President. However, there are numerous Rolex Day-Date watches that are not fitted with President bracelets, and instead left the factor paired with either Oyster bracelets or leather straps.

Additionally, just like the Day-Date watch itself, the President bracelet is always crafted from precious metals, either solid 18k gold or 950 platinum, to perfectly match the exclusive and luxurious construction of Rolex’s flagship watch collection. 

Gold Rolex Presidential Day-Date President Definition
The Rolex Day-Date Presidental is a truly iconic watch.
Paul Altieri
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