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Watch Review

Bob’s Spotlight: The Day-Date II Ref. 218238

Paul Altieri

In this week’s Bob’s Spotlight, we’ve plucked the super-luxe Day-Date II ref. 218238 from our inventory for a closer look. More commonly known as the Rolex President or Presidential,  join us as we get into the glorious details of this yellow gold beauty. Time to look at the Day-Date 218238.

Day-Date 218238
The super-luxe Day-Date II ref. 218238 is one fine watch.

The Rolex Day-Date II

While the Rolex Day-Date II collection has recently been replaced by the new Rolex Day-Date, that doesn’t take away from the appeal of this now-discontinued model. The Day-Date II joined the Rolex catalog in 2008 as the bigger sibling to the traditional 36mm Day-Date. And Rolex fans were happy, to say the least. As a result, the Day-Date II quickly became a must-have among Rolex fans and celebrities alike. Actors, musicians, and athletes such as Brad Pitt, Jay-Z, Adam Levine, Drake, and LeBron James have all been spotted with a Day-Date II on their wrist.

Day-Date 218238
The Day-Date II joined the Rolex catalog in 2008.

The Day-Date II has all the details of the flagship Rolex President — precious metal, day and date aperture, and unparalleled prestige — however, it comes in a larger 41mm case. Like the traditional 36mm version, the Day-Date II is exclusively in gold or platinum, and never stainless steel.

Day-Date 218238
The Day-Date II has all the details of the flagship Rolex President.

Beating at the core of the Day-Date II is the Rolex Caliber 3156 automatic mechanical movement. As the name of the model suggests, the Caliber 3156 powers the day and date calendar functions, in addition to the time. In fact, the inaugural 1956 Day-Date was the world’s first wristwatch to display the full day of the week, along with the date. The 3156 comes equipped with a Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers. These two mechanisms arm the watch with greater resistance to shocks, knocks, and temperature swings. Even if the President is Rolex’s most prestigious model, it can also stand up to daily wear and tear.

The Rolex Day-Date 218238

The ref. 218238 is the 18k yellow gold version of the Day-Date II. This particular version from our stock includes a white dial and Roman numerals — a classic choice indeed. However, there are several dials available with the Day-Date II collection including color and index choices.

Day-Date 218238
The ref. 218238 is the 18k yellow gold version of the Day-Date II.

Housing the dial is the 41mm yellow gold Oyster case with a matching yellow gold fluted bezel. Like all Oyster cases, this one boasts a screw-down caseback and screw-down winding crown to keep the water out. Subsequently, similar to other modern non-diving Rolex watches, the Day-Date II is water resistant to 330 feet (100 meters).

The President ref. 218238 also comes equipped with the iconic President bracelet, entirely in yellow gold. The bracelet most associated with the Rolex President collection is (naturally) the President bracelet, characterized by its semi-circular three-piece construction.

The ideal Rolex model for someone who prefers larger luxury dress watches, the Day-Date II is a fantastic iteration of the one we call the President. Despite its discontinued status, the Day-Date II will certainly continue to be a collector’s item for a long time to come.

Do you prefer the Rolex President with a 36mm or a 41mm case?

Paul Altieri