With its own nickname, bracelet and celebrity status, the Day-Date – aka the Rolex President – is undoubtedly an icon of the luxury watch industry. First released in 1956, the Day-Date changed the watch world forever by being the first watch to display both the day of the week, spelled out in full, along with the date of the month.
Over the years, the Day-Date would be given some improvements, but arguably, the most important would come with the introduction of the reference 18238 Rolex President in the late 1980s. Lucky for you, we have several here in the vault to review for you. Let’s take a closer look at this icon, shall we?
New Power of a Rolex President 18238
The Rolex President has always boasted impressive power. However, the 18238 is the first reference that really improved the entire mechanical ingenuity of the Day-Date, and that’s thanks to the powerful Cal. 3155 Perpetual movement outfitted with the impressive Double Quickset function.
But, let’s back up a little. In the earlier Rolex Day-Date references, if you wanted to change the day and date on your watch, you actually had to manually turn your center hands past midnight. Then in the late 1970’s, Rolex manufactured their first quickset functionality for the Day-Date 18038. However, these Single Quickset movements only allowed the date to be changed autonomously from the hands.
Then, with the introduction of the 18238 we got the Double Quickset, allowing the wearer to change both the day and date independently from the time. That means instead of winding the hands around the dial until the indices changed, you could simply twist the crown. For the date, just turn the crown one way while in the Quickset position, then rotate it the other way to adjust the day. Simple, elegant, and efficient, the Double Quickset function is still used today.
Classic Day-Date Looks
The Rolex Day-Date didn’t get its ‘Presidential’ nickname coincidentally. This watch has been worn by U.S. Presidents and world dignitaries alike, directly associating the timepiece with power and influence – not just wealth. Anything but ordinary, and rather fittingly too, the Rolex President is only ever forged out of precious alloys. So, it is no surprise that the ref. 18238 is made entirely of solid 18k yellow gold. Many models even features a matching champagne dials with yellow gold hour markers, making these watches drip with elegance along every curve.
Reference 18238 Day-Date watches are also outfitted with the classic Presidential features we’ve all come to know and love, like the handsome fluted bezel and namesake, five-piece President bracelet with a cleverly-hidden concealed Crownclasp. Of course, you’ll also notice the date functionality displayed under the brand’s signature Cyclops lens at three o’clock, and between eleven and one sits the day of the week, written out in its entirety in your choice of 26 different languages.
Since certain Rolex President 18238 watches are over 20 years old, they are technically considered vintage. But the modern technology in this Day-Date makes it exceptional and a stand-out from the rest. More importantly, since it is a more recent vintage, you can still snag these Rolex watches for a great price.
Forged entirely out of solid 18k yellow gold, this watch will hold great value for years to come. Its style is universally recognized and entirely timeless; however, it’s the legacy and heritage of this watch that will make it an invaluable addition to your collection. So if you’re shopping for a Rolex President or just a luxury dress watch, the ref. 18238 is a great model to consider.