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Watch of the Week: The Rolex President Day-Date 18238

February 21, 2018

BY Paul Altieri


When the Rolex Day-Date first debuted in 1956, it was one of the most complex watches in the Rolex lineup. The movement, while powered by Rolex’s already popular automatic winding technology, was unlike any other Rolex timepiece on the market. It was developed to include both a day and date wheel.  The impressive Day-Date movement set a higher standard in watch-making, leading to even more innovative timepieces over the course of the next several decades.  

Rolex raised the bar, once again, in the late 1990’s with the release of the President Day-Date ref. 18238.  Just like its predecessors, this ref. featured the now-iconic day and date apertures on its dial as well as a luxurious yellow gold finish.  Within its case, however, was a newly designed calibre 3155 perpetual movement developed by Rolex to include a Double Quickset function.

Day-Date 18238

The Day-Date 18238 has a few advanced functions from its predecessors.

The Double Quickset

The genius design behind the Rolex Double Quickset function that debuted with reference 18238 allowed the wearer to adjust both the date and day apertures separately from the current time with ease, as opposed to older Day-Date models that required endless winding.  The Double Quickset function was easy to use: simply twist the crown towards the 12-hour marker to adjust the date or towards the 6-hour marker to change the day.

The Definition of Luxury and Class

The day and date apertures are high on the list of the Day-Date’s most defining characteristics.  Many collectors may argue that what makes this model so appealing to its large following, however, is its opulent and rich design.  Utilizing only precious metals, the Day-Date ref. 18238 is on par with some of the world’s most lavish timepieces and will surely leave a lasting impression on all who gaze upon it.  And thanks to Rolex’s notoriously tough design, which always includes a waterproof screw-down crown and a protective crystal over the dial, the ref. 18238 will hold its value well and potentially last a lifetime in your watch box.

Day-Date 18238

The Day-Date 18238 is constructed with only the best materials.

The President’s Watch

It wasn’t until later that the Day-Date acquired its nickname “The President’s Watch”, shortly after Presidents have been spotted wearing these on their wrists. While some of these watches were accompanied by a five-link Jubilee bracelet, the Day-Date ref. 18238, as well as most other Day-Date watches, are commonly paired with a President bracelet with three-piece links and a hidden Crownclasp.  No matter the feature set, the Day-Date will forever be associated with power, high-class, and wealth thanks to its past owners.

The use of precious metals certainly adds to the Rolex President Day-Date price and creates a promising resale value as well.  The reference 18238 can also be found with diamond encrusted bezels and dials, which command a higher price.  Whatever your preferences may be, there is a Rolex Day-Date 18238 to meet your budget.



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