The Date Date II collection is known for its style, reliability, aesthetics, and precision. Released in 2008, the Rolex Date Date II models feature a larger case and upgraded in-house movements. 2020 update: suggested retail prices start at $36,550 and increase depending on options and materials. Shop our full selection of used Rolex Watches for sale.
First introduced in 1956, the Rolex Day Date was the first calendar wristwatch to feature both the date of the month and the day of the week (spelled out in full) through windows on the surface of the dial. The collection also introduced a brand new Rolex bracelet style - dubbed the President bracelet - that was specifically designed for Rolex's new flagship watch.
The Rolex Day-Date has only ever been manufactured in precious metals (either solid gold or platinum), and ever since its initial release, it has been the ultimate status timepiece - a universally recognized symbol of success and personal accomplishment. Consequently, they have been a favorite luxury watch among the world's most distinguished individuals including celebrities, heads-of-state, professional athletes, and captains of industry. Due to the name of its signature bracelet and the timepiece being worn by several US Presidents, they are more commonly known as the President or Presidential.
Upon its initial release, and for more than a half-century thereafter, these models had a case diameter of 36mm. However in 2008, Rolex released a new larger version of their flagship watch: The Day-Date II. With a case diameter of 41mm, the collection was very much the same iconic watch that had existed in the catalog for more than five decades, just in a noticeably larger size to appeal to contemporary fashion preferences. In 2015, Rolex discontinued them and replaced it with the Day-Date 40. With a case diameter of 40mm, the new addition is 1mm smaller than the previous and also features a new-generation movement and a slimmer, more refined case profile. Despite the difference in size and the subtle variations between models, both retained all the hallmark design traits of the original, such as the duo of calendar windows on the dial, the waterproof Oyster case, and its full precious metal construction.
The vast majority of Day Date watches that have been produced throughout history have 36mm case diameters, and thus fall into the Day-Date 36 category. However, the category of larger watches consists of both the Day-Date II (sometimes called Day-Date 2), and the Day-Date 40.
Although the Day-Date II and the Day-Date 40 are actually different watches, the "Day-Date II" name frequently gets used to describe both Rolex Day-Date watches that are larger than the traditional 36mm case size. Additionally, while the differences between the Rolex Day-Date II and the Rolex Day-Date 40 are noticeable and relatively significant, both large sized Day-Date watches adhere to the signature design codes that define Rolex's flagship Day-Date watch collection.
As previously mentioned, Rolex has only ever manufactured the Day-Date in precious metals, and this holds true for both the larger models. Material options include 18 ct yellow gold, 18 ct white gold, 18 ct rose gold, and 950 platinum. Additionally, there are also plenty of models that are set with diamonds and other precious stones. Given that solid gold and platinum are the only materials used for the construction of the Rolex's flagship watch collection, stainless steel models and two-tone steel and gold versions do not exist - either for the larger models, or for the classic 36mm version of the collection.
In 2005, Rolex introduced Everose gold - their proprietary 18k pink gold alloy that mixes gold, copper, and platinum and promises to never fade or discolor over time. Older Rolex Day-Date rose gold models are constructed from traditional 18k pink gold; however since the larger references debuted after the introduction of Everose gold, all pink gold watches are manufactured from 18k Everose gold. Additionally, while there have been some Tridor references produced throughout the watch's history, characterized by the combination of yellow, white, and pink gold on a single watch, Rolex has yet to release any large-sized Tridor watches.
The most common types of bezels found on the larger gold models are the fluted bezels, while the platinum versions are most often fitted with smooth bezels. Although both white gold and platinum references are similar-looking Rolex Day-Date silver-toned models, an easy way to differentiate between these two white metal Day-Date watches is to look at the style of bezel fitted to them. White gold references usually have fluted bezels while the platinum ones typically are fitted with smooth bezels. However, gem-set bezels with brilliant-cut diamonds or baguette-cut diamonds (or sometimes even other gemstones) are available on both select gold and platinum Day-Date models.
While the Rolex Day-Date collection has been manufactured in four different sizes throughout its history, the larger Day-Date II and Day-Date 40 models have case sizes of 41mm and 40mm, respectively.
Rolex Day-Date 40: 40mm Oyster Case
Rolex Day-Date II: 41mm Oyster Case
Despite the 1mm difference in size, both the Rolex Day-Date II and Day-Date 40 have waterproof Oyster cases that feature the Twinlock double waterproofness system. This patented system includes a screw-down Twinlock winding crown with two sealed zones and the hermetically screwed caseback, which together provide both the larger Day-Date watches with optimal protection against intrusion from moisture and dust.
The collection is one of the most diverse in terms of dial styles; however the larger references have not been offered with quite the same range of styles as the classic 36mm size version of the watch. In the past, dial options for the 36mm version of the Rolex Day-Date have included everything from vibrant lacquer dials (known as Stella dials), to dials that featured textures engraved on their surfaces, such as linen, pyramid, Jubilee, and Morellis finishes. Additionally, there have also been more exotic materials used for Rolex Day-Date dials, such as mother-of-pearl, meteorite, lapis lazuli, coral, onyx, burl wood, and more.
Dial option for the larger watches are significantly more limited; however this does not mean that there is not an ample selection of styles. While the more exotic options do not exist for the larger watches, there is still an ample selection of dial colors and index styles available. Depending on the specific model, references can be found with diamond hour markers, Arabic numerals, Roman numerals, or traditional stick indexes. Additionally, gem-set dials can have either baguette-cut or brilliant-cut diamonds (or other precious gemstones such as sapphires or rubies), and some are even completely paved in diamonds for the ultimate luxury statement. In 2015, Rolex announced new dials for the Day-Date 40 models, using a new laser etching process to create striking textures in the surface (crisscross, striped, and quadrant), which can take on different appearances depending on how they reflect the light.
Lastly, it's important to note that like the classic 36mm version, the day wheel displayed via the arch-shaped window on the Day-Date II and Day-Date 40 is available in 26 different languages, allowing owners to have a bespoke day display, further embracing the Rolex President's global appeal.
The bracelet style that is most associated with the collection is the President bracelet, characterized by its semicircular, three-piece link construction. Over the years, Rolex has offered the 36mm version of the Day-Date with a variety of different bracelet styles including leather straps, Oyster bracelets, and even Pearlmaster bracelets. However, both the larger watches have only ever been made available with President style bracelets.
The classic 36mm version has been powered by a number of different movements throughout its history, including even a quartz movement used for the Oysterquartz watches; however all Day-Date II and Day-Date 40 contain mechanical self-winding chronometer movements.
When the Rolex Day-Date II made an appearance in 2008, it was powered by the Caliber 3156 movement. Like all other modern Rolex movements, the Caliber 3156 is a certified chronometer, developed and manufactured entirely in-house by Rolex. Boasting identical performance statistics to the previous Caliber 3155 movement used to power the 36mm version of the Day-Date, the new Cal. 3156 added Rolex's proprietary shock-resistant and anti-magnetic Blue Parachrom hairspring (made from a paramagnetic alloy of niobium and zirconium), along with high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers for increased protection against impacts and potentially disruptive magnetic forces.
In 2015, Rolex announced a new generation movement for their flagship Day-Date 40 collection in the form of the perpetual Caliber 3255 movement. With 14 patents to its name, the COSC-Certified Caliber 3255 features a number of technical improvements, increasing the overall reliability, precision, and durability of their Day-Date 40 watches. Thanks to Rolex's new Chronergy escapement and a redesigned barrel architecture, the Cal. 3255 is a high-precision movement with a greater degree of mechanical efficiency than its predecessors. While timekeeping accuracy of the new Caliber 3255 maintains the same +/-2 seconds per day of the previous generation, the new Cal. 3255 has a power reserve of 70 hours (compared to the 48-hour power reserve of the previous generation).
Rolex Day-Date II ref. 21823x: Caliber 3156
Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. 2282xx, 2283xx: Caliber 3255 (70 hours power reserve)
Given their precious metal construction, double calendar functionality, and larger case sizes, both the Day-Date II and the Day-Date 40 represent some of the most expensive Rolex watches currently available (outside of the collectible vintage market).
Retail prices for current-production models start at $36,550 for the classic yellow gold version with a fluted bezel and quickly go up from there depending on materials and embellishments. Interestingly, Everose gold and white gold models are more expensive than their yellow gold counterparts, both with a base price of $39,250. Naturally, the platinum models are the most expensive watches, costing substantially more than any of their 18k gold counterparts.
Given that all Day-Date II and 40 watches were produced after 2008 and are still considered to be relatively modern timepieces, savings on the secondary market are not as significant as they are for the traditional 36mm version of the watch, where older examples from the 1980s and 1990s are readily available. The Rolex Day-Date II price range on the secondary market starts at roughly $30,000 for pre-owned 40mm and 41mm President watches, and goes up from there depending on the specific configuration of the watch.
Although the Rolex Day-Date President collection has remained in constant production since it was first introduced more than sixty years ago, the larger Day-Date II and Day-Date 40 models only have a history that extends back to 2008.
Just as the classic 36mm version of the Rolex Day-Date has been embraced by presidents, celebrities, and visionaries since the 1950s, the list of noteworthy names that wear Day-Date II and Day-Date 40 watches is extensive and includes (but is certainly not limited to) the following individuals.
Here is a complete list of all the different references that have been produced throughout history.