At Baselworld 2015 Rolex introduced a new, larger version of the iconic Day-Date. Sitting alongside the 36 mm diameter model is the all-new 40 mm case, the latter of which is powered by the all-new caliber 3255. And like previous Day-Dates, it is exclusively available in platinum or gold.
Originally introduced in 1956, the Day-Date was the first watch to use a full window to spell out the day of the week, alongside the date. This design was created to enhance legibility. And thanks to a Rolex-patented invention, the date discs move forward to the next day instantaneously (in a few milliseconds) at midnight, a feature that at the time was dubbed a “miracle at midnight.” Almost six decades later, the now-iconic watch has graced the wrist of important leaders, captains of industry, and celebrities around the globe – and the rest is history.
The new Day-Date 40 comes in either platinum (with a smooth fixed bezel); Everose, yellow or white gold, the latter of which all have a fixed fluted bezel. Cases are fully polished and feature a Twinlock screwed-down Rolex fluted caseback and double-sealed crown, good for 100 meters of water resistance. The dial is protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire with a cyclops lens over the date and a double anti-reflective coating.
Day-Date 40 models have the words “Oyster Perpetual,” “Day-Date,” and “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” written on the dial. Apart from the yellow gold model, each of the Day-Date variations has distinctive laser-etched motifs on top of a sunray finished dial. The platinum has an Ice blue dial, with a diagonal motif on sunray finish, the rose gold has a sundust with stripe motif on sunray finish, the white gold has a silver dial with a quadrant motif on sunray finish, and the yellow gold features champagne-colored sunray finish.
The white and yellow gold versions of the Day-Date have new faceted and deconstructed Roman numeral hours markers, with individually hand-positioned elements, mixed with indexes. Whereas the rose gold and platinum models have indexes only.
“Superlative Chronometer” is a term that was introduced by Rolex in the late 1950s to mark the precision of its chronometers, which were above and beyond standard chronometers at the time. The Day-Date was one of the first models to satisfy the requirements. However, official chronometer testing certificates with that particular designation disappeared in 1973 with the creation of the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), a consolidation of the various Official Watch Rating Centers which established new, stricter criteria.
Rolex has decided to resurrect the term “Superlative Chronometer ” with the introduction of caliber 3255, its newest generation mechanical movement that equips the new Day-Date. According to the manufacturer, “Rolex has established a level of chronometric precision that surpasses the level defined by COSC criteria. The new Day-Date’s precision on the wrist satisfies criteria twice as exacting as those for an officially certified chronometer, reconnecting with the brand’s heritage and restoring full weight to the notion of Superlative Chronometer.”
The new caliber 3255 Day-Date utilizes technology that takes advantage of no less than 14 Rolex patents. Oscillating at a rate of 4Hz (28,800 vph), this 31 jewels bi-directional self-winding movement does not use a higher rate to increase chronometric precision. Instead, they make horological innovations to improve chronometry. From the paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring to the state-of-the-art Chronergy escapement with Paramagnetic nickel-phosphorus pallet fork and escape wheel, to the large balance wheel with variable inertia weights, to the high-performance Parallax shock absorbers and the traversing balance bridge – the caliber 3255 epitomizes 21st-century chronometry.
Caliber 3255 is not only more accurate than its predecessors, it is also more efficient, resulting in an impressive 70-hour power reserve. And it is a Rolex, so it, of course, defines reliability. Further, effective July 1, 2015, the international Rolex warranty is now 5-years, backing up their reputation as one of the most robust and reliable watches being produced.
Notably, the new Day-Date sees the re-introduction of the so-called presidents’ bracelet. Featuring three semi-circular links, the new bracelet is a modern version of the original. It is now equipped with ceramic inserts inside the links, increasing its durability and comfort. Additionally, a new concealed attachment beneath the bezel ensures seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case.
The Day-Date 40 will be available in addition to the 36mm version. Prices range from $34,850 for the yellow gold without any diamonds up to $115,550 for the platinum version with the diamond bezel and dial. (Ref. 228206 – 83416 platinum, 228235 – 83415 Everose gold, 228238 – 83418 yellow gold, 228239 – 83419 white gold)
Chronometrically, the caliber 3255 features significant improvements which will help to ensure the future success of the collection. Aesthetically, the new 40 mm is a great option for those of us, myself included, who find the 36 mm Day-Date too small for our tastes. Moreover, the new dial details and throwback presidents’ bracelet further add to the Rolex Day-Date 40’s appeal.