While the word “iconic” often gets thrown around carelessly in the luxury watch space, if a watch is simply referred to as “The President” it’s hard to argue its iconic status. Enter the Rolex Day-Date timepiece, better known as the Rolex President or Rolex Presidential. For over six decades, the Day-Date has been the go-to timepiece for some of the world’s most influential people, including yes, actual Presidents. Naturally, over the course of the Day-Date’s history
, Rolex has enhanced and improved the watch, while still maintaining its signature design. One particular vintage Rolex President is especially significant to the advancement of the collection—the Day-Date 18238
. Here are four reasons we love the Rolex Day-Date 18238.
Reason #1: The Rolex Day-Date 18238 Introduced the Double Quickset Feature
As its name suggests, the automatic Day-Date watch includes a pair of calendar windows to indicate the day of the week and the date of the month. On early models, such as the Day-Date ref. 1803 from the 1960s and 1960s, the user had to continuously turn the center hands past midnight to change both the date and the day. [caption id="attachment_1001" align="aligncenter" width="600"]
The Rolex Day-Date 18038 introduced the single quickset function[/caption] Then in 1977, Rolex unveiled the Day-Date ref. 18038 with a date quickset function so that the date could now be adjusted independently from the timekeeping hands. Finally, in 1988 Rolex introduced the Day-Date 18238 fitted with the then-new Caliber 3155. As a result, the Rolex President now offered the double quickset functionality
, meaning that both the day and the date windows are set autonomously from the center hour and minute hands. This makes the Day-Date ref. 18238 significantly more practical to use than its predecessors, thus one of the reasons why we love it.
Reason #2: The Rolex Day-Date 18238 is a Full Yellow Gold Watch
As Rolex’s most prestigious watch, the Day-Date is exclusively crafted in precious materials. While there are platinum, rose gold, and white gold editions of the famous dress Rolex watch, the most traditional version of them all is undoubtedly the yellow gold President. Fun fact, while the Day-Date is not officially called the President, Rolex did name its famous band with the semi-circular links the President bracelet. [caption id="attachment_863" align="aligncenter" width="600"]
The iconic President bracelet[/caption] The Day-Date ref. 18238 includes a yellow gold 36mm Oyster case, a yellow gold fluted bezel, and a yellow gold President bracelet. Instantly recognizable, it’s hard to beat the classic style of the Day-Date ref. 18238—yet another reason we love it.
Reason #3: The Rolex Day-Date 18238 is a Great Size for Almost Any Wrist
The 36mm Oyster case of the Day-Date 18238 is suitable for almost anyone. As such, plenty of women enjoy wearing the Day-Date 36 watch too, despite it being officially classified as a men’s Rolex
. [caption id="attachment_1006" align="aligncenter" width="600"]
Rolex Day-Date 18238[/caption] The Day-Date 18238 is large enough to make a statement on the wrist, yet perfectly capable of being worn under a shirt cuff if needed. Not too big and not too small, the elegant size of the Day-Date 18238 makes it easy to love.
Reason #4: The Rolex Day-Date 18238 is a More Affordable Way to Own a President
It’s no secret that the Rolex President is an expensive timepiece. In fact, the hefty price tag of the Day-Date is one of the appeals of the watch since wearing it makes a proud statement of one’s own success. However, opting for the now-discontinued Day-Date 18238 from the pre-owned market offers a much more affordable way to wear a yellow gold Rolex President. Since Rolex has stuck to essentially the same iconic design of the Day-Date throughout the last 60 years, yellow gold President watches from different eras look remarkably similar. [caption id="attachment_1009" align="aligncenter" width="600"]
Rolex Day-Date 18238[/caption] A brand new Day-Date ref. 118238 will set you back over $30,000. On the other hand, a pre-owned Day-Date 18238 costs well below half that price! What’s not to love about that? Boasting a practical double quickset functionality, a full yellow gold construction with a wearable 36mm case size, and a price point that’s less that less than half of its modern counterpart, it’s clear that the Day-Date President ref. 18238 is an absolute gem the in Rolex’s archives.