Rolex Day-Date: Evolution of the Million-Dollar Watch

rolex day date watch

To everyone’s surprise, it wasn’t a Rolex Daytona or Patek Philippe to surpass the million-dollar mark at auction this year. The Rolex ‘Rainbow Khanjar’ Day-Date Ref. 18059 wrapped up the highest sale, and we think not people realise that it has set a new Record!

In Rolex’s current technologically advanced catalogue, the Day-Date might sound more like odd luck, isn’t it? Even though the watch has a rich history and a very prominent appeal, it never really received the kind of enthusiasm or appreciation it rightfully deserved.

However, this doesn’t stop the watch from collecting a high resale value in the secondary market. Be it for the watch’s elegant design or innovative technological specifications, it has always been synonymous with class and luxury.

If you already own a Day-Date, you can always sell your Rolex watch at a high value to a reliable watch buyer for an excellent value. Additionally, after the recent auction result, the temperature in the watch fraternity has incredibly increased. As a result, the demand for Day-Date is going to skyrocket!

But, let’s take a moment to realise how this all happened overnight.

1. History Plays A Big Role

Not everyone realises this, but history indeed plays a huge role in the success of a certain timepiece. The Day-Date is the ultimate ‘Hero-Piece’ of Rolex’s wide catalogue and is perhaps the only Rolex watch that doesn’t come in stainless steel.

Few striking features of the Day-Date include:

  • Dial spelling 7 days of the week
  • Wide Aperture at the 12 o’clock
  • Available with up to 26 different languages

The Day-Date made its commercial debut in 1956, and it was how Rolex tried to offer a complicated watch without going overboard with the moon phase displays or perpetual calendars. This is because just before the release of the Day-Date, Rolex ceased the production of the Ref. 8171 and 6062 with complicated triple-calendar moon phases that didn’t sell well.

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But, as Rolex didn’t wholly want to withdraw from the world of complex watch manufacturing, the Day-Date was born!

2. The First Day-Date

The first Day-Date models came out in yellow, white, and rose gold with either a fluted (Ref. 6511) or a domed (Ref. 6510) bezel. The models were in production for only one year before replacing Ref. 6611.

The latter had an updated Calibre 1055 and flaunted the official introduction of the ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’ text written on the dial. This particular reference was available until 1959.

Moving forward, the Day-Date picked its pace during the 1960s. Also, it was during this period that the Rolex Day-Date built a strong reputation as a worthy watch amongst the power brokers and world leaders after President Lyndon B. Johnson wore it on his wrist.

Soon enough, the Day-Date became popular as the ‘President’ timepiece. Later on, President Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, and others wore the Day-Date to elevate the watch’s ‘President’ status further.

3. Day-Date Models & Their Striking Specifications

  • Ref. 18038

Launched in 1978, the Day-Date Ref. 18038 came with a new sapphire crystal, Calibre 3055, and a quick-set mechanism for the date. The Ref. 18038 remained in production for a whole decade.

  • Ref. 18200

Launched in 1988, the Day-Date Ref. 18200 was the first Rolex with a double quick-set mechanism, allowing the user to fix the calendar complications through the crown. The watch came with the Calibre 3155.

  • Ref. 118000

In 2000, the Ref. 118000 came out sporting an advanced bracelet and a clasp.

  • Ref. 218238

Welcoming the Day-Date II in 2008 to celebrate the brand’s 100th anniversary, Rolex took a misfit step. It extended the diameter up to 41mm in the new Day-Date. However, the iteration continued only till 2015.

  • Ref. 228238
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Trimming the case size back to 40mm, the Ref. 228238 Day-Date came with the first movement to feature the brand’s high-efficiency Chronergy escapement, a 70-hour power reserve, and a Parachrom hairspring.

  • Recent day-Date Models

Rolex currently offers the Day-Date in a 40mm and 36mm case, in pink, white, or yellow gold or platinum. Day-Date models are available in diamond-paved dials and gem-set bracelets, dials, and bezels.

All these watches attract an exceedingly high price in the pre-owned market.

4. The Day-Date’s Consistent Success- A Boon or Bane?

Many believe that the watch’s precious materials make it tasteless. Of course, many will readily deny this. But the Day-Date’s standout luxury in an era where many value low-key consumption made people roll their eyes.

However, the situation has undoubtedly changed, and in today’s date, the Rolex Day-Date with over 60 years of staying in power symbolises luxury and the brand’s unmatched excellence.

After selling at a million-dollar price tag in the latest auction, Rolex will probably limit the production of the Day-Date to retain its popularity in the market. This can be quite frustrating for the new collectors looking to invest in a Day-Date.

If you happen to own one of these gorgeous timepieces, you’ll be amazed at the kind of demand it has in the secondary market. You can now sell the Rolex watch at a high price!

5. Rarity Matters

Talking about the new Rolex star ‘The Day-Date Rainbow Khanjar’- the watch outperformed in the latest auction. It sold for almost four times more than the estimated value. Additionally, it is one of the three known examples. So, you can well evaluate its rarity!

The ‘Rainbow Khanjar’ features an 18ct white gold case, a diamond-paved dial, a rainbow sapphire-set exotic bezel, and a diamond-set President bracelet. It is also double-signed with Omani Khanjar’s emblem on the case back, increasing its exclusivity. What made the watch so precious was that the auction house took it from the original owner; Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Oman.

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The Khanjar Crest is the National emblem of Oman, which Qaboos led from 1970 to 2020. All the Khanjar-signed timepieces are highly coveted and reflect Rolex’s firm connection with the Arab world.

6. The Day-Date wears the Rolex’s Crown

After long-standing criticisms, the Day-Date has finally received its deserved recognition in the luxury watch world. The brand has always gone the extra mile to make each timepiece luxurious and unique, and the Day-Date Rainbow Khanjar is a fascinating and robust representation of that.

The Day-Date is a playful timepiece and stands out as one of the most precious amongst Rolex’s vast catalogues.

7. Price Hike

At the end of the day, it is all about how precious and worthy a Rolex is- both aesthetically & financially. If you’re still wondering if the Day-Date is right for you, we suggest digging into the pre-owned watch market to find out its ever-increasing value.

Be it the watch’s numerous exciting combinations or the level of depth, everything makes a person pause and appreciate the beauty of the Day-Date. Also, one must remember that Auction Prices do not lie!

As the Rolex Day-Date crosses the million-dollar bar, the prices of all the Day-Date models will grow in the long-term future. So, if you’ve been planning to sell your Rolex watch for a decent price, we believe this is the time.

Head to a reliable watch buyer in London to sell your Rolex today!

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