While it misses out on the steel version that made the Datejust about the most versatile of all Rolex’s designs, the Day-Date is still available in an almost uncountable number of variations.
Like the Datejust, it is something of a chameleon. It can be either a toned-down and subdued companion or, in another guise, an extravagantly colorful showman. It all depends on the personal sensibilities of the wearer.
Classic 18K Gold
The classic Day-Date look will always be the 18k yellow gold, complete with champagne dial and simple baton indexes. It has been an option in the range from the very first reference, the ref. 6510, and continues to be the model that is most identifiably Rolex. Today, you will still find more yellow gold examples on the vintage market than any other.
Accompanying them, and still plentiful, are the other pair of gold alloys, red and white. Each has a dramatic effect on the overall look of the watch. The chocolaty warmth of Rolex’s red, or Everose, gold brings a subtler, more understated aesthetic, while the white gold pieces are perhaps the ones most adaptable to different situations and outfits.
At the absolute top end is the unbridled luxury of platinum. It has a luminosity unlike any other and is one of the densest and heaviest metals in the world. Although many assume there to be very little to choose between it and white gold, in the flesh, you can see nothing shimmers quite like platinum. Rare and extremely difficult to forge and polish, they make up some of the most expensive examples of the Day-Date you will find.
The dials, the element that gives the watch its personality more than anything else, have been issued in just about any color you could wish for, from traditional black and white to the lurid garishness of the 70s Stella dials (we’ll look at those a bit later).
As well as the different colors, the Day-Date has also had faces crafted from some extraordinary materials over its lifetime. If the rainbow-like iridescence of mother-of-pearl is not quite exclusive enough for you, there is another option that is literally out of this world. The early 2000s gave rise to President models fitted with dials formed from thin slivers of the Gibeon meteorite. These slivers are from an actual shooting star that fell to earth as far back as three million years ago in Namibia. Each one is completely unique. And, with the Namibian government slapping a ban on any more of the meteorite being removed for any purpose, the models that exist now are going to be the only ones made.
The bezels also have a number of options, from polished flat or fluted surrounds to those set with Rolex’s diligently hand-selected diamonds.
The Tridor Presidential Bracelet
As for the range of bracelets, you can choose between the specially created three-link President, the elegant solidity of the Oyster or one of the brand’s beautifully supple alligator leather straps. During the 80s, one notable variation did emerge. Known as the Tridor, it is a standard President bracelet where the outer links are made from 18k white gold, but the center links are made up of a blend of white, red and yellow gold, running in stripes down the middle. It is an option not offered anymore, and has an especially eye-catching look.
Day of the Week in 26 Languages
The one other big decision to make before pulling the trigger on your Day-Date purchase is in what language you would like your day of the week written. Originally issued with a choice of 11, today you can take your pick from a total of 26. It will, of course, depend on what your native tongue is. Although, if you don’t speak English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Greek, Danish, Dutch, Basque, Catalan, Finnish, Hebrew, Arabic, Ethiopian, Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese, Latin, Moroccan, Farsi, Turkish, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Swedish or Norwegian, you will either have to look elsewhere. Or else, just commit to learning seven new words!