The newest version of the Day-Date (also commonly referred to as the “Rolex President”) is the Rolex Day-Date 40 Reference 22823X series, which includes the 18ct Yellow Gold Reference 228238, 18ct Everose Gold Reference 228235, 18ct White Gold Reference 228239, and the Smooth Bezel 950 Platinum Reference 228206. This review is of the 18ct white gold Rolex Day-Date 40 Reference 228239BLRP, with a blue colored dial. In addition to the 18k Rolex Day-Date 40 ‘President’ watches four precious metal case materials, Rolex offers a range of striking dial color and style options, as well as versions of the Day-Date 40 with varying degrees of jewel decoration.
The movement may not be the prettiest in the world (hidden by the screw-down caseback), but it’s very well made.The 3255 operates at 4 Hz, has a three-day power reserve, and I found it to be very reliable. Complications include time with a central second hand, date and of course a weekday window that spells out the date completely. When the date changes at midnight, both calendar dials immediately jump to their new positions. If you’re looking to upgrade to a fancier luxury watch, you’ll probably get more complications and more hand-decorating on the movement – but you really won’t find better performance than the Rolex 3255 (or other 32XX series) mechanical movement.
Rolex’s Day-Date 40 (as the name suggests) measures 40mm wide and about 12mm thick. The strap is 21mm wide, slightly restrained and elegant.The Day-Date 40 is the first Rolex collection to benefit from more modern case production, resulting in better overall quality, tolerances and finishing. This is easily accessible to even the untrained watch enthusiast, and even though there may be more expensive watches out there, no one beats Rolex in terms of overall finishing and initial quality (in my opinion). The oyster-style case has a screw-down crown and caseback and is water-resistant to 100 meters. Above the dial is a flat sapphire crystal with an AR coating underneath. The metal flange around the dial is engraved with elements such as the repeating “Rolex” name on the inside, making the watch difficult to replicate. Other than Rolex, no other company needs to make so many improvements to their watches to prevent them from being easily copied by the multi-billion dollar criminal counterfeit watch trade. While I’ve seen leaps in the quality of fake watches, nothing even comes close to the real thing.
For a long time, the Rolex Day-Date and the Datejust walked side-by-side on a similar path because they appealed to a very similar crowd. You can read my long-running review of the Rolex Datejust 41 watch here.The Datejust is less expensive, is not currently produced in all precious metals, and has a slightly simpler movement. What initially made the Day-Datejust stand out from the Datejust was the inclusion of a day of the week indicator – spelling out the day entirely at the 12 o’clock hour position. My understanding is that this feature was originally designed for active business people (men) who found it useful to know not only the date, but also the current day of the week. This is especially important for those with regular tasks where they are constantly (and clearly) reminded what day of the week it is.