ROLEX DAY-DATE 'TWO FACES OT TASTE AND SNOBBERY' LUEL MAGAZINE JAN. 2015
his is the story of a watch once every man dreamed of, a watch that can be sold off within minutes anywhere in the world - the 'golden Rolex Day-date.' When Rolex Day-date was first introduced in 1956, it was the first wrist watch that indicated both date and day of the week. Let alone its practical benefit, its design feature of placing two windows on the dial was an issue of major interest at that time.
Early Day-Date 6611B from 1957
It is a known fact that Rolex never planned a stainless steel or combination model of the Day-date in the first place (of course there were a few proto-types made of such materials for internal examination), but only available were (and still are) the luxurious versions made of rare metals like gold, rose gold, platinum as well as precious stones.
Very different choice Day-date Ref.1804 and 1803 for Middle East Countries
Day-date was a pioneer model in many other aspects - first to use sapphire crystal glass, hidden clasp buckle, and quick-set date-change caliber movement to name a few. These unique features kept its price high and hence the watch hard to get, which stirred up a phenomenon of illusion and jealousy like a pandemic among customers.
This is how a golden Rolex Day-date became, and still is, associated with a double-faced image of both 'upper class' taste' and 'snobbery of nouveau riche' for over 60 years since its first release.
President Lyndon B. Johnson with his Day-date
james-gandolfini with Day-date at 'Sopranos'
Choi Min-Sik with Day-date at Nameless Gangster : Rules of the Time
Recently for some time vintage Day-dates are getting more and more popular among watch collectors. This model was originally available only as a set with golden 'President' bracelet, but when changing watch straps and bands became convenient and trendy, new chances of revival opened up for the 'head only' vintages of Day-dates. In the picture below are the Day-dates made of gold, platinum and pink gold from the 1960s to 1980s.
Even when coupled with black or brown colored leather staps, Day-date still looks elegant with a hint of irregular beauty. A close look at the two-windowed dial reveals a well-balanced charm that took one step further from the Datejust model, and the curved lines of 36mm case remind us of the cushion-shaped Oyster case from the 1930s.
NOSTIME VINTAGE WATCHES