Rolex Day-Date 40 228238
In the last sixty-one years there cannot be a more archetypal symbol of success than the solid gold (or platinum) Rolex Day-Date "President," bar none. It telegraphs a certain station in life in such an unapologetic way that you can't help but notice it and then wonder what that person's house must look like. If you've spotted the yellow gold "President" bracelet, the champagne sunburst dial with those gorgeous deco, yellow gold Roman numerals and the solid yellow gold case from across the room you're looking at a Day-Date ref. 228238 - the house is probably pretty nice. This watch is one of four new reference numbers that Rolex debuted at the 2015 Baselworld Fair under a new 40mm size and the workaday name, Day-Date 40 - these watches replaced the 41mm Day-Date IIs but it's more than a single millimeter of size that defines this watch. The crux of the '40' is the new in-house Rolex caliber 3255 and the Rolex patented Chronergy escapement, which is technical and thoughtful and kind of a big deal. As an asset in precious metal and a technological marvel the 228238 will put you in good stead with every head of state, classical musician, civil rights activist, gentleman racer, novelist, blues guitarist, premier chef, golfer, opera singer, Japanese master swordsmith, conductor, singer, movie director, entrepreneur, oil well firefighter, negotiator, international lawyer, tennis champion, pro football hall-of-famer or equestrian rider who has worn a Day-Date before you, which is quite a group. Rolex has been building wristwatches to help people conquer the world since the mid-1920s and while collectively they've accompanied polar expeditions, mountain summits, record setting land speed and long distance flying attempts, treacherous open water swims and ocean exploration, when the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date (as it was known then) debuted in solid gold at the 1956 Baselworld Fair it was a different breed of cat entirely. So far that decade Rolex had been seriously indulging its steel tool watch obsession with the 1953 Explorer, the 1955 Submariner and the 1956 Milgauss, so the heavy, shiny, lets-not-drop-this-to-the-bottom-of-the-ocean-or-smash-it-against-a-cliff-face Day-Date was clearly intended for a different type of conquerer. Steel was fine for the fellas in the field but the Day-Date signaled where the real power was, it was for the producers, the procuring causes, the suit-wearing, king-making guys behind the guys. Rolex wanted you to know that, "Men who guide the destinies of the world wear Rolex watches," and that included US President Lyndon B. Johnson, which is where the Day-Date's nickname the "Rolex President" loosely came from. This watch was a big deal when it debuted. Loaded with all of the latest Rolex technology to that point it was a flagship statement: Oyster case, chronometer movement, "self-winding perpetual mechanism," and then on top of that Rolex added two world firsts: the date and day at 3 and 12, respectively, and; the day spelled out in full (presently the day is available in 26 languages). It was brilliant! Even the bracelet, with its semi-circular three piece links, was designed specifically for the Day-Date! Price is a barrier to entry on these watches as they only come in gold or platinum but precious metal Rolexes are the currency of presidents, moguls, bon vivants, scoundrels, nonconformists and monarchs the world over. This watch will get you into the room; or out of a tight jam and to the airport if things are collapsing around you. These watches know no equal, and the Day-Date leads the pack.