Baselworld 2013: Rolex DAY-DATE colorful dials
When it came out in 1956, the Rolex DAY-DATE was the first chronometer with both the day and date spelled out on the dial. Dubbed the President because many heads of state wore one, the watch became a symbol of power and prestige. Such a watch was only produced in precious metals and to this day the tradition continues.
This year Rolex added some new members to the DAY-DATE team with some colorful dial pops, including Cherry and Cognac that come with matching straps and are complemented to the color of the gold case. The Cognac comes in 18K yellow gold, while the Cherry is paired with 18K white gold.
If you take a look at the auction blocks lately, you’ll notice that colorful Rolex DAY-DATE lacquer dials from the 1970’s are a big hit and bringing premium prices, minty examples hitting the 20-30K mark. Although Rolex didn’t call them Stella dials, collectors refer to them that way because in Latin “stella” means star and the dials glisten in the light. Interestingly, at the time Rolex produced these watches they weren’t very popular, people overlooking them for the more popular Submariner and GMT models. Perhaps that’s why Rolex only did a short run of them.
In the pendulum swing of tastes, what’s old becomes new again and so it is with brash colored watch dials. Rolex has dug into the paint box with the new DAY-DATE hues, showing that color doesn’t have to be just for fashion watches. And although these dials aren’t lacquer they have as much punch as their older siblings.
At the same time that Rolex smartly rides the trends, they still march to the beat of their own drummer. These new DAY-DATEs aren’t in a 40 or 41mm case. They aren’t even in a 38mm case, but come in the same 36mm sizing as the Stella models. This more traditional sizing allows the Cherry and Cognac colored dials to defy the category of women or men too. Dashing and with stylish grace, they can find a comfortable home on either sex’s wrist.
Of course you can rely on the DAY-DATE Rolex to run like a workhorse with its in-house 3155 calibre with PARACHROM hairspring to reduce shock affecting the accuracy. Rolex continues to perfect their technology and after 30 years the new DAY-DATE is a piece of cake to get on track with rapid setting through the crown (unlike the Stellas, in which you have to go through a bit of crown twisting gymnastics). The day and date also snap into place right on cue.
Rolex scores another winner with the DAY-DATE by reaching into the archives and injecting their own color.