The now-discontinued Rolex Day-Date II had a diameter of 41 mm. In my opinion, that watch was a bit too big and lacked the finesse and perfect design ratio of the original Day-Date in 36 mm. Somehow, this watch appeared to be bulkier on the wrist than the 41-mm Datejust II.
So, in additionm to the Rolex Yacht-Master Everose (we talked about it here), Rolex decided to bring us a new version of the Day-Date in 40 mm and a beautiful, stainless-steel Oyster Perpetual in 39 mm (that we’ve talked about here).
The Rolex Day-Date in 40 mm is basically a larger version of the classic 36-mm Day-Date, whereas the 41-mm Day-Date II was basically an entirely different watch. Not only did Rolex put more effort into the design of the Day-Date, they also updated the movement. With more effort into the design of the new 40mm version, I mean that they respected the original Day-Date more than they did with the 41mm version.
The middle part of the case and lugs are more refined than those of its 41-mm brother. The Rolex Day-Date 40mm is therefore far more elegant on the wrist and probably suits just about any wrist size. Men with smaller wrists can still decide to go for the original 36-mm version of the Rolex Day-Date, of course.
For now, Rolex introduced the Day-Date 40 mm in 18 carat white gold, yellow gold, Everose gold and the cream of the crop is of course the platinum version. The gold versions have a fluted bezel whereas the platinum edition was presented with a smooth bezel. There will also be diamond-set bezels for the Rolex Day-Date 40mm.
All Rolex Day-Date models pictured here have the famous President bracelet. At this point, it is unknown whether Rolex will also deliver the Day-Date on an Oyster bracelet.
Aside from the aesthetics (which I already love about the new Rolex Day-Date), there is also something to say about the technical aspects of the watch. Rolex developed a new movement for this Day-Date, featuring — in addition to the day and date indicator — a power reserve of 70 hours, a new escapement (called Chronergy) and a high precision (-2/+2 seconds per day).
It’s interesting to note that the Chronergy escapement in this Rolex movement (Caliber 3255) is anti-magnetic. As you know, magnetism (measured in gauss) is one of the worst enemies of a mechanical watch. Also, the movement has a blue Parachrom hairspring, which is able to handle shocks in a better way than a traditional hairspring. Rolex Caliber 3255 seems to be a very solid movement, able to withstand abuse during daily wear.
Rolex was also able to guarantee a -2/+2 seconds per day deviation with this new movement, numbers that easily fall into the chronometer standards (-4/+6 seconds per day) according to the COSC. Rolex has no less than 14 patents for this new movement and claims that over 90% of the movement consists of new components.
So, that’s all cool, of course, but I am convinced that most buyers of the new Rolex Day-Date 40mm are more concerned about the perfect dial and material combination than technical specifications of the movement, which they simply expect to be more than reliable. In that respect, the new Rolex Day-Date is to watches what a Mercedes Benz S-class is to cars. You know by looking at it that the engine is fine and smooth as butter.
The new Rolex Day-Date 40 has been presented in a number of dial and color combinations, which I am sure will be expanded in the future with even more different configurations.
Prices of the Rolex Day-Date 40 start at CHF 33,200 for the yellow-gold versions, CHF 35,800 for the Everose and white-gold versions, and CHF 59,600 for the platinum model.
In the end, I believe that with the Rolex Day-Date 40mm, the classic “Presidential” Rolex has returned and will find its way to those who love an elegant but very powerful “statement” watch.
As of July 1, 2015, Rolex will extend its warranty to five years (up from two years). Rolex watches that have been sold between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2015, will receive an extended warranty of one year on top of the two years they originally had.