A Rolex Day-Date – perhaps better known as a ‘President’ or ‘Presidential’ – is one of the luxury watch brand’s most iconic designs. While the Presidential now comes in a variety of styles, the classic 18k yellow gold watch remains a favorite the world over.
While the exact cost of a Rolex Presidential will depend on how many bells and whistles you attach to it (a diamond-encrusted face is an option), a brand new Presidential (Day-Date) will typically set you back $36,000 USD.
Not only does this iconic watch boast a long and interesting history, it has also been the watch of choice for many business leaders, politicians, and celebrities. Indeed, it was the Day-Date’s popularity among U.S. presidents that helped give rise to the Presidential nickname.
Why is it called a Presidential?
Among the many U.S. presidents that have owned a Presidential, Lyndon B. Johnson was one of the best-known ambassadors of the Rolex brand.
A collector of fine watches, President Johnson was renowned for his love of Rolex, particularly his Day-Date, which he was pictured wearing many times throughout his presidency.
As well as collecting watches of his own, President Johnson frequently gave Rolex watches as gifts, including an 18k gold watch to his cardiologist.
Another U.S. president closely associated with the Rolex brand is President Eisenhower, who was gifted Rolex’s 150,000th certified chronometer.
Although it is very closely associated with many presidents throughout history, there is another reason why the Day-Date adopted it’s famous nickname: the distinctive linked bracelet that is a key part of the Presidential’s iconic look is called a “President bracelet”!
What makes a Presidential so special?
Rolex describes the Presidential as “the ultimate watch of prestige”, and it’s easy to see why.
When it debuted in 1956, The Presidential was the first waterproof and self-winding chronometer wristwatch that not only showed the date, but also the day, spelt out in it’s own dedicated window on the dial.
Made of precious metals, including gold and platinum, the Presidential is an expertly crafted watch. With options to add diamonds and other precious stones to the watch face and bezel, and the eponymous day display window available in a variety of languages, every Presidential watch can be as unique as it’s owner.
In addition to it’s flashy appearance, the Presidential also benefits from one of the best self-winding movements in the watch world. The intimate mechanics of their watches is one of Rolex’s driving passions, and nowhere is that seen more clearly than in a Presidential.
How many different styles of Presidential are there?
With over 100 different Presidential models available on the Rolex website alone, it is safe to say that there is a Presidential to suit everyone.
Whether you are after a classic 40mm yellow gold Presidential, or if a gem encrusted rose gold Presidential is more your style, you can own a piece of horological history with a Presidential of your very own.
Where can I buy a Rolex Presidential?
Any official Rolex retailer should stock a selection of Presidentials. You can search the Rolex website for the official retailer closest to you.
There are several benefits to only purchasing through an official retailer. Firstly, you can be sure that the watch you are buying is authentic. Besides that, they also possess the special knowledge and equipment to help you maintain your Presidential into the future, ensuring that it will last a lifetime.
When you purchase your Presidential from an official Rolex retailer, they will provide you with a guarantee card. All new Rolex watches come with an international 5-year guarantee. The official retailer will complete this card at time of purchase and register your watch with Rolex.
If a new watch isn’t within your budget, or if you prefer to purchase a vintage watch, reputable second-hand online markets such as Chrono24 and second-hand retailers such as WatchBox offer a great range of watches and other timepieces, including Presidentials.
If you do wish to purchase a second-hand or vintage Presidential, ensure you do so by purchasing through one of these well-known, well-regarded channels. While WatchBox owns and authenticates every watch that it sells, Chrono24 only allows sales from verified sellers within the marketplace, and also offers an escrow payment service for buyer peace of mind.
Regardless of where you purchase it, or whether it’s new or second-hand, a Presidential is a worthwhile, lifetime investment for any watch enthusiast.