The Oyster Perpetual Day-Date holds a hallowed place in Rolex’s history. Sober and elegant, it has achieved mythical status and is considered the most esteemed model in the Oyster collection with its refined case and lugs and clear, legible dial showing calendar indications. It came to be known as the “Presidents’ Watch”, sported by presidents, particularly American presidents, which bestowed upon it a powerful aura of prestige beyond its primary functions. Irresistibly attractive, it has been worn by more heads of state, royalty, dignitaries, celebrities, sportspeople, captains of industry and men who guided the destinies of the world than any other replica Rolex timepiece. Earning its reputation on the wrists of many world leaders, as well as by its technical prowess with criteria for accuracy that are twice as rigorous as those for an officially-certified chronometer, it provided the essential information needed for scheduling meetings or signing and dating contracts. Thus, the practical Day-Date has always been the ideal replica watches for decision-makers as it exudes confidence. By extension, by wearing a Day-Date, you’re making a statement that you yourself are a leader and can achieve anything you put your mind to, that you can set a precedent with a Rolex strapped to your wrist. Qualified as an international mark of success, it distinguishes its wearer as one of the elite. It is the ultimate status watch that, more than any other, embodies the accomplishments and prestige of the brand and of those who wear it.
At the time it was launched in 1956, the Day-Date symbolized the pinnacle of Rolex’s replica watchmaking artistry. By then, the brand had already delivered numerous innovations: the first wristwatch to obtain a chronometer certificate for its accuracy from the Kew Observatory near London in 1914, the world’s first waterproof wristwatch known as the Oyster that simultaneously protected the movement from dust and humidity in 1926, the first wristwatch that automatically wound itself whenever the wearer moved his wrist via the Perpetual self-winding system with free rotor in 1931 (a system later adopted by the entire watchmaking industry), the first wristwatch chronometer with date aperture known as the Datejust in 1945, and the first appearances of Rolex’s professional tool swiss replica watches such as the Explorer, Submariner, GMT-Master and Milgauss in the early 1950s.
However, Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf’s pièce de résistance was arguably the Day-Date. As the last flagship model he created, it can be considered his ultimate achievement in the pursuit of excellence. With its highly-legible instantaneous jump calendar system dubbed the “miracle at midnight”, it was the first-ever waterproof and self-winding chronometer wristwatch to indicate the day of the week written out in full in an arc-shaped window at 12 o’clock on the dial in a choice of 26 different languages (including Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Latin, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian), thereby asserting its universal nature – the first chronometer in the world to achieve this feat.
The Day-Date is endowed with other signature elements that encompass its visual identity: a date aperture at three o’clock enlarged by a Cyclops lens (a fake Rolex innovation that was later extended to all models in the Oyster collection displaying the date), availability only in precious metals – 950 platinum or 18-carat yellow, white or Everose gold – and fitted with the bespoke instantly-recognizable President bracelet with graceful semi-circular three-piece links (satin-finished outer links and polished, wider central links) designed exclusively for the timepiece at its launch. The new-generation concealed Crownclasp, an opening and closing mechanism with folding blades, is hidden beneath a small Rolex crown-shaped lever in the latest Day-Date.
Historically, the bracelet was composed of gold links containing steel inserts. In the new version, these steel inserts are covered by ceramic sleeves, which raises durability by reducing the wear-and-tear that results when soft and hard metals rub against each other. It may be a minor improvement but one that is proof of Rolex’s commitment to quality. The choice of the two calendar functions was also carefully considered. Wilsdorf had written in a letter a few years earlier that in his opinion the date and day were the two most useful displays because they change daily, so Rolex concentrated on the presentation of this essential information, ensuring they were given pride of place on the dial.
Causing a sensation when it was first released 59 years ago, the Day-Date replica watch remains timeless, ever modern in terms of its display and functions. Until then, watchmakers had traditionally used hands to present the calendar functions on a timepiece. Through the Day-Date, Rolex revolutionized date indications by using aluminum discs instead and displaying not just one date window, but two, both perfectly synchronized with one another and adjustable from the crown. The calendar mechanism gathers enough energy for both the day and date discs to change at the same time within a fraction of a second, while an effective brake ensures they only advance one day at a time. Overlapping, the lower disc displays the date and the upper one the day with seven openings that allow the date below to remain visible on the dial.
Two distinctive independent star-shaped wheels stacked on the same axle drive the two calendar discs: a wheel with seven large teeth for the days of the week and a wheel with 31 small teeth for the date. Each star is activated by a finger on a snail cam that accumulates energy as it rotates over a 24-hour period. At the stroke of midnight, the cam’s energy is swiftly released and each of the fingers provides a tooth with the impulse required to push its star and thus the corresponding calendar disc one position forward. Jumper springs descend between two teeth of the stars, which serve as a brake to stop and stabilize them. Protected by four patents at its launch, the clever calendar system also spreads energy consumption uniformly over a 24-hour cycle, consequently guaranteeing the certified chronometer movement’s precision.
Evolving over the years to enhance its performance, the calendar mechanism incorporated a rapid-setting system in 1977, thereby simplifying day and date adjustments. But its assembly and adjustment still require steady hands and age-old skills: flawless alignment of the discs so the day and date appear correctly in their apertures, and they must be perfectly level so they don’t come into contact with one another and upset the calendar or watch’s rate. The jumpers must also be expertly positioned so they interact freely within a constrained space.
Fast-forward to 2015. The Day-Date now comes in a new size, in a more elegant style, with a relooked bracelet and a brand-new movement. Although it’s just one millimeter smaller in diameter than the 41-mm Day-Date II introduced in 2008, the Day-Date 40 marks a significant evolutionary change and is being touted as its replacement. The Day-Date II is rather large and flashy with oversized Roman numerals, while the 36-mm Day-Date exists in various styles (colored dials and straps and gem-set dials), so the Day-Date 40 brings back sophistication and refinement to the fake watch of presidents through its more streamlined shape with longer, slimmer lugs, a thinner bezel and thinner notches on its fluted bezel. Dial details have been refined as chunky Roman numerals have been swapped with single applied hour markers on the platinum and Everose gold models, while the yellow and white gold versions adopt a more minimal approach with new beveled and deconstructed Roman numeral hour markers.
Today’s version of the Day-Date is fitted with the Caliber 3255, a new-generation mechanical movement entirely developed and manufactured in-house by Rolex’s engineers (who master all processes involved in movement production) for improved performance, after years of research and development on horological parts. It is an exceptional example of avant-garde watchmaking technology. Featuring an amazing 14 patents, the automatic movement with bidirectional Perpetual rotor is twice as precise as an officially-certified chronometer and boasts a 50 percent increase in power reserve from that of its predecessor, rising to 70 hours (signifying that it will run over a weekend without needing rewinding), thanks to its energy-efficient, dependable escapement and new high-capacity barrel architecture. Its reliability has been optimized through the use of in-house developed high-performance lubricants on the gear train, with Rolex replica being the only independent watch manufacturer to develop and synthesize its own lubricants. The caliber also displays faster and more efficient self-winding, distinct positions on the winding stem, all-day/any-time calendar correction and stop-seconds for extremely precise time setting.
Over 90 percent of movement components have been redesigned and improved, including the self-winding module and mainspring (which produce and store energy), the oscillator (the regulating organ responsible for precision), the gear train and the escapement. The 28,800-bph oscillator with optimized blue Parachrom hairspring patented and manufactured by Swiss Rolex in a special paramagnetic alloy is up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in the event of shocks. Communicating the impulses needed to maintain the oscillator’s regular beat, the escapement has been boosted by an important innovation patented by Rolex. The result of extensive research, the Rolex Chronergy escapement made of paramagnetic nickel-phosphorus optimizes the standard Swiss lever escapement’s efficiency, which has seen little technical evolution over the past 50 years. Despite its reliability, the Swiss lever escapement has always suffered from low efficiency, passing on to the oscillator hardly more than one-third of the energy it obtains from the mainspring via the gear train.
The Chronergy’s geometry enhances escapement efficiency by 15 percent, and close to half of Caliber 3255’s increased power reserve is owed to the escapement itself. According to replica Rolex, the escapement system is no longer aligned but slightly offset, providing greater distance between the pallet fork and the balance wheel, thereby multiplying the lever effect, while the escape wheel features an open-worked design reducing its weight and its inertia. The Chronergy escapement showcases reversed length ratios between the escape wheel teeth and the pallet stones. As the thickness of the pallet stones has been trimmed down by half, the contact surfaces of the escape wheel’s teeth have been doubled.
The caliber’s chronometric precision surpasses the criteria required by the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) as Rolex has specially developed new methodology and high-tech equipment for testing its Superlative Chronometers’ precision. Rolex checks the movement’s accuracy a second time after it has been cased using superior precision methodology according to its own standards, which simulates the actual real-life everyday conditions in which a replica watch is worn. These exclusive chronometric tests complement the official COSC certification that all Rolex Replica movements systematically acquire, and are carried out on the entire assembled watch with encased movement and not solely on the movement.
Improved production methods in terms of precision and tolerances have resulted in enhanced component quality and performance. The thickness of the barrel’s walls has been reduced by 50 percent to accommodate a larger mainspring with greater capacity thanks to high-precision machining, leading to an increase of more than 10 hours in autonomy. High-tech LiGA (micro-manufacturing by electroforming) processes were used to produce the paramagnetic pallet fork and escape wheel of the Chronergy escapement. The synthetic ruby pallet stones on the Chronergy escapement’s pallet fork measure only 125 microns – a 50 percent decrease compared to those of the previous generation – while precision manufacturing allowed a threefold improvement in the poise of the oscillator balance wheel. In terms of esthetics, Caliber 3255 has reinvented the shape and arrangement of the bridges and its traditional decoration, while retaining the trademarks of Rolex Oyster Perpetual movements, like the red reversing wheels of the self-winding module, the golden yellow sinks and traversing balance bridge.
Housed in an indestructible Oyster case, the Day-Date 40 is available in four versions with replica watches faces exclusive to them that show off Rolex’s expertise in dial-making. The brand has been researching laser etching techniques applied to a traditional sunray finish to craft dial textures that demonstrate complexity, depth and refinement and that appear different depending on the light and angle. Choose from a platinum case with an ice blue dial with diagonal crisscross pattern, a white gold case with a silver quadrant dial showcasing four sections with striped etchings running in divergent directions, an Everose gold case featuring a sundust dial with vertical stripe motif or a yellow gold case with champagne dial.