Rolex, a single, 5 letter word that for most people embodies a whole world of style, luxury, power and status. They often refer to the brand as the best and most expensive. Watch collectors and connoisseurs often debate about the first and kindly ignore the latter. Nevertheless are Rolex’s qualities known and respected amongst the watch community, and the model that embodies this, as well as the general public opinion about the brand, best might be the Rolex Day-Date.
Despite more complicated and equally precious other models has the Day-Date taken the prime spot in the Rolex-collection ever since its introduction in 1956. In 2008 Rolex introduced the Day-Date II, a model that features the familiar treats of the Day-Date, but now in a more generous case that is 41mm in diameter, instead of the 36mm for the regular Day-Date. The Day-Date has only been made in precious metal, and the Day-Date II is no exception. But although yellow, white and red gold can be very beautiful, it is the platinum version that is the king of the jungle.
In their upcoming auction, which is scheduled for July 14th, does Sotheby’s have one of those platinum Day-Date II on the block. Despite what one would expect from such a precious watch, is this Day-Date II almost an understatement. It features a modest polished bezel (a platinum exclusive) that surrounds a charcoal grey dial with blackened numerals. The white metal case and bracelet will not give it away to an untrained observer that the owner is wearing 278 grams of platinum perfection.
With the introduction of the Day-Date II did Rolex also introduced a new movement for this model; caliber 3156. The caliber 3156 is based on caliber 3155, the automatic movement that has powered the Day-Date ever since it was introduced in 1988. For the caliber 3156 has Rolex made some alterations, like a larger date wheel more suitable for the larger case, and a couple of improvements. One of the most important improvements is the use of a Parachrom-Blu hairspring. Rolex developed this hairspring so that magnetism and shocks would have less of an impact on the accuracy of the watch. To accomplish this they fuse together the two rare metals; 85% Niobium with 15% Zirconium. After the fusing process, both metals react with the oxygen in the air giving the hairspring a beautiful blue color.
Of course all this delight comes with a price; Sotheby’s gives this watch an estimate of 17.500 – 22.500 Pound Sterling. That is significant lower than the more than 30.000 Pound Sterling your local Rolex dealer will charge you for a new one. Anyone who’s interested, you can find the Day-Date II at Sotheby’s.