The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 Platinum has been at the top of their non-sports collection since 1958. This year, celebrating its 60th Anniversary, Rolex released the Day-Date 40 in 18k white gold and Everose with a distinctive green dial. But the piece which has attracted our attention all this while is the Day-Date 40 in platinum revealed in Baselworld 2015. We got our hands on an example, and spent considerable time examining (and photographing) to bring you this review of the Ref. 228206 – 83416. As mentioned, the Day-Date 40 Platinum was unveiled in Baselworld 2015. Along with its siblings, the Day-Date 40 in yellow gold with a sunburst yellow gold dial, the white gold with a guilloché sectorial dial in silver, and the Everose gold (rose gold) with a stripped ‘Sundust’ dial. Platinum is a rare metal reserved by Rolex only for the very top of the line watches, and the retail price of S$ 84,050 with GST reflects that. The premium over the white gold version is a hefty S$ 34,000.
Rolex calls the watch Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 Platinum , Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified. Rolex-speak? Well each one has a specific meaning.
Oyster meaning this has a water resistant rating of not less than 100m. In this case, it is exactly 100m. Oysters in Rolex nomenclature usually means that Rolex sees this as a sports watch.
Perpetual is Rolex-speak for automatic winding. Here the Caliber 3255 (new in 2015) is designed and manufactured in-house. The movement has an autonomy of approximately 70 hours.
And Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 Platinum is what Rolex calls its watches equipped with a calendar. This is a simple calendar display of the day of the week at 12 o’clock, and the date with the attendant cyclops lens at 3 o’clock. This was the Rolex’s high end interpretation of the calendar. The date only watches are called Datejust. But in 2012, Rolex released the most complicated watch they ever made with the Sky Dweller which features an innovative Annual Calendar. The numeral 40 denotes the case diameter of 40mm. A 36mm case diameter Day-Date remains on the catalog and is denoted as Day-Date 36.
Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified is Rolex’s way of saying that the watch is not only certified by COSC which runs a gamut of chronometry tests on the uncased movement, but Rolex also then subjects the cased movements (whole watch) to additional and more stringent tests. The minimum precision rating is +2/-2 seconds a day.
We find the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 in Platinum to be an intriguing watch. Intriguing because under the unassuming and utterly traditional design, lies a magnificent engine which promises to be a workhorse. The build quality is like the proverbial tank, and will last generations, and can easily be abused or being taken care of for the next generation.
But under the quiet elegance of the dial, the case and bracelet, shines the Rolex crown, immediately recognisable worldwide. So on the one hand the design has all the elements of understatement, the branding is such that it demands (and gets) all the focus and attention. This is not a watch for the meek. But one for the bold. The platinum case and bracelet looks like a steel watch to the uninitiated, that said, good luck being discrete wearing this watch for even the unwashed recognises the value of a Rolex. Even in steel, or because it is a steel Rolex. However, the cognoscenti will know that the Day-Date is only made in precious metals, and the ice blue dial with polished bezel is the calling card of its noble platinum case material.