Rolex Day-Date 40

The Rolex Day-Date 40 had always been the most elegant, refined and luxurious watch of the Oyster Collection by Rolex – that also has elegant watches in its Cellini collection. Exclusively made in precious metals – gold or platinum – it was available for years in 36mm and more recently in 41mm (with the Day-Date II), but still with the same complication: a 3-hand timepiece showing the date and the day in a unique (but now iconic and highly copied) way. For Baselworld 2015, this luxury Rolex receives a serious update, not only by getting new colours but also by coming with a new case and, mostly, a brand new movement. Here is the Rolex Day-Date 40 with the new Rolex Calibre 3255.
Together with the new dial colours, the main novelty concerning the Rolex Day-Date 40 is of course its new size – and thus meaning a new case. But first, let’s go back on what is, since 1956 (the year of its very first introduction), the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified. This long name is important to understand all about this luxury watch.
It is said to be an Oyster. In Rolex’s nomenclature, it means that this timepiece is part of the sports watches collections and that it comes with a relatively high level of water resistance – 100 meters here to be precise – and is also a reference to the world’s first wrist watch with a water resistant case, the 1926 Rolex Oyster. Nowadays, this name is stamped more to allow the watch to protect its movement from humidity rather than to define a proper dive watch.
It is said to be an Oyster Perpetual. For Rolex, Oyster Perpetual means automatic / self-winding movement by the mean of a central oscillating weight also called rotor. Patented in 1931, this mechanism was, at that time, a real innovation, preventing the owner to actuate the crown and thus, to let humidity and dust enter the movement – thereby participating to the legendary robustness of the Rolexes.
It is said to be a Day-Date. The Rolex Day-Date 40 is Rolex’s interpretation of a calendar watch, a timepiece that shows the date (classically by a window at 3, just like in the Datejust) and the day by the mean of a rotating disc with a large aperture at 12, letting the owner have a clear view on the day of the week – entirely written. This disc was – and still is – available in 26 languages and makes, together with the date disc, an instant jump at midnight.
It is said to be a Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified. As every movement made by Rolex, the calibre of the Day-Day is highly tested and certified by both internal controls and by the COSC (and even beats the COSC standards).
The new Rolex Day-Date 40 is respectful of this 4 pillars, a water resistant, automatic chronometer watch that displays both the date and the day, together with a luxurious and refined feeling – as this timepiece is still only available in precious metals (yellow gold, white gold, rose gold or platinum). The case of this new edition shows new dimensions and new proportions. The diameter is reduced to 40mm and both the case-bands and the lugs are slimmer – something that collectors were highly expecting, as the previous editions were a bit too bulky.
The biggest novelty with the Rolex Day-Date 40 is not its new case or the new dials. The innovation is proudly hidden by the fluted case-back. Indeed, inside the 40mm case ticks a brand new movement, something big for Rolex that had been using the same base calibers for ages. With the new DD, it’s an entirely new era for the ‘Crown’. Sadly, this engine will remain hidden from you eyes, as no see-through case-back is expected soon from Rolex – something that could however change, as Tudor is now coming with sapphire case-back on its new North Flag.
Once again, Rolex uses its traditional recipe: just updating, keeping the good points and never breaking the codes. The new Rolex Day-Date 40 is still an elegant, comfortable, versatile luxury watch with plenty of advantages: an incredible reliability, a superb construction, an iconic design. The same can be said about the new Calibre 3255: efficient, intelligently designed, very well manufactured (knowing Rolex, the question of the reliability shouldn’t be an issue). It however also has the main disadvantage to be a Rolex Day-Date, meaning that it brings almost no novelty, no fresh air to a concept used since 1956. It might be what Rolex’s collectors are waiting for but we could also be pleased by a bit of boldness from the ‘Crown’.

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