The Rolex Day-Date President, first introduced in 1956, has remained the brand's iconic status watch. Few luxury watches come close to the Rolex President's grandeur, perfection, and timelessness, which is crafted entirely of precious metals. The Day-Date was the first watch to contain the day of the week written in full at 12 o'clock, as well as a date window at 3 o'clock, when Rolex debuted it. The President bracelet is another distinguishing feature of the Rolex Day-Date. The President bracelet, with its semi-circular links, is perhaps as well-known as the timepiece itself.
In classic Rolex form, the watch has stayed mostly unchanged throughout its history, with the manufacturer making minor technological tweaks and design improvements along the way. Today, we'll look at the history of the President, a well-known Rolex Day-Date watch.
While the ref. 6510 and ref. 6511 were the first models of the Day-Date, Rolex needed to improve the mechanics of the movements of those early models. Rolex introduced the 18xx line of Day-Date watches in 1959.
With a gold 36mm case, gold fluted bezel, and gold President bracelet, the Day-Date ref. 1803 is the most famous variation within that series. Yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold are all options for gold. The "pie-pan" style dial of this rose gold Day-Date ref. 1803 is a beautiful design where the perimeter lowers down.
From the 1960s through the late 1970s, the Day-Date ref. 1803 was in production. The Cal. 1555 automatic movement was used in the early models until Rolex replaced it with the Cal. 1556 automatic movement in the mid-1960s. Rolex added the "hacking" feature to the Cal. 1556 in 1972, which means that when the winding crown is pushed out, the seconds hand comes to a complete stop.