This weeks Vintage of the week is a Rolex Day Date 1803 that has been photographed on a Gibson Les Paul guitar.
Officially released in 1956, the Rolex 6511 Day Date revived the look and feel of the timepiece. The Day Date name came from two new
features: a window at 12 showing the day and a subsequent window at 3
showing the date. The addition of the day and date added extra
complexity to the watch with the addition of the automatic movement day
and date discs. The case became much thicker. This, however, was not a
bad thing. Aesthetically, the larger, screw-down case, made the watch
carry much more presence on the wrist. After the introduction of the President
bracelet, featuring a concealed clasp, the popularity of the Day Date
soared, quickly becoming Rolexs most popular watch.
The externally identical 6611 model was released a year later, featuring the new caliber 1055 movement. The caliber 1055 movement
offered a free sprung Micro-Stella balance. With an accuracy standard
guarantee within + 3.0 seconds per day, this version was the first to
be labeled Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified on the dial.
After several caliber evolutions, the double quick-set caliber 3155 was
introduced in model 18238 in 1988. The caliber 3155 is still used in
all Rolex Day-Date models to this day.
The Day Date quickly came to represent accomplishment, having been worn by some of the most accomplished men in the world, including
Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower. The watch eventually earned
the nickname the Presidents watch, as several US presidents,
including Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and
Raegan, are all known to have worn a Day-Date. Initially, the tern
President referred to the type of bracelet attached to the Day Date.
However, it soon came to commonly refer to the entire timepiece.
Aesthetically, the Day Date was available in white gold, yellow gold, pink gold, and platinum. Winston Churchill, for example, famously
owned a pink gold Day Date, while Eisenhower owned a yellow gold Day
Some technological changes were made over the next few years, including the addition of the hack feature around 1972. The hack
feature allowed the second hand to be stopped the time needed to be
reset. The later quick set feature, introduced with caliber 3055in
the late 1970s, allowed the wearer to simply pull the button out half
way and, with a few turns, correct date displayed. Before, many turns
were needed. The inclusion of sapphire crystal was another great
advance for the Day Date. The sapphire crystal added to the durability
of the watch, fitting tighter than the plastic previously used. It also
had great aesthetic value, offering near scratch proof resistance and a
sleeker look than before.
By 1989, the double quick set was introduced with caliber 3155. This allowed the date and day to be easily and quickly changed with the
same button. Aesthetically, jewels were added, including diamonds on
the bezel, creating a richer and more luxurious look.