At BaselWorld 2019, the Rolex Day-Date 36 lastly acquired to meet up with its massive brother, the Day-Date 40. For 4 years, these privileged with their eyes and wallets set on the Day-Date 36, needed to watch for this high-prestige vary to obtain all these helpful and spectacular technical updates that the 40mm large model had had all alongside. With 2019, these technical enhancements, some minute adjustments to the case, in addition to notable new dial choices have all arrived to the Day-Date 36, together with some notable limitations, as properly.
It was again in 2015 that we debuted the brand new Day-Date 40 that, in flip, first launched Rolex’s new era of 32xx calibers, Superlative Chronometer -2/+2 second every day accuracy exams, and the ceramic inserts in between the dear steel hyperlinks of its President bracelet. These, in a nutshell, made for a significant product replace, and it was only a matter of time that the 36mm model obtained them. On that observe, I had anticipated the Day-Date 36, “the be all, finish all” status watch of Rolex, to not lag behind fairly so lengthy — however it needs to be mentioned that 4 years, by Rolex requirements, is however a blink of a watch.
We’ll get to discussing these technical updates quickly, however I’ll start with what I feel truly is much more essential to anybody trying to purchase a Day-Date 36 within the foreseeable future — and that’s configurability. In the meanwhile, the brand new Day-Date 36 isn’t accessible in platinum — once more, an actual head-scratcher and one thing that can absolutely should be rectified quickly. For now, it may solely be 18ok yellow gold, white gold, or Everose gold.
One other essential factor to notice is that, with this replace, all earlier Day-Date 36 dial choices are gone with the wind. Now we have new ones, three for the Everose, 4 for the white gold, and 6 for the yellow gold model — plus all three metals have an additional choice of a pavé set dial with “rainbow” sapphire indices. That, I feel, is a bummer, as many engaging dial choices had come to be for the Day-Date 36 over time.
All the trend this yr appears to be the “fumé,” “smoked,” “vignette” or, as Rolex likes to name them, “ombré” dials. These colourful dials are darker round their edges and lighter by their middle — H. Moser & Cie is commonly credited for bringing this model to mild, though one should not neglect that this was a preferred design alternative plenty of many years in the past, all the identical. On a private observe, I’ve but to develop used to those vignette dials on the Day-Date 36. There one way or the other isn’t sufficient room on the Day-Date 36’s — thoughts you, fantastically proportionate — dial. The Day-Date 40, against this, typically appears huge, like a saucer, and that actually would have been my option to introduce this model.
Extra to the purpose, this transitional execution doesn’t look elegant — to not me, no less than. It’s a model new watch that one way or the other appears previous and dated. Whereas the presentation of the Day-Date 36 itself, that means the case, fluted bezel, and President bracelet, are as timeless as a Roman marble bust, this vignette impact jogs my memory of a budget plastic cowl on an ’80s Rolodex. Evidently, the truth that I’m but to get it doesn’t imply others received’t.
A lot of earlier Day-Date 36 fashions suffered from no less than some legibility points, and these new “ombré” dials don’t seem to assist with that. The fingers typically flip darkish of their reflectivity; pair that with the transitional colours of the dial, and you’ve got a camouflage impact, which actually isn’t what you need if it’s legibility you’re after. I’m an absolute sucker for a Rolex with baguette-cut diamond hour markers — and diamond indices typically — and but, right here, they seem to unusually mix in.
There are just a few stone dial choices — for a hefty premium of round €eight,000 in Europe, which equals round $9,000 within the US. The 18ok white gold model will get a pink opal dial, whereas the 18ok yellow gold, as seen above, receives a “barely veined turquoise ornamental stone dial” (Rolex’s phrases for it). The indices are diamond-set — and we all know these tiny diamonds at all times make for a considerable premium on a Rolex watch. I’m a fan of the colour of turquoise and the best way it usually appears on watches, however on this event, each this and the pink opal look distinctly female — and I do sort of want no less than one in every of these stone dials have been for males.
As I mentioned, the yellow gold model has the best number of dials — champagne-colored, darkish grey and even white mom of pearl can be found — whereas the opposite two gold alloys are, kind of, left hanging for now, with very restricted colour choices.
The President bracelet on the Day-Date 36 has, finally, obtained ceramic inserts. Rolex launched these, as I mentioned, with the Day-Date 40 again in 2015, the concept being that these super-hard ceramic inserts would save the hyperlinks from changing into sticky — permitting for a extra comfy put on — and in addition get rid of the stretching of the bracelet. In the event you don’t know what bracelet stretch is, simply check out any classic Rolex bracelet that hangs free — its pins and holes are so worn out that the bracelet isn’t fairly as tight and sturdy because it as soon as was. So far as I do know, to this point, solely the President bracelet — now in its each iteration — has this improve, whereas valuable steel Oyster bracelets don’t.
Rolex additionally talked about (not outright, however in its mysterious methods) that that they had carried out some minute alterations to the case profile. God is aware of I attempted, however I merely couldn’t pull any particular data on this from them. Ahh, Rolex, and its notorious secrecy. What they don’t know, although, that I do, is that I’ve, the truth is, been teasing the concept of promoting a few of my (shamefully) now not worn watches and, in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later, shopping for a Day-Date 36. This allowed me to do a good bit of analysis, go hands-on with earlier era Day-Date 36 fashions and get a really feel for them.
And sure, the 2019 Day-Date 36 does appear and feel minutely totally different. I may very well be mistaken, however I feel latest historical past taught us that when Rolex does one thing to its instances, as bloody spectacular as the top end result could be, mentioned modifications are carried out, partially, for the sake of simplifying the manufacturing of those instances. Positive, the hassle to implement a brand new course of is commonly gargantuan (and infrequently stuff solely Rolex may enterprise to do), however ultimately, the new-generation case typically appears ever so barely extra easy. Simply consider the “tremendous case” on the Submariner that has performed away with the polished edge and brushed profile and changed it with one giant polished profile.