“Experience a Rolex.” “It Doesn’t Just Tell Time. It Tells History.”

rolex president

These phrases are used in Rolex advertisements and portray Rolex watches as timepieces that have a history and tell a story. Introduced in 1956, the Rolex Day-Date was the first watch to display the day and date on its dial. One of the reasons why Rolex watches are so easily recognized is because many important people throughout history have worn Rolex watches, placing the watch in front of millions of people. Some of the most important and influential people in history have worn Rolex watches. In the past, Rolex gifted many presidents and world leaders with Rolex watches, ensuring that these watches would be associated with prestige, success, and power.

In 1947, Rolex gifted its 100,000th Rolex watch to former United Kingdom Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Rolex created its 150,000th Rolex watch in 1951 and decided to gift it to five-star general Dwight D. Eisenhower, who would later become the President of the United States. Both of these watches were very similar in appearance: 18kt yellow gold watch with the gold dial displaying the day and date and an 18kt yellow gold bracelet.

Today, many people refer to the Rolex Day-Date as the Rolex President. But to what does the term Rolex President actually refer? And who started this phrase? Many watch enthusiasts refer to the bracelet on the Rolex Day-Date as a “President bracelet,” while others refer to the Rolex Day-Date as a “Rolex President.” Jake from Jake’s Rolex world uncovered a Rolex ad from 1966 that referred to the Rolex Day-Date as “The president’s watch.” During this time, the President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, was never seen without his 18kt yellow gold Rolex Day-Date on his wrist. In a Rolex ad in 1984, we see where Rolex, for the first time, refers to the Rolex Day-Date as the Rolex President with this phrase: “The Rolex President Day-Date Chronometer. Available in 18kt. Gold, with matching bracelet.” This ad proves that Rolex coined the term “Rolex President.” While they no longer refer to the watch as the President, the term “Rolex President” is still widely used in the watch enthusiast community.

Since the watch’s introduction in 1956, the Rolex President Day-Date has continued to increase in popularity and value.

  • According to the prices chart at MinusPlus6, the Rolex Day-Date 118208 was priced at $1,850 USD ($11,436 with inflation) in 1970.
  • By 1982, the price of the 18kt yellow gold Rolex Day-Date was $8,850 ($21,941 with inflation).
  • By February 2005, the Rolex Day-Date 118208 had a price of $20,550 ($25,166 USD with inflation).
  • In 2008, Rolex introduced the Rolex Day-Date 218238. It has an 18kt yellow gold case, fluted bezel, and bracelet, and was slightly larger than the original Day-Date with a diameter of 41mm. It also featured the 3156 calibre movement and the Rolex Parachrom Hairspring, making it highly resistant to magnetic fields. This watch was priced at $27,650 ($30,680 with inflation).
  • This was also the year that the white gold Rolex President Day-Date 218239 was introduced at a price of $30,200 and the platinum Rolex President Day-Date 218206 was introduced at a starting price of $51,050 ($33,510 and $56,643 with inflation, respectively). During this year, the Rolex Day-Date 118208 could be purchased for $23,300, which is $25,853 with inflation.
  • By 2012, each of the Day-Date models had continued to increase in value. The Rolex President Day-Date 118208 had a price of $29,650, the Day-Date 218238 was priced at $34,850, the white gold Day-Date 218239 could be purchased for $37,550, and the platinum Day-Date had a price of $62,500 ($30,620 USD, $35,990, $38,777, $64,543 with inflation).

18k Rolex Day-Date 118208

Year Price Price w/ Inflation
1973 $1,850 $10,145
1984 $9,450 $21,741
1996 $15,900 $24,140
2007 $22,450 $25,926

18kt Yellow Gold Rolex Day-Date 218238

Year Price Price w/ Inflation
2008 $27,650 $30,680
2012 $34,850 $35,990

18kt White Gold Rolex Day-Date President 218239

Year Price Price w/ Inflation
2008 $30,200 $33,510
2012 $37,550 $38,778

18kt Platinum Rolex Day-Date 218206

Year Price Price w/ Inflation
2008 $51,050 $56,643
2012 $62,500 $64,543

The Rolex President Day-Date is an iconic watch that has been worn by presidents such as Lyndon B Johnson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. Throughout its history, the Rolex Day-Date has been associated with power and prestige and continues to be considered as one of the most popular Rolex watch models.