Monday, March 06, 2023

The Complete History of The Rolex Tridor

The Complete History 


Rolex has always been a company that has experimented like crazy with making different models. In 1988 Rolex introduced the Rolex Tridor which was a tri-tone Rolex Day-Date which offered a bracelet that featured white pink and yellow 18KT gold. The image below appears courtesy of Robert Maron and features a Rolex Tridor model with an interesting green dial.

Rolex referred to this model as part of their "Crown Collection."This unusual watch brought to life a Day-Date that looked from a distance like a two-tone Datejust.

The close up photo below of the Rolex Tridor Day-Date Bracelet appears courtesy of Bob's Watches and shows the center Tridor links close-up. Producing center links with three different colors of gold was a major technological feat for Rolex as it was previously thought to not be possible, but Rolex R&D figured out how achieve this.

Rolex discontinued the Tridor years ago, but it is an interesting piece of design language. 

Rolex Tridor Day-Date
[Reference 18239B]


In the photo below we see NFL Football legend, Mike Ditka wearing a Rolex Tridor Day-Date. The Rolex Tridor looked like a two-tone Datejust had a baby with a Rolex Day-Date. Mike Ditka was the Head Coach for the Bears when they won Super Bowl XX.

The photo below shows Bill Walsh giving Mike Ditka a congratulatory hug after winning against the 49ers on October 13, 1985, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

1992 Rolex Day-Date Tridor Ad

The Rolex Tridor magazine ad below from 1989 featured legendary golfer, Arnold Palmer wearing his Tridor, Day-Date model. The Tridor was really kind of the ultimate 1980s Rolex watch...

The photo below shows Arnold Palmer sporting his Rolex Day-Date Tridor, which is featured in the 1992 Rolex Ad above. Rolex called this watch the 'Tridor' as it featured center links that were composed of pink gold, yellow gold and white gold. 

I believe, from a design perspective this was Rolex's attempt to offer a Day-Date model that offered a two-tone Rolex Datejust alternative. In other words, in the eighties, the two-tone yellow gold and stainless steel Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet was all the rage, and I believe Rolex wanted to offer a Day-Date that capitalized upon and achieved a similar look—without looking like a cheap Seiko Clone. Thus, Rolex flexed its design and material muscle and came up with this unique design.

The photo above and below show a Rolex Day-Date Tridor Reference 18239 in detail and they appear courtesy of Bob's Watches. The photo below really shows the intricate precision of how Rolex achieved this amazing technological feat. Rolex discontinued the Tridor model many years ago, but it remains an interesting novelty in the history of Rolex design language.


Reverend Jesse Jackson is another person who famously has worn a Rolex Trader as pictured below.