Saturday, April 02, 2022

The 2022 Platinum Day-Date


Rolex Ends the Smooth Bezel

for Its Most Prestigious Watch


The Day-Date is considered the emblem ⁠— nay, scratch that ⁠— the ultimate watch of prestige at Rolex. It was Hans Wilsdorf in 1956 who wanted a watch that displayed the day. The Day-Date was Rolex founder's brainchild, and it became the first wrist watch in the world to show both the day and the date in full letters, a feature widely considered a major innovation in horology worldwide. 

The Day-Date, which is offered only in precious metal ⁠— yellow gold, white gold, Everose and platinum ⁠— is available in 26 languages, including Latin, as Latin is still spoken in the Vatican. The ice-blue dial is reserved exclusively for platinum watches at Rolex.

The technical feat achieved in 2022 was to offer a fluted bezel in platinum, something that was made possible only after years of research and development, Rolex told me. Platinum is soft and challenging to work with, especially when carrying out finishing. 

The Rolex representative told me it was akin to scooping soft butter ("du beurre mou") without leaving any residue. The most challenging part was to create the sharp edges and smooth sides that are emblematic of the fluted bezel. And Rolex had to come up with a new manufacturing process.

Rolex is discontinuing the smooth bezel on the Day-Date, as the fluted bezel is the signature design of Rolex. I wrote last year about the fluted motif seen even in Rolex architecture throughout the world. So today the Day-Date in platinum ⁠— the quintessential watch of prestige ⁠— is getting the quintessential Rolex design. It is fascinating to see a brand whose watches sell themselves still invest in research and development to improve design, quality and manufacturing.