Legendary in its status, the Rolex Day-Date has long been the Genevan giant’s flagship timepiece. Released all the way back in 1956, the Day-Date quickly rose as the timepiece for world leaders, earning it the nickname ‘the President’ thanks to it being worn by so many Heads of State.
Today, the Day-Date has retained its standing of luxury and exclusivity within the watch market and exists as the ultimate watch of prestige. As an important asset for Rolex to protect, the Day-Date has experienced many variations over the course of its history, but today I would like to discuss the ref. 118138 Cognac dial that I have here.
Released at Baselworld in 2013, the ref 118138 was amongst several new references of the Day-Date. Each blending fresh dial options with classic metals such as white gold rose gold, and yellow gold, these references stayed true to the Day-Date’s original size of 36mm, emphasizing the importance of classic aesthetics.
In a time where watchmakers seem to think enlarging a watch is improving, it was a welcome change of pace by Rolex given they had increased the Day-Date to 41mm a few years prior. Remaining true to its classical and timeless design, the ref. 118138 is a stunning piece that breaks from the move towards larger timepieces.
The ref. 118138 I have here combines a gorgeous sunburst cognac-color dial with the most traditional Day-Date metal of all, 18kt yellow gold. With this reference being offered with a strap only instead of the traditional bracelet, it becomes a lot more wearable and casual, retaining the prestige of the iconic Day-Date without the added attention.