We see a few new additions to the Rolex Day-Date collection every year. This unofficial flagship of Rolex breathes nothing but luxury as it is always in precious metals. It’s also the only Rolex model available today on a President bracelet.

Day-Date 40

Rolex brings us two beautiful dials in the Day-Date 40 collection this year. First, there’s a slate ombré dial in the Everose gold Day-Date. Until now, the ombré dials were only available in the Day-Date 36 models. And there’s the white mother-of-pearl in the 18K white gold Day-Date 40. This is the first time Rolex has used mother-of-pearl for the Day-Date model.

Day-Date 40 ref. 228239 mother-of-pearl dial

It has a beautiful structure and is extracted from the noblest part of the oyster shell. It creates a lovely depth on the Day-Date dial. On top, Rolex added 10 baguette-cut diamond hour markers, making it even more lustrous.

Rolex Day-Date ref. 128238 white dial

Day-Date 36

But that’s not all. Rolex also has something in store for the classically sized 36mm Day-Date. Although the Day-Date 40 will suit many (larger) wrists, the 36 remains my favorite size for the Rolex Day-Date. In fact, I am writing this while wearing my very own Rolex Day-Date in this size. The Day-Date 36 comes now with a crisp white dial featuring deconstructed and faceted Roman numerals. Thus far, we have only seen this dial configuration in the 40mm models.

Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. 228235 slate ombré dial

It seems that Rolex noticed it was time to use some of the exclusive dials for one version in the other version too. Clever.

Caliber 3255

Both Day-Date models house the same caliber 3255. This movement already debuted nine years ago for the Day-Date 40 and has the day and date complications on board. In 2019, the Day-Date 36 was also updated with this movement. Then, in 2023, the movement received a technical update (an optimized ball bearing for the rotor). Caliber 3255 has a power reserve of 70 hours and is accurate to ±2 seconds per day on average.

President bracelet

The Day-Date comes on the famous President bracelet, which will immediately reveal what type of watch you are wearing when seen from the underside of the wrist. In the past, the Oyster bracelet in gold (or platinum) was an option in the catalog, but Rolex only offers the Day-Date on the President bracelet today.

Rolex Day-Date ref. 128238 white dial


The Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. 228235 with the slate ombré dial retails for CHF 39,800. The Day-Date 40 ref. 228239 is the 18K white gold version with the new mother-of-pearl dial with baguette diamonds, and it retails for CHF 45,100. Finally, the 36mm Day-Date ref. 128238 with the white dial has a retail price of CHF 33,600.

Day-Date 40 ref. 228239 mother-of-pearl dial

First thoughts on the new Day-Date 40 and 36 models

It’s probably an unpopular opinion, but I think the Day-Date is the Rolex I would pick if I could only have one (and, of course, were able to afford it). The new Rolex Day-Date variations are very well done, but I must admit that the mother-of-pearl version impressed me more in the press images than in person at Watches and Wonders 2024. The yellow gold Rolex Day-Date 36 is my favorite, though, and the white dial with deconstructed Roman numerals is pretty stunning in real life too. The one “small” criticism I have towards my Day-Date with a champagne dial is that it’s not always easy to read the time. There’s very little contrast between the gold hands and the champagne dial color. That can be fixed with a white dial, and seeing this new iteration makes me want to change the dial in my Day-Date 18238. Dammit…

For more information, visit the Rolex website.