During Watches And Wonders 2022, Rolex released a number of updated models. By now, you’ve most certainly seen these releases, like the GMT-Master II “Destro”, the Air-King, the Yacht-Master (with and without Falcon Eye), and the new platinum Day-Date. What you may not know, however, is that Rolex released a number of new Day-Date dials as well. Here are a few that may have flown under your radar.

During meetings at Watches And Wonders, Rolex only shows its real novelties. A simple dial change won’t make the cut for the presentation of new Rolex watches. As such, the brand only shows us new references and relegates other minor updates to the booth’s display cases. Today, we’d like to show you the newest dials that you can find in the brand’s flagship model, the Day-Date.

New Rolex Day-Date dials

At the Watches And Wonders show in Geneva, I noticed the new yellow gold Rolex Day-Date with a green lacquer dial, which reminded me of the old Stella dials. I wrote about it in this article, but at that time, it wasn’t possible to get it in the meeting room. About a month later, we got an invite to the Rolex offices in Brussels to see all the new watches that the brand had introduced, including the “dial updates”.

Day-Date dials green lacquer

Green lacquer dial

Upon seeing them, I realized several things. For starters, the new dial variations are simply stunning. I was never a fan of the initial dials of the 40mm Day-Date or even the Day-Date II. But the Rolex Day-Date reference 228238 with the new green lacquered dial swept me off my feet during Watches And Wonders 2022. When we visited the Rolex offices later, however, there was another model that really impressed me. It was the same reference as the above (228238), but with a black onyx dial featuring baguette hour markers.

Black onyx

Although I do own a (vintage) watch with diamond hour markers, it’s not a look that I would immediately go for in a new watch. But the combination of onyx and the baguette diamond markers is awesome. The little grain that goes horizontally across the dial is unique to each watch. On the official Rolex website, the pictured watch shows a dial with a curved grain. And whereas the Day-Date 40 with a green dial sets you back €35,600 (retail price), Rolex doesn’t display a price tag for the 228238 with the onyx dial. It’s simply on request.

Day-Date dials Onyx

Price on request

The new dial variations for the Rolex Day-Date ref. 228238 share the same specifications as all other 40mm Day-Date models in gold. These watches are powered by the Rolex caliber 3255, which ensures accuracy of ±2 seconds per day on average and a power reserve of 70 hours. Both models come with the 18K gold President bracelet with concealed clasp. Along with the dial, you can also choose whether you want a gold fluted bezel or a diamond-set bezel.

Day-Date 36

As written above, I had another realization during this session with the new Rolex Day-Date variations. Although my wrist can easily handle the 40mm version, I prefer the classic 36mm size of this iconic model. The proportions just look nicer, in my opinion. The original 36mm-sized Rolex Oyster case is quite elegant, whereas the 40mm case lacks some sophistication. For the Day-Date 36, Rolex not only introduced a new platinum version but also a new dial variation for the yellow gold 128238 references.

Day-Date dials

I also must admit that I always thought that the difference between the 18238 and the current 128238 was in the bracelet. But there’s more to it than that. As you can see in the images, the top of the lugs of the 118238 and 128238 are polished while they are brushed on the previous reference 18238. Not only that, but the case shape is also slightly different between the lugs.

The 18238 has an extra “step” between the lugs that sticks out a bit further than the bezel (see image above). On the current 128238, however, the President bracelet connects to the case directly.

White dial with gold stick markers

Anyway, the 118238 has been here since 2000, and it has received some updates in the last 22 years (now 128238). But what’s new about this watch is this white dial with gold applied hour markers. There was already one available in white with Roman numerals, but this one has applied gold stick markers. As you can see, it looks quite stunning, despite the “safe” color. It has made me look out for a white dial for my personal Day-Date 18238. The champagne/gold dial that mine has is not always easy to read in combination with the gold hands. Inside the Day-Date 128238 with the new white dial, we also find caliber 3255, of course. The version with this dial is priced at €32,400. For the ballers out there, you also have an option of a diamond bezel and a President bracelet with pavé center links.

Day-Date dials

In today’s world, unfortunately, even the Rolex Day-Date models are not available to purchase from a boutique or an authorized dealer. However, recent price developments (and decreasing demand) might influence the availability of these watches again at some point. If you can’t wait, there are plenty available on the pre-owned market. Some even have very attractive price tags, especially when compared to some of the steel Rolex models.

More Rolex articles can be found here. Let us know your favorite of the new Day-Date dials in the comments below.