When it comes to the Rolex Day-Date President, the 36mm will always be a classic. However, in the current market, the 41mm Rolex Day-Date II 218238 is by far the most sought after. And with it being discontinued a few years back, they are becoming increasingly harder to acquire. Luckily, Diamonds By Raymond Lee in Boca Raton recently procured the Day-Date II President in Yellow Gold with a Champagne Dial, arguably its purest form…But there’s more…This is not just any yellow gold Day-Date II, this one is the Ruby & Diamond Baguette Dial version, which is incredibly hard to come by. Needless to say, we are excited to share it with our readers.
In this post, we are going to review Diamonds By Raymond Lee’s newly acquired, and currently on sale, Rolex Ref 218238 Day Date 41mm President Ruby & Diamond Dial. From its case, bezel, dial, bracelet, and movement to its price and investability, we are going to cover it all. We are also going to give you our opinion on which Rolex President model is better, the Day-Date II (41mm) or the new-style Day-Date 40mm.
Without further ado…introducing the one and only President watch, the Day-Date…ruby edition.
ROLEX DAY-DATE HISTORY
The Day-Date was introduced to the world in 1956. It was a watch exclusively crafted from precious metals. It featured a pair of calendar windows on the dial to show both the day of the week and date of the month. What was really special was that it was the first watch to ever display the day of the week in full.
The Day-Date collection instantly became an icon. To this day, it is a status symbol for the most elite members of society. It’s the ultimate power watch.
How did the Rolex Day-Date Get The Name “The President”?
The Rolex Day-Date got its nickname, the President’s watch, in 1965, when US President Lyndon B Johnson showed off his yellow gold Day-Date to the masses.
That, plus, Rolex coined the semi-circular, three-piece link bracelet of the Day-Date the President Bracelet. So, giving this exquisite watch the nickname, The President, was an almost natural adoption.
Throughout history, many US presidents have worn the Rolex Day-Date. This includes President Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Trump. All of these presidents furthered the Day-Date’s reputation as the almighty Presidents watch, but Lyndon B Johnson should receive the most credit as he set the tone for all the rest to follow, truly establishing the relation between the Day-Date and the Oval Office…
Today, we can all agree, the President watch is the Ultimate Symbol of Prestige. It is associated with many of history most powerful humans.
The Rolex Day-Date President watch is most prominent in its classic and unmistakable form, yellow gold. However, there’s also rose gold, white gold and platinum Presidents. Not to mention, Rolex President watches of different sizes.
Rolex Day-Date President Sizes 36mm, 41mm, 40mm
The Day-Date was born a 36mm watch and it maintained its classic dress watch proportions for over 50 years. Never veering from its original sizing. That is until 2008….
In 2008, Rolex unveiled a beefed up Day-Date lineup known as the Day-Date II. The watches were 41mm in case size and they were thicker and more substantial all around, bracelet included.
The Day-Date II came in four different metals, all of which received the wider Super President bracelets to oblige the larger case size.
- Yellow Gold: Reference 218238 (the watch of this feature)
- White Gold: Reference 218239
- Everose Gold: 218235
- Platinum: 218206
With the four metals, different variations of the dial were introduced. There were different colors and appliqués. One of those versions included the champagne color baguette ruby and diamond dial that you see here today.
Note: All of the models except the Platinum Day-Date had the classic, dressy fluted bezel. The platinum model was fitted with the sleek and sporty smooth domed bezel.
The Day-Date II’s Reception
With over five decades of the Day-Date being a 36mm watch, it was a surprise that it didn’t take long for even the purist of Rolex Day-Date purists to come around to the larger more robust President. That said, in the modern times we live, people want bigger watches.
Of course, some people stuck with their 36mm preference, and Rolex has yet to cease production of the Day-Date 36mm, but the Day-Date II was clearly a winner. The watches would fly off the shelf, both at official Rolex dealerships and secondary market stores…
Nevertheless, Rolex discounted the 41mm Day-Date II in 2015 in place of a more “refined” Day-Date 40 (40mm case size).
Day Date 40 vs Day Date II
Currently, Rolex produces the Day-Date 36mm and 40mm. The 36 will forever be a classic size but it is surely for those who want to be just that, classic…and traditional. The 40mm Day-Date is for the modern man. However, when looking at the demand, it is clear that the 41mm Day-Date has more appeal. When they were still be produced, new 41mm Day-Date’s sold faster. And now that they are discontinued, they are very hard to acquire on the second hand market. The price of these watches makes that clear. You can get a brand new yellow gold Day-Date 40 for the same price you can get a pre-owned Day-Date II ($29k-$39k, no-gemstone dial)
Now, the 40mm Day-Date President is a fantastic watch, but in our opinion, it’s not as good as the Day-Date II. Investment wise, the Day-Date II holds up much better. But more than that, as not everyone buys Rolex watches with “investment” in mind, it just sits better on the wrist.
1mm might not seem like a huge deal, but when it comes to Rolex, 1mm feels like a few mm, both in it being a big change for Rolex and the actual look of the watch.
From case to bracelet, the 41mm is noticeably bigger than the Day-Date 40. It is also noticeably thicker and more rubust. Yes, the Day-Date 40 is more refined, naturally, as Rolex is perpetually refining their models with every update, but the refinements, which mainly rest in the size of the case, bezel, bracelet, and appliqués, doesn’t translate to better.
All in all, the Day-Date II just felt right in size. We can’t be sure why Rolex decided to go for the downsize with the Day-Date 40. Again, it is still an exceptional watch, but when it comes to most modern men’s watch boxes, we can guarantee the 41mm takes precedence. However, if you are still a big fan of the 36mm President, you may appreciate the 40mm more. It’s a less significant jump to modernize your wrist style. But, if you are fan of the sports watches, the sportiest version of the President watch is by far the Day-Date II…in any case, It really comes down to preference.
18K YELLOW GOLD ROLEX 218238 DAY-DATE II PRESIDENT WATCH WITH CHAMPAGNE RUBY & DIAMOND DIAL
Arguably two of the most desirable Rolex Presidents in existence are the Day-Date II Rose Gold Black Dial with Baguette Rubies & Diamonds (reference 218235) and the Yellow Gold Day-Date II Champagne Dial with Baguette Rubies & Diamonds (reference 218238).
We have the latter…
The Rolex 218238 Day-Date II champagne ruby & diamond dial is extremely hard to find. There are many collectors out there who are constantly searching for one on the second hard market. If you are one of those collectors and you are reading this review, you can stop reading now and contact us.
For those who want to learn more, keep reading on as we are about to go over the specs and details of this watch.
41mm Oyster Case
The watch is 41mm across the round of the case, but it wears quite large considering the lug to lug is 49.5mm. That said, it’s not overly large by any means for a dress watch.
As for the thickness, the Day-Date II is the thickest President of them all, but it is far from a hamburger. It’s 12.2mm thick, so it will never get in the way when sliding on a dress cuff.
From the superb ergonomics to the impeccable finishing, everything about this case is graceful.
The bezel is the classic conical fluted bezel. It has a handsome glow to it, like the rest of the watch. So it flows with any skin tone. You can really see a sharp definition of the bezels facets. It shines almost like cut gems.
100m Water Resistance
As this is the Oyster case with a twin lock screw down crown, you get 100 meters of water resistance.
Super President Bracelet
As with all Day-Date II watches, this one has the larger “Super’ President bracelet. It has a proportional 21mm stance between the horns.
The bracelet is the newer version, so it is solid rather than hollow.
The center links are high polish and the outer links are satin finish.
The President bracelet has some flex to it, so it will rock comfortably on the wrist and it also has the right amount of spacing as to avoid pinching while also venting the wrist on hot days.
It’s important that you get the sizing right, as too loose or too tight and you can wear the bracelet out a bit. If you get the sizing right, you will have no issue with the bracelet gaining slack. It was designed to last forever. The structural integrity of the bracelet is like that of an Oyster sports bracelet, yet the short links give it that soft, dressy feel. It’s like the perfect mix of the Oyster and Jubilee bracelet.
One of the nice things about the President bracelet is the concealed clasp, which means you never have to deal with the clasp getting in the way. Desk diving no more…
It has a beak and hook system for absolute security. The lift and lock system is super smooth.
When it is closed, the Rolex Crown indicates where the bracelet separates.
From case to clasp, it is one of the most integrated designs we’ve ever seen in all of watchmaking. It doesn’t get better.
Yellow Gold Day-Date II Rolex President On the Wrist
On the wrist, it fits almost like a Sky-Dweller, but slightly smaller. So, if Sky-Dweller is a size you like for your sports watches, your new most prestigious dress watch, the Day-Date II 218238 Ruby & Diamond Watch, will be the perfect size.
The watch has a lot of weight to it. After all, it’s solid gold, through and through, including the solid casebook. So, it’s going to sit on the wrist with a noticeable presence, which is what you want from a watch with this prestige. I truly feels like you are wearing a fortune.
It was like Rolex designed this watch for Miami. It’s a timepiece of extraordinary importance. It offers an unrivaled impression on the wrist.
Caliber 3156 Movement
The Day-Date President II watches have a Caliber 3156 at heart. The highly reliable and accurate movement comes equipped with Rolex’s new Paraflex shock absorbers for advanced shock resistance. It also has a blue Parachrom hairspring for improved resistance to temperature fluctuations and magnetic fields.
Power reserve: 48 hours.
FACTORY-SET RUBY & DIAMOND CHAMPAGNE DIAL
The Day Date II reference 218238 has several option, but the champagne dial with baguette diamond markers with rubies on the six and nine is the hardest to come by. This is definitely not a watch you will be able to find easily. Watch collecting is a journey, and this watch is one you will have to travel far and wide to find…typically speaking, as we do have it for sale now at Diamonds By Raymond Lee.
But take note, for these added gemstones, you will be paying the price.
RUBY & DIAMOND ROLEX PRESIDENT II PRICE
On the second hand market, the yellow gold Day-Date II reference 218238 runs around $30,000-$39,000. But for this particular dial, you are looking at the high $50k range. Yes, the rubies and diamonds make that much of a difference.
Thankfully, this watch holds its value incredibly well. The price has continued to rise since the Day-Date II was discontinued. Right now, the demand for this watch far outstrips the supply. It is a very rare breed among the Rolex Presidents.
Overall, it is more than the ultimate gem-set expression of prestige, it is a fantastic investment.
WHERE TO BUY THE ROLEX DAY-DATE II 218238 18K YELLOW GOLD DAY DATE WITH FACTORY RUBY AND DIAMOND DIAL WATCH
If you are interested in this Rolex President 218238 Baguette Ruby & Diamond Champagne Dial, you can buy it now at Diamonds By Raymond Lee in Boca Raton. It comes with its original box and paperwork and it is in perfect condition.
If you have any questions about the Rolex President 218238 Day-Date II Yellow Gold Ruby & Diamond watch you see here, please contact us.