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The Rolex 118388 Review

The Rolex 118388 Review

Rolex 118388

The Rolex 118388 is an excellent and outstanding version of the celebrated Day-Date series. This timepiece comes outfitted with the collection’s iconic President bracelet with semi-circular links and a near-flawless 18k yellow gold finish. Beyond all of these, what sets this Rolex Day-Date 118388 apart from other watches out there is its case. The case comes adorned with sparkling diamonds on the dial, bezel, and lugs. 

In addition, the dial features a twinkling Mother-of-Pearl. More so, baguettes and brilliant-cut diamonds serve as the hour markers allowing the yellow gold hands to sweep glamorously around the dial. Wearers of this Day-Date commends its ability to add outstanding value to your watch collection. Plus, it also keeps perfect time through a COSC rated self-winding movement.

So, are you looking to catch the eye anywhere you go? With this elegant gold Rolex on your wrist, that will come on a platter.

The Day-Date Series: Rolex’s Ultimate Watch Of Prestige

Introduced in 1956, the Day-Date made its debut as the first waterproof and self-winding chronometer timepiece with this new feature. The first Day-Date came with a modern calendar featuring a quick day display, spelled out in full in a window on the dial, in addition to the date feature.

the Rolex Day-Date series

With remarkable precision, dependability, legibility, and presence of this prestigious model, it earns the honor of being Rolex’s ultimate status timepiece.

Therefore, you may be wondering how then did Rolex manage to better an already perfect wristwatch? Have you heard of this popular expression, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. As the case is, Rolex didn’t have to wait for something to be broken before making improvements. Although, this was something that already earned the reputation of a workhorse. 

Wristwatches in the Day-Date series are precise, fashionable, and highly popular. Hence, it is an amazing sight to discover how this series rose and how far it keeps growing.

Rolex Presidents Day-Date: Bettering Perfection

the Rolex Day-Date 118388

Let’s take a trip back to 1956. Then, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date with its easy-to-spot President bracelet was a pleasurable sight on the wrists of world leaders, CEO’s presidents, and other top-level dignitaries. This earned it the Rolex ‘President’ title that it carries to this day. 

Similar to all Rolex Day-Date President timepieces introduced since then, the distinctive Rolex bracelet stayed consistent but with various modifications to the watch. This innovation affected the watch cases, materials used, dials, designs, and the mechanical movements it features. Some of the standard features that remained include:

  • The day of the week which you can find easily in a semi-circular fashion at the 12 o’clock spot
  • The date or day display indicates the day of the month in an aperture. This aperture can be found at the 3 o’clock spot
  • Also, it features a magnifying cyclops lens. 
  • Then, a patented blue Parachrom hairspring also comes from this watch. This addition makes it 10 times the shock protection than a regular hairspring. 
  • This timepiece is also water-resistant thanks to its oyster case. The oyster case comes with a patented system encompassing screwing down the bezel, the case back, and the winding crown against the middle case.
  • Again, there is a patented Twinlock double waterproofness system built into the screw-in winding crown of the watch. More so, this system features two sealed areas when the crown is screwed down properly. You will find one in the tube of the crown and another in the crown itself! You can also find this same system on Rolex popular Air King watches.

The Endless Perfection of the Rolex 118388

Truly, this system is highly protected in and of itself. Yet, Rolex adds in another even more solid waterproofing system called the Triplock. You can find this on the more sea-friendly timepieces Rolex features in their Yacht-Master line. 

Again, Rolex sports watches, including the Cosmograph Daytona which is not certainly a product fit for diving, normally come with outstanding water resistance and maximizes the Triplock system.

the perfection in Rolex 118388

One reason why the wristwatches in the Presidents Day-Date series don’t come with a Triplock system is most likely due to them being categorically dressy watches and not sporty watches. These watches are not the kind you would don with a 3 piece suit. It is not like wearing a bathing suit with the sea-dweller watches or a pilot’s suit like with the Air-King or Sky-Dweller watches. 

It is quite impossible to state with confidence what the official Rolex stance on this engineering choice is. However, it appears to us like this is the most practical explanation. For many looking for a gold Rolex among many of their men’s watch offerings, these are your go-to options.

Modifying the Day-Date Series: Rolex Never Stops

the Rolex Day-Date series

Once again, Rolex added a defense mechanism to get rid of undesirable EMF signals. These signals are capable of disrupting the workings of any timepiece. This is possible thanks to their latest invention in anti-magnetic materials. 

With the nickel-phosphorous Rolex “Chronergy” escapement, we have one of the latest patents from Rolex. This addition protects the magnetic fields from generating interference which can impact the precision of the wristwatch.

In addition, Rolex recently, at the 2015 BaselWorld Rolex booth, announced four new additions to the Presidents Day-Date collection. These latest additions are Rolex showing every watch lover how the design and attention to detail rise to even greater heights. 

When you check out each of the 4 new additions, you will find them in several material options. The most prominent material is Rolex’s very own alloy, Everose gold. The latter comes with its unique hue of rose gold that can only feature on Rolex timepieces. More so, you can find them in 950 platinum, 18kt white gold, and 18kt yellow gold. Similar to all Rolex Day-Date watches, the workings of the Rolex Day-Date 118388 include seconds, minutes, hours, date, and day.

Features of Day-Date 118388 Wristwatch

As always, this Day-Date 118388 wristwatch features a sunray dial. Then, Rolex chose to kick the dial designs up a few degrees by adding motifs using a laser. With the addition of these new motifs, we have more textures and patterns to an already gorgeous sunray dial. To add to the new designs, Rolex now presented a few new dial colors to the equation. These new dial colors include:

  • Champagne
  • Ice Blue
  • Meteorite
  • Sundust
  • Silver

Truly, we must mention that the aesthetic modifications to this series are very evident and elegant. Plus, there are a few interior improvements as well. We have the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 now housing the new in-house movement, the caliber 3255. This movement is a brand new creation to this superlative chronometer. With this addition, the timepiece now boasts a 70-hour power reserve. 

Overall, the Rolex President Day-Date shows that the best just keeps getting better. With this COSC certified and Rolex in-house certified movement, Rolex adds outstanding precision. Moreover, this is among some of the most precise of all mechanical (non-quartz) movements out there. 

Shining the Light on the Rolex Day-Date 118388

Following the acceptance of its chronometer designation from COSC, the caliber goes back to Rolex. There, Rolex again modified it to a minimum accuracy of -2/+2 seconds per day. That is even greater than what COSC specs (-4/+6 seconds per day) deliver. 

the Rolex Day-Date 118388

The Rolex Day-Date series, or if you like, the President watch, is a hero among heroes. Launched in 1956 as Rolex’s flagship watch, the Day-Date series has become similar with achievements, power, and reputations. This is because of its valuable metal construction and striking design. 

Meanwhile, all Rolex Presidential timepieces are products of either 18k gold or 950 platinum. But, there are some references with more lavish outlooks owing to their significant amount of diamonds. More importantly, the light is on the luxurious Rolex Day-Date 118388 wristwatch. This timepiece offers a handful of very outstanding features not found on numerous Rolex President timepieces. Below is a closer look at the details of this watch from the Day-Date series. 

Introducing The Six-Digit Day-Date 118388: A Union of Gold and Diamond

the Rolex 118388 model

It all began In 2000 when Rolex introduced a new six-digit reference collection from the Day-Date series. These watches came with other watches headlining 118xxx references numbers. Rolex produced these watches with the same 36mm dimensions and Caliber 3155 movement of the previous era.

Moreover, these Day-Date 118xx timepieces came with heavier bracelets with solid center links and developed clasps. Meanwhile, the most archetypical model of this particular era is without a doubt the Rolex 118388. This watch features a case, fluted bezel, and President bracelet all outfitted in 18k yellow gold material.

The Rolex Day-Date 118388 with Diamond-Set Bezels

Just like prior iterations, Rolex also wrapped up the Day-Date collection with diamond-set bezel variations. These Rolex 118388 through its reference numbers (the “3” digit coming in for the “2” in the previous version) indicated the addition of a diamond-set bezel.

This is how Rolex does it with most of the brand’s models. The last digit of any Rolex watch reference number will be a pointer to what material the watch comes from. For this one, the bezels include:

  • Yellow Gold
  • Everose Gold
  • White Gold
  • Platinum

Remember, there are no steel or two-tone steel/gold Day-Date President versions. All you get are only gold or platinum versions.

In all, the Rolex Day-Date 118388 was part of the first run of the six-digit watches in the Day-Date series. Hence, the watch hit the watchmaking world in 2000. The Rolex 118388 does not only include a diamond-set bezel (with 52 stones). Also, it comes with luxurious diamond-set lugs. That is not something you see too frequently on Rolex timepieces. Finally, the case of the Rolex 118388 has diamonds featured on the lugs and the bezel.

Dialed in Diamonds

Proceeding to the dial, what we have in this particular Day-Date 118388 also contains diamond-set indices. You can find a total of ten diamonds that mark out the hours on the dial. These representations leave room at the 12 o’clock position for the day window and 3 o’clock for the date window. 

Like you will discover with virtually all Rolex wristwatches with date windows, the sapphire crystal covering the dial comes furnished with the common Cyclops lens. That way, it can magnify the date grandly. When you take a closer look at the dial, you discover that the champagne-colored covering comes embossed with a repetitive “Rolex” structure. This dial is what Rolex refers to as the Jubilee dial.

The President Karat Bracelet with Diamond Encrusted

Up next is the watch’s stunning diamond-set Super President Karat bracelet ref 8485/8. The fact is that not many Rolex 118388 or watches in the Day-Date series come with this ultra-luxurious bracelet. As it is, these timepieces do. 

Moreover, the unique silhouette of the celebrated President bracelet comes with a definitive trait. This is the three-piece structure of semi-circular links. Striking, lovely, little wonder the “Karat” version stands out for its diamond-embellished center links. The center links feature a total of 288 brilliant-cut diamonds.

Powered by the Rolex Caliber 3155 Automatic Movement

What you can get from the name of the Rolex watch is that it is a calendar wristwatch (Day-Date) This timepiece indicates the day of the week on its dial. The display of this info comes written out in full and ready in dozens of languages. 

Similar to all Day-Date timepieces of the period, this Day-Date 118388 comes powered by the in-house Rolex Caliber 3155 automatic movement. This movement made its debut in 1988 in the Rolex world and the entire matchmaking industry. 

With the Caliber 3155, you have a movement that beats at a frequency of 28,800 beats per hour. The movement also supplies the watch with a power reserve of around 48 hours. Likewise, the Caliber 3155 comes with double quickset functionality. What this suggests is that both the day and date windows can be set alone from the timekeeping arrows. 

Finally, the movement also comprises the “hacking seconds” detail. With this detail, the seconds hand will come to a total halt when the winding crown gets pulled out to allow accurate time setting.


Furnished with factory diamond-set lugs, bezel, dial, and bracelet, the Rolex Day-Date 118388 stands different. This timepiece with the Super President Karat bracelet is one of the most notable Rolex President watches in the Day-Date series ever made. 


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