Rolex is one of the most iconic luxury watchmakers of all time. To own a Rolex watch is a reflection of ones dignity, achievements and status. To own a Rolex is a sophisticated reflection of a successful career. Hans Wilsdorf founded Rolex SA in London, England in 1905 with his brother in law Alfred Davis. To successfully compete in the watchmaking market, Wilsdorf moved the company to Geneva, Switzerland, the watchmaking capital of the world, in 1919. Wilsdorf was a smart marketer of the Rolex watch. Today, the company earns $4.7 billion in revenue a year.
Wilsdorf did not simply want his luxury watches to be a status symbol of wealth. He wanted his watches to reflect a successful, accomplished man. Along with making watches that were made with the highest quality materials and kept accurate and precise time, Wilsdorf sold his watches by the image they produced. To gain popularity in Switzerland, Wilsdorf gifted the 50,000th Officially Certified Rolex Chronometer watch to Swiss General Guison. In honor of the Allied forces following World War II, Wilsdorf gifted the 100,000th Officially Certified Rolex Chronometer to Great Britain’s Sir Winston Churchill and the 150,000th Officially Certified Rolex Chronometer to the 5-star United States General and war hero, Dwight Eisenhower.
Although it is not exactly known how the name “The Presidents” came about or whether it refers to the Day-Date watch or the bracelet, it is believed that the name was coined when General Eisenhower proudly wore the watch during his Presidency of the United States Of America. He wore the watch during his 1953 Inauguration. Other notable men wore the distinctive Day-Date watch throughout the latter part of the twentieth century including President Lyndon Johnson. A 1966 advertisement labeled the watch “The Presidents’ Watch”. In 1984, Rolex began officially referring to the style as The Presidents’ Watch.
The Day-Date watch is distinctive. It features the date of the week, the day of the month, and it is self- winding and keeps precise and accurate time. The watch is available in platinum or 18k gold. The bezel is either fluted, smooth or gem-set. The glass is scratch-proof sapphire crystal. The Day-Date watch has hermetic screws that clamp down securely to seal the bezel protecting it from water, dust and pressure changes. The watch is waterproof to 100 meters depth. The Presidents bracelet is polished and simple. It features a concealed clasp.
Here are the top 5 Rolex Presidential watches of all time.
General/President Eisenhower’s Oyster Precision Day-Date
The watch bestowed to General Eisenhower is the first watch dubbed the Presidents watch although this was not until he became the President of the United States of America in 1953. Prior to that, Eisenhower was frequently seen wearing the wristwatch including in a photograph featured on the cover of Life Magazine in 1952. The yellow gold Day-Date watch had a Jubilee bracelet rather than a President bracelet, but it is still considered to be part of the iconic Presidential line.
The custom made watch features Eisenhower’s initials, the 5-star general insignia and the date NATO appointed Eisenhower as Supreme Allied Commander engraved at Eisenhower’s request. Eisenhower wore the prestigious and dignified watch until his death. He bequeathed the watch to his trusted valet, Sgt. John Moaney. Upon Maoaney’s death, he left the watch to his wife Delores. She eventually donated the watch to Raleign DeGeer Amyx’s presidential memorabilia collection. The watch is now up for auction and is estimated to sell for about $1 million.
$235,000 at auction
Nicknamed “The Emperor”, this is one of just 8 styles created by Rolex. It was made for the Shah of Iran. It has a platinum case and bracelet that weighs 2 times as much as the average Day-Date Presidents watch. The Emperor features a unique burgundy stella dial. Stella means star in Italian, and this watch shines. Diamond hour markers highlight this watch. Unlike most Rolex diamond watches that feature the diamond markers close to the hands, these diamond markers are set at the edge of the dial. This unique and regal watch is timeless in its masterpiece. It is a statement piece of much accomplishment and prestige.
$100,000 at auction
This rare Rolex Osprey Precision Day-Date watch is worth $100,000. The Presidents watch was made for the Sultan of Oman. Made with the finest quality materials as all Rolex watches are, this watch is stately and unique. It features a distinctive “The Khanjar” logo in red above the 6 o’clock hour. The watch case and bracelet is platinum. The watch features diamond hour markers. There are 2 beautiful diamond baguettes at the 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock hours. This prestigious and unique watch is well worth its price.
Chocolate Brown Osprey Precision Day-Date
$70,000 at auction
This Presidents watch features a chocolate brown lacquered dial. This watch is unique with the dial crown on the left side of the case. It was made by special order in 1969. Another unique feature of this watch is that the case is rotated 180 degrees. This Presidents watch is rare because it has the serial number engraved between the lugs at the 6 o’clock hour and the reference number engraved at the 12:00 hour. This unique and appealing watch was recently sold at auction.
Stella Diamond Dial Toxic Green Papiere – $37,012
This unique Rolex is available for purchase for just over $37,000. As with all of the Stella models, the dial on this watch stands out and shines. It is a unique color of green. The 36 mm case is yellow gold as is the bezel and the bracelet. The watch has all of the distinctive features of a Rolex Presidents Day-Date watch. When investing in a Rolex watch, why not invest in a unique and personalized style.
The Rolex Presidents watch is a classic and timeless timepiece. Rolex watches always keep precise and reliable time. Rolex watches also make a dignified statement. The Day-Date Presidents watch earned its reputation by being worn by some of the most accomplished international figures in history. To wear a Rolex Presidents watch is to make a statement. It is to make a statement of pride, success and prestige.