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Five new timepieces join the presidents' watch line
ROLEX'S Oyster Perpetual Day-Date is also known as the "presidents' watch". It's not just because of the evocative name of its bracelet - known as the President bracelet - but also because it's been worn by so many famous people - political leaders, corporate bosses and entertainment personalities.
Marilyn Monroe famously gifted a Rolex Day-Date wristwatch to John Kennedy but it's his successor, Lyndon B Johnson, who's recognised as the first US president to wear one.
The Day-Date has also been sported on the wrist of Warren Buffett, Roger Federer, Brad Pitt, Yo-Yo Ma and Bono. Well-known women like Victoria Beckham, Brook Shields and Jennifer Anniston also wear one.
It's no wonder that Rolex calls it the "Ultimate Prestige Watch". But why is the Day-Date, which is essentially a dress watch that tells the time, day and date, so popular with so many famous people from so many different fields?
The snowball effect aside, the Day-Date was a major innovation when Rolex rolled it out in 1956. It was the first calendar wristwatch to indicate, in addition to the date, the day of the week - spelt out in full in an arc-shaped window at 12 o'clock on dial. It was a technical feat then.
The indication of the day of the week is also available in a choice of 26 languages!
What's more, Date-Date timepieces come only in precious metals - in 18-carat yellow, white or Everose (Rolex-speak for rose gold), or 950 platinum.
Then, of course, there's the three-link President bracelet which was created specially for the launch of the Day-Date 63 years ago.
The bracelet is still reserved exclusively for Day-Date watches and certain versions of the Datejust collection. For the latest Day-Date 36 timepieces introduced this year, the President bracelet is fitted with an elegant hidden folding Crownclasp and includes ceramic inserts inside the links to make it more flexible and lasting.
Five new watches are added to the Day-Date range, in 36-millimetre-wide 18-ct yellow, white or Everose gold case with distinctive new dials and gem-set bezels on some of them.
Two of the timepieces feature a novel dial design with a concentric gradient. The first, in 18-ct yellow gold, is presented with a green ombre dial. The second, in 18-ct Everose gold, has a brown ombre dial. Both are decorated with diamond hour markers in 18-ct gold settings. The diamonds at 6 and 9 o'clock are baguette-cut - a configuration specific to Day-Date watches.
Two other timepieces, one in 18-ct white gold and the other in 18-ct yellow gold, have a dial in decorative stone - pink opal for one, slightly veined turquoise for the other - enhanced by shimmering hour markers with Roman numerals VI and IX in 18-ct gold set with diamonds. The bezel is decked wtih 52 billiant-cut diamonds.
The final watch has an 18-ct white gold case framing a dial with hour markers fashioned from 10 baguette-cut sapphires in rainbow colours. The dial is paved with diamonds and its bezel is illuminated by 52 brilliant-cut diamonds, while another 412 diamonds run along the centre links of the bracelet.
All the new Day-Date timepieces are powered by a new movement that has 70 hours' power reserve, 20 hours more than the previous movement, and it's a certified Superlative Chronometer which means its precision is in the order of losing or gaining no more than two seconds per day - more than twice that required of an official chronometer.