What may surprise many is that Rolex, the world’s most famous watch brand, was not founded in Switzerland, but in London. In 1905, Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis joined forces in a new venture, Wilsdorf and Davis, in what would eventually become Rolex Watch Co. Ltd. (1915). The company was relocated to Geneva after WWI, where it has been rooted since.
Rolex’s first claim to fame was the waterproof Oyster sealed cases in the mid-1920’s, the Perpetual rotor in the 1930’s, and the Tudor Brand in the mid-1940’s —offering superlative build quality and precision at a lower cost, without proprietary movements. The geniality of Rolex’s marketing machine earned it a permanent seat amongst the most recognizable and prestigious brands on the planet, as well as their independent watch models: the Datejust (1945), Submariner (1953), Explorer (1953), GMT Master (1954), Day-Date (1956), Air-King (1958), and the Cosmograph Daytona (1963), to name a few.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date was conceived as a luxurious, high-precision piece displaying time, day of the week, and date. It is only made in precious metals, such as gold and platinum, and is available in 26 different languages. The brightly coloured ‘Stella’ dials of the 1970’s have become very popular with collectors and reached impressive values at auction. The nickname ‘President’, mainly used in the United States, is due to its popularity with many American leaders over the years, starting with Kennedy. Its quality, prestige, and wrist presence have made it a perennial favorite amongst other world personalities, from Michael Jordan to the Dalai Lama.
This particular Day-Date is a 36mm piece made in yellow gold, and sold new through Selfridges of London and gifted to our Group Chairman in the late 1990’s. After 20 years of careful ownership, this fully-original, never-polished example is now for the first time in the market. The watch comes with its original box, booklet, travel pouch, and label. It has recently been cleaned by Rolex Dubai, and it is ready for its second owner to treasure and enjoy.