Rolex President Bracelet Complete Guide and History
The Rolex President or Presidential bracelet has an iconic place in Rolex’s history and collection of bracelets. Today, the bracelet is only available on Rolex’s most exclusive timepiece, the Day-Date, which is only made in precious metal.
This makes the Day-Date only an option for a limited audience due to the price tag that comes with a full precious metal watch.
Introduced in 1956, the President bracelet has undergone a number of changes, improvements, and refinements over the years, but its design and look have remained more or less the same. This goes to show just how timeless the design of the President bracelet is. Because it remains just as popular and iconic today as it was during its early days.
In this article, we will look closer at Rolex’s iconic Presidential/president bracelet.
Rolex President bracelet
As mentioned, the President bracelet was first launched by Rolex in 1956, and specifically created for the release of the new Oyster Perpetual Day-Date. The President bracelet was always meant to be Rolex’s most exclusive and elegant metal bracelet as it is only made in full precious metal. This means either yellow gold, rose gold, platinum, or white gold. The President bracelet has also been used for some full gold versions of the Lady Datejust as well.
Today, the President bracelet has become an iconic part of the Rolex Day-Date, although the model has been made with leather strap alternatives throughout its history.
”The iconic President bracelet, with its semi-circular three-piece links, was created in 1956 for the launch of the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date. It represents the ultimate in refinement and comfort and is always made of carefully selected precious metals.”
The bracelet did not originally carry the name ”President” or ”Presidential”. It would take until 1965 that the bracelet acquired its legendary name after the president of the United States, Lyndon Johnson wore a yellow gold Rolex Day-Date. In an advert from that time, Rolex wrote ”the president’s watch”. Ever since, the name has caught on for both the Day-Date and the Day-Date bracelet, although the name originally only referred to the bracelet.
In the advert, Rolex wrote:
”It costs one thousand dollars to own the Rolex Day-Date, The Watch you see so often on the wrists of presidents everywhere”. Today, the proudly and confidently boast that ”The Rolex Day-Date has been worn by more presidents, leaders and visionaries than any other watch.”
To build on this prestigious fact, Rolex started referring to the Day-Date as the Rolex President Day-Date in the 1980s, but quite quickly went back to only calling it the Day-Date. The name, however, has stuck forever. And Rolex still called the bracelet of the Day-Date the President bracelet.
”It is highly distinctive, in particular, thanks to its emblematic President bracelet with an evocative name that, together with the eminent figures who have worn it, ensured the Day-Date became known as the “presidents’ watch”
In Rolex’s pursuit of perfection, Rolex has revised the Presidential bracelet time and time over, but as far as the design goes, it remains largely unchanged. The main issue with Older Rolex metal bracelets has always been that they lose their rigidity over time and thus became loose and stretchy.
To prevent this, Rolex has gone to great lengths. Today, the Presidential bracelet is more robust and durable than ever – whilst retaining its original charm and elegance that it was always meant to have. Rolex’s innovation leads the company to the hard material ceramic, and the most recent bracelet made for the Day-Date 40 now features ceramic inserts inside the links to prevent premature wear and stretch to the bracelet.
In width, the President bracelet has three links, with the middle link being polished and the side links being brushed. The side of the bracelet is polished to give the precious metal of the bracelet an exclusive sheen.
Moving onto the clasp, the President bracelet has a hidden crown clasp. The purpose of the clasp is to avoid breaking up the design of the bracelet, but rather make it seamless in design from one side to the other. The clasp is so seamlessly integrated that an unknowing person will have a hard time realizing it is there. The bracelet is opened by pulling up the Rolex coronet crown on the bracelet which is a concealed lever. Like magic, the clasp locking mechanism appears and the bracelet opens up.
Rolex Day-Date upgrade in 2015
In 2015, Rolex revised the Day-Date model. The current model at the time was the Day-Date II which had a 41mm case and a slightly larger appearance on the wrist which was Rolex’s response to the market demanding larger watches.
The Day-Date II was replaced by the Day-Date 40 and can be described as a step back to the more traditional lines that the Day-Date was always meant to have. The case, dial, and bracelet were revised, but also the Presidential bracelet. The way the bracelet integrates with the case was also revised and improved allowing a tighter fit and integrated look.
Photos by Rolex.