Gold Rolex Day-Date 40 – Hot or Not?

Welcome to a new feature at The Truth About Watches where highly opinionated horophiles engage in a mostly pointless debate about desirability of various watches, both iconic and obscure. First up, Luke likes the looks of the all gold Rolex Day-Date 40 with a President bracelet. Hot or not?

Luke Ibis:

I am not generally a Rolex lover. I’ve owned a number of watches carrying the crown, both vintage and modern. Although I enjoyed them I’ve never felt the unrelenting passion and dedication for the brand that has driven prices for even the most anodyne models through the stratosphere. But I absolutely love the solid gold Day-Date.

There are precisely two watches that have given me a visceral reaction: the Lange Datograph and the solid gold Rolex Day-Date 40. I love how Rolex looks, I love how it feels and I love that it is typically associated with unbridled success, whether in the world of sports or business or in the world of, ahem, politics.

Rolex Day Date 40

For the low, low price of only $41,000 you can put nearly half a pound of gold watch on your wrist. You too can sport the watch enjoyed by people as diverse as Leonid Brezhnev and Ellen DeGeneres.

What other watch is beloved by both brutal totalitarian communists and relentlessly positive TV weirdos? The gold Rolex Day-Date has universal appeal and an iconic, timeless style. That makes it cool.

Robert Farago:

Jane, you ignorant slut. While I’m glad you’ve put down the Kool-Aid – and who wouldn’t after reading  The Truth About Rolex – you’re clearly suffering from its residual effects.

As someone who’s been divorced twice, I understand your hormonal attraction to the gold Rolex Day-Date. But you’re a grown ass man. You shouldn’t be seduced by a 30 thousand dollar hooker with a heart of gold. This is not the horological relationship you’re looking for. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

Glengarry Glenn Ross Baldwin Rolex

The Rolex Day-Date has an “association with unbridled success”? Sure! You’ll find this watch on the wrist of a Russian oligarch wearing a Speedo on a yacht the size of a pocket battleship. And a car dealers selling used Ferraris. Coke dealers? Them too. Oh look! There’s one on the wrist of the the sales trainer from Glengarry Glen Ross.

Donald Trump and gold Rolex Day-Date

And there’s one on The Donald’s wrist. Luke, you’re having a Joe Biden moment. You’re a clever, kind-hearted, well-educated man who’s forgotten something: taste. C’mon man! Look at that date wart!

Rolex Day-Date 40 GOLD!

Luke:

Save your played out 1970’s SNL references, Boomer. I never said I’m looking for an horological LTR here. You’re not the only one who’s loved, lost and grown wiser.

I know that a gold Rolex Day-Date 40 is not the one watch for me. But a watch I want to wear each and every day and a watch I recognize as cool can be two different things. And a solid gold Rollie is cool.

Regardless of how we may feel about the brand, Rolex occupies an iconic space in the market. Within the brand, there is nothing more iconically, classically Rolex than a solid gold three-handed watch with a fluted bezel, diamond-set dial, and President bracelet. It’s the watch that made Rolex Rolex!

Rolex Day-Date 40 President bracelet

We live in a world where there is a long list of watches that are as good or better than Rolex’s massively popular sports models. The same can’t be said for the all gold Day-Date. No one has invented a better mousetrap; the pretenders and copycats lack the balance and alchemistic mix of styling details.

And that date wart? Sometimes we need a tiny imperfection to help us recognize true beauty. I’ll refer you to a 1990 photo of a certain young woman from Illinois as further evidence.

Robert:

Hang on. You chose a watch for Hot or Not that you wouldn’t wear? And your defense of the Rolex’s Day-Date’s 40’s date wart relies on a supermodel’s mole?

I don’t know how you missed it before, but I’ll try again. The Rolex Day-Date 40 Champagne Roman Dial 18K Yellow Gold President is tacky AF. And I don’t mean autofocus.

Rolex neck ruff

How about a gold watch with a gold bracelet YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY WEAR. One that WOULDN’T EMBARRASS YOU with its silly golden neck ruff – a needless affectation that once waterproofed the case and now serves only to signal the wearer’s lack of class.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony

If you want a 40mm $30k gold watch with a gold bracelet to tempt street thugs to cut your hand off, a watch with some intrinsic value – elegance, engineering excellence, exclusivity, craftsmanship and history – how about the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony?

As for your date with the Day-Date, remember: there’s a difference between iconic and moronic. Except when there isn’t.

Luke:

Oh Robert. At your age you should know that taste is a posture not a purchase, and that the essence of style is not thinking about style. Why are you so worried about who wears a gold Rolex and what people might think? No, I wouldn’t wear one every day. But like any person of taste and style, I know I could absolutely rock one when the time is right.

Watches are functional jewelry, generally the only jewelry that most men (and some women) wear on a daily basis. I’ll grant that layering a gold Rolex with chains, bracelets and rings is tacky. Just like anything, it’s gotta be worn right.

Jack Nicklaus, The Golden Bear – pictured above winning the British Open -shows us the way. When worn with just a little bit of common sense and restraint, and not thrown out as a symbol of masculine superiority, there is simply no watch that makes more of a statement than a solid gold Day-Date.

Admit it: that Vacheron is just another expensive watch that happens to be gold. This isn’t about technology or “intrinsic value” or even value for money. It’s about something unquantifiable…it’s about the cool. When it comes to an iconically cool, iconically stylish gold watch there is only one choice and it’s made by Rolex.

The all gold Rolex Day-Date 40 is cool. So cool that it’s hot.

Is there a watch on your mind that you think is hot (or not)? Want us to take it on? Let us know in the comments and you just might see it featured here.

7 thoughts on “Gold Rolex Day-Date 40 – Hot or Not?”

  1. You’re both wrong! The answer is the Rolex Day/Date in Platinum with a smooth bezel. Has all the advantages that Luke mentioned, including use as a CIA bracelet while remaining juuuuust enough under the radar to pass for something (much) less expensive without a closer look. It’s stealth. And stealth is always cool.

    1. Hmm, interesting point. A precious metal watch that no one externally would know is precious metal. You can’t deny the style of the smooth bezel Day-Date.

      At least for me, part of why the solid gold model is cool is because it’s obviously all precious metal. That said, I like the idea of wearing a precious metal watch that just looks like your average steel watch. It’s a very reductive, stealth move. And if someone says “hey nice watch” you can hand it over and watch the look on their face as they realize it’s 100% platinum.

      Good call and thanks for reading!

  2. I bought one (36mm) with the intention of wearing it everyday just like Luke says, but the end result was that I just could not do it. I appreciate the style and what it stands for, but on the wrist I found it too flashy and shiny and is at odds with how I see myself. If I were less self-conscious it might have worked. Maybe I just prefer the relative anonymity of an Explorer 2 or even a white gold Lange.

    Maybe Luke should try it for real. Buy one and see if it works out. A couple of my friends who were similarly seduced by the idea of a yellow gold Day Date could not bring themselves to wear one daily when bought. There were various reasons, some the same reason as mine, or for others that it was too precious and expensive, and others that it was a robbery magnet.

    For that last reason, it become tiresome to constantly assess the security risk in every new situation with that kind of watch on.

    Luke, buy one, wear it and maybe tell me how you get on. Maybe you’ll end up similarly.

    1. Personally, I daily a Speedmaster, and every once in a while I realize I’m walking around with several thousand dollars on my wrist. I’m a future mugging mark I fear. Or worse, my employees/clients will think I make/charge too much.

      But then reality hits me in the wrist, and I realize that nobody around me has a clue… or gives a shit. The Speedmaster is not just stealthy, it’s invisible. We all know the cheese-eating junior intern with the department-store Nixon will get 10x the attention over any Speedy. It’s both a cause for relief and frustration.

      But with a Rolex, everyone knows. With a gold Rolex, everyone judges. Heavy lies that golden crown.

      The gold Day-date is truly a watch for the man who does not care. I am not yet that man.

  3. I come here for the cultural references. They never disappoint. This post is a gold mine, so to speak.

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