Anyone who clips onto a Rolex Day-Date each morning likely has a story to tell –especially if they have been wearing it since the 1980s, if it stood for something larger than the sum of its (silver or gold ) parts. His group soon grew in classic’80s style, he shut a big deal and made a decision to invest 10 percent of his profits on”pure foolishness.” Shortly, his collection comprised not just Rolex bits, but whatever he found interesting, from Seiko to Hamilton — even a couple of tank watches. Nevertheless, while his 30-plus piece collection was stolen from the’90s, he gave up and then wore Swatch watches for 20 years.
After the collecting bug bit for a second time, Karl chose to focus on this Day-Date, primarily because the countless variations of the single version made collecting infinitely more intriguing. For Karl, the hugely popular Datejust is just like a junior member of the firm, whereas the Day-Date has been, and always will be, the boss. These days, a fresh Day-Date starts at about $35,000, but Karl prefers to collect models in the’80s and’90s, which mostly range from $8,000 to $12,000, based on condition and the rarity of its attributes. He now has 17 Day-Dates in his collection, also appreciates the range of dials, markers and hands which were available 40 years ago but can not be found on current versions.
“The’80s was the bling age,” he clarifies. “Along with the Day-Date was the bling watch of the decade, since Rolex just sold it in precious metals. Back thenthere have been also pages of options. You could get dials in walnut, birch, mahogany or lacquer’Stella’ dials in flamingo pink or cab yellow — even stone dials. Despite the seemingly unlimited options, it was the’80s — folks wanted more. Yuppie culture grew out of a time when surplus was encouraged. People would purchase a gold or platinum Day-Date, then have it personalized into a nugget watch, occasionally placing diamonds all over it. If you were a Wall Street guy, you’re expected to show off that you’re a master of the universe at 24.”
Jacek Kozubek is an authority in the sphere of classic Rolex watches through his retail website, tropicalwatch.com. He believes that gold Rolex watches have always been a power transfer. “More so from the’80s and’90s,” he explains,”when owning gold things has been a bigger deal because gold had more of a financial value.”
Jacek agrees the hottest of the golden versions in the’80s was constantly the Day-Date, nicknamed”The President” due to this bracelet. “That version was the pinnacle apparel watch Rolex made,” he tells us.
Although some people could blame the success of Rolex in the 1980s to smart marketing campaigns, Jacek believes people wore Rolex watches since”they were fantastic and worked. I believe by designing a great product it turned into a style icon — not a style icon because of some ads.”
In the 1970s, the so-called”quartz catastrophe” threatened to create automatic watches look obsolete. This is when Jacek considers Rolex took center stage. By being pushed out of this tool-market class due to how quartz watches kept better time and were less expensive, Rolex went from being practical items to objects of need.
“The’80s can be when matters became ultra disposable,” he states. “I’ve met many clients that stopped wearing these watches simply since their quartz counterpart was more pragmatic. So brands like Rolex watches went upscale so as to conserve the craft.”
Rolex Day-Date aficionado Karl was gifted his first Day-Date in the early’80s, when he was in his twenties. “I felt too young to put on it, I was humiliated. Though I did wear it to big businesses where they might attempt to intimidate me. Now guys wear it with shorts or jeans and they are right, we were wrong — there aren’t any rules. The Day-Date is still viewed as a sign of success, however they’re not as popular as the Daytonas or even Submariners. But back in the’80s, nobody cared about the steel professional versions. Most collectors then desired Bubblebacks.”