As part of its releases unveiled this year at Watches & Wonders Geneva 2024, Rolex has added a handful of new dial options to its flagship Day-Date collection. While the watches themselves are identical to the existing Day-Date 36 and Day-Date 40 models from the current-production lineup, the new dials take styles that were previously reserved exclusively for either the 36mm or 40mm models and bring them to the opposite case size, while also adding some new colors and configurations to the lineup.

Aside from their dials, the new Rolex Day-Date 36 and Day-Date 40 watches are identical to their siblings from the current series, which means that they feature either 36mm or 40mm cases crafted from solid 18k gold (yellow, white, or Everose), along with flat sapphire crystals (with Cyclops magnification lenses), Twinlock screw-down crowns, and solid screw-down casebacks that help support their 100 meters of water resistance. Similarly, all of the new Rolex Day-Date models are fitted with the collection’s signature rounded three-link President bracelet, and they are powered by the brand’s Caliber 3255 automatic movement, which runs at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 70 hours. Where the models differ from their siblings is when it comes to their dials and configurations, and each one represents some type of new addition to the already incredibly diverse Day-Date collection.

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First teased in Rolex’s commercials during the Academy Awards earlier this year, the first new model is the Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. 228235 with a slate ombre dial that features the brand’s signature deconstructed Roman numeral hour markers. Previously, ombre dials (which are characterized by their radial gradient patterns that fades to black along their outer edges) were only available on the 36mm Day-Date models with diamond-set hour markers, so this latest addition to the collection marks the arrival of ombre dials to the larger 40mm models, along with the first pairing of an ombre surface with deconstructed Roman numeral hour markers.  

The second new watch is the white gold Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. 228239 with a pearlized white mother-of-pearl dial, and this represents the first time that this material has been featured on this model. Pearlized white mother-of-pearl is extracted from the oldest part of the oyster shell, and it has a subtle structure with an irregular texture that creates tiny overlapping cloud patterns and a deep sense of volume. For the new Day-Date 40 ref. 228239, its pearlized white mother-of-pearl dial is completed by ten baguette-cut diamonds that serve as the hour markers, which complement the natural luster of the dial’s surface and create a highly luxurious overall appearance.

The third new model is the yellow gold Rolex Day-Date 36 ref. 128238 with a white lacquer dial that has the brand’s deconstructed Roman numeral hour markers. Up until this year, this style of hour markers was exclusively reserved for the 40mm models from this series, and while this exact dial already existed as an option for the Day-Date 40, this fan-favorite style has now been added to the classic 36mm version of the model. Rolex has been carrying over popular dials from its larger models to its smaller versions (such as the Wimbledon dial, which is now available for both 36mm and 41mm Datejust models), and given the overwhelming popularity of this particular dial, expanding it to the Day-Date 36 simply makes a lot of sense.

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The final new model that is part of this latest batch of Day-Date watches for 2024 is the Everose gold Rolex Day-Date 36 ref. 128395TBR with a trapeze-cut diamond bezel and blue-green dial. This unusual dial color first appeared on the updated Everose Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. 336935 from last year, so it seemed like only a matter of time before we would see it on another Rolex model. Additionally, the type of cut for the 60 diamonds that are set into the bezel is also noteworthy, as trapeze-cut diamonds were previously only fitted to Day-Date models crafted from solid 950 platinum. Lastly, to match the trapeze-cut diamonds on the bezel, the blue-green dial also features ten baguette-cut diamonds, which occupy the place of its hour markers. 

While the new Rolex Day-Date watches themselves are functionally identical to the existing models from the brand’s current catalog, their new dials and configurations expand the already diverse collection and provide buyers with the opportunity to enjoy their favorite dial styles in a case size that will fit their wrist. Admittedly, these watches aren’t the most exciting releases from Rolex this year, although I imagine that some of these new additions will be incredibly popular, as there are quite a few people who are fans of ombre dials but would appreciate a larger case than 36mm, and many people love Rolex’s constructed Roman numeral hour markers, although not everyone has the wrist size (or budget) to opt for one of the larger Day-Date 40 models. As of 2024, prices for the Rolex Day-Date collection start at $35,000 USD for the classic 36mm model with a fluted bezel in 18k yellow gold, and they increase from there depending on case size, bezel style, color of gold, and the specific dial that is fitted to the watch. For more information on the Rolex Day-Date collection, please visit the brand’s website.

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