Rolex presented a series of new dials on the updated “Day-Date 36” and finally bestowed this model line with more modern quality specs. After a couple of years behind in terms of technical proficiency comparatively to the 40mm edition, the 36mm Day-Date has finally gotten some noteworthy and highly anticipated upgrades.

Rolex-Day-Date-36-for-2019-33 - Copy

Back in 2015 Rolex debuted their “Day-Date 40”, which was also the first to introduce the new generation of 32xx calibers equipped with a “Superlative Chronometer” providing a daily accuracy of -2/+2 seconds. Another highlight of this edition was its President bracelet crafted out of precious metal links with ceramic inserts in between them. You can refresh your memory by reading up on this previous “Day-Date 40” here.

Rolex Day-Date 40

Rolex Day-Date 40, released in 2015.

So now the 36mm Datejust can be had in a case made out of either: 18k yellow gold, white gold or rose gold with a screw-down case back. (The 40mm version can also be had in platinum, so that may hopefully be a future addition to the 36mm lineup). Mounted to theses cases you can opt for a matching gold fluted bezel or a diamond-set bezel, at an additional cost.


It also comes equipped by a screw-down setting-crown with the twinlock double waterproofness system, which assists with water-resistance reaching up to 100 meters (330 feet). All topped by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal that includes a cyclops lens over the date.


A current trend in the horology market are what some call “fumé” or “vignette” dials, which Rolex has opted to designate as “ombré” in their own personal company nomenclature. It basically consists of a dial that has a main color in the center, but gradual grows darker with a sunburst effect as it reaches out towards the periphery of dial, ending in a black hue.


But, there is nothing necessarily new about these dials, since similar ones were originally introduced back in the 1980’s. Rolex themselves released several editions to a lukewarm reception, which eventually led to them fading away. Back then the majority of the marketplace found this style of dial to be a bit gimmicky and were not as enticing as champagne or bolder single tone dials. Nonetheless as they say “what goes around comes around” and that they have, as “vignette”, “fume”, ombré” or what whatever you choose to call them attempt their comeback in the current 2010’s era.

Rolex Day Date 18038 or 7352 Factory Diamond Vignette Dial - circa 1982  - Copy

Rolex Day Date 18038 Factory Diamond Vignette Dial – circa 1982

Although what is more concerning is that the 36mm dial lacks the width to truly accommodate these dials. The distance between the center and the edges leaves a scarce amount of space until the initial color fades to black. These 36mm watches had already gone under some scrutiny in the past for legibility issues and the “ombré” has not come along to resolve those potential concerns. What often occurs is that the central hands tend to reflect the blackened surrounding nearing the periphery of the dial, creating “dark patches” that can diminish the overall legibility. It would have been a wiser decision to have re-introduced these “ombré” dials on the 40mm Day-Date with its wider canvas, but Rolex choose to go down this path, so let’s see how the market responds.


So to summarize the updated 2019 “Rolex Day-Date 36” can be had in varying colors dependent on the metal alloy you choose. There are three available options in 18k rose gold: rosé color set with diamonds, brown ombré set with diamonds and white mother-of-pearl set with diamonds; four options in 18k white gold: silver, blue ombré set with diamonds, pink opal set with diamonds and white mother-of-pearl set with diamonds; and six options in 18k yellow gold: champagne, champagne set with diamonds, green ombré set with diamonds, dark grey set with diamonds, turquoise and mother-of-pearl set with diamonds.


Plus all three metal alloy models can be additionally had with a diamond pavé set dial, featuring rainbow colored sapphire hour index markers.

Rolex Day-Date 36mm Rainbow 2019

Rolex Day-Date 36mm Diamond Pavé set dial

Standing-out among these options are the two European editions made of stone, which are the: 18k white gold pink opal dial


Day-Date 36mm white gold pink opal dial

and the 18k yellow gold turquoise dial. We would like to specifically single out the “Rolex 36mm Day-Date Turquoise” (Ref#: 128348RBR) that is currently in stock at EiT, as can be seen here.


It is quite a unique dial with its marble-like seemingly cracked imperfections sparsely piercing thru the shiny overall turquoise hue.


The luxurious gem packed hour index-markers are set in 18k gold with 32 diamonds, while the Roman VI and IX numerals have been set in 18k gold with 24 diamonds.


It also includes the standard date-window at the 3 o’clock position and the wide day window at the 12 o’clock position.


Rolex Day-Date 36

This “Rolex Day-Date 36” is powered by the self-winding in-house mechanical movement, caliber 3255 with 31 jewels and 28,800 vph. It comes equipped with the Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. It has been made of nickel-phosphorous rendering it insensitive to magnetic interference.

Chronoenergy vs Swiss Lever

Power reserve on this watch can last up to 70 hours, when fully wound. This new generation movement developed and manufactured entirely by Rolex is protected by 14 patents.


Mounted to these watches is the Rolex President semi-circular three-piece links bracelet (matching each versions metal alloy), while secured to the wrist by the concealed folding Crownclasp.

Rolex-DayDate-Turquoise-folding clasp

Plus totally worth mentioning is the inclusion of the ceramic inserts, which were first introduced back in 2015 on the “Day-Date 40”. These robust ceramic inserts prevent the links from becoming ‘sticky’, providing a more comfortable wrist wear and eliminating the concern of stretching out a bracelet. If you’ve ever seen any vintage Rolex bracelet hanging loose with a flimsy look,  that’s what we refer to as a “stretched out bracelet”.


This occurs over time as the pins and holes of the bracelet gradually become loose from accumulated use and it begins to look less tight or robust, as it did initially. These ceramic inserts have been conceived to prevent this occurrence and can now be found on every modern iteration of the Rolex President bracelet.  For more up to date information visit the official Rolex website here or order directly from us at EiT here.

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Rolex, Day-Date, Turquise, Ombré, Vignette, Luxury Watches

Written by Mauro Az