Exemplifying Rolex in almost every way possible, the Day-Date is a flagship collection that has come to signify Rolex’s embrace of luxury watchmaking since its launch in 1956. Today, the collection features plenty of models and variants that are beloved by collectors and others that are overlooked, with one of them being the model I have here; the lacquer green dial ref. 228238. Launched in 2022, it is a 40mm 18kt yellow gold Day-Date that combines several aspects of Rolex’s signature aesthetic into one harmonious design. Of course, beginning with the metal of choice, the classic Day-Date has always been yellow gold and mounted to a Presidential bracelet, both of which the ref. 228238 feature in combination with a fluted bezel – another iconic piece of Rolex’s design language.
However, this watch goes beyond just those landmarks; with applied Roman numerals on its dial, it speaks to the overarching design language that was hot during the time of the Day-Date’s original release, thus creating a watch that embodies everything the Day-Date is about. But, to bring it another step forward, this variant’s dial is also a stunning shade of green – Rolex’s signature colour. It’s no secret Rolex’s colour is green, collectors have long sought-after Rolex models with green dials for decades now, and Rolex has achieved perfection here in terms of making a dial that matches their company colour. Produced using a brass baseplate that is then applied with six thin layers of lacquer to provide depth of colour before a transparent varnish is applied and then polished, the ref. 228238’s dial is a gorgeous piece of Rolex design and craftsmanship.
It’s not often a Rolex model is overlooked by collectors, but with the sunburst olive green Day-Date variant picking up so much traction in recent years, it’s easy to see that this lacquer green dial ref. 228238 is being slept on at the moment. Vintage 36mm Day-Dates are some of my favourite watches because of everything they have to offer, and with this Day-Date 40 it provides something new to the collection that speaks to that old-school Rolex vibe, and it couldn’t be a more typified piece of Rolex design if it tried.