My Story of Buying a Pre-Owned Rolex Day-Date 36 in Platinum with Glacier Blue Wave Arabic Dial: a Caveat Emptor Scare but a Happy Ending

Niclas Berglund is the founder of Bezl Magazine and he has kindly allowed us to republish this article here.


May 2021, 36,000 feet in the air.

Suddenly, the rain-heavy clouds part, and I catch a glimpse of Paris from my airplane seat. I’m sweating and struggling to breathe behind the face mask that is supposed to prevent me from infecting others or being infected by the coronavirus currently ravaging our world.

I have arranged to meet the seller, John, at Charles de Gaulle. If all goes well, the watch transaction should be completed within an hour. After that, I plan to turn on my heel and fly back to Stockholm. What makes me nervous is that the deal is to be done in cryptocurrency.

This is because the transaction will take place between the two of us as private individuals. Our banks cannot guarantee that the purchase amount will appear on the seller’s account the same day. Cryptocurrency is direct, and with a transfer, the currency appears in the recipient’s account within a few minutes.

My phone pings as I land. The message is from John, the seller. “Hi Niclas, a bus just hit my car.” He sends a picture of his car that has just been hit.

I first thought was I hope he isn’t injured? Quickly followed by a worry that the deal will not go through and I will have to return home.

Are you ok John? I write in my reply.

I wait nervously.

Rolex Day-Date in platinum (photo courtesy Niclas Berglund /



The Day-Date has earned its place among Rolex’s top models

The Day-Date is an iconic Rolex model and has been since its launch at Baselworld in 1956. This occurred eleven years after Rolex introduced the groundbreaking Datejust model in 1945.

The Datejust was the first automatic watch to display the time and a date in a small window on the dial. A decade later, the brand launched the Day-Date with Datejust technology, but now also with a “Day” window placed at 12 o’clock on the dial.

The Day-Date retained the familiar and successful 36mm case, but the model was only available in the precious metals gold and platinum.

However, it is worth noting that over the years, a number of Day-Dates in steel have appeared at auctions from prominent watch collections. It is said that these were initially prototypes or training watches for watchmakers to work on the movements. These are highly sought after.

Rolex advert marketing the gold Day-Date as “The President’s Watch”

Since its launch in the 1950s, the Day-Date has had a natural place among the brand’s top models. A strong characteristic of the watch is the semi-circular, three-piece link, which Rolex calls the “President” link. The Day-Date model is also called “The President Watch.”

Lyndon B. Johnson with his Rolex Day-Date 36mm in yellow gold

It is said to have gotten its name in 1965, after U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson was seen wearing a Day-Date in yellow gold. Rolex then began to call its model “the president’s watch” and marketed the Day-Date as; the watch worn by the world’s leaders.

The Rolex Day-Date has always been a status symbol in the West. Rolex marketed it with the idea that the world’s leaders wear the watch.

The Day-Date model has been continuously updated over the years. It was in the 1970s that the “quick-set” feature was added to the model, making it easy to set the date. However, it would not be until the 1990s that the model also received the “quick-set” feature for the “Day” display.

The Day-Date “Glacier Blue Wave Arabic Dial” has been discontinued from the Rolex catalog (photo courtesy Niclas Berglund /

The watch presented in this report is in platinum and features the “Glacier Blue Wave Arabic Dial.” The dial, which playfully shifts in shade depending on how the light hits it, can go from being intense in its ice blue shade to the next moment giving off a shimmer of silver. This highlights the dark blue Arabic numbers in an intense way.



The smooth bezel is a distinctive characteristic of platinum Day-Dates

The Day-Date comes in various precious metals and in a range of dial designs. The dial color strongly associated with platinum is the ice blue shade that Rolex calls “Glacier Blue.” This dial is found only on Rolex platinum models.

Over the years, the Day-Date has been available in several different case sizes, with 36mm being the classic size in which the watch has been presented since its launch.

In 2008, Rolex released the Day-Date II. The model’s case size measures 42mm; this larger watch was in production until 2015 when it was replaced by the Day-Date 40. As the name suggests, this model has a 40mm case. This size has proven to be a success among Rolex customers.

Rolex Day-Date 36 in platinum, the symbol of unmatched elegance and precision (photo courtesy Niclas Berglund /

I think that the Day-Date is best worn in 36mm. It doesn’t matter if you have a large or small wrist. The Day-Date is an icon and stands firm in its classic size. No offense to the larger sizes, they are fantastic watches. It’s all about personal taste and ultimately comes down to you and your personal preferences.

Since its introduction into the brand’s catalog in 1956, the Rolex Day-Date in platinum has always been presented with a smooth bezel. The smooth bezel, besides the ice blue dial, has been a strong characteristic of the precious metal platinum on the Rolex Day-Date model.

This detail changed in 2022 when Rolex decided to give their Day-Date in platinum a fluted Bezel. This has created two camps. Some argue that the Day-Date in platinum is best with a smooth bezel. In this way, it distinguishes itself from its younger brother in gold, which wears a fluted bezel. 

It is worth mentioning that Rolex had for a short period offered the Day-Date in white gold available with the option of a smooth bezel, but no longer.



“Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover”

I exit the plane, uncertainty hanging over me like a wet blanket. My earlier excitement about the impending deal is increasingly turning into worry. I glance at my phone – no response from John.

At first, I don’t realize that the people in front of me are in line, trying to get past before a kind man stops me. I now understand that everyone is heading to the same security checkpoint.

The information board above my head indicates that SAS airlines has a flight to Stockholm in an hour. I start to feel a surge of stress when suddenly my phone pings.

“I’m ok, thank you. Think I will be a bit late, my car is in bad shape,” John texts.

I reply that I’m glad he’s okay and ask if he can still make the deal as planned? The answer comes immediately. We can meet as planned; he has just finished with the traffic police and is on his way to the airport.

Since he’s okay, I allow myself to feel relieved that I didn’t travel all the way to Paris for nothing.

We meet as planned at a café in the airport’s arrival hall. John is younger than me, wearing a simple white T-shirt with baggy pants and a pair of white sneakers. Not someone I would guess owned a platinum Day-Date.

But then again, I think he would say the same about me, since I’m dressed in a similar outfit. “Don’t judge a book by its cover” comes to mind.

The “Glacier Blue wave arabic dial” of this platinum Rolex Date-Date appears silver-colored in some lights and angles (photo courtesy Niclas Berglund /

But when it comes to watch deals, one must be extra observant. I am cautious; these details matter to me. But as soon as we sit down, I get back that feeling I’ve had from our phone conversations. John is pleasant, reliable, and very knowledgeable.

Today, he is wearing a Rolex Yacht-Master in rose gold. He tells me he loves the model and has it in several versions. The conversation is easy-going, and we talk about the joy of collecting watches and the unexpected encounters that come with watch collecting, like the fact that the two of us are meeting in Paris.



Paying in cryptocurrency and 22 links

I ask John for a few minutes to examine the watch. I check the watch’s serial number, located at 6 o’clock under the glass, and compare it with the watch’s warranty card. I count the number of links; a new platinum Day-Date has 24 links, but this one has 22 links.

I was aware of this. The number of links on a platinum Rolex is important because each link is expensive. A link costs, when buying from Rolex, about 2,000 €. Therefore, links tend to disappear from these models, as they also have a high resale value.

For me, 22 links are the minimum for the watch not to lose value in a sale. Usually, someone with a wrist not larger than 18 cm needs at least 22 links to comfortably wear a 36mm Day-Date. My own wrist circumference is 17 cm and I need 21 links, so I have an extra link parked in the box.

The Rolex Day-Date’s caliber 3155 is an automatic movement with day and date functions, certified by COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) for its precision (photo courtesy Niclas Berglund /

I use my loupe to examine the dial and hands for scratches, which could indicate that someone without the necessary knowledge has opened the watch. 

Then, I check that the date wheel functions correctly from 1 to 31, and similarly, I test all the days. Even though the movement is already wound, I gently try to wind it to ensure that the crown is not defective.

Finally, I make sure everything we agreed upon is in the box: outer box, inner box, certificate, the extra link (no. 22), certificate plaque, and hang tag. Everything matches.

The “Glacier Blue wave arabic dial” of this platinum Rolex Date-Date appears silver-colored in some lights and angles (photo courtesy Niclas Berglund /

Now we come to the most crucial step: payment. John is used to dealing with cryptocurrencies as he works with them daily. After a quick transaction, the watch now belongs to me.

We shake hands, and I hurry towards the check-in to avoid missing my flight back to Stockholm, completely unaware of a problem the watch has.



Something isn’t right

When I later return home to Stockholm, I visit my friend who works with watches to ask him to add a link to the bracelet. I’m not sure if I have the right size. He comes back with the watch looking concerned. I feel cold, the lump in my stomach tells me something is wrong.

“The link is broken,” says my friend. He continues: “Several of the screws are loose, and it’s currently impossible to remove or add any link. I wouldn’t wear the watch in the condition it’s in now. The link is held together by some broken screws.”

At first, I feel relieved; I had feared he would say the watch was fake. My friend tells me there’s a skilled goldsmith in Stockholm who repairs broken links. The goldsmith’s name is AB Heymann & Kuhlmann.

When I arrive at their shop, I go down a staircase to the basement. I had been informed that their entrance might look suspect, but that the goldsmith is 100% trustworthy. I’m immediately helped by their staff who look at the link and give me the reassuring news that it can be repaired.

They explain that they need to drill out the old screws and fill with new platinum before drilling new threads in the link. It sounds complicated, but they assure me they have a lot of experience with this.

After leaving AB Heymann & Kuhlmann, I feel foolish. Should I have seen this during the deal in Paris – should I have tested the screws when I was examining the watch? The questions swirl in my head. I decide to contact John, the seller, to inform him about the situation and tell him that I have sent the watch in for repair.

The dial of the Rolex Day-Date Platinum transitions gracefully from its intense ice blue shade to a subtle silver tone, reflecting the impeccable craftsmanship behind its creation (photo courtesy Niclas Berglund /



Have I been duped?

The signals go through, I wait… A single word echoes in my head. ‘Duped’. Suddenly, my phone vibrates.

“Hi Niclas, how’s it going? Are you wearing the watch?” John says when he answers

John is in a good mood, and I feel relieved. I explain what happened and kindly ask him to cover the unexpected cost. I continue explaining that this was something I was unaware of… when he interrupts me.

“Niclas, I’m so sorry. Don’t worry, we’ll sort this out,” says John.

I forward the repair receipt to John, and he promises to transfer the money within a few days. We hang up, and I breathe a sigh of relief, though still burdened not knowing if he will keep his word. I realize I’ve had the worst possible start with my new watch.

A couple of days later, John contacts me. He informs me that he has transferred the money to my account. In the same sentence, he tells me to wear the watch in good health. I can hardly believe it’s true.

I too often hear about the bad examples, but thankfully there really are good people out there in the watch world who take their responsibility as sellers seriously.



Platinum has weight that makes its presence felt

A few weeks later, the jeweler AB Heymann & Kuhlmann contacts me – the link is ready. When I hold the newly renovated link in my hand, it’s like new. I ask what caused the damage. They explain that someone had used too much Loctite in the screw holes, which made the screws so stuck that they were destroyed when attempting to remove them. Loctite is a type of fixing agent you use to prevent the screws in the watch’s link from unscrewing themselves when you wear the watch.

I leave the jeweler with a feeling of relief. Summer is making its way into Stockholm. The streets are full of people crowding the outdoor cafés. I wear my new watch on my wrist, and it is enchanting. The light hitting the dial makes the watch explode in different shades.

Rolex Day-Date Reference 118206 from 2008 features a President bracelet in 950 platinum with a concealed Crownclasp (photo courtesy Niclas Berglund /

Wearing a platinum Rolex is unlike anything else in the Rolex line, I would say. Over the years, I’ve owned several Rolex models, and the feeling that comes when putting on the watch is similar to the feeling I had when I bought my first watch, a Rolex Submariner. The weight that makes me exclaim “Wow!” and think of quality.

It’s funny how the feeling of weight for many, including myself, is associated with quality. That feeling occurs every time I put on my platinum Day-Date. This seemingly “small” watch has an impressive weight of about 220 grams. It has a weight that makes its presence felt and always brings a smile to my lips.

Rolex Day-Date in platinum with Glacier Blue wave arabic dial, M-Series from 2008 (photo courtesy Niclas Berglund /

Please note that the Day-Date 36 in platinum was discontinued in 2019, but the Day-Date 40 in platinum is still in production.

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3 replies
  1. LocalheroEd
    LocalheroEd says:

    I had no idea the DateJust was the first automatic with a date window. Seems odd given those two features (date and automatic) had been around independently 20yrs. Is combining the two ‘groundbreaking’? Either way, this article has reminded me Rolex make some interesting dials and that I need to try a platinum model on the wrist.

    All the best,

  2. GerardAnthony
    GerardAnthony says:

    Dear lord, what a suspenseful read. And stellar timepiece! So good that the adventure turned out so well for Niclas. Congrats! While not going to these lengths, I have indeed worried about condition and legitimacy when dealing long distance. I bought a vintage Datejust that was exactly what I was looking for; tight bracelet was and blue dial turned the subtle violet patina. One day – months after purchase – the date wheel stuck and I imagined the beginning of issues. I texted the dealer who immediately wrote back to send it to him. After perusing forums, I fully wound the watch and sure enough the date fell into place. Nowhere near Niclas’s case but happy ending. I hope he wears this everyday with joy! It’s a beauty.

  3. Jay
    Jay says:

    Your watch is currently for sale on Chrono24 for $70,780. Interestingly, there is no mention of the missing links or the major repair to one link that you described.


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