Roger Federer Sported a Wimbledon-Themed Rolex at Wimbledon

Sometimes, I feel for Roger Federer: He’s one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen, and yet the dude can’t just show up, post-retirement, to spectate at a tennis match in a pair of jeans and a polo shirt. Nope—this guy has to dress like an MI6 agent on assignment no matter where he goes, right down to the wristwatch.

As such, we can always count on Fed for excellent watch spotting, and Wimbledon 2024 has been no different. Paired to his beautiful gray suit was a Rolex Datejust 36 with—appropriately enough—a “Wimbledon” dial. Launched in 2009, such Datejusts come in various bezel, metal, and bracelet combinations, but their dials are all of a kind: after receiving a sunray finish using a bruising technique, a dark grey rhodium color is applied via PVD or electroplating, followed by a coat of varnish. Black Roman numeral indices with green Chromalight edges are then applied, in addition to a Rolex coronet at 12 o’clock and a white rectangular index at 9 o’clock. At the outer edge of the dial is a minute track in white with 5-minute demarcations, plus the Datejust’s signature date window at 3 o’clock.

Roger Federer and his parents Robert Federer and Lynette Federer look on during the Gentlemen's Singles third round...

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Why is this configuration referred to as a “Wimbledon” dial? It’s thought that the green within the numerals is a nod to Wimbledon’s green pitches, where Rolex has served as an Official Timekeeper since 1978. (And where the grass must measure precisely 8mm tall, or else a small English child must be sacrificed to calm John McEnroe’s tempestuous fury and restore order to the Universe.)

You might think that a watch like the Submariner—perhaps the most iconic wristwatch model in the world—would be Rolex’s best-seller, or perhaps the coveted Daytona. But you’d be wrong: It’s actually the Datejust. Born in 1945, the model had the then-novel feature of a date window that switched over at exactly midnight, and thus was always—so the horological lore goes—“just.” And though the model is typically associated in most collector’s minds with a fluted bezel, it also comes in domed (smooth) or diamond-set format. Federer’s “Wimbledon,” in Rolesor (two-tone gold and steel), features a domed dial, proving that a Datejust is a Datejust is a Datejust…even if snooty watch journalists might privately “harumph” under their breath.

Next to certain other models in his collection, the “Wimbledon”-dial Datejust likely won’t carry the same “wow” factor for jaded IG watch spotters. But you’d be hard-pressed to think of a more appropriate watch for the GOAT to wear to one of the most revered and historical sporting events in the world—and this is a guy with a “Le Mans” Daytona hiding somewhere in his house. (Bring that watch back out, Rog!)

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