Everything you need to know about the Rolex DateJust
Whether you're a watch enthusiast or not, it's almost impossible not to have heard about Rolex through friends, family or their heavy sports sponsorship presence. Rolex has made some of the most iconic timepieces in history like the Submariner, Day-Date "President" and DateJust. The Rolex DateJust was created in 1945 to celebrate Rolex’s 40th anniversary making the DateJust one of the oldest models in the Rolex line up today in 2022. Not only was it celebrating a milestone for the company, it also made history being the very first wrist watch to be self-wound with a date feature that could automatically change over at midnight.
The first DateJust was released with a 4 digit reference number, the 4467 and was initially only made of 18k gold. Despite the DateJust not being designed to do one specific thing, like diving or timing, the precious metal watch made it a cheaper alternative to the President and could be worn in any setting.
This was also the birth of the very famous 5 link jubilee bracelet. The original jubilee bracelet only had a stamped Rolex fold over clasp with micro adjustment pin holes on the side.
This combined with the hollow links made the bracelet extremely comfy but also quite “jingly jangly” and had a tendency to stretch out quite quickly! But that’s all part of the charm of a vintage Rolex DateJust from the mid 1940’.
The calibre 710 was the first movement to beat inside the DateJust which was also the first ever watch movement to be able to change the date over at midnight automatically.
A first evolution for the Rolex DATEJUST
Source : Xupes
5 years later Rolex realised they needed to update the DateJust and in 1950 the DateJust reference 5030 and 5031 were born. These were now both Steel and available in two-tone which Rolex called Rolesor. This made the DateJust more affordable than the original solid gold model, with these changes the DateJust began to become very popular amongst watch enthusiasts as they could now not only afford it but decided between a sport all steel model and a dressy two-tone. 10 years later towards the end of the 1950’s Rolex introduced the calibre 1560 movement inside the DateJust and now had “DateJust” printed on the dial.
The reference number changed from 4 digits to 5 digits as well, now the two-tone DateJust took the reference number 16013. The cyclops lens was now a permanent feature along with the fluted bezel and stick hour markers.
This model’ DNA can still be seen in the new 2022 DateJust models as it really became an iconic watch and look. The Datejust 16013 was made famous by the likes of the American psycho, the godfather and many US presidents, the Rolex DateJust was seen as a mark of success and accomplishment.
Source : Xupes
The new calibres for the Rolex DATEJUST
Source : Xupes
The next major update came much later in 1970 when Rolex introduced the very famous calibre 3035 movement. The new movement featured a quickset date function so you could now change the date independently of moving the hands. The DateJust was now becoming more practical as well as dressy, it still however retained the same 5 digit references numbers.
Rolex also made a DateJust powered by a quartz movement, reference 17000, to compete within the watch industry during the quartz crisis. However, it was not produced for long as Rolex decided to stick with their heritage and continue to make classic and elegant timepieces rather than conform to social pressure.
Then in 1988 a new generation emerged which saw the introduction of the reference 162xx instead of the previous 160xx. The movement was upgraded to 3135 which was almost identical to the previous movement but the new one had better accuracy in terms of keeping time. The most noticeable update to this generation however is not on the inside but on the outside.
The older models all featured an acrylic crystal which was easily scratched and damaged, hence they introduced the sapphire crystal in 1988. This provided the Rolex DateJust with greater durability compared to the previous ones and was much harder wearing giving it a more sporty feel.
Source : Xupes
The appearance of the new DateJust
2009 saw the replacement of the Datejust with the DateJust II. This was a major change within the evolution of the DateJust, it went from having a few classic models to now having an overwhelming amount of choices for creating your DateJust. Before you could only have a fluted bezel, but now you could choose between a fluted, smooth or gem set bezel. Many dial colours became available and the oyster bracelet was added as a sporty alternative to the classy jubilee bracelet. Both bracelets featured the same clasp with the 5mm easy link extension, the oyster bracelet featured a three link design with polished centre links.
Source : The Watch club
Rolex really did their best to make the DateJust II (ref 116334) the perfect watch for both men and women by offering all the options possible to allow the perfect custom watch to be made to the customers requirements. It doesn’t stop there though, the Datejust now had lume on the dial and hour and minute hands for greater legibility. Up until 2009, 36mm was the only case size you could choose but the trend for bigger watches was growing back then, hence they made a 41mm case size option.
Source : Mamic
Rolex added a twin lock crown to the oyster case giving it 100 metres of water resistance. Now the DateJust could be worn more casually and even in a sporty environment like wearing it swimming. Whilst not benign a dive watch, it was now more than capable to be worn whilst swimming in pools, the sea or in a hot tub. The DateJust II was also given an update inside with the new calibre 3136 beating inside of it. This new movement featured Rolex’ parachrom hairspring and paraflex shock absorbers which earnt the calibre 3136 COSC certification.
The DateJust II really was a massive update for the DateJust lineup going from a dressy watch to now an all-rounder capable of being at home on your wrist during sports, casual setting and formal events. When you look at the DateJust II you can tell it apart from all the other generations, it has a beefy case to provide the 100m water resistance and the dial is ever so slightly smaller due to the case and bezel being thicker. The stick hour markers were made larger and the date window was further away from the edge of the dial which made the dial look even smaller. The lugs are wider compared to any other DateJust model and just had a larger look to it overall.
Size change for the Rolex DATEJUST
In 2016 Rolex got rid of their successful DateJust II line and replaced it with the DateJust 41 because, well you guessed it, it was in 41mm. They refined the case and made it slimmer, the DateJust II shared very similar proportions to that of the Rolex Milgauss (ref. ) which has a larger case with wider lugs. The new DateJust 41 had the lugs slimmed down for a more elegant appearance and the thinner case allowed it to slide beautifully under any dress shirt.
However, Rolex focused mostly on the interrorior of the watch when it came to this update, they replaced the 3135 with the new 3235. The calibre 3235 which had over 14 patented parts to it with a superlative chronometer certification. The new movement was slightly slimmer and more accurate than the previous 3136, but this is only a very small improvement in accuracy which you probably won’t really notice. The reference changed from the 116334 for the DateJust II to the new 126300 for the new DateJust 41.
Source : Mamic
5 years later and we will arrive in 2021 when Rolex released the new line up of DateJust’. Now the DateJust was simply called the DateJust 31, 36 or 41 depending on watch case size you got. The DateJust 36 (ref 126234) received the most amount of attention with its new crazy dial options. The movement remained the same as the previous generations, the calibre 3235 which offers an timekeeping accuracy of +/- 2 seconds per day with a power reserve of 70 hours. The modern day Rolex DateJust in 2022 is a watch designed to be an all-rounder. With a perfect balance between sportyness and elegance, your DateJust can be worn in the swimming pool and with a suit or dress.
Source : WatchesbySJX
The screw down crown and 100m water resistance gives you confidence when wearing your DateJust, despite being a luxury watch, it was designed to be worn a lot and in multiple different environments. The 5mm easy link adjustment is perfect for quick adjustment of the length of the bracelet on-the-go. With both the time and date displayed, it provides an elegant source for quickly seeing the two most useful day-to-day features of a watch in an elegant form.
Source : Bob's Watches
The 36mm case size comes with the most amount of options when it comes to dials. The new “Motif” dial consists of a palm tree benign engraved on the dial which is available in the colour options above. The 36mm case size is also truest to the original DateJust like the no-date Submariner is truest to the original release of the model. This is something a purist may want to consider when deciding between case sizes if both the 41 and 36 for your wrist. The large range of metal options for your Rolex gives you all the options you need to create the perfect watch for all your daily needs.
Availability of Rolex Datejust
The prices of a 2022 DateJust vary from 7,000 usd all the way up to just under 20,000 dollars. You really can make the perfect watch for yourself or a loved one with the endless options available to you. Like with most jewellery when it comes to the “hers' ' side of things,the options are plentiful with prices ranging from low 5 thousands all the way up to high 30! Diamonds no diamonds, pearls no pearl, gold no gold, the options are endless, the dial colour variations allow you to create a rainbow if you wanted to so you can get the perfect datejust for yourself and your partner.
Whether you want a full steel model or a combination of steel and gold, the DateJust in 2022 can easily hold up and be made to suit your everyday needs. The refined lugs and slim case make it a perfect dress watch and the lume, date, time accuracy and strong movement make it a durable watch that can be worn and enjoyed.
Source : ZEALANDE
Source : ZEALANDE
For optimising the durability of your DateJust or changing the dressy look to a more sporty look, ZEALANDE have a great selection of high quality rubber straps designed to be worn in the most testing environments. The ZEALANDE rubber strap will fit any 36mm DateJust with a 6 digit reference so go head over to our web page to choose yours!
Regardless of whether your DateJust 36mm has an oyster or jubilee bracelet, you can easily switch it out for a ZEALANDE rubber strap if you’re looking for a sportier bracelet option. The colour options make it easy for you to either match or contrast your dial to give it a new look altogether!