Rolex Datejust

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Datejust – The epitome of a three handed watch with a date display

The Datejust can be best described in one phrase: “consistency and versatility”. Just like at its launch in 1945, the Datejust is the dress watch non plus ultra, that’s really perfect for any occasion. Hardly any other watch can be tailored to individual preferences and the customisation possibilities here are nearly endless. From the materials of the bezel, to the differing types of dials: the sky’s the limit. Next to gold and silver cases, there’s even one in bicolor.

Rolex doesn’t leave any innovation, any exchange of materials, or any facelift to chance. Its legacy isn’t just cherished, but groomed and cultivated. The result is a largely, visually unchanged watch, while its technical development keeps springing like a leapfrog ahead. Even back in 1940s, the Datejust was the product of a slow-motion metamorphosis. It was a process that evolved over several decades in terms of both its designs and the incorporation of characteristics from its predecessors of the Oyster, Oyster Date, and Oyster Perpetual.

Datejust broken down into numbers – Top 5 Facts

3135: The most famous of all of Rolex’s calibres

The 3135 is widely considered the best automatic movement of all time. A few years ago, the calibre from the 3135 family was modified with Paraflex shock resistance and a Parachrom hairspring. This ensures that it is more durable and less susceptible to magnetic fields. The calibre name wasn’t changed after the upgrades, because the Datejust and its movement had already been iconic for a long time.

31: Thirty-one days in a month

Rolex created the worldwide first wristwatch with a date display that automatically moves forward at midnight. Today, the inclusion of a date complication is more the rule than the exception, not least of which is primarily due to the movement manufacturer ETA. It provides the most popular calibres: the 2824, the 2892, and the chronograph movement 7750. The mechanism itself hasn’t been altered a whole lot either. As typical of watches with a date display (with the exception of perpetual calendars), the date only has to be manually adjusted every two months.

2,5: Increased two and a half times

A magnifier increases the size of the date display at the 3 position by two and half times. Named after the one eyed giant of Greek mythology, the Cyclops, it provides a significant increase in terms of legibility. At the same time, it has also established itself as a design feature. Whether or not someone wants one on their Rolex, often decides the question, if they want a Submariner (with a date magnifier) or rather a Sea-Dweller.

26: Twenty six millimetres for the ladies wrists

The list of Datejust admirers is long and prestigious. Eric Clapton relies upon its services just like Harrison Ford, Russell Crowe, or Matt Damon. At the same time, the Datejust with its unisex character belongs to the kind of timepiece that is often favoured by the ladies. This includes both the gentlemen versions in 36 mm as well as the ladies in 27 and 31 mm. The most famous enthusiasts of the feminine persuasion that wear a Datejust are Jennifer Aniston and Rihanna. The Datejust is really perfect for anyone that want to give their better half a watch with a lot of history.

75: Seventy-five grooves on the bezel

The notched bezel with its 75 grooves is one of the main features of the Datejust and also gives it a three dimensional effect. Just in case someone doesn’t care for its texture, they can still fall back on a version with a smooth bezel.

A Chronology of the Datejust

1945: The Rolex Datejust is launched and it is the first wristwatch with an automatic date display.

1978: The Rolex Oysterquartz Datejust bears witness to the first Mount Everest climb without oxygen tanks.

1988: The calibre 3135 is launched.

1989: Instead of Plexiglas, the Datejust is equipped with a sapphire glass as well as the calibre 3135.

2004: The Datejust is furnished with massive watch straps.

2009: The Datejust II is launched. It’s 5 mm larger than the standard version.

2019: At Baselworld 2019, new Datejust 36mm models are launched with the new Calibre 3235.