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The Rolex Datejust

The Rolex Cosmograph

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust has always been an extremely popular model amongst Rolex enthusiasts. In fact, it is one of Rolex’s flagship models. Introduced in 1945, this watch carried a great deal of significance as it was launched by Rolex to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of Wilsdorf & Davis. It was one of the first Rolex models to carry a date display on its dial through an aperture at the 3 o'clock position. The movement used in this model functioned accurately during the date change, which was triggered using stored energy.

Current Versions of Rolex Datejust

The stainless steel and two-tone (gold and steel) versions are currently the most sought-after Datejust models. Yet Rolex has also rolled out other versions in yellow gold, Rolesor (a combination of steel with different types of Gold exclusively used by Rolex), and many more--all consisting of attractive, popular materials. All the current models are naturally self-winding and waterproof (up to 100 meters or 330 feet).

Today’s Datejusts feature a Cyclops lens over the date aperture, which helps in magnifying the date digits two-and-a-half times. Just as in all other current Rolex models, Datejusts also feature a 31-jewel chronometer movement and synthetic sapphire crystal. The jeweled movement reduces friction, thus lessening the wear and tear of the watch. The models, available currently, can be be put into the following categories:

Oyster Perpetual Datejust

Oyster Perpetual Lady Datejust

Oyster Perpetual Datejust Special Edition

Oyster Perpetual Datejust

With a standard case size of 36mm and 31mm, the current versions of the Oyster Perpetual Datejust are available in different metal options such as stainless steel, two-tone (steel & gold), 18k yellow or white gold, or Rolesor. Few models are available in platinum. In addition, there are a number of different bezel styles available, such as a polished bezel, fluted bezel, channel set bezel, beadset bezel, and also special 18k yellow or white gold turn-o-graph bezel. Channel set bezels and beadset bezels can be outfitted with baguette diamonds. As far as the bracelet is concerned, the Jubilee bracelet and the Oyster bracelet are the most popular. You also have the choice of a Super President bracelet. Some models are available with the Super Jubilee band. There are numerous options now available in dials, including:

  • Dial set with 10 diamonds
  • Jubilee dial set with 10 brilliants
  • Mother of Pearl Roman/Arabic or Decorated Roman dial
  • Mother of Pearl Serti dial
  • Black Tahitian Mother of Pearl dial
  • Mother of Pearl dial set with 10 rubies/emeralds/sapphires
  • 18k gold Mother of Pearl Myriad diamond dial set with 11 rubies/emeralds/sapphires
  • 18k gold 'Pave' diamond dial set with 11 rubies/sapphires
  • 18k gold 'Pave Extra Large' diamond dial, and many more

Oyster Perpetual Lady Datejust

The Oyster Perpetual Lady Datejust is an elegant model with all features that you find in other Oyster Perpetual Datejust models. Available in steel, Rolesor, platinum, or 18k yellow/white/pink gold, this watch is a dream come true for every connoisseur lucky enough to own one. Some models are available with 29 jewel chronometer movement, while others have 31 jewel chronometer movement. With a standard case and bezel size of 26mm and 29mm, respectively, the Lady Datejust can be customized in a multitude of ways. Each bezel style can be polished or fluted. You can also opt for either an engine-turned bezel, bark finish bezel, channel set bezel, or bead set bezel. Some examples include:

  • Bezel set with 40 square cut rubies/emeralds or 40 diamonds/baguette diamonds/baguette rubies/baguette pink sapphires/baguette sky-blue sapphires
  • Bezel set with 16 diamonds and 24 sapphires
  • Bezel set with 16 diamonds and 16 oval cut emeralds/sapphires
  • Bezel set with 32 diamonds and 4 baguette rubies/emeralds/sapphires
  • Pyramid bezel set with 24 diamonds

The dial options available in the Lady Datejust are similar to those available in other Oyster Perpetual Datejust models. In bracelets, you can find any of the following options:

  • Oyster 14mm bracelet
  • Oyster Karat 14mm bracelet
  • Super Oyster Karat 14mm bracelet
  • Super Karat 14mm bracelet
  • Bark finish Jubilee bracelet
  • Bark finish Super President bracelet
  • Super Jubilee Bracelet
  • Super Jubilee Karat bracelet
  • Super President Karat bracelet

Oyster Perpetual Datejust Special Edition

A special edition was launched at Baselworld in 2008. Crafted in 18k yellow gold or white gold, this model is truly luxurious. The case size is 34mm. You can find exclusive diamond set bracelets, bezels, and a completely new range of bold dials in this new version.

Evolution of the Oyster Perpetual Rolex Datejust

Introduced in 1945, the first Datejust was given the name 'Jubilee Datejust' and not 'Datejust' as we know it today. Wilsdorf had suggested the name 'Victory' for this model to celebrate the victory of the Allied forces in World War II. This name, however, did not gather any momentum. Later, the name 'Jubilee' was given to the watch's bracelet, and the watch itself simply came to be known as the 'Datejust'.

Features of the First Rolex Datejust

The first Rolex Datejust was the model 4467 with little similarity to the Datejust models available now. It bore a resemblance to the Rolex Bubbleback of that time due to its domed back. This feature led to the early Datejust models being referred to as Ovettone, an Italian word that means 'little egg’. Powered by the caliber 740 movement, the model 4467 featured a coin edge bezel and a tiny Bubbleback vintage crown. This model differed from the Bubbleback in two key areas. First, it featured a sweep second hand, and, second, a date wheel at the 3 o'clock position for displaying the date in alternating red and black numbers. The early models did not, however, feature the Cyclops lens over the date aperture.

Notable Changes In Datejust Over Time

Over the decades, a number of technological and cosmetic changes had been introduced to the Rolex Datejust lineup in an attempt to make this model better. For instance, the following changes are considered significant alterations, which helped the Datejust become even more popular:

The Cyclops Lens: In 1954, Rolex introduced a new Datejust model 6605 at the Basel Fair. For the first time, it featured the Cyclops magnifying bubble that you now find in all current models.

Gold Turn-O-Graph Bezel: In 1956, another new Datejust model 1625 was launched with the special name 'Thunderbird'. Its uniqueness lies in its gold Turn-O-Graph bezel.

Datejust in Stainless Steel: Apart from the usual 18k yellow gold, in 1957 Rolex rolled out the Datejust line in stainless steel.

Different Bracelet Options: By 1957, Rolex offered three types of bracelets for its Datejust line. These bracelets were the usual Jubilee bracelet, the Oyster bracelet and the leather strap. Today, you have more options for the same style of watch.

Two-Tone or Bicolor Datejust: In 1962, Rolex introduced a new Datejust configuration. It was a combination of gold and stainless steel and was known as two-tone or bicolor. Today, the majority of Datejust models sold worldwide are this two-tone version.

Quick Set Feature: This new feature introduced in all Datejust models during the late 1970s increased its popularity as it now became possible to set the date function quickly by using the winding stem.

Sapphire Crystal: The acrylic crystal used before was replaced by the new sapphire crystal in the early 1980s. This made the watch even more scratch resistant and waterproof. It also provided a slimmer and sleeker look.

New Five Digit Case Reference Number: As the Datejust models were evolving with improved functionalities and looks, Rolex replaced their old four-digit case reference numbers with new five-digit numbers.

Today, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust is one of the most popular models among both men and women. People simply love its accuracy as a date-displaying model. At midnight, the Rolex calendar automatically jumps to the next date. There is no better way to wake up than knowing that your accurate and precise Rolex is by your side and ready to go.