Rolex Datejust and Its History

Posted by Daniel Luczak on 19th Aug 2019

The Rolex Datejust is one of Rolex's oldest watches that are still reigning in the market. Rolex introduced the watch in 1945 on its 40th anniversary and ever since that, it has played a massive role in the company's success.

It was the world’s first automatic wristwatch that had a separate window on display for the date. The date changed at midnight. Rolex Datejust is popular among the masses and is available in various sizes from 28mm to 41mm in stainless steel, two-tone gold, and solid gold versions.

1945 - The Beginning

The very first Datejust was introduced in 1945 at the 40th anniversary of the company. It was named “Reference 4467”. Initially, it was available in 18-Karat gold and showcased waterproof oyster case with a fluted bezel which was the Brand’s signature. It had a Jubilee bracelet and became the flagship model for Rolex.

The Early 1950's

In the coming years, Datejust got upgraded with a new cyclops lens. This magnifying lens was placed directly over the date window. This feature, which was introduced in 1954, remained on the watches ever since it first appeared and became the iconic trait of the Datejust watches. Initially, the material for the crystals of the watch was acrylic, and then it changed to synthetic sapphire.

In 1955, Rolex introduced another edition of Datejust named Turn-O-Graph with a nickname of Thunderbird. It was a reward for the United States of America's Air force pilots when returning home from missions. It had a rotating Turn-o-graph bezel.

The Late 1950's

In 1957, there was another significant modification in Rolex Datejust. There was an addition of the Caliber 1065 movement. It was small, efficient and changed the design of the Datejust. In this way, there was no need for the domed case back and it produced a more streamlined design for the model.

In addition to this, another modification came up regarding Rolex Datejust. Rolex introduced a ladies' version in the late 1950s. The ladies’ Rolex design is similar to that of the men's, but it differs in terms of size. The ladies’ version is smaller as compared to that of men.

1965

In 1965, Rolex brought in further updates to the Datejust watch and introduced the famous Caliber 1570 to the model.

1970’s

In 1970, Rolex introduced another modified form of Rolex named Caliber 3035 by adding a quick set feature to the timepiece. Along with the technical changes, there were aesthetic changes as well in the Datejust. It was slightly thicker than previous versions.

Later, in the 1970s, Rolex introduced a quartz movement into the collection with the name Datejust Oyster Quartz Reference 17000.

1980’s

In the 1980s, Rolex changed the movement to 3135; an iconic Datejust watch which is approximately similar to Caliber 3035 in dimensions. However, the addition of the sapphire crystal replacing the acrylic made it a slightly slimmer watch.

2009

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II was released in 2009. It is 41mm in diameter, excluding the crown, and its case is more significant than the original Datejust.

2016

Rolex released Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 in 2016. The watch exists in stainless steel and two-tone stainless steel with 18K yellow or 18K “Everose Gold” bracelets along with it. This 41mm 2016 version of Datejust comes with an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet.

The Datejust 41 is identical to Datejust II as it also has a diameter of 41mm. However, the Datejust 41 has smaller indexes and a thinner bezel as compared to the Datejust II.

In 2016, Rolex also brought up the new Caliber 3235 movement which substitutes 90 percent of the parts of the Rolex's longest-running and most successful movement, Caliber 3135. Caliber 3235 has the same dimensions as 3135 but contains a new escapement, chronergy as well as other essential modifications. It also provides a seventy hours’ power reserve.

2019

Today, Datejust comes in various sizes such as 28mm, 31mmm, 34mm, 36mm, and 41mm. The watch exists in either full stainless steel, two-tone gold (Everose, yellow or white) and stainless steel, or solid gold (yellow, everose and white) case and bracelet.

The classic men's size, however, always has a case diameter of 36mm. In addition to this, there is no other line of Rolex watches that has got as many dials, bezel, bracelet, and precious metal configurations.

What Do We Have to Say?

Rolex introduces its own gold bracelets and straps for every Rolex collection. However, if you want to customize your Rolex according to your own tastes, DaLuca Straps is the place for you.

Pick a military leather watch strap or a vintage French ammo strap, it will be of the highest quality and a perfect companion for all your Rolex watches. Moreover, you can also choose from custom watch straps or hand-made watch straps for ultimate craftsmanship and finesse.