17.06.2022 - Rolex

Rolex Datejust Buying Guide

The Rolex Datejust has been a core member of the Rolex family since its debut, making it one of the oldest Rolex models still in production.

With such a long history and so many incredible styles to choose from, discerning which is the right Rolex Datejust for can be a challenge. Read our Rolex Datejust buying guide below to find your ideal luxury watch.

A Brief History of the Rolex Datejust

The “Oyster Perpetual Datejust” was launched in 1945 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Rolex. It was the first self-winding waterproof chronometer wristwatch to display the date in a window at 3 o’clock on the dial. Unlike many of Rolex’s other iconic watch lines, the Datejust was not specifically designed or intended for one particular sport, environment, or lifestyle activity, which is what makes it one of their most popular models. Exclusive yet accessible, the Rolex Datejust can be worn by anyone, at any time and for any occasion.

Over the last 70 years the Rolex Datejust has been updated and reinvented countless times, yet it remains one of the most recognisable Rolex watches to date. Available in sizes from 28 mm to 41 mm and made from a variety of luxe materials including stainless steel, white, yellow and rose gold, the Rolex Datejust has an incomparable high quality feel. This model has stood the test of time and has even been popular with the rich and famous including historical figures such as Winston Churchill and US President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Whether you choose to buy a new or second hand Rolex Datejust, you’ll be one of the lucky few to own a small piece of the Rolex legacy.

The Rolex Datejust Models

The Original Rolex Datejust

The original Rolex Datejust had a 36mm yellow gold case and a jubilee bracelet. Unlike the later models it didn’t yet have the cyclops lens to magnify the date for clearer legibility and this wasn’t introduced until 1955. Although the Rolex Datejust was originally designed for men, the style is now considered very unisex.

As the decades went on Rolex introduced variations of the Datejust in stainless steel, rose gold and bi-metal combinations. Several other updates appeared too including a more fluted bezel, style changes to the minute markers including variations such as batons and arabic and roman numerals as well as updates to the Datejust’s movement.

Pre-owned Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36mm Stainless Steel 116234

Rolex Datejust Now

The modern Rolex Datejust hasn’t strayed too far from its vintage counterpart and still boasts that same luxury quality and feel. Still featuring a 36mm case it is slightly chunkier than the original and the lugs are slightly wider. The Rolex Datejust 36 has gone on to become popular with both men and women and so there are now a number of models in the classic style as well as variations designed specifically for women featuring diamonds and more feminine dials.

Pre-owned Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II Bi-metal 116333

Rolex Datejust II

Launched in 2009, the Rolex Datejust II has all the excellent qualities of the original Datejust but with a more modern design and technical enhancements. Aptly named the Datejust II, this meant that Rolex could continue to produce the classic Datejust with a 36mm case.

With a 41mm case, the Rolex Datejust II combines the classic features of the original model that made it so popular with the innovation of modern technology. With an Oyster bracelet and case, this particular timepiece is equipped with a calibre 3136 and self-winding mechanical movement. The 3136 features a Parachrom hairspring and high performance Paraflex shock absorbers, which offers greater resistance to shocks and to extreme conditions. Available in stainless steel, stainless steel and yellow gold and stainless steel and white gold only, the Rolex Datejust II has a particularly sleek design.

This watch is an excellent choice for any watch enthusiast or collector. You can’t go wrong with a Datejust II. Click here to browse our collection.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 Stainless Steel 126334

Rolex Datejust 41

The Rolex Datejust 41 was first introduced in 2016 and at first glance is very similar to the original Datejust and Datejust II. However if you look more closely you can see that there are some key differences:

  • The Datejust 41 has a 41mm case, while the original Datejust has a 36mm case.
  • It is also available in stainless steel and rose gold, which the Datejust II is not.
  • The Rolex Datejust 41 has a Jubilee bracelet whereas the other two models have an Oyster bracelet.
  • It also has a slightly thinner bezel than the Datejust II and the indexes are less bold.
  • However, the main difference is that the Datejust 41 has a Caliber 3235 with in-house movement, boasting fourteen patented parts and Superlative Chronometer certification.

Rolex Datejust 31

Pre-owned Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 361 Bi-metal 16233

The Rolex Datejust 31 is known as the midsize Datejust and has a 31mm case. Technically not under the Lady-Datejust umbrella, this particular model is very popular with Rolex’s female fan base. With a range of unisex as well as more feminie designs available its no wonder that this compact midesize timepiece is as popular as it is.

Rolex Datejust Models For Women

As we previously discussed, many Rolex Datejust’s are considered to be unisex offering a range of classic and more feminie designs and case sizes. However there are also a number of timepieces designed specifically for women known as Rolex Lady-Datejust.

The original Lady-Datejust was unveiled in 1957, with the classic Datejust being introduced several years earlier in 1945. It had the same high quality design and functionality of the Datejust but with a much smaller case size at 26mm.

Available in stainless steel, gold, rose gold, platinum and bi-metal variants as well as having the option of diamond settings, fluted and non fluted bezels as well as a range of index and baton variants, there is a Rolex Lady-Datejust for every style and taste. Not only is there a huge range in case and dial designs but the Lady-Datejust is also available on Jubilee, Oyster and President bracelets, making the chances of owning a unique Lady-Datejust much more likely. All featuring the 2235 calibre, the Rolex Lady-Datejust is as stylish as it is advanced.

(For our full range of luxury watches for women, click here)

Pre-owned Rolex Lady-Datejust 28 Stainless Steel 279174.

Rolex Lady-Datejust Now

The modern Rolex Lady-Datejust grew in size in 2015 and is now available with a 28mm case. It is equipped with a calibre 2236 and a self-winding mechanical movement ensuring absolute precision. Similar to the original Datejust and Lady-Datejust, this modern timepiece is waterproof to a depth of 100 metres and features a date dial at 3 o’clock. Available with a variety of bezels and dials to choose from, the Rolex Lady-Datejust allows the wearer to find a beautiful timepiece that matches her style and confidence. 

Rolex Lady-Datejust Pearlmaster

The Rolex Lady-Datejust Pearlmaster is one of the most luxurious timepieces in the Rolex collection. Launched in 1992 it is only available in the most precious metals including yellow, rose and white gold. Set with diamonds, rubies, sapphires or emeralds, it is an exceptionally beautiful and feminine reinterpretation of Rolex’s Datejust.

This Rolex Lady-Datejust features a Pearlmaster bracelet with a concealed crown clasp. Not only does this coveted timepiece have a diamond and gem set case and bracelet but the applique hour markers also come in a range of styles including gem set, luminescent, Araabic and Romen numerals. In addition to being a timepiece with flair and style, the Rolex Lady-Datejust has all the great technical qualities that we have come to expect from Rolex. With an Oyster case that is waterproof up to a depth of 100 metres, twinlock double system and virtually scratch proof sapphire crystal, the Rolex Lady-Datejust Pearlmaster is far more than just a pretty watch.

Unworn Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Pearlmaster 86349SAFUBL

Buying a Pre Owned Rolex Datejust

Conclusively, the Rolex Datejust you choose to buy is dependent on a range of factors including budget, availability and personal taste. Rolex watches are among the most prestigious watch brands in the world and to reflect their quality, precision and style they equally have a prestigious price tag.

Not only are Rolex watches high value but their value can also increase, making them a great investment. Buying a second hand Rolex Datejust means that it will most likely cost less than a brand new watch and it could potentially appreciate in value. With the vast range of Rolex Datejust styles available you’re sure to find a watch that matches your style but with a second hand price tag.

We hope that you found our Rolex Datejust buying guide useful. For more information check out the Rolex Datejust and Lady-Datejust watches we have available or visit us in our Essex boutique to speak to a member of our team. Alternatively, if there is a Role Datejust you have in mind but we don’t have it in stock, we are able to source any luxury watch for you.