Simple and focused on the essentials, the Rolex Datejust line remains the archetypal Rolex timepiece. Created in 1945, it has become the reference of classically designed watches thereafter.
For the longest time, it was only offered in the 36mm size, but the trend of larger watches has prompted Rolex to create the Datejust II; and its most current size, the Datejust 41.
With the current preference for larger watches, should you be looking at the next Datejust 41 as your next watch? Let’s delve a little deeper:
A BRIEF REVIEW OF ROLEX DATEJUST SIZES
There are two sizes currently being produced for the Rolex Datejust line – the traditional 36mm and the Datejust 41. The Datejust II was produced from 2009 until it was replaced with the Datejust 41 in 2016, so there are many of them available in the pre-owned market today.
Rolex Datejust 36 (1945 –)
Since its launch, the Rolex Datejust was offered only in a 36mm Oyster case, a size that Rolex offers to this day. It’s still the most popular size in the men’s range; and it’s also a great, slightly oversized watch on a woman’s wrist.
Produced for decades, its main draw is its vast availability and the largest variation of metal options, bezel styles, and dial designs. At Baselworld 2018, the new Datejust 36 models were launched with Rolex’s new generation time and date movement – the Calibre 3235.
A modern take on the classic Datejust 36: Arabic numbers and rich chocolate brown dial
Rolex Datejust II (2009 – 2016)
Around the 2000s, there was a move towards larger watches in the market. Rolex’s dress watch offer was the Datejust II, which was a very wearable 41mm size.
Launched in Baselworld 2009, it was well-received, especially among men who wanted a larger dress watch. It was only offered with a Rolex Oyster bracelet, presumably to emphasize a sporty look; and only came in Rolesor steel and yellow / white gold metals.
ENTER THE ROLEX DATEJUST 41
In 2016, Rolex discontinued the Datejust II and replaced it with the Datejust 41. While these two watches have the same case size, the newer Datejust 41 has a more refined look.
The aim was to make it look like the well-loved Datejust 36, only larger.
Rolex Datejust 41 Steel White Gold (left) and Oystersteel (center and right)
Large case, thin profile
Despite being 41mm in size, the Oyster case sits comfortably on the wrist, with its slim profile and thinner lugs. Its size is perfect in meeting today’s larger watch trends, even for women who want an oversized timepiece.
Rolex Datejust 41 in Steel and Yellow Gold, Oystersteel, and Steel and Everose Gold.
It was initially available only in Rolesor steel and yellow gold, but that changed in 2018. It now comes in other two-tone designs, combining Oystersteel and yellow, white or Everose gold; plus an all-Oystersteel model.
There is a choice between a domed and fluted bezel, luminous baton markers and diamond indexes, as well as different dials – silver, black, rhodium, blue, sundust, and mother of pearl.
Rolex Datejust 41 Steel Everose Gold, with Sundust dials (center) and Brown dials (left and right)
The Datejust 41 also offers both the sporty Oyster bracelet and the dressier Jubilee bracelet. Its Oysterclasp folding clasp is already equipped with the Easylink extension system found in most Rolex sport watches – this allows the bracelet’s length to be extended by as much as 5 mm.
New Generation Movement
It’s also equipped with Rolex’s Calibre 3235, their newest generation time and date automatic mechanical movement. This movement boasts of the new Chronergy escapement (a patented Rolex innovation) which provides a power reserve of approximately 70 hours.
All in all, the Rolex Datejust 41 houses the brand’s latest improvements in a sleek, new look that still sticks to the Datejust’s classic elements. The refined and contemporary design can go from dress watch to everyday sport watch — making it an instant classic that’s worth being part of your collection.
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