Datejust 41 vs Datejust 2

Rolex Datejust 41 vs Datejust 2


Introduced in 1945, the Rolex Datejust is the longest running production of the brand and also its best-selling series. The Datejust is well-loved for its timeless and versatile aesthetic and is considered the standard for classic wrist watches.

Since its launch, the diameter of the Datejust has remained at 36mm, a size that Rolex continues to offer to this day. Due to the demand for larger watches, Rolex introduced in 2009 what would be the biggest shake up in the Datejust line – the Datejust II, a larger 41mm version.

The Datejust II was eventually discontinued and replaced with the slimmer but similarly sized Datejust 41. The latter remains in the Rolex portfolio, while the Datejust II is still in demand in the pre-owned market.


What’s the difference between the Rolex Datejust II and Datejust 41? Here’s a simplified guide.


Datejust II vs 41
Rolex Datejust II Blue Roman Dial and Datejust 41 Blue Baton Dial


The Datejust II was Rolex’s answer to the large watch trend. Over the decades, men’s watches have increased dramatically in size, and Rolex has offered larger sport models like the 44mm Sea-Dweller Deepsea. When the Datejust II was launched in 2009, men who wanted larger dress watches finally had their go-to timepiece.

The Datejust II had all the classic elements of the Datejust – the Oyster case, the date, and the Cyclops lens – combined with a thicker bezel and thicker lugs. The watch was visibly larger on the wrist, and was a very masculine and sporty approach.


Datejust II
Rolex Datejust II Blue Arabic Numerals and Datejust II Steel Yellow Gold

Despite the Datejust II’s initial success, it was short-lived. While its larger size and sportier nature was welcome for some, it was too radical for many Rolex fans. They wanted a larger Rolex Datejust but with the grace, proportions, and the classic looks of the time-honored original.

Thus, the Datejust 41 was introduced in 2016. With a tapered case and thinner profile, its proportions were closer to the Datejust 36. It was, simply put, the traditional Datejust made bigger. Not only did it attract Datejust fans who desired a bigger watch, but also a younger audience.



Rolex Datejust 41 in Oystersteel with Blue, White and Black Dials


Aside from their appearance, the options within the Datejust II and Datejust 41 lines also determine their specific audiences.

Datejust II

Due to its short production, the Datejust II was only offered in stainless steel and Rolesor white and yellow gold. It was also only offered with a fluted bezel and the Oyster bracelet to emphasize its sportier nature. Dial colors ranged from silver and champagne to metallic grey, black and blue.

Datejust 41

The Datejust 41 is offered in three Rolesor combinations – yellow gold, white gold, and Everose gold combined with Oystersteel. A year after, it was also offered in full Oystersteel. One can choose between a smooth or fluted bezel, and between the Oyster and Jubilee bracelets. Additional dial options were also introduced, such as the chocolate sunburst and mother of pearl dials.



Datejust 41
Rolex Datejust 41 in Oystersteel with Slate Grey and Blue Dials


The biggest difference between the Datejust II and Datejust 41 lies on the inside.

Datejust II

The Datejust II is powered by the Calibre 3136, a movement based on Rolex’s base movement, the Calibre 3135. It features a larger mainplate to accommodate the larger date wheel and the addition of Paraflex shock absorbers. The movement grants a power reserve of 48 hours.

Datejust 41

By the time that the Datejust 41 was developed, Rolex was already on to its next generation of movements, the Calibre 32XX series. The Datejust 41 is equipped with the Calibre 3235, whose Chronergy escapement, high-capacity barrel, and greater use of nickel-phosphorus alloy, resulted in a 70 hour power reserve and improved magnetic resistance.



If you prefer a sporty and masculine approach to the dress watch, you can still get the Datejust II in the pre-owned market. If you’re after a larger watch but with the classic proportions of the traditional Datejust, go for the Datejust 41. Both are highly-sought after versions of Rolex’s all-time classic.






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