Today, much of the attention from collectors and enthusiasts is centered upon Rolex’s sport replica watch offerings; however, to many, the Datejust represents the classic, iconic, and versatile Rolex. Originally introduced in 1945 in celebration of Rolex’s 40th anniversary, the Datejust has remained largely unchanged throughout the many decades that it has remained in continuous production.
Unlike many of Rolex’s other watch lines, the Datejust is not specifically designed nor intended for one particular sport or lifestyle activity. While the Submariner is for SCUBA divers and the Yacht-Master II has specialized features for use during regattas, the Datejust is a classic and reliable wristwatch, designed to be worn everyday, throughout a wide variety of activities.
Although it has seen a number of movement upgrades and subtle design alterations throughout the years, the classic Datejust is still very much the same watch that it was when it was first released by Rolex over seventy years ago. Despite following a very simple and classic design, the Datejust is instantly recognizable as a Rolex due to its proportions, iconic bracelet designs (Oyster or Jubilee), and Cyclops magnification lens.
Throughout the long-running production history of the Datejust, the text on its dial has remained incredibly consistent. From top to bottom, the dial of a Datejust reads as follows: “Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified.”
The “Oyster Perpetual” branding denotes that the watch’s crown and case-back screw down for water resistance, and that the movement is of the automatic-winding variety. The “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” text means that the watch has gone through (and passed) Rolex’s extensive chronometer certification testing, and that the watch meets or exceeds the company’s strict accuracy standards. Each word on the dial is important and has significant meaning.
The Datejust exists in a number of different sizes, ranging from 26 mm to 41 mm in diameter, and it is available with a wide variety of different dial, bezel, metal, and bracelet combinations. No other line of Rolex watches is available from the factory with nearly as many different configurations available, which guarantees that there will be a Datejust to suit every different style and personal preference.
With a practical feature set, a classic design, and 100 meters of water resistance, the Datejust is a highly versatile watch that is equally competent in a wide variety of different environments and situations. This versatility is part of the reason why the Datejust has remained in constant production since its initial release, and why many consider it to be the quintessential luxury timepiece.