Any watch enthusiast knows the name Rolex. If you are one yourself, then chances are, you have heard many stories about classic Daytonas or the new GMT featuring bi-color Cerachrome bezels. You may not hear as much with the Datejust, and this is quite the shame. It is one of the most overlooked series coming out of the Rolex labs. The series possess quite the combination of style, elegance, performance, and versatility. It has the features to attract both the casual wearer and the dedicated enthusiast.
The first Datejust was released in 1945, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Rolex as a company. The event was held at Hotel des Bergues in Geneva by the founder, Wilsdorf himself. It had the first features reminiscent of a modern automatic wristwatch, a function that is taken for granted today, but was extraordinary at the time.
The Perpetual rotor in the watch was an additional function that drew praise. The Datejust had a bracelet that was named after the jubilee in which it was first presented at. There are now 16,200 different individual time pieces of the Datejust brand. The original watch featured 36mm decedents, while the more recently introduced Datejust II had an upgraded 41mm size.
The Datejust series continues a long tradition of gold, diamonds, and Arabic numerials, but the size has catered to collectors looking for something luxurious and larger than life. One example is the 6305 launched in the mid-1950s. This timepiece consisted of solid steel and contained one of the earliest examples of the fluted bezel. They were sold with a dual choice of white or grayish black dials.
The standard 36mm Datejust represents the most current edition of models in the series. The ref. 116200 is one descendent of the 1950s Datejusts. It can feature numerous combinations of metals, bracelets, and dials. The modern Datejust is of the classic 36mm size. The watch offers great vintage feel along with the benefits and goodies provided by modern technology. The stainless steel case Rolex uses 904L steel, a low-carbon alloy that resists corrosion and damage. The watch was a result of Rolex’s investment in new infrastructure – allowing them to produce the alloy which has helped made these watches possible.
The Datejust watches are supported by Rolex bracelets, known to be among the best in the watch making world. The sturdy and durable links keep the watch together and the clasp is one of the best examples of watch engineering. It uses a small lever for opening and closing, thereby reducing the chance of the bracelet opening on accident. The micro-adjustment mechanism gives you the option to adjust the fit as you see necessary. Overall, the Datejust is just as good on the wrist as it is on paper.