THE CLASSIC WATCH OF REFERENCE
The Oyster Perpetual Datejust is the epitome of the classic Rolex watch.
Created in 1945, the Datejust was the first self-winding waterproof chronometer wristwatch to display the date in a window at 3 o’clock on the dial – hence its name. With its timeless aesthetics, functions and rich history, the Datejust is a watchmaking icon and one of the brand’s most recognizable watches.
The Datejust’s enduring aesthetics make it instantly recognizable. The characteristic shape of the Oyster case, the 18 kt gold fluted bezel, the Cyclops lens over the date and the five-piece link Jubilee bracelet – specially made for the model – all contributed to making this watch a classic.
Today the Datejust is available in three sizes: 31, 36 and 41 mm. Each version comes with a large selection of dials in different colours, finishes and materials. They include diamond-set or mother-of-pearl dials as well as Jubilee, palm and fluted laseretched motifs, which are applied to a traditional sunray finish for a particularly sophisticated effect, exclusive to the Datejust.
With a choice of bezels – smooth, domed, fluted or set with diamonds – the Datejust can perfectly reflect the personality of its wearer. The emblematic fluted bezel is always crafted from 18 kt yellow, white or Everose gold. The bezel can be partially or fully set with diamonds. The brilliant-cut diamonds are carefully selected by in-house experts. Rolex’s gem-setters then take over, setting them by hand to reveal their unique beauty.
Depending on the version, the Datejust is fitted with a Jubilee, Oyster or President bracelet. Supple and comfortable, the five-piece link Jubilee bracelet was specially designed for the launch of the Oyster Perpetual Datejust in 1945. The particularly robust Oyster bracelet has broad, flat three-piece links and remains the most universal bracelet in the Oyster Perpetual collection. The prestigious President bracelet and its three semi-circular links is exclusively available on 18 kt gold versions of the Datejust 31.
THE IDEAL EVERYDAY WATCH
The Datejust introduced a calendar displaying the date via a disc in a window at 3 o’clock, an innovation that later became widespread. In 1953, the Cyclops lens was added to the crystal, magnifying the date for easy reading. Its instantly recognizable, characteristic domed shape has become a distinctive feature of the watch.
Rolesor, the combination of gold and Oystersteel on a Rolex watch, has been a signature feature of the brand since 1933, when the name was registered. It is an auspicious meeting of two metals: one, noble and precious, attractive for its lustre and stability; the other, highly corrosion-resistant, known for its strength and its reliability.
According to its size, the Datejust is equipped with calibre 2235 or 2236 (Datejust 31) or calibre 3235 (Datejust 36 and Datejust 41), which are self-winding mechanical movements entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Their architecture, manufacturing and innovative features make them exceptionally precise and reliable. Calibres 2236 and 3235 are new-generation movements that offer fundamental gains in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability.
THE PILLAR OF THE OYSTER PERPETUAL COLLECTION
The Oyster Perpetual Datejust was launched in 1945 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Rolex. It was the first self-winding waterproof chronometer wristwatch to display the date in a window at 3 o’clock on the dial. It consolidated all the major innovations Rolex had contributed to the modern wristwatch until then – chronometric precision, waterproofness and the self-winding mechanism.
The Datejust revolutionized the wristwatch date display.
Traditionally, the date had been indicated by a hand pointing to markings around the edge of the dial. With the Datejust, Rolex introduced a calendar that displayed the date via a turning disc in a window at 3 o'clock. This innovation was not only aesthetically pleasing, but much more convenient as it made it easier to read the time and date at a glance. Since then, the date display in a window has become the standard among wristwatches.
In 1947, when Rolex produced its 100,000th officially certified chronometer, the company’s founder Hans Wilsdorf wanted this unique timepiece to adorn the wrist of an exceptional person. As such, he chose to present the watch – an Oyster Perpetual Datejust in 18 kt gold, with a fluted bezel, a white dial and a Jubilee bracelet – to Sir Winston Churchill, one of the most prominent figures of his time. Hans Wilsdorf and Churchill exchanged letters, with the British politician graciously accepting the gift of Rolex’s flagship model and expressing his desire to have his coat of arms engraved on the back. Upon being presented with the watch at his London residence, Churchill greatly admired it and was particularly impressed by the fact that it was entirely waterproof and self-winding.