Rolex Datejust

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Rolex Datejust
Rolex DJ 16233 20181018.jpg
36mm - Reference 16233 - Two-tone, 18ct Gold & Stainless Steel Jubilee Bracelet - 18ct Gold Fluted Bezel - Champagne Tapestry Dial
MovementRolex Caliber 3135, Self-winding Automatic

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust is a certified, self-winding chronometer wristwatch manufactured by Rolex. When it was launched in 1945, the Datejust was the first wristwatch with an automatically changing date function.[1][2]


Rolex introduced the original Datejust (reference 4467) in 1945 to celebrate the company's 40th anniversary.[3] It was available only in 18 karat yellow gold and had a small bubble back winder with a deeply domed back. It also featured the company's waterproof Oyster case (first introduced in 1926[3]), a fluted bezel, and the new Jubilee bracelet (so named for the occasion).[4][3]

Over the years, the Datejust movement went through subtle improvements to its features and an expansion of design options. Several years after its debut, In 1954, Rolex added the now famous Cyclops lens as a major update.[5]

The Datejust is offered with two classic Rolex bracelets: the Jubilee and the Oyster. The original Datejust was launched with a case size of 36mm. Later, however, ladies' and mid-sized versions became available. The Turn-O-Graph model was introduced in 1955 as an award given to US Air Force pilots returning from combat missions. It featured a rotating bezel marked to 60 minutes, which can be used to measure time intervals. Datejusts of this type have been nicknamed "Thunderbirds". Chuck Yeager wore one of these models when he broke the sound barrier.[1] This would be the basis for the Rolex Explorer (designed for Sir Edmund Hillary's Mount Everest expedition), the Rolex Submariner, and the Rolex Sea Dweller.[2]

In 2009, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II was released. At 41mm in diameter (excluding the crown) its case is bigger than the original Datejust.[6]

In 2016, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 was released. The watch comes in stainless steel, and two-tone stainless steel and 18k yellow or 18k everose gold (Rolex's version of rose gold) bracelets. The 2016 41mm Datejust is on an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet. While the Datejust 41 has a similar-sized 41mm diameter case as the Datejust II, the Datejust 41 has smaller indexes and a thinner bezel compared to the Datejust II.[7]

In this year, Rolex had also introduced the new Caliber 3235 movement, which replaces more than 90% of the parts of its predecessor, the Caliber 3135 - Rolex’s longest running and most successful movement. Caliber 3235 comes with a new escapement, the Chronergy along with significant improvements, providing a 70-hours power reserve while maintaining the same dimensions as the former.[8]

Though there has been a general trend toward larger sized watches from 2001, spurring Rolex to increase the size of the Datejust in 2009, there is some belief that watch sizes are on the decrease. Rolex still advertises the current 36mm Datejust as a men's watch and many purists believe it is the standard and indeed shall always remain the classic Rolex.[9]

In popular culture[edit]

In the movie American Psycho, Patrick Bateman (played by Christian Bale) wears the Rolex Datejust 16233 - a two tone, 18ct yellow gold with a vertical lined tapestry champagne coloured dial. Another movie adapted from Bret Easton Ellis novels was The Informers which also had some of their cast using Datejusts [10]

Legendary actor & multi-talented Paul Newman was seen wearing a full Stainless Steel 36mm Datejust in his Oscar winning performance film The Color of Money.[11]

Hollywood legend Harrison Ford sports a Datejust 36mm in the 1980s movie Frantic, which featured a white Roman numeral dial, white gold bezel and stainless steel jubilee bracelet and case.[12]

Emmy, Golden Globe & BAFTA winner Bill Murray wears a Datejust with a black dial in the movie Lost in Translation.[13]

The 14th Dalai Lama - Tenzin Gyatso, has a Datejust amongst the watches he owns. [14]

Legendary activist & a colossus in civil rights movement, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used a Datejust reference 1601.[15]

Internationally acclaimed Yuja Wang, the child prodigy pianist from China, uses the Datejust 31mm.[16]

U.S. first female chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration & Time Magazine's 1st Hero of The Planet and resident explorer for National Geographic since 1998, Sylvia Earle spots a full gold, Lady-Datejust 26mm.[17]

Highly acclaimed, Peruvian musical wizard - Juan Diego Flórez has a 36mm, two-tone Rolex Datejust refence 116233 - one of the few Datejust models that utilized the Crownclasp; usually on President and PearlMaster models only.[18]

Presidents Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan both wore the Rolex Datejust while in office. Eisenhower's Datejust had a white Roman numeral dial, a stainless steel engine turned bezel and a steel jubilee bracelet and steel case.[19]

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, was awarded the 100,000th officially certified chronometer by Rolex's founder, Hans Wilsdorf - a 36mm Datejust with a fluted white gold bezel & stainless-steel Jubilee bracelet while in office during World War II.[20]

Arguably the greatest tennis player of all time, Roger Federer, uses the 41mm Datejust II and is also Rolex's most prominent brand ambassador.[21]

Tennis legend and former World No. 1, Rod Laver, uses a solid gold, 36mm Datejust - and is a left-hander who wears it on his right wrist.[22]

7-time World No. 1, 18-time grand slam and 3-time doubles champion & America's sweetheart, Chris Evert uses a solid gold Datejust 31mm.[23]

Germany's Angelique Kerber, who was the oldest player on court to reach World No. 1 in Tennis, as well as the current top-ranked left-handed player, uses a Datejust 36mm[24]

Former World No. 1 and 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon Championships victor, Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza, holds a 36mm Datejust.[25]

Swedish 8-time Player of the Year and 10-time majors women's golf maestro, Annika Sörenstam, owns two Datejust.[26]

Basketball legend & NBA's greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan sports a two-tone Datejust amongst the many other Rolex he owns.[27]


  1. ^ a b Edwards, Frank (1997). Wristwatches: A Connoisseur's Guide. New York: Firefly. p. 160. ISBN 978-1-55209-083-1.
  2. ^ a b Brozek, John E. (2002). The Rolex Report: An Unauthorized Reference Book For The Rolex Enthusiast. New York: Infoquest. p. 288. ISBN 978-0-9723133-0-8.
  3. ^ a b c "A Week On The Wrist: The Rolex Datejust".
  4. ^ "Rolex Datejust: A casual Luxury Watch with Legendary Status". Buy & Sell | Pre-owned Certified Luxury Watches - Rolex, Cartier and many More. 2016-12-15. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
  5. ^ "WatchTime Wednesday: The History of the Rolex Datejust". Monochrome Watches. 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
  6. ^ "Rolex Datejust Watch - Rolex Swiss Luxury Watches". Rolex.
  7. ^ "Full Review - The new Rolex Datejust 41 from Baselworld 2016, with new case, new 3235 movement and comeback of the Jubilee (live pics & price)". Monochrome Watches. 12 April 2016.
  8. ^ "The Rolex Caliber 3235". BeckerTime. 22 August 2017.
  9. ^ "24 Months Wearing the Rolex Datejust – An In-depth Review". 22 September 2015.
  10. ^ "The Classic Rolex Datejust – Patrick Bateman's Choice". 23 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Standing the Test of Time: The Rolex Datejust". Bob's Watches.
  12. ^ "Standing the Test of Time: The Rolex Datejust". Bob's Watches.
  13. ^ "Standing the Test of Time: The Rolex Datejust". Bob's Watches.
  14. ^ "Rolex, Patek Philippe and the Dalai Lama". Esquire Middle East.
  15. ^ "Fit For a King. Rolex and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr". Bob's Watches.
  16. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Yuja Wang". Rolex.
  17. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Sylvia Earle". Rolex.
  18. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Juan Diego Flórez". Rolex.
  19. ^ "Watches Worn by U.S. Presidents". Unwound - Crown & Caliber.
  20. ^ "Winston Churchill's Datejust". Rolex.
  21. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Roger Federer". Rolex.
  22. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Rod Laver". Rolex.
  23. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Chris Evert". Rolex.
  24. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Angelique Kerber". Rolex.
  25. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Garbiñe Muguruza". Rolex.
  26. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Annika Sörenstam". Rolex.
  27. ^ "Profiles In Achievment: Michael Jordan". Jake's Rolex World.