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]

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.[8]

In popular culture[edit]

Several of the male characters in the movie The Informers wear the Rolex Datejust.[9]

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.[10]

Both American Psycho & The Informers movies are adaptations of Bret Easton Ellis novels.

Paul Newman is seen wearing a Datejust in the film The Color of Money.

Harrison Ford sports a Datejust 36mm in the 1980s movie Frantic. It had a white Roman numeral dial, a white gold bezel and steel jubilee bracelet and case.

Bill Murray wears a Datejust with a black dial in the movie Lost in Translation.

Internationally acclaimed Yuja Wang, the child prodigy pianist from China, uses the Datejust 31mm.[11]

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.[12]

Presidents Bill Clinton, Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan all 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.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who had a rather large wrist, wore the first Datejust 36mm model while in office during WWII.

One that many consider as the greatest tennis player of all time, Roger Federer, uses the 41mm Datejust II and is also Rolex's most prominent brand ambassador.[13]

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.[14]

7-time World No. 1, 18-time grand slam and 3-time doubles champion and American sweetheart, Chris Evert uses a solid gold Datejust 31mm.[15]

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[16]

Former World No. 1 and 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon Championships victor, Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza, holds a 36mm Datejust.[17]

Swedish 8-time Player of the Year and 10-time majors women's golf maestro, Annika Sörenstam, owns two Datejust.[18]


  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. ^ "24 Months Wearing the Rolex Datejust – An In-depth Review". 22 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Rolex Watches Make A Statement In Bret Easton Ellis' The Informers Movie". 30 April 2009.
  10. ^ "The Classic Rolex Datejust – Patrick Bateman's Choice". 23 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Yuja Wang". Rolex.
  12. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Sylvia Earle". Rolex.
  13. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Roger Federer". Rolex.
  14. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Rod Laver". Rolex.
  15. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Chris Evert". Rolex.
  16. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Angelique Kerber". Rolex.
  17. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Garbiñe Muguruza". Rolex.
  18. ^ "Every Rolex Tells A Story - Annika Sörenstam". Rolex.