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Rolex Datejust II

Classic and distinctive: Like its predecessor, the Datejust II has an elegant, simple and timeless design vocabulary. With its bigger case, it's even more suitable as a men's watch - or for women who want to make a confident appearance.  More

Rolex Datejust II
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Buy Rolex Datejust II watches new, vintage and used with certificate

A continuation of the Datejust Perpetual series

The Datejust II is in the tradition of its predecessor, the Datejust Perpetual. The 1945 presented classic was the first waterproof watch with an automatically changing date display. Other wristwatches of the time needed several hours, the Datejust changed the date even then within a few milliseconds. The Datejust II retains the simple design of the original and combines it with technical innovations. With a case diameter of 41 mm, it is also more distinctive than its predecessor.

Although the Datejust is one of the early introduced Rolex models, it only had just minor changes over time. The initial design always came with a smooth, ring bezel, later models were also produced with the grooved bezel. Over the years, the movement and case became a little slimmer and – arguably the most important development – Rolex introduced in 1953 the Cyclops magnifying glass, which today graces most Rolex models. Thus, the Datejust II series is completely in the tradition of its predecessor models and therefore has great recognition value.

Rolex Datejust II 116333 in steel and yellow gold with black dial on black leather glove

Key features of the Rolex Datejust series

Even though we are no longer surprised by the date display at 3 o'clock in the case of Rolex watches today, the Datejust had a pioneering position at the time. The innovation contributed to a higher functionality of the wristwatches and was fit a perfect fit with the otherwise minimalist three-hand design of Rolex watches. The magnifying glass enlarged by the factor 2.5 by, which resulted in easier reading. In the meantime, the date loupe has become one of the typical features of Rolex wristwatches and can be found on a lot of current models. The Datejust comes in different sizes, which offer an option for every wrist. The Lady-Datejust is a small model with 26 mm, while the Datejust II with a 41 mm diameter represents the largest model of the series.

Interesting models and prices of the Datejust II

The current collection of the Datejust II includes models in stainless steel, white gold with stainless steel and in bi-colour/ stainless steel and as well yellow gold.

  • The Rolex Datejust II 116300 is the variant made from stainless steel of the current collection. In contrast to the other versions, it has a smooth bezel, the dial is available in black, metallic blue and champagne. The MSRP is 8,600 €.

  • The Rolex Datejust II 116334 is made of stainless steel and white gold. It comes with a grooved bezel, the dial is in the current collection in various neutral tones such as white, champagne and beige available. The suggested retail price is 8,600 €.

  • The Rolex Datejust II 116333 is the Rolesor variant of the current collection in yellow gold and stainless steel. Featuring a golden grooved bezel, it comes with dials in champagne, brown and black. The original price (MSRP) is 11,550 €.

Blue Dial of the Rolex Datejust II 116334

The story of the Datejust

The Datejust was introduced in 1945 and quickly became a classic. The occasion was the 40th anniversary of Rolex, at the same time the specially developed Jubilé bracelet was presented, which was then only available together with the Datejust. The Datejust was in her day a representative of the pioneering spirit of Rolex; as the first watch, it was equipped with an exactly at midnight switching date display. At the same time, it was the first model to come up with the typical Rolex date display at 3 o'clock.

The first Datejust (Ref. 4467) was available in yellow gold, variants of stainless steel, rose gold and bicolour were added later. Also the characteristic today for many models its fluted bezel was introduced in 1950. Early models have a bulbous bottom, which offered enough space for the slightly larger automatic movement with the calibre 730. It is also known as the "bubble back". Younger models were then significantly slimmer thanks to new calibres. The already in 1957 introduced calibre 1065 led to a flatter case bottom. Also, the cyclops magnifying glass was added to the calendar display in 1954. It magnifies by the factor 2,5 and allows better readability.

In 1970, Rolex responded with the Quartz Date (ref. 5100) to the competition from Japan and America, but the model wasn't well supported by the Rolex audience. Nevertheless, in 1977, the Oysterquartz Datejust Ref. 17000 was brought to the market, which was equipped with a quartz movement produced by Rolex. Although the model was unsuccessful, the watch brought it up high: Only a year later, she climbed Mount Everest on the wrist of well-known alpinist Reinhold Messner.

When the Rolex Datejust II was introduced in 2009, it retained the optical characteristics of the classic Datejust, but with a diameter of 41 mm it got a larger case.
In 2017 the Datejust 41, which was presented at Baselworld, replaced the Datejust II. Who likes it smaller, is well served with the Lady-Datejust. The case measures only between 26mm and 38mm. It is therefore ideal for more slender wrists and a very successful part of Rolex women's collection. Also, it comes with a date display at 3 o'clock and follows the classic design of the Datejust. Well-preserved, used early models of the Datejust series are particularly stable in value, as it is often difficult to find suitable replacement parts for them. Series models are subject to a constant increase in value, e.g. between 1994 and 2016 the vintage Rolex Datejust gained 221% value.

Presidents and movie stars wear the Datejust

As an absolute classic among the Rolex watches, the Rolex Datejust has, of course, some prominent fans. For example, it is photographically documented that Martin Luther King owned a Datejust and regularly wore it.

Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf had come up with something special to celebrate the production of the 100,000th officially certified Rolex watch: Winston Churchill, whom Wilsdorf described as one of the most important figures in world history, received the special copy as a present. His model was an Oyster Perpetual Datejust with a white dial and a Jubilee bracelet in 18-carat gold. In keeping with this tradition, the 150,000th wristwatch went to U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who received a ref. 6305 in solid gold. Also, U.S. President Ronald Reagan was wearing his Datejust on numerous pictures.

In movies, the Datejust can be seen, for example, in "American Psycho" (2000) on the wrist of Christian Bale. Paul Newman also had a Datejust as Eddie Felson in "The Color of Money" (1986) – a role he won an Oscar for as Best Actor.

Other interesting series from Rolex

  • The Rolex Air-King is a classic entry-level model among the Rolex watches. Because of its distinctive size, it was favoured by British fighters during the Second World War, but thanks to its simple design, it has also become a popular classic which suits even today.

  • The Rolex Daytona is prescribed with a tachymeter display on the bezel for racing. It was named after the famous car race at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, but its sporty design also convinces in everyday life.

  • The Rolex Submariner is the classic diver's watch from Rolex. It is considered a good investment and is a good companion in all circumstances despite its sporty look.

  • The Rolex GMT-Master II is dedicated as an aviator watch entirely for use in the air. Still, especially the Pepsi variant with a red-blue bezel is strongly associated with the luxury airline Pan Am. It refers to the bezel in several time zones, making it the ideal wristwatch for globetrotters and frequent travellers.

  • The Rolex Milgauss was originally developed for scientists and researchers and can withstand magnetic fields of up to 1,000 Gauss. Today the watch is especially popular for its orange arrow-shaped second hand, which gives it a special status within the Rolex series.

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