Bezel & Barrel REVIEWS, NEWS, AND INFO FOR WATCH ENTHUSIASTS

Three Datejusts, Two Wrists. What’s a Guy to Do?

So Rolex just released the Datejust 41 at Baselworld a few weeks ago. This was after releasing the 41mm diameter Datejust II just seven years ago. Are you a little confused? Me too.

And I don’t pretend to know why they released a new Datejust so quickly, nor do I know whether or not the DJ II will get replaced in the lineup by the 41. And one wonders what The Crown has in store for the venerable Datejust, now called the Datejust 36.

That watch, of course, was released in 1945 and has graced the wrists of no less than the likes of President Dwight Eisenhower and Martin Luther King.

But what are the real differences between these three watches – especially the 41mm twins? Are those two identical twins, or fraternal? Let’s take a look.

The Datejust 36 is available in steel, or your choice of yellow or Everose gold. I've no idea why you can’t get it in white gold. But you can get it in two-tone steel and gold (all three colors – odd, that). Humming away beneath the dial is the long-standing Rolex date calibre, the 3135. COSC certified, of course.

The Datejust 36

And you’ll be buckling the Datejust to your wrist with your choice of an Oyster bracelet, or the Jubilee bracelet (named for the1945 40th Jubilee, or anniversary, of Rolex’s founding – when the watch was introduced).

The Datejust II, by contrast, isn’t offered with nearly so many options. It’s basically the sport model Datejust, meant to appeal to a more youthful demographic. It arrives in either steel or steel and gold two-tone, on an Oyster bracelet. The Oyster bracelet is perhaps more fitting for the watch’s 5mm larger diameter. The Datejust II features the calibre 3136. The COSC certified 3136 is basically an update to the 3135, with new, patented “Paraflex” shock absorbers cradling the balance.

The 41mm Datejust II

And the Datejust 41? Frankly, it’s hard to see the differences between it and the Datejust II, beyond the fact that it’s carrying the new Rolex mystery calibre 3235. (That movement was first announced last year with the introduction of the Pearlmaster.)

Unlike the Datejust II, the Datejust 41 is available on a Jubilee bracelet (as well as an Oyster), making moot my earlier statement about how appropriate the Jubilee is for a larger watch. And the new model is, according to images on the Rolex website, currently only available in a handful of steel and gold, two-tone combinations – some of which are dead ringers for the Datejust II.

The Datejust 41, announced at Baselworld 2016

So is the Datejust 41 destined to kick the grade-school-aged Datejust II out of the nest? Could be, with the 3235’s 70 hour power reserve and other patented new features.

For now, keep an eagle-eye on Rolex.com. That’s likely the first clue you’ll get that three become two again.

 

-Ed Estlow

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