The Rolex Datejust debuted back in 1945. Originally, the watch was planned to have been named “Victory” in reference to the Allied victory during WWII. This was then changed to Jubilee as its original name in celebration of Rolex’s 40th anniversary, but since the name never found its way to the dial, Jubilee became the bracelet, and the Datejust found its name.
The Datejust was the first self-winding calendar wrist chronometer. Illuminating the simplicity of a watch, the Rolex Datejust had simply 3 hands. The first Rolex Datejust, the Jubilee Datejust (ref 4467), was pure yellow gold with a date window that sat, and still sits, at the 3 o’clock position. This date changes precisely at midnight, keeping the date just - hence the name.
There have been constant changes, innovations, improvements, and adaptations made to the Datejust as with anything. Now, Datejusts are available in rose gold (a personal favorite), steel, and two-tone editions. And, an important event to note, in 1955, the well-recognized cyclops was added - see a cyclops, it’s a Rolex.
The 1980s and 1990s were important eras in the history of the Datejust; the calibre 3135 led to the Datejust having a smaller profile, with a new case and dial design. The chronometer could be precisely adjusted by hacking second mechanism and additionally, the non-scratchable sapphire crystal became standard issue on the Datejust.
As fashions change with time, the Datejust has remarkably remained mostly unchanged with its timeless design - we discuss more about Rolex and its timeless designs here. It held on to its Jubilee bracelet (though there are models with an oyster bracelet available), and the bubbleback remained as a signature screwed caseback for high water resistance as it was and is housed in an Oyster case.
In 2017, Rolex released the Rolex Datejust 41mm. It houses the calibre 3235 and is available on either the Jubilee or Oyster bracelet. The Rolex Datejust 41mm is highly popular (as larger watches are a trend currently), and we plan to review it more fully soon so stay tuned.
It is nearly impossible to have a discussion about Rolex's impact on the watchmaking world without bringing up the iconic Datejust. Despite its modest claims (in comparison to the Daytona or Submariner), the Rolex Datejust is timeless. The Rolex Datejust can probably claim one of the top spots in which model plays a large role in the widespread and enduring success of the Rolex brand.
The Datejust is reliable, accurate, and suitable for every adventure. Whether you’re looking to customize your Datejust or simply preserve your historically significant Jubilee bracelet, Everest has some watchband options for you here.