In retrospect the Datejust II deserves more respect

In retrospect the Datejust II deserves more respect

Rolex fans loved the proportions of the Datejust 41 when it was released in 2016. It was a bigger version of the classic Datejust at 36mm and it maintained the same proportions as the original. It was viewed as a correction to the Datejust II, which many complained looked too bloated to be in the Datejust family.

Datejust II

Photo by Keep The Time

The Datejust II debuted in 2009 and was discontinued in 2016. It has thicker lugs and bezel, bigger hour markers and just looked like a beefed-up version of the elegant classic Datejust. It was a modern take on a classic and certainly a much bolder look than what many Rolex fans were used to.

Of course groupthink reigns supreme on the watches, especially with the advent of the internet. One group of keyboard warriors declares that the Datejust II has the wrong scale and suddenly it becomes perceived as an absolute truth. But looking at the Datejust II in 2021, it looks pretty good if you can simply view it without the burden of its roots. It’s a Big Boss watch for sure, but still strong in exhibiting traditional design traits of Rolex.

Datejust II

Photo by Menta Watches

The best versions of the Datejust II came with a smooth bezel and naturally an Oyster bracelet, which is the only option for the Datejust II. Simpler lines with less detail simply work with the larger overall feel of the Datejust II. I’ve had a chance to see several Datejust II models on the wrist in the wild and they always catch my eye. The bigger markers stand out and give the wearer a look that he appreciates the classics, but doesn’t want a dainty watch on his wrist. Certainly women can pull off a Datejust II, but anecdotal evidence shows that more men gravitate toward its design.

Now that it’s discontinued and not as popular as other steel Rolex watches, it can be a good time to hunt one down in the pre-owned market. A listing on Bob’s Watches shows the Datejust II can be purchased for under $9,000, which isn’t crazy considering the prices on all popular Rolex models in 2021. You get all the features of the modern Rolex, including a hefty and secure bracelet without paying double, which is the asking price for a modern Submariner. I would never advise anyone to settle, but if you love the look of the Datejust II like I do, it’s a strong buy in the current market.

I, for one, am one of the few who prefer the look of the Datejust II over the Datejust 41. To me the proportions should change when going to a larger case size. To create a facsimile of a smaller watch is certainly a safe choice, but going bigger and bolder in every respect with the Datejust offers a more distinctive look in a sea of sameness.

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