As many of you realize, finding a classic Rolex at a reasonable price is very difficult. But if you want something around the $6K mark that’s a classic, check out the five-digit Datejust watches available on the secondhand market. Datejusts are actually Rolex’s best selling watch so that means there are plenty of them out there on the marketplace.
Photo by HQ Milton
The five-digit Datejust has a flimsier Jubilee bracelet for sure and that may be a dealbreaker for some who are used to the heft and solidity of modern Rolex bracelets. But to me the charm of the slinky older bracelets is supreme comfort and “old-man style,” which offers the air of that rugged older dude who wears his one Rolex all the time for everything.
But there are many five-digit models that have most of the best modern features. Let’s start with the quickset date. You don’t want a watch where you have to change the date by advancing the time as your only option. That is unless you wear the same watch all the time. Acrylic crystals are actually pretty cool looking, but unless you are in the market for a Speedmaster, sapphire is a much better option for overall durability. The 3135 movement is a tried and true engine that you can depend on through years of ownership.
Photo by Xupes
What’s cool about the Datejust is that there are so many options. We’ve written about the Roman numeral Buckley dial. Have you seen a tapestry dial in real life? They add a bit of flash when compared to a standard Datejust. You can’t go wrong with any bezel and bracelet combination in my opinion. Jubilee with fluted bezel is the classic, but the fluted bezel with Oyster bracelet is very nice too. You can also rock a sportier look and opt for a smooth bezel with an Oyster bracelet, one of my favorite combos for an everyday wearer.
Bob’s has a 16200 with a tapestry dial and Oyster bracelet listed for $5,095. You get the aforementioned sapphire crystal is an excellent overall package. HQ Milton has a plain silver dial version of the same watch for $5,150. Both have than excellent sporty look with the smooth bezel.
For those that do prefer a vintage esthetic, Bob’s has a 16030 with a black dial, engine turned bezel and acrylic crystal for $5,356. Bonus points for the drilled-through lugs and tritium hands and lume plots. Expect some nice yellowing of the lume.
We watch collectors quite often have more fun in the hunt than in actual ownership. So be sure to have fun while you search for your ideal five-digit Rolex Datejust.
Want a nice strap for your Datejust? Check our our options here.