Why the five-digit Datejust is still the best buy in the Rolex marketplace in 2022

Why the five-digit Datejust is still the best buy in the Rolex marketplace in 2022

Everywhere you look you can’t get a Rolex steel sports watch at retail, but you can find a multitude of older 36mm Datejust models for just above $6K, which in the current climate is a sweet spot if you want a Rolex in February of 2022. 

We’ve been monitoring used watch prices closely ever since Rolex watches became basically unavailable in stores and the five-digit Datejust models have remained one of the best values. You get a classic watch with a classic movement and a variety of configurations to choose from: fluted vs. smooth bezel, Jubilee vs. Oyster bracelet, Roman vs. stick dial, and of course a range of dial color choices.

Photo by Oyster Palace

Other five-digit Rolex models have increased in price significantly since Rolex became a rare find at the authorized dealer. You basically can’t get a GMT-Master or Explorer II in good condition for under $12K. Whereas a blue dial 16030 Datejust is listed for $6,150 on HQ Milton right now.

Photo by Analog Shift

With this era of Rolex Datejust watches you get one of the all-time classics, quickset date, sapphire crystal and one of the most tried-and-true movements created by Rolex. It’s not going to go out of style and 36mm will work for future generations if you decide to pass it on your child.

Photo by Analog Shift

If you don’t want the most traditional configuration, you can get a smooth bezel and Oyster bracelet too. A listing with Tourneau has a black dial 16200 with smooth bezel and Oyster bracelet for $6,600. This sportier look offers plenty of versatility if you, like most of us these days, are dressed casually most of the time.

Photo by Analog Shift

The five-digit Datejust runs the 3135 movement, which can be found in many of the six digit models and this movement has been one of the most dependable, easily serviced movements in Rolex’s history. It may not have as long a power reserve as the newer Datejust movements, but if you wear it a lot, it’s not going to make that much difference.

I’m not here to convince you that the Rolex Datejust is a watch for everyone. It can, after all, come off as more of an older person’s watch and many people will find it too small by contemporary standards. If you want a Submariner or GMT-Master, or any sportier Rolex, for that matter, the Datejust might not cut it. But, for me, I’m leaning in on the subdued classics more and more these days as it’s an easy way to get dressed and get going. Levis 501s, a white button-down Oxford shirt, Clarks desert boots and a Datejust is a casual look that will work now, if you travel back in time or 20 years from now.

Get your strap for your Datejust here.

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