Originally introduced in 1945, The Rolex Datejust was the first automatic watch to feature a date complication that automatically updated at midnight. While this is true of most modern date complications, the Datejust was the first to do it. . . ever. It set the standard of what a date complication should be.
For decades, the Rolex Datejust has been a symbol of success: a watch synonymous with elegance, class, and style. The Datejust’s simple yet elegant stick indices, crown at 12 o’clock, and instantly recognizable fluted bezel contribute to its timeless look. The class-defining date complication is emphasized by Rolex’s signature cyclops window: quite literally focusing on their achievement. Like most Rolexes, the Datejust is a product of slow and steady evolution: decades of small changes resulting in a nearly perfect watch. The first ever Datejust was the reference 4467. However, the first Datejust to read “Datejust” on the dial was the reference 5030 (and 5031). These references feature the hallmark two-tone material construction of the Datejust that we know and love. All of these watches featured the now-infamous jubilee bracelet, which was created specially for the Datejust.
Approaching the 1960’s, Rolex revamped the Datejust line, introducing the 1600 reference series. This new Datejust reference featured a new and improved Rolex caliber 1560, but maintained the beloved visual elements of the watch. In the 1970’s, the Datejust received yet another movement upgrade to the Rolex caliber 3035. This movement update marked the introduction of the 16000 reference series. If you’re unfamiliar with Rolex, an added digit to the reference number usually means it’s a big change. This was certainly the case with the 16000 series, as the new caliber 3035 featured a quickset date feature, allowing you to change the date independently of the time. Again, this feature is standard on most watches with a date complication, but Rolex was a pioneer in the space. For decades, the Rolex Datejust has defined how a date complication should function.
Aside from some incremental improvements with the 1988 16200 series, the Rolex Datejust went largely unchanged until the 2000’s. In 2009, Rolex introduced the Datejust II: a name that would not live long. The Datejust II featured the brand’s 3136 movement, as well as offering a 41mm option. Rolex liked the idea of the 41mm version, as it was very appropriate given watch trends at the time (in the early 2000’s/2010’s, bigger was better). However, they decided to discontinue the Datejust II, replacing it with the appropriately named “Datejust 41” in 2016. This is where the collection sits today, offering sizes between 28 and 41mm. 36 is a perfect sweet spot for many people, making the six-digit 36mm Datejust a near perfect watch.
The Datejust is offered in a number of different dial and bezel configurations. This enables it to be one of the most customizable, personal Rolexes in the brand’s collection. To further personalize your Rolex Datejust, try putting it on a new strap. Everest’s Curved End leather straps are tailor fit to the dimensions of the Rolex Datejust (5-digit reference numbers), seamlessly hugging the case and lugs. Dress it up or just reduce the weight – Everest’s Curved End leather straps have you covered. If you’re looking for a strap for your Rolex Datejust (5-digit reference numbers), Everest bands are your best bet.