Whenever you hear talk about luxury timepieces and iconic wristwatches, chances are that the Rolex brand will be mentioned. A luxury brand that is more than just a part of the luxury watch market, Rolex has become the ultimate symbol of status, style, and wealth, and has been popularised among both celebrity and regular consumers as one of the very best watches to own, wear, and invest in.
Much of the popularity of Rolex lies in the professional sports watches, which are all responsible for revolutionising different corners of the sports and activities watches market. While Apple watches and Fitbit watches have dominated the modern and smartwatch market in terms of facilitating sport and activity, one of the things that makes Rolex different – and which protects its reputation – is the combination of function and timeless, elegant style. But it’s not all outdoor activity and functional design.
There is nothing quite like a Rolex watch on your wrist, and in this blog, we’re swerving away from the professional sports collection to discuss and focus on the Datejust – a classic which was launched in the mid-1940s and boasts a range of models and collections, including the standard Datejust and the Lady’s Datejust to broaden its market.
Let’s take a closer look at the Datejust as a Rolex classic.
What Is the Rolex Datejust?
The Rolex Datejust was designed by Rolex to celebrate its 40th anniversary in the 1940s. Following in the footsteps of earlier collections and creations and paving the way forward for the brand’s most innovative models to come, the Datejust made history as the world’s first self-winding wristwatch with an automated date changer once the watch face struck and passed midnight.
One thing you will notice about Rolex and other luxury brands, especially those that have been around for a while, is that their most successful models and collections stick around but with modern upgrades and added features. The Datejust is an example of this in action, as Rolex has continued to develop and improve the mechanism within the watch and change the aesthetic details on the outside, without really altering the main structure and design of the piece. The Datejust remains a recognisable design and timepiece favoured by buyers across the market, with every new model highlighting new details, using new materials, and showcasing more effective working pieces.
Design Features of the Rolex Datejust
The main functional feature of the Datejust, beyond the ability to tell the time, is that it provides the wearer with the date – with the inner mechanism ensuring that the date changes itself as the clock passes midnight and into a new day.
Over time, there have been some iconic models of Datejust which have been released to incredible success, while others have fallen by the wayside. The original design was quite a dainty and subtle design, sparking the release in 2009 of a Datejust II model, which was brought to life to appeal to a more masculine market seeking larger watch faces and statement bracelets. However, this model was not a popular one, and so the brand discontinued it, replacing the Datejust II name with an iteration of a newer and better model.
Other changes were more successful, for example the switch from an acrylic crystal watch face to one cut from sapphire crystal – making the watch face more durable and less likely to be scratched or damaged through wear and tear. The addition of a Cyclops magnifying lens just above the glass was another innovation which improved the design, making the date infinitely more legible without impacting the timeless aesthetic of the wristwatch as an accessory.
Iconic Datejust Models
One thing that all prospective buyers and interested parties should note is that the Datejust is the kind of quintessential timepiece that springs to mind the minute you say ‘Rolex watch’. It boasts the brand’s logo at the top of the watch face in the 12 o’clock position, is made from a range of precious materials with varying intricate details, and contains the internal chronometer, which lets you see the date with ease.
Some of the most iconic models do not differ in terms of quality of foundational function – rather, the adaptations lie in the details and use of materials. For example, when the Lady’s Datejust was released, it was made to be smaller and with more feminine materials, namely rose gold and platinum. The number of links used in the bracelet also varies across different collections and models, ranging from the now-discontinued leather strap to the three- and five-link bracelets, with different-sized bezels and an assortment of different textures.
Celebrities Who Own Rolex Datejust Watches
Over the years, the Rolex Datejust has become the favoured watch by a number of celebrities and high-profile wearers, including Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Roger Federer, Daniel Craig, Jennifer Aniston, and Rihanna.
This list alone demonstrates the incredible versatility and timeless style of the Rolex Datejust, which has remained in the spotlight and in the incredible favour of high-profile buyers for decades.
Is a Rolex Datejust a Good Investment?
In the shortest answer possible, yes – a Rolex Datejust makes for an excellent investment thanks to the simple yet timeless aesthetic design which ensures that this watch never goes out of style. Rolex watches have long been famed for their incredible demand and for the limited supply, which means prices remain high, both for retail and on the second-hand market – underpinning the financial value of Rolex as a luxury brand.
When you buy a luxury watch like a Rolex Datejust, you own a high-quality item which has been handcrafted and which has been designed and built to last. And, with so many models available in a range of metals and materials, with different detailing and integrated features that maximise the value and unique style of each individual model, it couldn’t be easier to find your perfect Rolex.
Visit our online store or one of our global boutiques in London or Dubai to browse our current collection of Rolex Datejust watches, as well as timepieces from other collections.