Rolex Datejust – How Innovation Became the Gold Standard

Perhaps the questions shouldn’t be ‘Should I buy a new or used Rolex?’, but rather, ‘Is it worth it to buy a Rolex watch?’

The resounding answer to the second question is ‘Yes’, while the answer to the first one has to be ‘Either – buying a Rolex of any kind is a sound investment’. Not many brands can pull off a feat like Rolex has, with contemporary releases selling as well as vintage and pre-owned Rolex watches. Reliably one of the best watches to buy in the world, Rolex is a smooth operator. If you’re wondering how many Rolex watches are produced per year, you might be surprised to know that Rolex has a tight production schedule that it sticks to absolutely. For the consumer, this means that only a certain number of watches are made and released each year – regardless of market demand – which means that the market will never be flooded with these superb watches. It also means that Rolex’s superlative craftsmanship will never be compromised by over-production.

When it comes to imbuing their models with little touches to make each model different from the next, Rolex is the king of the subtle change. It is why each ref. number brings fresh surprises and ensures that Rolex can deliver the consistency it’s known for with a healthy share of design flair.

This is certainly the case with the Rolex Datejust.

The Datejust

One of the earlier models made by Rolex and still in production, the Datejust has played an important role in the company since it began. This means that there are many different ref. numbers to choose from, with Datejusts made for both men and women and made from a variety of materials, different cases sizes and in a range of colour combinations.

At Suttons and Robertsons, a chain of pawn shops that buy and loan against Rolex watches, we’ve had the luxury of offering pawnbroker loans for many Rolex Datejusts and so we know the model well. If you have a Datejust, you need to release equity from your Rolex watch collection and are seeking both the best rates and a premium service, please call us today. Our Rolex experts can count on extensive experience in Rolex valuations and can secure you a fast Rolex loan of up to £2m.

If you’re new to Rolex – or even if you’re a die-hard fan – our Rolex Datejust Buyers Guide will take a look at just what makes the Rolex Datejust iconic.

Datejust – A Timeless Timepiece

It’s hard to grasp the sheer provenance of the Rolex Datejust model. Launched to mark Rolex’s 40th anniversary in the same year that WWII ended, 1945, the Datejust’s star has never dimmed. Known for its down-to-earth reliability, although there’s nothing pretentious about any of the Rolex models, the Datejust earns its stripes through its honest credentials.

A round Oyster case with a significant three o’clock dial date window and a screw-down Twinlock winding crown without crown guards are accompanied by a Cyclops magnification lens and feature an automatic movement, on all models apart from the Oysterquartz versions. The Datejust’s date display was the first self-winding chronometer wristwatch displaying the date via a window on the dial in the world. While this may since have been adopted as convention for date-display, at the time this was a brand-new approach to date-complications and has been accepted as standard ever since.

The Datejust is so very special because it is the first time that Rolex brought together two already-revolutionary timepiece innovations, along with the dial date display: 1926’s waterproof Oyster case and 1931’s self-winding Perpetual movement. For those wondering are Rolex watches solid gold, the first Datejust certainly was, made entirely from yellow gold.

Rolex added a few adjustments over the years to improve the functionality of the Datejust, with the Cyclops lens, that magnifies the date, moving to the exterior of the crystal in 1953 and the arrival of the Datejust “Turn-O-Graph” rotating bezel for timing in 1954. The bezel proved so useful that the U.S. Air Force Thunderbird squadron adopted the Datejust Turn-O-Graph as its official watch, becoming known as the ‘Thunderbird’.

1957 was a momentous year for the Datejust. Not only did the date mechanism now jump to the next date at midnight automatically, but the Lady-Datejust was introduced. Smaller than the men’s Datejust, the Lady-Datejust became Rolex’s highest-selling model of all time.

Most Datejusts are made to the same spec, with small changes in size, however 1977’s Oysterquartz Datejust was the first Datejust to be powered by quartz. A watch very much of its time.

The Datejust – The Watches’ Watch

While Rolex are renowned for special sports models – see the Submariner – the Datejust was created to be a watch that was reliable, stylish and adaptable enough to take the wearer through every single day of their life, whatever came their way.

While other Rolexes are made special by their extra ‘capabilities’ to endure heights and depths out with the normal daily experience, the Datejust was created to ensure that the wearer would always know at exactly what moment of time they were in, to the day, to the hour, minute and second. The Datejust is made exceptional by its sheer reliability in never letting the wearer down. There are not very many things that you can count on in your lifetime but the Rolex Datejust seems to be one of them. It is no surprise, then, that the Datejust is the best-selling Rolex of all time.