The Rolex Datejust: A watch with great distinction. The Datejust first introduced in 1945 in conjunction with the Rolex Company’s 40th Anniversary. Commemorate the occasion, and Rolex created a timepiece that was different than any other watch offered at the time. What emerged was the Rolex Datejust, the first self-winding wristwatch with a date window on the dial.
The original Datejust model REF: 4467 was only available in 18 karat gold and had a small bubble back winder with a deeply domed back. It also featured a waterproof Oyster case, a fluted bezel, and a signature Jubilee bracelet, making it instantly identifiable as a Rolex.
Over the years, the Datejust movement went through subtle improvements to its features while remaining true to its original design. Several years after its debut, In 1954, Rolex added the now famous “Cyclops Lens” as a major update.
This magnifying bubble is situated on the crystal directly above the date and increases the legibility by two and a half times. Today, the Cyclops lens has become a standard for Rolex watches and is considered a brand trademark.
In 1957, Rolex introduced a lighter, thinner movement for the Datejust called the Caliber 1065. This modification allowed the original domed case back to be replaced with a flat case back, giving the watch a slimmer profile.
One of the unique versions of theDatejust is the Rolex Turn-o-Graph, model 1625, which released in 1955.
The Turn-o-Graph, also nicknamed the Thunderbird, featured a gold Turn-o-Graph bezel, which allowed the timepiece to function as a stopwatch. During the 1960’s Rolex Turn-o-graph awarded to United States Air Force pilots after returning from Successful combat missions.
By the 1970’s, the Datejust gained widespread popularity, particularly within the film industry. Some of the notable films are Get Carter (1971), Rocky II (1979) and Pretty Woman(1991).
Another significant variation of the Datejust is the Datejust II, introduced in 2009. This sportier model features a new, self-winding movement, the Caliber 3136. Datejust II featured a noticeably larger case size at 41mm. It was Rolex response to the modern trend of large wrist size watches.
No matter what type of strap or dial color you prefer, the Datejust is offered in an array of sizes, colors, and metals to suit many unique styles, which is part of its enduring appeal.
Since its inception, it has served as the modern archetype of the classic watch and the forerunner for other favorite Rolex models like Explorer and Submariner. Today, the Datejust continues to be one of the most prominent watches in the Rolex line-up.