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Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

In 2016, Rolex released the new reference 126333 Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 watch (debuted here) which quietly replaced the outgoing Datejust II that Rolex had been making for a few years. Both models are larger-sized versions of the classic Rolex Datejust that for most of its life came in a 36mm-wide case. The Rolex Datejust is one of the world’s most popular luxury timepieces and has been around since Rolex originally released the Datejust back in 1945.

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

I’ve been wearing the Rolex 126333 Datejust 41 quite regularly for the last few months as part of my normal timepiece rotation. This is one of those watches that I also happened to add to my own collection. It was not until I was able to wear the watch for a while that I was able to truly develop a relationship with the Rolex Datejust in a way that so many owners have done over the collection’s long lifespan. One of the major questions that I was trying to answer as part of my review is “what category does this watch fit into?” I’ll get to why that question is important later on.

When Rolex originally released the Datejust, the name of the watch made a lot more sense. Quite literally, the main technical attraction to the watch was the fact that it had a movement that was able to automatically change the date at midnight, which was a novel piece of functionality at the time. Since then, the humble “date complication” has gone on to become the most popular function on wristwatches right after displaying the current time.

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

As a company, Rolex rarely releases brand-new model families. Instead, part of the “Rolex Way” – a clever marketing term for a very real culture at the company – is to maintain strong pillars of production collections and improve and expand upon them as they feel might best serve the market. Thus, the majority of Rolex’s stable of watch lines (Submariner, Explorer, GMT-Master, Daytona, Day-Date, Datejust, et cetera) have been around for decades. What this means is that while there is “one Datejust,” in reality there are dozens and dozens of variants from previous years, as well as those currently available.

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

The Rolex Datejust is the most popular among all the brand’s collections, and that includes Datejust watches made for both men and women. Especially including women’s models, there is an incredible variety of styles, sizes, material and dial choices, and more. As an enthusiast, it can be extremely challenging to navigate currently available and formerly available Rolex Datejust models, perhaps even more so than most other watches the storied high-end Swiss watch maker produces. It is here where we should add that some of the now discontinued Rolex Datejust II models may still be around in stores for some time.


Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

What makes tracking Rolex Datejust models even more complicated is the variety of dial, bezel, and bracelet options. Even though Rolex debuted the Datejust 41 in exclusively a two-tone (“Rolesor,” as they call it) variation as opposed to just steel, you can opt for either steel and yellow gold or steel and Everose gold, choose between two bracelet options (Jubilee or Oyster), and between a total of ten dial options between the two gold variants, and last but not least, pick a polished “flat” bezel or a fluted bezel as seen here. All I can say is that if you are interested in a Rolex Datejust 41, make sure to do your homework and decide which particular variant is right for you.

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

The one I chose was actually the “poster model” that Rolex used to show off the Datejust 41 reference 126333 on its website and in various marketing materials throughout most of 2016. This particular Rolex Datejust 41 reference 126333 is 904L steel and 18k yellow gold with the fluted 18k yellow gold bezel and matching “champagne”-colored dial with easy-to-read baton-style hour markers. It also uses Rolex’s newest version of their popular Jubilee-style bracelet which makes use of many small links.

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

Two-tone “Rolesor” Rolex watches can be identified easily by the fact that they use steel and gold together. The crown is also in gold. The two dots below the Rolex logo on the crown indicate an Oyster case with a Twinlock water and dust protection system in the very sturdy screw-down crown assembly. In the future, Rolex will likely release all-steel variations of the Rolex Datejust II, but all-precious-metal options will not likely be available, as that is the domain of the more expensive Rolex Day-Date “President” that Rolex also released a new model of recently.

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

How The Rolex Day-Date 40 and Datejust 41 Are Related

Back in 2013, I did a joint review of the Rolex Datejust II and Day-Date II watches here. It made sense to review both of them together at the time as both models share an extremely similar (if not mostly identical) 41mm-wide case and very similar movements. The main difference between the two models is that the Rolex Datejust only indicates the time and date, whereas the Day-Date indicates the date along with the day of the week.

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

In 2015, Rolex debuted the Day-Date 40 watch here. What was important was that this was an entirely new Rolex Day-Date watch from the ground up, which is ironic because if you look at modern Rolex Day-Date or Datejust models, you can easily mistake them at a glance for older ones. This isn’t exactly an accident, as Rolex is intentionally trying to continue a visual look and style which has become familiar to its wearers for decades. The Rolex Day-Date 40 boasted both a brand-new case and movement. The case was a millimeter smaller than the outgoing model’s, but with a much better shape and proportions. A year later, in 2016, Rolex followed suit with the Rolex Datejust 41, which maintained a 41mm-wide size but also enjoyed a very similar new case design with vastly improved proportions over the Rolex Datejust II.

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

Powered By The Caliber 3235 “Superlative Chronometer” Automatic Movement

In the Day-Date 40, Rolex debuted what is easily the most impressive mechanical movement it has made to date, which is the caliber 3255. This Rolex Datejust 41 also has a new movement which is extremely similar to the 3255, being the caliber 3235. It is difficult to explain all the ways that the 3235 is special because Rolex hasn’t reinvented the mechanical movement so much as it has reinvented how to produce in some volume extremely high-quality mechanical movements. What I mean by that is an intense effort in trying to extract as much performance as possible with the same type of architecture. It is like when a car maker releases a new engine that isn’t per se larger or that has more displacement, but is able to get more power by having its current system tweaked and refined.

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

The best way Rolex uses to describe the performance of the calibers 3255 and 3235 is by mentioning that timepieces containing these movements are “Superlative Chronometers.” While this statement has been used in connection to Rolex watches for a while, only recently has it begun to take on a more precise meaning. Rolex has a still relatively new and very strict in-house certification program for its movements. It promises performance of +2/-2 seconds per day for its watches, which is more than double the accuracy required by COSC Chronometer certification – performed separately outside of Rolex by the third-party company COSC.

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rolex’s Superlative Chronometer watches like the Datejust 41 are tested both in-house at Rolex and externally at COSC. I’ve mentioned at least a few times that this double certification is sort of redundant, but it does add to the high-end experience of owning a performance machine that is meant to last for a long time. Rolex also offers a five-year warranty on the movements – which is near the top of the industry standard.

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rolex caliber 3235 automatic movements operate at 4Hz with a roughly three-day power reserve (70 hours). In addition to including parts in the movement which represent Rolex’s finest work today, the movement also contains Rolex’s new “Chronergy” escapement system which helps the regulation system in the movement perform in a “superlative” manner. In day-to-day testing, I’ve had no problems with the movement, and find that it remains very accurate and reliable. My favorite part of the movement is how the date adjusts. Directly at midnight (and not slowly leading up to it), the date disc immediately and satisfyingly jumps to the next position. It is a beauty to behold (and super nerdy to discuss).

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

I think that the important takeaway message for consumers is that this isn’t just a standard automatic movement inside of a pretty watch, but it has been meticulously engineered to offer as much performance as possible in a movement that is designed for relatively mass-level production – something that Rolex is arguably the best in the industry at doing.

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

Being A Part Of The “Datejust Club”

While the movement inside of a watch is very important, to be honest, I didn’t need to think too much about it while wearing the Rolex Datejust 41. Rolex doesn’t make the movement visible through the rear of the case, which in many ways makes the wearing experience more about what is on the outside, versus what is on the inside. I say all this because I do find that watches with and without exhibition caseback windows do make for different wearing experiences (not better or worse, just distinct). In the context of the Rolex Datejust 41, it allows me to focus a lot more on the design, as well as the club I am now a part of. That club being the many people before me and who currently wear Rolex Datejust watches.

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

I have a lot to say about the experience of being someone wearing a Rolex Datejust and what that makes me feel. In fact, I will spend the majority of this watch review discussing those elements, as I think it is central to the Rolex Datejust wearing experience. Allow me to explain. When I look at the Rolex Datejust on my wrist, sometimes I see the storied age of the design. This is a brand new watch, so why is it that I find it to look old?

It does help to recall that this is a design Rolex has been perpetuating since the 1950s. Even though the Datejust debuted in 1945, it was not until the next decade that Rolex modified the design of the Datejust more to its current form. That includes the distinctive hands, bezel design, and bracelets. This means that for over 60 years people around the world have become familiar with the core look of a Rolex Datejust. I will talk more about the Rolex Datejust in popular culture below, but suffice it to say that when you decide to wear a Rolex Datejust, you aren’t simply wearing a timepiece that becomes part of your personality. Rather, you are putting on an institution, and lending your personality to it.

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

Vintage Rolex ads via

This is an important distinction because, in my opinion, “you wear some watches” and at other times “the watch wears you.” If that sounds cheesy, then perhaps you have a better way of phrasing it. The idea I am trying to convey is that some watches are so recognizable, they have a personality independent of who is wearing them. Thus, if the watch is more famous than the person wearing it, it lends personality to its wearer in a way that a less distinguishable timepiece ever can. The Rolex Datejust has that power, and when you put it on, the perceptions people have of what the watch suddenly become part of your character – regardless of whether those traits apply to you.

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

The next logical question is “what is the character of a Rolex Datejust?” I’ll begin by saying that I don’t know if I can definitively answer that question because I think it depends on who you were asking. I grew up seeing the Rolex Datejust in one way, but someone around the world could have a totally different perspective on what type of people wear the watch. I will say that, oddly enough, you rarely see people who consider themselves watch collectors wearing a Rolex Datejust, which is a topic I am interested in exploring.

Rolex Datejust 41 Watch Long-Term Review Wrist Time Reviews

Why is it that watch enthusiasts and collectors rarely themselves wear Rolex Datejusts? The worst thing most of them have to say about Rolex Datejust watches is that they are “boring” or “the watch a grandfather wears.” Watch enthusiasts often see the Rolex Datejust as the luxury watch for the masses. It is what you wear if your collection of timepieces is small or consists of just a few items to help your sense or style or external communication of success. So much of the mystique about the Rolex Datejust is in being an overt luxury item as opposed to a representation of horology.

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  • hatster

    A classic for some, a very dated design for others. A bit like Apple, if you aren’t a fan, you are simply wrong, according to disciples of the brand. It is a watch my dad would have liked. I’ll let you guess if that’s a compliment or not….

  • BrJean

    It’s not bad at all that Rolex Datejust looks like ‘old guy’s watch’. Moreover I wish more watches on the market looked this way. While it doesn’t possess hardcore complications it’s still impossible to move your sight away from it thanks for great design and finishing. If I’d configure my own Datejust according to my taste I would end up with something very similar. Two-toned with Jubilee bracelet and (important!) fluted bezel. Not sure about the size though: both 36 mm and 41 mm are not 38 mm which is perfect size in my opinion. However one of my watches is 41 mm sized (and 15 mm thick!) and it’s not a nightmare as I initially thought.

  • Word Merchant

    It wasn’t always the case, but I am definitely now a big Rolex fan – I started with a Rolex Explorer II (the one that most Rolex folk dislike) and am now slowly working my way through the rest!

    To me there’s just something special in the look and finish of a Rolex that I haven’t seen anywhere else – I can’t explain it any better than that. I too love the instant date change, and compared to the other fine watches I’ve owned and sold over the years, Rolex watches are incredibly consistent and accurate.

    I’m not a Datejust owner myself, but it is a fine looking watch and a great exponent of the Rolex way. I don’t see the ‘old guy’ thing at all – but, given I’m heading in that direction myself, that’s probably not so surprising.

  • A_watches

    As good looking as this is, I couldn’t wear this one. A bit too flashy yet doesn’t quite hit the heavy hitter mark..If you know what I mean.

  • IanE

    Doesn’t look particularly like an old man’s watch to me – just looks dull (esp. the flat-tipped hands and bezel). Personally I also dislike two-tone gold/steel for watches and bracelets.

  • BILL

    You want us to tell you that you’re not old?
    You’re not old.

  • lukesh

    Ariel, I thought the two dots under the crown indicated a twinlock system?

    • Ariel Adams

      Correct. That was an error.

  • SPQR

    Interesting article, it would seem that the Datejust 41 is a very good candidate for the “Only Watch” category as it seems to do it all. Not a fan of Rolex myself, more of a Speedmaster fan, but respect where it is due. I would very much like to see this watch in Stainless Steel with a blue or grey sunburst dial.

  • Jerry Davis

    I guess you buy this if you NEED a Rolex.
    For me, I would be thinking about the 2 spectacular $6,000 watches I could get instead.

    • gw01

      Two tones and only-stainless models are apples and oranges, depending on socio-cultural context. Interesting comment, nevertheless 🙂

  • Jerome CHOW-WING-BOM

    Hi @Ariel_aBlogtoWatch:disqus ,
    Another great article 🙂
    I just have a question concerning the date change. In this article, you mention that the date jumps to the next position automatically at midnight. Do you achieve this by turning manually the hands ? I notice that when I let the watch on its own, the date change occurs at about 00:02.
    Thanks for your reply,

    • vmarks

      But does it jump all at once, or does it switch over a period of about 15 minutes?

      • gw01

        I love Seiko and the value they represent (great bang for buck), but the day-date changes in the 5s take hooooours!

  • When I was a young’n, I was in love with the two tone Datejust – so much so that my ‘everyday’ watch was a Canal Street battery operated knock-off that lasted from 8th grade through senior year in high school. And I rocked that watch with everything from wingtips and blue blazers to jeans and a T-shirt. Looking back, it was actually pretty amazing how much abuse a $35 quartz watch made by 12 year olds in Shenzhen could actually take.

    Now that I’m older (and, humbly submit, wiser) and could actually afford the real thing, sadly, I wouldn’t. I find it dated, boring, and ironically enough, the mystique of the Datejust has faded for me as I actually approach “old man” territory. I’m not a Rolex-basher – I own two of them – but if you marched me into a boutique and forced me to pick one of the current models to wear everyday, it would either be the Seadweller (not the DSSD-Bag version) or the new Explorer I. Perhaps if yellow paisley ties and blue dress shirts with white collars come back into style, I’ll reconsider my stance.

    • Yojimbo

      you’re very right. very few watches appear “tired” to me, this is one of them though


    Never been a fan of two tone watches this one included. It is very well finished but for 12 grand I will save my money and add a Seadweller to my exp II and have plenty of change to go to a beach vacation.
    I like sporty watches and to me this yes to a certain extent reminds me of old dudes. Speaks to how long Rolex last but in my view two tone is very passé.

  • benjameshodges

    Sports watch? The only sport this watch ‘endures’ is golf. The thing is, I do like this watch, a lot, but there’s something about two-tone steel/yellow gold watches with bracelets such as this and the new Omega Globemaster that scream 90’s to me. I can’t explain why though, similarly to how some people say this is a granddad’s watch. It doesn’t have a sense of modern quality that you get with new Daytonas, GMT Masters and Submariners, yet I know the incredibly high quality is there. Maybe knowing its huge popularity puts off watch enthusiasts who instead would seek out rarer vintage Datejusts with unique features.

  • JosephWelke

    Good article, well written. I’m glad the internet game is paying well enough for you to afford this watch, sir.

    One suggestion for a future article: explain the Rolex nomenclature, such the difference between the Jubilee and the President bracelets. And where the heck did the Jubilee name come from? You may well have done such an article in the past, and a link wouldn’t go wrong, but it seems Rolex has quietly re-engineered enough stuff that a new article might be warranted.

    Finally, a question to the larger community: I’m approaching the age for a “reward” watch for myself, and my inner child wants a GMT Master, based on all the GMT master ads I saw in National Geographic in the ’80’s. Wanted one then, still want one now. Modern GMTs are huge, and I believe older ones are in smaller cases. So: where can I go for info about older GMT Masters (not vintage per se) so I can start arming myself with knowledge?

    • Watchuseek and Rolex Forums. Best source of info for all things related to watch minutia. Specifically, is another great resource for variants and production data.

      Also, the Jubilee bracelet was named as such because it was introduced for Rolex’s 40th anniversary in 1945. A bit of a misnomer, I feel, as it was originally only released as part of the solid gold models, and the golden jubilee is the 50th anniversary, not 40th.

  • Andrew Buckley

    I own two Rolexes: a 1980s Datejust that I inherited from my father when he died and a current model OP 39mm with the red grape dial. I love them both to bits, though I find that the complete absence of any anti-reflective coating makes the dials really hard to read in most lights. I also put the Datejust in for a very expensive Rolex service early last year. Amongst other problems, it was running fast and Rolex assured me that the service would restore it to the original factory tolerances (presumably -4/+6 at the time?). It’s still running at least 10 seconds fast a day and whilst, objectively, that’s not bad, I can’t pretend I’m not a tad disappointed. I did consider sending it back to Rolex once it had had time to settle down, but I just didn’t have the stomach for it…

  • Beefalope

    The ugliest iconic watch ever made.

  • Mike V

    Excellent review of a great watch. Rolex has paid great tribute to the old 36mm version while updating to current proportions. Well almost – for some reason they are still making that minute hand too short!

  • Yojimbo

    “The Rolex three hand watch with date display is a tad different than previous models and its jubilee bracelet will jerk you off and rock you to sleep, trust us, buy now”

  • SuperStrapper

    Reading this and remembering that you customised your Tiffany watch to be 2 tone, I was about to call you out as a closet old man. But I guess if this watch only comes in 2tone you get a hall pass… for now.

    And, 5 years might be ‘near the top of the industry’, but it’s still only 10% of a Panerai warranty 😉

  • Shawn Lavigne

    classy freddie blassie. great pics of the innards. beautiful caliber.

  • ConElPueblo

    I realise that this is a pedantic note and that the intent of the author’s text is understood by 100% of the readers, but the daily deviation of up to +2/-1 really ISN’T “more than double the accuracy required by COSC Chronometer certification”, it is more than HALF as INACCURATE as what is allowed from a COSC certified movement.

    • SuperStrapper

      I don’t particularly care about COSC as it’s value is mainly in bragging rights and not much in the way of usefulness, but I thought COSC standards were, in basic terns, -4/+6. Like golf, accuracy gets better when those numbers get smaller. I ain’t no mathemagician, but +2 would be 3x better than +6, and -1 would be 4x better that -4.

      • ConElPueblo

        It has nothing to do with maths, but with linguistics. The fact that the watch is more accurate doesn’t mean that -2 is double as accurate as -4, it means that it is HALF as INaccurate. The deviation isn’t measuring accuracy, it is measuring inaccuracy and that particular figure is half as big.

        • SuperStrapper

          So it’s splitting hairs. Got it.

          • ConElPueblo

            …As indicated by the first line of text in my comment.

          • SuperStrapper

            I understand. That wasn’t a jab or insult.

        • Kuroji

          Wasting your breath, man. The people here don’t care about mathematical or notational accuracy.

      • camaverick

        You want a really accurate watch? Buy a Timex.

        • SuperStrapper

          That’s your interpretation of a highly accurate watch?

    • Julien Buro

      No. It’s more accurate than COSC minimal standards.

      • Timestandsstill

        Yes, less INaccurate than COSC minimal standards ?

  • John Bostrom

    Very dated old mans watch. I don’t care what size, two tone screams 80’s old man Miami Vice just like the author suggested and he’s right. It’s only SS sport models for me and if you’re going gold, either go all the way or not at all. Two tone tells the ladies you can’t afford to go all the way. It does.

    • Gokart Mozart

      SS any Rolex is just a less blingy old mans watch.

      Same basic shape, proportions and style.

      Like the difference between a basic Porsche 911 and a widebodied Turbo. I don’t see how you can hate the basic 911 and love the Turbo.

  • IG

    Wow, the classic used car salesman two-tone Datejust… Nice work on the accuracy of the movement though.

    • Yep – the watch of choice for “Sales Advisors” at my local luxury car dealership. Nice enough watch but so little imagination (on the part of the buyer). A watch of conformity and Ariel is exactly right – jewelry for men.

      • Larry Holmack

        Nice to see you back again Mark…how is the recovery coming along??

        And yes…it’s the “Sales Advisors” watch of choice here in the Austin Texas area also!!!

        • Recovery seems slow to me but the docs and PT folks say I’m very much ahead of the curve. Hobbling around the house (with pain) but I use the walker for long jaunts. But I’m driving again – watch out world! Thanks for asking Larry. Send me some photos of your art, maybe we can do a swap for a watch or something. mark AT markcarson DOT com

          • Larry Holmack

            I will get you some pictures of my art. I recently sold a few, but still have a couple of mixed media abstracts on the wall at my house. My youngest brother says one of them reminds him of Hawaii quite a bit! ( He’s in Hawaii a few times times a year for work for a month or so at a time. Can’t really tell you what he does….I don’t have clearance to know about it until it’s made public!)

          • Any birds of prey?

          • Larry Holmack

            I love drawing birds of prey, I have some smaller charcoals of a Great Horned Owl in flight, An Elf Owl that is peaking its head out of a hollow log, and a Peregrine Falcon sitting on a branch. They are only 11″ x 14″ drawings though. What would you have in mind? I have done Bald Eagles in the past….and could easily do another one only as a painting this time. I just finished a painting of an Oriole….but it’s for my man cave, to go with all my Baltimore Orioles memorabilia.

          • Bald eagle sounds cool.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            I would like to see one of your birds of prey. For years now all i have ever done in portraits, (not many below the shoulders ) from photographs which i made i little money on, still needed a full time job, that;s an artists life :). . I am a good copier, Give me a blank canvas and i am completely lost. Never tried birds ( a few of my own dog some time back ).

  • Larry Holmack

    Back in the 1980’s I would have loved to own one, as my Explorer II spent more time getting repaired than it ever did on my wrist. As I have gotten older, I stopped caring about impressing others with the watches & clothes I wear, the vehicle I drive…etc. Now days, I just wear my jeans, a polo shirt, boots and mostly my Camo G Shock that I got for a steal on eBay last year. (A Tip for finding great deals on eBay…look for a lady selling her ex-husbands stuff!! I have picked up at least 3 watches and Surround Sound system, receiver, 5 speakers and sub-woofer for my man cave for next to nothing!! )

    • vmarks

      How do you identify that the seller is a lady selling her ex-husband’s stuff?

      • SuperStrapper

        Username: BekuzHeSux, CheatOnMeWillya, IDKhowSorry, LittleDicksStuff

        And so on and so forth.

        • Larry Holmack

          Now that’s funny!!

      • Kuroji

        Sounds like a great way to sucker people into buying counterfeit stuff.

      • Larry Holmack

        Believe or not…the G-Shock I purchased from the lady had it in her description!!! She was evidently really P.O.ed!! But, vmarks, I have been buying and selling on eBay almost since its inception. The Surround Sound system I purchased I asked the lady a question about the condition of the system, and in her response, she told me. I look for items priced well below their actual value…and you have to be very patient. Plus…do your research on the seller…and I don’t purchase from anyone with less than a 99% positive feedback. Honest sellers are concerned about their feedback rating….as they know a 100% Feedback rating is what most seasoned buyers are looking for. I also have a 100% Feedback rating….so I know.

        I have a pair of Sennheiser Bluetooth headphones that retail for almost $400 that picked up from a seller for under $150. I looked for them for several months until I found this pair just recently. They came in a sealed box, papers and all inside.

        And yes…you have to be careful. But now days, if you use Paypal, they have a buyer protection plan in place, and if it isn’t as described, you will get you money back. I wouldn’t buy a Rolex or any other very expensive brand on eBay, unless it is from one of the many Jewelry Stores that sell online.

    • Kuroji

      The people in my family that are now seniors bought theirs in the 80’s.

      • Larry Holmack

        That would be me!!

      • Gokart Mozart

        When they were in their 80’s or in the 1980’s? 🙂

        In the 1980’s well 1987 to be precise, I wanted an IWC DaVinci Perpetual Calendar chronograph at the age of 13.

        Rolex for me even then was an old mans watch, and I knew there was plenty of other watches I would want instead.

  • Juan-Antonio Garcia

    Great article. Timeless simple design, most copied watch for a reason. Built like tank, and can wear everywhere in every situation, what is not to like.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Timeless classic………………Really boring.

    • IG

      Timeless my arse. 50s 60s massively.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Language !

        • IG

          You’d prefer Gaelic to English?

  • DanW94

    The Datejust and Day-Date are the horological equivalent of those Hanes easy fit, stretch waistband dress pants. We really want to wear them because we damn well know they’re comfortable as hell but we just can’t bring ourselves to slip them on because you instantly become your dad and grand-dad when you do.

    • vmarks

      I wear your granddad’s clothes

      I look incredible

      — Macklemore

      • DanW94

        Now only if you could find an authentic Datejust in that Thrift Shop……

  • gw01

    Great article, Ariel. The personal input on the reason behind its timeless design makes a valid point. Timeless ain’t a bad thing from a design point of view, it’s the adjective every designer shoots to achieve in any creative field… fashionable items come and go; great icons go but come back; exceptional ones never leave at all, just evolve.

  • Yanko

    Wonderful article, Ariel. And a wonderful watch, even I have always been a fan of the smaller version. 36mm is, in my opinion, the perfect size for this watch.

  • Julien Buro

    Very good article for an amazing and timeless piece. I do wear one, steel and white gold. I guess it’s so successful because it’s close to perfection in terms of wearability quality and design. Well done Rolex and thanks to ABTW for such good reviews.

  • Denman Schmid

    Iconic watch no doubt. Pretty much as iconic as a Submariner. However, I much prefer it in the smooth bezel (like my Seamaster Aqua Terra). The fluted bezel is way too “blingy” for me, and the two tone, no thanks (I liked the used car salesman analogy that someone else mentioned), for that matter, gold period – no thanks, stainless is fine in my view But that’s me, to each their own. Now if it was a Patek, the gold would be a different story!

  • Well, bravo on the size, at least. Buy wife has a 26mm, gold hands and a champagne dial, and it’s impossible to see what time it is. Forget reading the date.

  • The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    Very good review of a Classic Watch.
    Myself, I prefer the white dial and SS – but that is merely personal preference.
    I also like the fluted bezel. Catches the light in a lovely manner.

    “Old Mans Watch”? pfft – ‘Old Men’ tend to have a sense of style and value that is hard earned.

  • Matthew Rowe

    I really want to like this piece. It’s built better than anything currently in my watch box and would outlast them all, too. But the fluted bezel just turns me off and I just can’t get into the overall design. I have tremendous respect for it but perhaps there are more in my demographic who feel the same. Now that Explorer? I’ll take two of those, and a beer, thanks.

  • Kuroji

    When you buy this watch, start practicing telling people that you inherited it from your dear departed father/grandfather. It works better if they can’t tell what year it was made, but that hardly ever comes up.

  • Jeffrey Chang

    When all of you start wearing your SS sports watches into old age, two tones will come back as a young man’s watch.

    Ariel’s just ahead of the times

  • Andrew Hughes

    The crinkle bezel always reminds me of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup… or a gold plated pie tin. It will never be a coveted watch for me, but I will say that your photos made me appreciate the build quality. I would throw it on a leather strap to make it less geriatric.

  • sfbaydawg221

    I prefer the old Air King, the current Oyster Perpetual 36 as well as the 39 and the Milgauss. Don’t care for the bezel or the cyclops in the Datejust.

    • Gokart Mozart

      If I was held at gun point and forced to be given a free Rolex oyster, your choice is spot on.

      About the closet to a good looking Rolex Oyster not including full calendars is an Air king 5500 with non Rolex style hands

  • Robin Whitt


  • Sandor bt1976

    Great article, as always!
    But noticed that on some pictures the stickers are partly on the watch… 🙂

  • DG

    I’d probably give it back if it was gifted to me. Kidding of course but it would sit in a drawer and never see the light of day. I’ve never understood how they sell so many of these.

    • camaverick

      Obviously no interested in the concept of “class”. No sweat though…plenty of great watch brands to choose from.

      • DG

        Wearing a flashy gold watch gives someone “class?” Or did I misread that comment?

        • camaverick

          You misunderstood the commemt. Not a fan of “gold” anything. Am a fan generally of Rolex watches particularly stainless steel submariner and other similar models. You are obviously free to be a fan of any brand on the market.

          • DG

            Ahh understood. YOu could talk me into this…


            Or the older model
            Of the polar explorer II and non-ceramic Daytona but not much else

          • camaverick

            Realy didn’t mean to offend DG…I bought my first Submariner in 1970…have always been a fan of the “tool watches” as I believe they call them…as much as I love subs…I would not really want to wear any “gold” watch of any brand or model…including rolex. Yes…Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus look fine w their gold Rolex President Day Date watches. But I feel so very great w stainless steel subs…wish I owned a few collectables…but I dont. M son owns a sub and a Daytona. ..I don’t envy him at all. Peace.

  • Jon Andresen

    Nice writeup. Dressy sports watch slightly bloated in size. Massively bloated in price in my subjective opinion. Looks like an AirKing with a date, and I’ve already got a 20 year old Air King. I have a two-tone sub too and I don’t really think the 904 steel looks that awesome against the gold Rolex uses. It is, however, distinctive. I think of the critique leveled against other watches and don’t know why Rolex gets a pass. For example, this is a machine-made movement (gasp!) with no decoration. Can get a JLC with a hand decorated movement for less money. Rolex cases are made and polished by machine too; oh the humanity! For another, everybody loves the Rolex internal timing standard thingy but many crap on Omega for METAS, which is arguably better (especially regarding magnetism)/more stringent or at least more verifiable. This watch makes a statement, and that has value to people who need that in their lives. Rolex has value as a brand with universal recognition and an implicit guarantee of quality (I guess). Notwithstanding the recent articles on the prices of Swiss watches I fail to see why this watch is so expensive. I’d pay $8K tops. That seems fair to me in comparison to other equally or even more capable machine-made luxury Swiss watches.

    • camaverick

      Please name a few of those brands for me. BTW not a big fan of Day Date myself. Also…it’s not about the money…if you don’t like a timex…it keeps better time.

  • All I can say is : Always Be Closing!

  • Jerdp01

    This is just a status symbol that happens to tell time.

    • camaverick

      Very stupid statement. You could use the same logic w cars etc. So…what is your point?

  • Des Sullivan

    Give me the IWC 36mm Pilots watch any time, now that’s a classic mans watch.

  • Claudius Smith

    At last someone has realised why old men wear a date just. i have had mine 28 years and surprise i wasn’t an old man when i got it. Apart from when its been serviced it has been worn everyday with an average gain of less than 2 seconds a day. Its been surfing, water skiing, snow skiing, mountain walking, work and formal wear. Ageless appearance what would I replace it with and why?

  • Serving Soldier


    I just purchased a brand new Datejust II 41mm, Blue dial 116200, smooth bezels with steel oyster bracelet from my local AD. I know I am in the minority, but I just think this bracelet suits the watch much better. The guy tried to sell me the jubilee bracelet version, but that single thing (the jubilee bracelet) just makes it look like an older mans watch to me and reminds me of the smaller versions worn by the ladies..

    I absolutely love the blue dial, it makes it look like a much more sporty watch and can be warn comfortably with jeans or a suit no problem. I bought it to replace my Omega Seamaster 40mm orange bezel, in essence it will replace the Omega (from my ex wife) and become my new everyday watch.

    I have a couple of other Rolexes, Deepsea Blue Dial and a SS Daytona. However this is the first watch (Rolex) that I have purchased with no regard for future resale. I simply bought it because I liked it so much,simple, sporty and nice looking. Despite the exclusivity of my other 2 Rolexes this is already my favourite because I can wear it on any occasion and feel comfortable, not something that I can say for my Deepsea. Notwithstanding in 10 years time ( inflation, Rolex price rises etc) it’ll probably still be, near as dam it, worth what I paid for it.

    Sometimes it is good to put a little emotion into buying your watch, the one that shouts to you, once you’ve got a couple of investment models.

    I have no regrets.