July 8, 2013
by Ariel Adams
Rolex would likely take issue with the fact that we are reviewing both the Rolex Datejust II and Rolex Day-Date II watches in the same article. Yes, the watches have an abundance of differences, each with distinct options and features such as dials and bracelets. They also have two completely different movements. Nevertheless, both the Rolex Datejust II and Rolex Day-Date II come in the same-sized case, and one that is virtually identical to each other. While the Rolex Day-Date II is the ritzier of the two models, the ownership experience between the two is very much the same. For that reason, we apologize in advance to any who would see these two Rolex watches receive separate reviews, but we think the kind of person who likes one will more than likely enjoy the other.
Rolex released the Rolex Datejust II and Rolex Day-Date II in the last few years. Their purpose was to be larger-sized versions of the classic Rolex Datejust and Rolex Day-Date. The Rolex Day-Date is also often referred to as the Rolex President. Rolex even refers to its bracelet style as the “President bracelet.” The Rolex Datejust and Rolex Day-Date models sold for the last many years were both sized at 36mm wide. For a long time that size was considered sufficient for a man, but over the last decade men have continuously preferred larger watches. Even though no one said it would happen, Rolex buckled under the pressure and began to release larger versions of their classic pieces. Thus, the 41mm wide Rolex Datejust and Rolex Day-Date models were born, while the 36mm wide versions are actually still produced. The 36mm wide and smaller versions of these Rolex pieces are mostly typically preferred by women these days.
Both the Rolex Datejust II and Rolex Day-Date II watches come with Rolex’s Oyster case. The original water resistant watch, Rolex’s famous trademark case style has a screw-down crown and is water resistant to 100 meters. Aside from being larger than its 36mm wide predecessor, the 41mm wide version isn’t really very different. At 41mm wide it wears large given the wide lug structures and relatively wide bracelets.
The back of the watches are also screwed down as part of the heritage of the Oyster case style. As is the case with all Rolex watches, the Rolex Datejust II and Rolex Day-Date II casebacks are totally blank, with a simple brushed finish. Comfort is rather excellent, though the larger 41mm wide case size requires a different sort of wearing expectation as the under-part of the case is quite flat, and the case is relatively long. It isn’t less comfortable than the 36mm wide version, but it simply doesn’t wear as snugly on the wrist. Note that these Rolex watches still bear the protective plastic over many of the surfaces as required by dealers on unsold pieces. That also goes with the little bar code on the side of the case that is removed upon purchase.