March 5, 2015
by Ariel Adams
Rolex has just released a new video titled “The Spirit of the Datejust” just two weeks in advance of Baselworld 2015, and in honor of the 70th anniversary of the iconic Datejust collection, which originally debuted in 1945. Like most Rolex marketing material, the video is clever, entertaining, and remarkably well-written. “Archetype of the modern watch…” that’s just so meaningful on so many levels – and in many ways too true.
One of the most interesting things about the video is how little time Rolex spends talking about the modern Rolex Datejust watch collection, with just a few brief glimpses of Rolex Datejust models that you can buy today. In a sense, the video is very much an homage to the Datejust product family name and the history of the collection, along with some of its most distinctive features (such as the date window, and later magnifier lens over the date window).
Another theory why Rolex doesn’t spend more time showcasing modern products in The Spirit of Datejust video is because they plan on releasing something new in the Datejust watch collection for 2015. Rolex is extremely secure about its new product news but they have been known to drop hints about new products, in advance of debuts at the watch trade show Baselworld. Will there be an update to the Datejust, or a new model added?
The last major addition to the Rolex Datejust collection was the Rolex Datejust II which took the traditional 36mm wide size of the still available Datejust and increased it to 41mm wide for all Rolex Datejust II models (hands-on review here). This was seen as a way for Rolex to appeal to contemporary tastes for larger watches. In 2012, Rolex released an all steel version of the Datejust II with a rounded bezel, which previously had only 18k gold fluted bezels – even on those models with otherwise steel cases and bracelets. It is interesting to consider where Rolex might take the Datejust collection next.
The modern Datejust watches don’t look too much like the original model from 1945, but they still have an extremely classic look. What I have always appreciated about the Rolex Datejust is that it doesn’t neatly fall into any of the major categories of watches, such as sport watch or dress watch. With an Oyster case (read here to learn what a Rolex Oyster case really is), the Rolex Datejust is as durable as a sport watch, yet it is more formal in its appearance. At the same time, the Datejust isn’t as elegant as most dress watches and for that, Rolex has the Cellini. So, the Rolex Datejust isn’t a sport watch and it isn’t a strict business watch – but it is a timepiece that means business.
If you are a Rolex Datejust watch collection fan, or if you are interested in high-quality watch marketing, then you’ll enjoy seeing “The Spirit of Datejust” video. The watch industry has never been one to shy away from celebrating “jubilee” events, and we will see what (if anything) Rolex has in store for us in the Rolex Datejust collection at Baselworld 2015. rolex.com