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Model Profile: Rolex Datejust

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History of the Rolex Datejust

The Rolex Datejust is one of the brand’s most notable and well-known models on the market. Originally released in 1945 on the 40 th anniversary of Rolex, the Datejust was the first pressure-proof, self-winding wristwatch to display the date automatically.

Some new features on the Datejust were the coin-edged bezel, which evolved into the well-known “Rolex Fluted Bezel,” and the pie-pan dial. A pie-pan dial is a dial that has a slight slope downwards starting near the outside of the dial, much like the crust of a pie. Over time Rolex added new options allowing collectors to purchase Datejusts without a fluted bezel or pie-pan dial. To accommodate the date wheel, the watch was slightly thicker than it’s predecessor, the Bubbleback, which was discontinued in the 1960s. 

 

Rolex Datejust

Pie Pan Dial

Rolex Datejust

Fluted Bezel

In the 1950s Rolex added the Cyclops feature to the Datejust crystal, which magnifies the date on the dial. This feature appears often in other Rolex watches later in the century. In 1955 the Turn-o-Graph, or Thunderbird, model was introduced as an award for US Air Force Pilots returning from combat missions. The Turn-o-Graph is a rotating fluted bezel with numbers, allowing the owner to mark a time and use the watch as a stopwatch. 

In the 1970s Rolex made a few significant changes to the Datejust. The first was the new 3135 movement inside the watch which allowed quick-set capabilities and made the profile of the watch slightly thinner. A quick-set function allows the wearer to change the date by pulling the crown half-way out and changing the date number without having to rotate the hour hand 24 hours to change one day. Rolex also updated the crystal used on the Datejust, introducing a more scratch resistant sapphire crystal instead of the original plastic crystal. 

 

The Datejust is quite prevalent in pop culture, appearing in films on the wrists of stars like Michael Caine (Get Carter, 1971), Paul Newman (The Color of Money, 1986), Christian Bale (American Psycho, 2000) and Bill Murray (Lost in Translation, 2003) among others. This watch is one of Rolex’s most recognizable models, a true classic that has held the test of time and proven it’s place in the top luxury timepieces. Shop our Datejusts

Rolex Datejust in Movies

History of the Rolex

Rolex is arguably the most recognized and popular watch brands in the world. The company was established as Wilsdorf & Davis in London, England in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law, Alfred Davis. Their initial business was importing Swiss movements and placing them in high quality cases to be sold in jewelry stores around England. As a result of wartime taxes levied on luxury imports in 1919, the company was moved to Geneva, Switzerland and became the Rolex Watch Company. 

After his wife’s death in 1944, Hans Wildorf established the Has Wildorf Foundation to which he left all of his shares in the company, ensuring much of the companies income would go to charity. 

 

How it Works

The Datejust is an automatic or self-winding watch, which means the mainspring is wound by the motion of the wearer’s arm. As the wearer moves about the day, the energy from their movement swings a weight or rotor, which turns on a pivot. The circular movement of the pivot winds the watch just as a manual or wind watch. 

 

Pop Culture

Get Carter - Michael Caine wears gold on brown strap

Color of Money - Paul Newman wears one

In the Line of Fire - worn by Clint Eastwood

Lost in Translation - Bill Murray

Rocky II - Rocky is looking at them at the jewelry store

American Psyco - Jason Bateman wears a two-tone

Weatherman - Nicholas Cage wears a gold date just

 

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REFERENCE NUMBERS

Oyster Perpetual Datejust

1600, 1601, 1602, 1603, 1604, 1605, 1607, 1610, 1611, 1620, 1622, 1623, 1624, 1626, 1630, 5030, 5031, 6104, 6105, 6155, 6251, 6516, 6517, 6602, 6604, 6605, 6624, 6627, 6800, 6815, 6823, 6824, 6825, 6826, 6827, 6828, 6829, 6830, 6831, 6832, 6833, 6835, 6839, 6900, 6901, 6902, 6903, 6905, 6906, 6907, 6908, 6909, 6910, 6911, 6912, 6913, 6914, 6915, 6916, 6917, 6918, 6919, 6923, 6925, 6926, 6927, 6928, 7815, 7823, 7824, 7825, 7826, 7827, 7828, 7906, 7907, 7908, 7912, 7913, 7915, 7916, 7917, 7918, 7919, 7923, 7924, 7925, 7926, 7927, 7928, 8030, 8031, 8032, 8035, 8065, 8066, 8067, 16000, 16003, 16008, 16009, 16013, 16014, 16018, 16019, 16030, 16058, 16078, 16200, 16203, 16220, 16233, 16234, 16238, 16248, 16250, 16258, 16263, 16264, 68158, 68159, 68240, 68243, 68248, 68258, 68273, 68274, 68278, 68279, 68288, 68289, 69008, 69008A, 69018, 69018A, 69038R, 69038S, 69068, 69068A, 69069, 69069A, 69078, 69078A, 69079, 69079A, 69088, 69088A, 69089, 69089A, 69098, 69108, 69108A, 69118A, 69128, 69128A, 69136, 69138, 69138A, 69139, 69139A, 69148, 69148A, 69158, 69159, 69163, 69163A, 69166, 69168, 69168A, 69169, 69169A, 69173, 69173A, 69174, 69174A, 69178, 69178A, 69179, 69179A, 69188, 69198E, 69198R, 69198S, 69258, 69268, 69278, 69279, 69279A, 69288, 79068, 79078, 79079, 79088, 79089, 79126, 79136, 79138, 79158, 79159, 79163, 79166, 79168, 79173, 79174, 79178, 79179, 79238, 79288, 80298, 80299, 80309, 80318, 80319, 80328, 80329, 80359, 116138, 116139, 116203, 116208, 116233, 116238, 179136, 179138, 179158, 179159, 179165, 179166, 179168, 179173, 179175, 179178, 179179, 179239, 179298, 179368, 179459

 

Oyster Perpetual Mid-Sized Datejust

6824, 6827, 68240, 68243, 68248, 68273, 68274, 68278, 77080, 77014, 77438, 77518, 78240, 78243, 78246, 78248, 78266, 78273, 78274, 78278, 78279, 78286, 78288, 81158, 81208, 81209, 81308, 81338, 81339, 178158, 178159, 178238, 178239, 178245, 178246, 178248, 178269, 178275, 178278, 178279, 178286, 178288

 

Oysterquartz Datejust

17000, 17000B, 17013, 17014

 

Turn-O-Graph Datejust (“Thunderbird”)

1625, 6202, 6309, 6609, 16253

Model Profile

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