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Watch Review

5 Stunning Examples of the Datejust II

Paul Altieri

A more robust and modern version of the classic Rolex Datejust

Introduced in 1945, the Rolex oyster perpetual Datejust has quite possibly become the most iconic luxury watch in the world. Its instantaneous recognizability can be attributed to its aesthetic design codes, which have remained relatively the same throughout its history. Specifically, the characteristic date window at 3 o’clock, which the collection is named for, is central to the look of the watch. We take it for granted nowadays, but when it was first launched, the Datejust was the first self-winding watch to tell its wearer the date, and that is still one of the most practical of functions found on a timepiece today. Less than ten years after the original Datejust, in 1953, Rolex invented the Cyclops lens to magnify the date aperture on the dial, which has now become a principal component of the collection’s design.

rolex datejust ii
Rolex Datejust II with a black dial.

The Datejust II: A Predecessor

Today’s trend in watches leans towards a bigger size for both men and women. So, although many appreciate the 36mm size of the Datejust, Rolex did recognize the desire from plenty of its clients for a larger case and dial, and answered with the unveiling of the Datejust II collection in 2009. The Datejust II offers a more robust size at 41mm, yet retains the emblematic design of the Datejust family of watches, such as the Oyster case waterproof to 330 feet thanks in part to the Twinlock winding crown system and the Oyster bracelet with three-piece links.

stainless steel yellow gold champagne dial datejust II
Rolex Datejust II comes in a few different variations.

A big appeal of the Datejust II is the versatility of the watch – the variety of materials and dials allows for endless configurations. Material options include stainless steel, stainless steel and 18k white gold, and stainless steel and 18k yellow gold, while dial choices include all sorts of colors, for hour-markers, there’s baton, Roman numerals, Arabic numerals and of course, diamonds, and finally, bezels can be smooth or fluted.

rolex datejust ii
Rolesor Rolex Datejust II in all white.


New to the Datejust II line over the original Datejust family is the Rolex Caliber 3136, an automatic mechanical movement with a Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers for optimal reliability and improved resistance to knocks. Along with its a C.O.S.C. certification, the movement has also undergone a battery of in-house tests prior to earning its label as a “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified”. Naturally, the Caliber 3136 provides the instantaneous date function to the Datejust II, meaning, at midnight the date changes to the next day instantly.

rolex datejust ii
Rolex Datejust II ref. 116334 with a blue dial, fluted bezel, and white gold build.

A Rolex classic upgraded to adhere to a more modern style, the Datejust II boasts masculine charm, coupled with timeless elegance. The original Datejust line has enjoyed being the quintessential luxury dress watch for 70 years, and now, the Datejust II is well positioned to take the same path.

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Paul Altieri