The Oyster Perpetual Date is the smaller version of the Datejust, with a case size of 34mm. The collection shares the same classic aesthetic made popular by its larger counterpart and is available in Oystersteel or Rolesor, and features an array of dial colors including black, pink, blue, silver and white. 2020 update: suggested retail prices start at $6,500 and increase depending on options and the metal used. Shop our full selection of used Rolex watches.
A slightly smaller version of the iconic Rolex Datejust with a case diameter of 34mm, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date is one of the most classic Rolex models in the brand's catalog. With hundreds of different variations, the pre-owned Rolex Date can be some of the more affordable used Rolex watches on the market. Very similar to a Rolex Datejust in its overall aesthetics, the Date model was one of the first watches in history to display a date on the dial, and remains a popular choice among those who enjoy the styling of the classic Datejust, but want something slightly more compact on the wrist. Used Rolex Date watches represent some of the best values for money on the secondary market, often selling for noticeably less than their larger counterparts, despite being powered by the same movements and offering identical functionality.
The manufacturing of every Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date watch follows a long Rolex tradition, steeped in advanced technological processes and high-tech material research. The first Oyster watch was developed in the 1920's and delivered to the watchmaking industry the first ever waterproof wristwatch.
When Rolex added a ‘Perpetual’ rotor to the design in 1931, it shaped the way in which the manufacturer created most of their timepieces that followed. The flexibly-mounted rotor which consists of a metal weight, winds the watch up as it moves with the motion of the wearer’s arm. Rolex then went on to add more innovative features to this archetypal design, like the date feature in a window at 3 o’clock - a concept introduced for the very first time in 1945 with the debut of the Rolex Oyster Datejust watch.
The popularity of the Datejust carried on into the 1950s, leading Rolex to create other sizes of its classic date-displaying wristwatch. To accompany the standard 36mm model, Rolex released the Date with a case diameter of 34mm during the mid 1950s, followed by the Lady-Datejust that had a case diameter of just 26mm in 1957. Produced in a variety of different materials and configurations throughout its history, the Rolex Date has remained a constant presence within Rolex’s lineup since the mid-1950s, and has been the go-to option for those who wanted a slightly smaller version of Rolex’s most iconic design.
Although Rolex Date models are manufactured only in 34mm cases, their materials, finishes and dials can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways. The case of a Rolex Date watch is designed with values of simplicity and solidity in mind. With a waterproof capability of 100 meters guaranteed and a middle case crafted exclusively from corrosion-resistant Oystersteel (a material from the 904L steel family, commonly used in the aerospace and chemical industry for its highly corrosion-resistant qualities) - these wristwatches answer the needs of those looking for a robust and sporty wristwatch for everyday wear.
The fluted caseback of a Rolex Date watch is hermetically sealed, creating a watertight structure. A patented Twinlock crown helps protects the movement from dust, moisture, pressure, and impact. Some Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date watches are fitted with fluted bezels, others are smooth. 18ct white gold fluted bezels combined with an Oystersteel case, known as the White Rolesor versions, can be accompanied by dials with diamond indexes, raising their value considerably - others feature classic baton indexes for a more understated look. A sapphire crystal is sealed onto the front of the case, and like its larger sibling, the crystal on the Rolex Date is fitted with the brand’s signature Cyclops magnification lens.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches with date complications are equipped with a different movements than their non-date counterparts. The Rolex Caliber 3135 is a self-winding mechanical movement entirely developed and manufactured in-house by Rolex, and it is the engine used to power the current generation of Rolex Date watches.
The certified Swiss chronometer has passed the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) tests and is fitted with a Parachrom hairspring for enhanced resistance to shock and temperature variations. Its Perpetual rotor automatically winds the engine through natural arm movements, providing a 48-hour power reserve and performing at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
One of the key dial features of the Rolex Date watch is its magnified date lens, created by a convex curve of sapphire crystal glass above the date window at 3 o’clock. This Cyclops lens enhances the wearer’s view of the numerals within the date window by 2.5 times, becoming a distinguishable feature of this line of Rolex watches since the 1940's.
As of 2020, Rolex Date dials are available in pink, blue, silver, and classic black, and the date apertures are dressed against a striking white background to enhance legibility. The use of white gold and diamonds for the hour markers on Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date watches increase their value significantly. You can get a dial with either chunky baton indexes or with a diamond and Arabic numerals. In the non-diamond variations, the batons are crafted from white gold to prevent them from tarnishing. If you opt for the diamond & Arabic mixed dial, you’ll see that the diamonds represent the odd numbers around the hour track and the Arabic numerals present the even numbers.
Modern Rolex Oyster Date watches are exclusively fitted on the iconic Oystersteel bracelet; however, older models can sometimes be found on Jubilee bracelets, particularly the models crafted from solid gold. The instantly recognisable flat three-piece link design is tailored to sculpt effortlessly to the contours of the wearer’s wrist for optimum comfort. The bracelet was first introduced in the 1930’s and has become noteworthy for its mix of brushed and polished surfaces, as well as its refined Oysterclasp for a secure fit on the wrist.
As of 2020, Retail prices for Rolex Date watches start our at $6,500 and increase from there with the use of precious metals and diamonds. With that in mind, a significant savings can often be found for used Rolex Date watches on the pre-owned market, especially for older models from previous generation that are no longer in production.
|Reference||Materials||Dial||Retail Price (MSRP)|
|115200||Stainless Steel||18k White Gold Indexes||$6,500|
Stainless Steel + 18k White Gold
18k White Gold Indexes
Stainless Steel + 18k White Gold
18k White Gold + Diamond Indexes
The Rolex Date measures 34mm in diameter, while the size of the traditional Datejust is 36mm. Although functionality is identical for Rolex Date and Datejust models of the same generation, the Datejust is available with significantly more options in regards to size, bezel, dial, bracelet, and materials, and is priced higher than the Rolex Date.
The cheapest Rolex is the Oyster Perpetual; however, the Rolex Date is the second least expensive Rolex watch collection currently available. The standard 36mm Rolex Datejust in stainless steel is priced slightly higher than the Date, but prices both date-displaying Rolex watches start out at more than even the most expensive no-date Oyster Perpetual model.
While their names are similar, there is a huge price difference between the Rolex Date and the Rolex Day-Date. Retail prices for the Rolex Date start out at $6,500, while the least expensive Day-Date watch retails for $33,150. Additionally, while the vast majority of Rolex Date watches are constructed from stainless steel, the Rolex Day-Date is exclusively construed from precious metals.
The Rolex Day-Date is the flagship watch in the Rolex catalog. While the Rolex Date and Datejust display the date of the month through a window at the 3 o’clock location, the Rolex Day-Date also displays the day of the week (spelled out in full) through a window at the 12 o’clock location. Additionally, the Rolex Day-Date is only ever crafted from either solid 18k gold or 950 platinum.
In the past, the Rolex Date was produced in a variety of different materials, including solid gold, two-tone steel and gold, and plain stainless steel versions. However, as of 2020, Rolex now only offers the Date model in either full stainless steel, or White Rolesor - a stainless steel watch and bracelet, fitted with an 18ct white gold fluted bezel. Natureally, stainless steel Rolex Date watches are less expensive than those equipped with an 18ct white gold bezel, and prices increase from there with the addition of a diamond dial.
Vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date watches are incredibly good value for money, and represent some of the most affordable used Rolex watches on the pre-owned market. Older models crafted entirely from 14k gold represent some of the cheapest solid gold Rolex watches available, and are becoming increasingly desirable among collectors as they are no longer in production. Additionally, since Rolex now only offers the Date in either stainless steel or White Rolesor, the only way of buying a solid gold or two-tone Rolex Date watch is on the secondary market.
The Rolex Date came to market a few years after the Datejust. Both offer an automatically changing date display on the dial, a waterproof Oyster case, and a self-winding Perpetual movement. What sets the two models apart is the size of the case. The traditional Datejust measures 36mm in diameter, while the Date measures 34mm in diameter. The Rolex Date is a popular choice among many collectors for its modest versatile size and weight, along with its classic dress watch styling.
Popular editions on the pre-owned Rolex market include the ref. 115234, which pairs a resilient 904L-grade Oystersteel case and bracelet with an 18k white gold fluted bezel. This metal finish is known as White Rolesor and is highly sought-after among collectors of all budgets. It offers the luxury of a gold Rolex without the top-tier price of a solid gold watch. The ref. 115234 is also COSC chronometer-rated and features a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and a double-sealed Twinlock screw-down crown. Another popular choice among Rolex enthusiasts is the ref. 15037. This edition is a vintage Rolex Date model that features a timeless yellow gold case and bracelet paired with an acrylic crystal. It exudes a certain vintage appeal that many of today's collectors seek.