The original Rolex Datejust was first introduced in 1945 to celebrate the company's 40th anniversary. At the time of its release, the Rolex Datejust was the world's first self-winding waterproof chronometer to display the date of the month through a window on the dial, and its introduction forever revolutionized the way that watches displayed the date of the month.
For decades, the largest Rolex Datejust watch had a case diameter of 36mm - the same size as the rest of their non-sports watches. However, modern style trends called for bigger watches over the years, leading Rolex to introduce the Datejust II in 2009, which featured a larger 41mm case. Although it was noticeably larger than the classic 36mm version, the Rolex Datejust II retained all of the hallmark traits of the collection like its waterproof Oyster case, fluted bezel, and the Cyclops magnification lens on the crystal. The Rolex Datejust II continues to be a popular used Rolex watch model. With a wide variety of options, the mens Oyster Perpetual Datejust II collection offers something for everyone.Be sure to browse our full selection of Datejust II and Datejust 41 watches for sale below, or sell your Rolex to Bob's Watches by requesting a quote.
Production of the Datejust II lasted until 2016, when Rolex announced that it would be discontinued and replaced by the new Datejust 41, which was powered by their new-generation Caliber 3235 movement. Despite having the same 41mm case measurement, Datejust 41 cases are thinner and include slimmer lugs. As a result, the newer Datejust 41 watches appear slightly more elegant than the sportier Datejust II models. Just like all Rolex Datejust watches, both the Datejust II and Datejust 41 models have a timeless design and a very balanced weight on the wrist, making them incredibly comfortable watches that can be worn every single day.
The Rolex Datejust II name is frequently used to describe all of the larger models, but there is actually a difference between the Rolex Datejust II and the current-production Rolex Datejust 41. In terms of functionality, both 41mm Rolex Datejust models are virtually identical; however the Rolex Datejust II and the Rolex Datejust 41 have different movements, different case proportions, and different dial, bezel, precious metal, and bracelet options available.
When the Rolex Datejust II was originally released, it was only available in Rolesor (stainless steel and gold) models. The Yellow Rolesor reference 116333 and the White Rolesor reference 116334 Datejust II watches were later joined by the all stainless steel reference 116300 in 2012; however no solid gold or Everose Rolesor models were ever released. Additionally, it is also worth mentioning that an Oyster bracelet was the only bracelet style fitted to the Datejust II. It was not until the arrival of the Datejust 41 collection that the Jubilee bracelet became an option for Rolex’s larger 41mm Datejust watches.
In 2016, Rolex introduced the Datejust 41 to replace the Datejust II as the largest Datejust watch in their catalog. Initially the new Datejust 41 was only offered in Yellow Rolesor (ref. 126333) and Everose Rolesor (ref. 126331) configurations; however a White Rolesor (ref. 126334) and all stainless steel (ref. 126300) models arrived the following year at Baselworld 2017. Today, the Datejust 41 collection includes an all stainless steel model, along with two-tone models with all three colors of gold (yellow gold, white gold, and Everose gold); however Rolex has still not yet made a 41mm Datejust watch in solid gold yet.
In the same way that the standard Rolex Datejust is available in a wide range of sizes, the Datejust II and Datejust 41 can also be found in a variety of different materials. However, while material options are far more plentiful on these larger Datejust models than on most of Rolex’s tool watch collections, the precious metal options are more limited than what is available for the smaller sized Rolex Datejust watches. Additionally, since these larger 41mm Datejust watches were first released in 2009, all Rolex Datejust II and Datejust 41 watches will have sapphire crystals, rather than crystals made from acrylic like vintage Rolex Datejust references.
Along with the standard Oystersteel (stainless steel) models, both the Rolex Datejust II and the Datejust 41 have also been manufactured in a combination of gold and steel, which Rolex calls Rolesor (also known throughout the industry and two-tone). The Datejust II collection was offered in Yellow Rolesor (yellow gold and stainless steel) and White Rolesor (white gold and stainless steel); however an Everose Rolesor (Everose pink gold and stainless steel) option never was available on the Datejust II. However, when the Datejust 41 collection was unveiled in 2016, an Everose Rolesor option was included, and it still remains an option for Rolex Datejust 41 watches.
Although the classically-sized Datejust 36 has a seemingly endless variety of dial options, the larger Datejust II and Datejust 41 watches have significantly fewer styles available. All of the standard classic colors like black, white, and champagne (gold) in various sunburst and sundust finishes are available, along with the option of stick indexes, Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, or even diamond hour markers. However, unlike the smaller Datejust watches, Rolex has yet to make any stone dials for their Datejust II or Datejust 41 watches. At the present time, the only exotic material dial available for these larger Datejust watches is a mother of pearl dial that features diamond hour markers.
Additionally, while the total number of dial styles is slightly more limited on Rolex’s 41mm Datejust watches (compared to the Datejust 36 or Lady-Datejust collections), there are certain dial styles that only exist on these larger Datejust references, like the “Wimbledon dial” which features painted Roman numerals (outlined in green) for all of the hour markers, except the 12 o’clock (which receives the Rolex coronet), and the 9 o’clock (which receives a lume-filled applied stick index).
Despite the Jubilee bracelet originally being designed specifically for the Datejust in 1945, it was not an option on any the Datejust II watches, and only became available on the larger Datejust models in 2016 with the introduction of the Datejust 41. While the Datejust II bracelet selection is limited to the Oyster bracelet alone (either stainless steel or two-tone), all different metal variations of the Datejust 41 are available with either flat three-piece link Oyster bracelets or rounded five-piece link Jubilee bracelets. Regardless of the specific bracelet style, every Datejust II and Datejust 41 bracelet is fitted with a folding Oysterclasp with Easylink 5mm comfort extension.
When the Rolex Datejust II first appeared in 2009, it was powered by the in-house Caliber 3136 movement - a self-winding movement with a 48-hour power reserve that is fitted with a blue Parachrom hairspring and high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers. For the most part, the Caliber 3136 is identical to the Caliber 3135 that has been used to power the majority of date-displaying men’s Rolex watches since the late 1980s. However, the Cal. 3136 features Rolex’s in-house shock absorbers, along with a larger mainplate to occupy the larger case of the Datejust II.
When Rolex released the Datejust 41 in 2016, they fitted it with their new generation of movement: the Caliber 3235. While the Caliber 3136 is a slightly modified and upgraded Caliber 3135 movement, the Cal. 3235 is an entirely new design that uses the latest and greatest Rolex technologies.
Like the more traditionally sized Datejust watches, the wide range of options means that the price of Rolex Datejust II or Datejust 41 models can range significantly. The different types of Rolesor versions all have different prices due to the different type of gold used in each one. Additionally, other options such as the style of bezel, dial, and bracelet can all influence the price of a Datejust II or Datejust 41 further.
The Rolex Datejust II was discontinued in 2016; however examples can still be found on the pre-owned market with prices starting around the $7k mark for stainless steel and White Rolesor models. The Datejust 41 remains in production, and as of 2019, suggested retail prices start at $7,350 for the entirely stainless steel model with the Oyster bracelet and smooth bezel. However, retail prices quickly shoot up from there for precious metal models, with the classic two-tone Yellow Rolesor model (with the fluted bezel and Jubilee bracelet) selling for $12,700 and the Everose Rolesor equivalent retailing for $13,050. With that in mind, the price premium for the precious metal models is far less extreme on the secondary market, making Rolesor Datejust II and Datejust 41 watches some of the best buys in pre-owned Rolex.
The Rolex Datejust name dates all the way back to 1933 when it was first registered, and since 1945, the Datejust has been a constant presence in the Rolex catalog. However, the larger Datejust II and Datejust 41 only first appeared in 2009, so the history for these larger 41mm Rolex Datejust models is far shorter than many of the other watches in the Rolex lineup.
A Rolex watch has become a fashion icon, with countless celebrities and politicians choosing the Rolex Datejust throughout the decades, due to its timeless design, robust construction, and the legendary quality of Rolex’s manufacturing process. The Datejust II and Datejust 41 are the larger versions of the the best-selling Rolex watch of all time, and their contemporary sizing has made them a popular choice for a number of high-profile individuals in the relatively short time since their initial release.
The Rolex Datejust is the best selling Rolex watch of all time, and no other collection in the Rolex catalog has been offered in nearly as many different sizes, materials, or configurations.
However, due to the relatively short histories of both the Datejust II and the Datejust 41, far fewer references exist for the 41mm versions compared to the classic 36mm Datejust.
Looking for our selection of new and used Datejust Rolex watches? Visit our Datejust page.