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The original Datejust was introduced in 1945 to celebrate the company's 40th anniversary. It has been one of the brand's most popular models since. In 2009, the Datejust grew to 41mm, ushering in the next generation of this quintessential model. 2020 update: suggested retail prices start at $7,650 and increase depending on various styles and metal options. Shop our complete section of pre-owned Rolex Watches for sale.
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 model 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 collection continues to be a popular used Rolex watch model. With a wide variety of options, the men's Oyster Perpetual Datejust II collection offers something for everyone.
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.
Compared to most of Rolex's other models, which all have histories that span multiple decades, the collection is a relatively new line of timepieces with a rather short (but interesting) history. The classic 36mm Datejust has been a part of the Rolex catalog since it was first introduced in 1945, but a larger model only first made an appearance in 2009 with the launch of the Rolex Datejust II.
The Datejust's traditional case size of 36mm works well on the vast majority of wrist sizes, but anyone who wanted a larger watch was forced to look to Rolex's various sport and professional collections, which typically have case diameters of 40mm or more. A 36mm watch is not exactly small by most standards, but even on slender wrists, calling a 36mm Datejust 'oversized' is not in anyway accurate. Rather than changing the size of the iconic Datejust, Rolex simply added an additional case size of 41mm, dubbed it the 'Datejust II' and then offered alongside the classic 36mm model.
The Rolex Datejust II satisfied the public's demand for a larger Datejust watch and offered buyers the same legendary traits and features that had defined the collection for more than half a century. However, this was not simply a larger version of the classic 36mm model. Features and functions remained largely the same, but the overall proportions of the watch changed when everything was scaled up to its larger 41mm case diameter. While the collection was still immediately identifiable as a Datejust, the new proportions created a significantly different look and feel. Some collectors preferred the chunkier and more sporty aesthetic of the Rolex Datejust II, but others felt that the classic proportions were virtually perfect, and that the new model lost some of the versatility that had been a defining element of the collection since 1945.
By 2016, Rolex had discontinued the Datejust II and replaced it with the Datejust 41, which retained the new 41mm case diameter, but brought back the same celebrated case proportions of the classic 36mm model. Despite having identical case diameters, the Datejust 41 appears to be slimmer and more refined. While the Datejust II had a slightly more bold and sporty aesthetic, the Datejust 41 was more-or-less just a larger version of the classic 36mm model.
The Rolex Datejust 41 remains a part of the brand's current catalog, and the collection has since expanded to include additional options in regards to materials, dials, bezels, and bracelet styles. Despite being officially discontinued, Rolex Datejust II watches remain incredibly popular on the secondary market, and there are some collectors who prefer the more bold and chunky aesthetic compared to the newer Datejust 41 watches.
The price for Rolex Datejust II watches starts out at $7,650 for the current stainless steel Datejust 41 model on an Oyster bracelet. Depending on whether the watch is a Datejust II or Datejust 41, and depending on its configuration and the materials of its construction, prices can range quite a bit, with the most expensive models being those crafted from stainless steel and Everose gold with diamond-set dials.
|Model||Retail Price||Second-Hand Price||Materials||Bracelet|
|Ref. 126300||7,650 USD||from $6,995||Stainless Steel||Oyster|
|9,650 USD||from $9,295||Steel + White Gold||Oyster|
|13,250 USD||from $10,795||Steel + Yellow Gold||Jubilee|
Steel + Everose Gold
Just like the more traditionally sized Datejust watches, the wide range of options means that the price of these 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, both at retail and on the secondary market.
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 2020, suggested retail prices start at $7,650 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 $13,250 and the Everose Rolesor equivalent retailing for $13,550.
With that in mind, the price premium for the precious metal models is far less on the secondary market, making Rolesor Datejust II and Datejust 41 watches some of the best buys in pre-owned Rolex when compared to their original retail prices. These two-tone models will almost always be more expensive than their stainless steel counterparts, but while the Everose Rolesor models cost more than their Yellow Rolesor siblings, both watches will sell for nearly the same price on the secondary market.
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, despite the two watches both having 41mm case diameters.
In terms of functionality, both 41mm 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.
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.
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 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 references.
Along with the standard Oystersteel (stainless steel) models, both 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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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 models is far shorter than many of the other watches in the Rolex lineup.
The Rolex Datejust 41 continues to cater to modern watch tastes with a powerhouse Claiber 3235 Perpetual movement, robust 41mm case size, and exquisite material options. Currently in production are Yellow Rolesor references 126333 (fluted bezel) and 126303 (smooth bezel), Everose Roesor references 126331 (fluted bezel) and 126301 (smooth bezel), White Rolesor ref. 126334, and Oystersteel ref. 126300. Despite constantly evolving and changing over the years, the current model Datejust watches are instantly recognizable as the original date-displaying Rolex model that first debuted in 1945.
The older-model Rolex Datejust II is also trending on the market via references 116333 in Yellow Rolesor and ref. 116300 in Oystersteel, just to name a few. The current generation is distinguished by a slightly more refined case with a thinner bezel and tapered lugs, while the original Datejust II that ran under the series 1163xx includes bulkier lugs. Both collections measure 41mm in diameter yet wear a bit differently on the wrist.
Looking for our selection of new and used Datejust Rolex watches? Visit our Rolex Datejust page.
A Rolex watch has become a fashion icon, and the Datejust is easily one of the brands most recognizable lines of watches. Countless celebrities and politicians choosing this reference 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 best-selling Rolex watch of all time. Despite their relatively short history, their contemporary sizing has made these 41mm Datejust watches a popular choice for a number of high-profile individuals in the relatively short time since their initial release.