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Why The Rolex Datejust Is Perfection

Founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf, Wilsdorf & Davis located in United Kingdom would transition into becoming Rolex in 1920 when Wilsdorf himself relocated to Switzerland. The move was to make it easier for him to connect with his suppliers and likeminded watchmakers of the time. While technology around the world evolved over the next 25 years, Rolex experimented within the industry and were quickly becoming a well known name. In 1945 all of their knowledge, testing and design qualities lead to a very special watch - the Rolex Datejust.

The reference 4467 (pictured on the right) was to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Rolex corporation, strictly only available in yellow gold then once the watch garnered attention steel, two-tone and rose gold iterations were available. The Datejust is iconic because it was the very first automatic wristwatch that featured a date window that changed automatically at midnight - this function itself was a huge feat in the mechanics of how a watch worked.

Growth In The 60's
The Datejust reached a wide market popularity from the 1960's onwards due to its simplistic design, relatively attainable price point and Rolex modernising their watches with further new technology. One advancement for example was adding the Cyclops lens for the date window to magnify the date for the wearer for ease of reading, this was introduced to the Datejust in 1954. Our personal favourite era of Datejust's range from this period through until the late 1970's and include the reference numbers 1601, 1603 - which are non-quickset date through to the 16014. With the introduction of the 16014 the Datejust really shone - it added a quickset date function so you wouldn't have to wind past 24 hours to adjust the date and the pie pan dial was replaced with smoother flat dials. Some consider the reference 16014 as the "best era" of Datejust as it was modernised with the said features but also had vintage appeal.

A Focus Of Design
At the influx of mid-century design, many of the design principles from the time can be subtly seen in the Datejust. Having only a date and time complication allows for easy reading and utility, there's no need for chronograph functions, rotational diving bezels or tracking another time zone - your handy Datejust will see you through accurately from day to night with a 3 hand setup - the hour, minutes and seconds. Secondly the Jubilee bracelet, while not all Datejust models feature this, it does mark a strong reason to buy a reference model with one. It was designed specifically for the Datejust and "Jubilee" was even considered as the name for the watch due to the company's 40th year anniversary when it was first released. The bracelet hugs your wrist with ease and isn't the typical Oyster bracelet you see on nearly every single other Rolex, it's something special to embrace with the Datejust and increases its value proposition. Finally we can't forget the fluted bezel, again while not on all Datejust models it's become iconic with the model. The soft ripples across the bezel add another talking point and breaks this watch away from your standard Oyster Perpetual and people make mistake your humble Datejust for a Day-Date.

While the Datejust has seen many changes over time from the case size now being available in 36mm and 41mm, fluted and plain bezels along with Jubilee or Oyster bracelets. Nonetheless it has become the backbone of Rolex's catalog and the humble understudy to many models Rolex offers such as the Submariner, GMT, Day-Date and Explorer. In today's market a Datejust won't fetch a lot of money to get you something from the Rolex crown. Generally speaking a Datejust is a great entry point into the brand as it embraces everything Rolex stands for - precision, exceptional quality and timelessness while not sitting at a price-point that demands a huge premium.

    Closing Comments
    Personally, every luxury collector should consider a vintage Datejust in their catalog - perhaps a birth year or one that features a linen, a matte or Sigma dial. I'm also a firm believer that someone looking for their first luxury watch should settle on the Datejust, its versatility and understated nature won't have your colleagues gawking at your wrist from afar. The ability to pair this with a double breasted suit to a plain white t-shirt and jeans makes it the perfect companion for anyone. Another feature is that you can pair your Datejust with a wide range of straps and bracelets further adding to its range. If you're looking for a Datejust to add to your rotation or would like to try one on before you purchase please email us at sales@wynnandthayne.com.

    Why You Should Buy A Datejust:

    • The quintessential daily watch
    • A well respected Rolex catalog watch
    • Pairs with suit and tie to t-shirt and jeans
    • Looks good with any strap
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