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Rolex Day Date VS Datejust: Two Of The Best Face-Off

Published on
Comparison
rolex day date vs datejust

Rolex is renowned for its luxury timepieces, with two iconic models being the Day-Date and the Datejust. Both watches have garnered significant attention in the horological world due to their classic designs and impressive functionality. 

At first glance, they may appear quite similar, as both models feature the signature Rolex Oyster aesthetic and the instantly recognizable Cyclops lens over the date window. However, closer examination reveals several distinctions between the two. For instance, the Day-Date showcases the day of the week at the 12 o’clock position, whereas the Datejust only displays the date.

Size is another key difference between these two Rolex models, with the Datejust traditionally being 36mm in diameter, though also available in 41mm, mid-size, and Lady Datejust versions. On the other hand, the Rolex Day Date maintains two case sizes: 36mm and 41mm.

Which of the two takes first place in a face-off? The stage is set. Let’s find out in the Rolex Datejust VS Day Date review below.

Rolex Day Date Vs Datejust: Coparison Table

The table below compares the watches’ main aspects:

AspectDay DateDatejust
Heritage and BrandIntroduced in 1956, Known as Rolex’s flagship model and the first watch to indicate both the date and day of the weekIntroduced in 1945, Known as the first self-winding chronometer wristwatch to display the date in a window on the dial
Design and AestheticsSmooth, Polished Surfaces, Fluted Bezels, President BraceletClean Lines, Brushed Surfaces, Smooth/Fluted/Gem-Set Bezels, Jubilee/Oyster Bracelet
Movement and PrecisionSelf-Winding Caliber 3255 Mechanical MovementSelf-Winding Caliber 2236 (Datejust 31) or Caliber 3235 (Datejust 36 and 41) Movements 
MaterialsStainless Steel (vintage), Platinum, Gold Stainless Steel, Gold, Rolesor (Combination of Steel and Gold)
Price RangeCostlier, ranging from S$13,325 to S$169,756More Accessible, ranging from S$3,647 to S$67,709

The Rolex Day Date is a unique timepiece in Rolex’s lineup. It may have come later than the Datejust, but it holds the distinction of being the first watch to show the day of the week (in full) at 12 o’clock plus the date at 3 o’clock. 

It’s flashier, boasting smooth, polished surfaces and exciting features such as a President bracelet and fluted bezel. Its S$13,325-S$169,756 price range on the private market is a testament to its exclusivity.

Meanwhile, the Datejust lives up to its name, showing just the date at 3 o’clock. It was introduced eleven years before the Day Date and left a lasting impression with its clean lines, brushed surfaces, and eye-catching bracelets and bezels crafted from equally quality materials.

It may be more accessible than the Day Date, with a S$3,647-S$67,709 price tag on the private market, but it’s equally luxurious and worth investing in.

Rolex Day Date Vs Datejust: History

Here’s a timeline of both timepieces, from their introduction to their current standing in the watch world:

  • 1945: The Datejust is introduced in a 36mm case size and sports the Jubilee bracelet for the first time.
  • 1953: The Rolex brand presents the iconic Cyclops lens to magnify Datejust’s dial window. Also, the brand introduces the Datejust with a Turn-O-Graph rotating timing bezel.
  • 1956: Rolex introduces the Day-Date, also with a 36mm case diameter and President bracelet for the first time.
  • 1957: The Lady Datejust comes into the scene in 26mm case sizes.
  • 1960: Rolex presents the mid-size Datejust in 31mm case sizes.
  • 1966: Lyndon B. Johnson becomes the first president to wear the Day Date and earns it the ‘Presidents’ Watch’ moniker.
  • 1977: The Day Date and Datejust get a quickset date upgrade. Also, Rolex introduces Oysterquartz versions of the two.
  • 1988: Rolex upgrades the Day Date with a day and quickset function.
  • 1999: Rolex presents the Day Date Masterpiece women’s watch with a 39mm 18kt Yellow Gold case, diamond-set bezel, and Pearlmaster bracelet. 
  • 2000: Rolex introduces five more models in platinum with the choice of sapphires or diamonds. The line was discontinued in 2014.
  • 2008: Rolex presents the new Day Date II collection in 41mm case sizes.
  • 2009: Rolex introduces the new Datejust II collection, also in 41mm case diameters.
  • 2015: Rolex replaces the Day Date II with Day Date 40. Additionally, it replaces the Lady Datejust 26 with Lady Datejust 28.
  • 2016: Rolex replaces the Datejust II with the Datejust 41.

The timeline indicates progress in the watches’ development, from their humble beginnings to the continuous improvements being done on them, such as new case sizes, new collections, and new exciting features.

Rolex Day Date Vs Datejust: Design and Aesthetics

The Rolex Datejust and Day-Date may be iconic models from the prestigious watchmaker, but each has its unique characteristics in terms of design and aesthetics:

Day Date

rolex oyster perpetual day date watch

Its main features include:

  • A President bracelet- unique to it
  • Fluted bezel
  • First watch with a day and date function. The day of the week is available in 26 languages.
  • One of its models- the Tridor– was the only one to feature Yellow, Rose, and White Gold in a single timepiece
  • Only comes in pure platinum and different colored golds
  • Has models that boast unique designer dials like wood, marble, and malachite

Datejust

rolex oyster perpetual datejust watch

The main ones are:

  • It’s the first self-winding watch to display the date on its dial in a date window.
  • Offers various bezel options- gem-set, fluted, domed, rotating Turn-O-graph (discontinued), engine-turned (discontinued), and smooth
  • Presented mostly in combinations of stainless steel and gold (Rolesor)
  • It features Jubilee, President, or Oyster bracelets.
  • It features Oyster cases.

Overall, both the Rolex Datejust and Rolex President are remarkable timepieces with distinct designs and aesthetics. While there are some similarities between the two models, each offers its unique characteristics and options for watch enthusiasts who appreciate the craftsmanship and precision that Rolex is renowned for.

Rolex Day Date Vs Datejust: Movement and Precision

The Rolex Datejust and Day-Date watches both exhibit confident and exceptional timekeeping performance thanks to their reliable movements. However, there are slight differences that set them apart in terms of precision and features.

rolex caliber 3135 movement

The Datejust first used the Rolex Caliber 3135 movements, a highly reliable and robust mechanism. This movement has been in use for decades, and its stability and performance have made it a staple in the Rolex lineup. 

However, it currently utilizes the self-winding Caliber 2236 and Caliber 3235 movements for its 31mm, 36mm, and 41mm case size models. The Caliber 2236 movement has 31 jewels, a 55-hour power reserve, and a 28,800vph frequency. Meanwhile, the Caliber 3235 movement has 31 jewels, a higher 70-hour power reserve, and a 28,800vph frequency.

rolex 3255 movement

On the other hand, the Day-Date is powered by the Rolex Caliber 3255 movement, a more advanced mechanism that goes a step further in terms of accuracy and efficiency. It offers not only the time and date functions but also the day of the week display, living up to its name. 

Moreover, it operates at the same frequency (28,800 beats per hour) and features an increased power reserve of approximately 70 hours. Additionally, the movement boasts a Superlative Chronometer certification, ensuring its accuracy is within -2/+2 seconds per day, exceeding the standards of Swiss chronometers.

In conclusion, both the Datejust and Day-Date Rolex timepieces are equipped with exceptional movements, ensuring their reliability and precision in timekeeping. The Datejust’s Caliber 3135 movement stands as a testament to the brand’s watchmaking legacy, while the Day-Date’s Caliber 3255 movement pushes the boundaries by offering more features and enhanced precision.

Rolex Day Date Vs Datejust: Materials

The Rolex Day-Date and Datejust watches are made using high-quality materials designed for durability and aesthetics. While both timepieces share certain similarities, there are differences in the materials used for their construction.

wearing a blue dial rolex day date watch

For the Day Date, Rolex exclusively uses precious metals, including yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, and platinum, in the watch’s construction. Its distinctive President bracelet is made of the same precious metal as the watch’s case.

wearing rolex datejust watch

On the other hand, the materials used for the Datejust vary. Rolex offers a range of options, such as stainless steel, gold (yellow, white, and Everose), and Rolesor – a combination of solid gold and stainless steel. 

Rolesor models feature a stainless steel case and new bracelet, with gold elements on the bezel, crown, and center links of the Oyster bracelet. This approach allows Rolex to create a more affordable timepiece while keeping the Datejust’s iconic design.

Both watches can be further customized with diamond-set bezels, dials, and other gemstone embellishments. These options cater to those who seek a more extravagant or personalized timepiece.

In terms of the crystal, vintage models of both Day-Date and Datejust may feature acrylic crystals, while modern versions have sapphire crystals with a Cyclops date magnification lens, providing scratch resistance and enhanced clarity.

Overall, the choice of materials for the Rolex Day-Date and Datejust reflects both the design philosophy and the pricing strategy of each watch. The exclusive use of precious metals in the Day-Date showcases the luxury and status associated with the timepiece, while the versatile options for the Datejust make it more accessible to a wider range of watch enthusiasts.

Rolex Day Date Vs Datejust: Price Range

While both models share some similarities, their price range is an important distinguishing factor that may influence buyers’ decisions.

The Rolex Datejust is available in various sizes, materials, and configurations, leading to a wide price range catering to different budgets. Stainless steel models generally have a more affordable private market price. On the other hand, options crafted in precious metals such as gold and platinum have a higher price on the private sales market, according to WatchCharts.

In comparison, the Rolex Day-Date is exclusively available in precious metals, including gold and platinum, resulting in a higher starting price than the Datejust. As per WatchCharts, a Day-Date’s private market price starts at around S$13,325, with specific models and configurations reaching six-figure price tags of around S$169,756.

The Rolex Datejust and Day-Date offer a diverse price range for watch enthusiasts. The Datejust collection caters to a broader range of budgets, while the Day-Date is a more premium choice due to its exclusive use of precious metals.

Comparison of Rolex Datejust 41 ref. m126333-0010 and Rolex Day Date 40 ref. m228238-0042

Rolex Datejust 41 ref. m126333 vs Day Date 40 ref. m228238

The Rolex Datejust 41 ref. m126333-0010 and the Rolex Day Date 40 ref. m228238-0042 are two exquisite watches in Rolex’s premium collection. They both exhibit the classic Rolex design, but some differences set them apart and cater to different preferences. 

The table below offers a head-to-head comparison of their main specifications.

SpecificationRolex Datejust 41 ref. m126333-0010Rolex Day Date 40 ref. m228238-0042
Model CaseOyster, 41 mm, OystersteelOyster, 40 mm
Dial ColorChampagne dialWhite
Oyster ConstructionMonobloc middle case, screw-down case back, and winding crownMonobloc middle case, screw-down case back, and winding crown
MaterialYellow Rolesor18ct Yellow Gold
BezelFlutedFluted
Winding CrownScrew-down, Twinlock double waterproofness systemScrew-down, Twinlock double waterproofness system
CrystalScratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the dateScratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date
Water Resistance100 meters / 330 feet100 meters / 330 feet
MovementPerpetual, mechanical, self-windingPerpetual, mechanical, self-winding
Caliber3235, Manufacture Rolex3235, Manufacture Rolex
FunctionsCenter hour, minute and seconds hands. Instantaneous date with rapid setting. Stop-seconds for precise time settingCenter hour, minute and seconds hands. Instantaneous date with rapid setting. Stop-seconds for precise time setting
OscillatorParamagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring. High-performance Paraflex shock absorbersParamagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring. High-performance Paraflex shock absorbers
Power Reserve70 hours70 hours
BraceletJubilee, five-piece linksPresident, semi-circular three-piece links
ClaspFolding Oysterclasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension linkConcealed folding Crownclasp

In summary, the Rolex Datejust 41 ref. m126333-0010 and the Rolex Day Date 40 ref. m228238-0042 are two watches that boast exceptional design and technology. The choice between these Rolex watches is a matter of personal preference depending on the desired appearance, dial options, and functionality.

Final Word

The Rolex Datejust and Rolex Day-Date are two fantastic watches, each offering its distinct advantages and features. They uniquely demonstrate Rolex’s expert craftsmanship and enduring appeal. Therefore, the ultimate winner depends on your personal preference, specific budget, and functional requirements.

Key Takeaways

  • The Rolex Day-Date is renowned for displaying both the day of the week and the date, whereas the Datejust only displays the date.
  • The Datejust offers a wider range of sizes, from 26mm to 41mm, catering to a broader audience with diverse preferences. On the other hand, the Day-Date is often considered a more exclusive model, primarily available in 36mm and 40mm sizes.
  • The Rolex Datejust and Day-Date offer a diverse price range for watch enthusiasts. The Datejust collection caters to a broader range of budgets, while the Day-Date Rolex watch is a more premium choice due to its exclusive use of precious metals.

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