Your Next Watch Episode 3: Today we take a look at one of the most versatile watches available on the market. And, of course, its from Rolex...
Welcome to the third episode of Your Next Watch on the Online Magazine. We really wanted to create something for you to experience what it's like to own watches you're interested in before adding them to your collection. This is where Your Next Watch comes in. In our regular episodes, we will look at popular watches from brands you love, and let you know what you can expect from owning the watch. We will cover aspects such as how the watch really wears on the wrist, the best ways and places to wear the watches and a range of strap suggestions to completely change the look.
We already have two episodes live on the WatchGecko YouTube channel, so be sure to head over there to get yourself up to date!
Today we’re looking at one of the most popular watches in the Rolex lineup. It’s fair to say, if you’ve ever considered owning a Rolex, the likelihood is you looked at if not picked up, a Rolex Datejust.
But what is it actually like to spend some real time with the watch? Does the modern Datejust still remain as one of the most truly versatile watches ever?
The 116200 Rolex Datejust
First up, the model we have here is reference number 116200. The Datejust exists in a huge selection of combinations however the specific combination here is the most classic and clean. A brushed and polished oyster bracelet, smooth bezel and sunburst silver dial. If you’re looking for a new Rolex that is more under the radar this, or maybe an Oyster Perpetual would be the stand out options. On the other hand, if you were after a Rolex that really jumps out on the wrist, don't overlook the Datejust as with the right combo you can create this effect.
A jubilee bracelet with a white gold fluted bezel and sunburst blue dial would fit the bill. After a quick look at the Rolex Configurator online, it becomes clear with there is a huge selection of Datejust’s available. Baton indices, roman numerals, diamonds, sunburst dials, flat white dials. And that's just dials, you can also go for stainless steel, or two-tone with either rose gold or yellow gold. There is quite literally something here for everyone.
The Datejust is an important Rolex as it was used to mark the 40th birthday of Rolex SA way back in 1945. The Rolex Datejust was by no means the first watch to feature a date complication, however, it was the world’s first self-winding watch with a date window that could automatically change over at midnight. This is a feature of the modern Rolex that we’re all used to nowadays while peering through the cyclops lens that magnifies said date function.
A sign of a strong, quality design is its immunity to be affected over time. Things can, of course, evolve, with the introducing of better materials, the advancements of technology, or the addition of more variations, but one thing that should remain is its ability to have timeless appeal. The Datejust and more specifically the modern Datejust really does epitomise this. Compare the watch head on to an earlier 4 number reference and this statement is only enhanced.
The Datejust is powered by the 3135 which is an icon in itself. It’s been used in a range of Rolex watches ever since 1988 and comes with all the appealing stats you would expect. 48 hours of power reserve, COSC certified, automatic with manual wind and parachrom hairspring for improved resistance to shock. All this basically means for you is the watch will be rock solid on the wrist, and you should never really need to have concerns about the workings of the watch.
The 3135 movement sits in a 36mm oyster case, with a lug to lug length of approximately 44mm and thickness just under 12mm. If you plan on wearing the Datejust every day, these are simply fantastic dimensions.
Is the Rolex Datejust too dressy?
After spending some time with the modern Datejust I found it does have a tendency to express more of a more dressy aesthetic, but don’t let this put you off. The Datejust is a model in the Rolex lineup that excels in everything it does. From office work, travelling around the world, to regularly in and out of the ocean the Datejust is a watch you can throw on your wrist and completely forget you’re wearing it no matter what you’re up to.
There is only one thing I’d like to see different on the modern Datejust’s and that’s the amount of polishing on the piece. The top of the case, the sides of the case, the bezel, the centre links and the edge of the oyster bracelet are all complete in a polished finish. Don’t get me wrong, I love polished metals on watches but for this type of watch with its wide range of versatile traits I would have liked to have seen this represented in a more balanced finish choice.
If you’re thinking along the same lines, I’d recommend taking a look at a vintage 4 number reference Datejust’s.
more on those at a later date...
Straps for the Rolex Datejust
Once you’ve picked up your Datejust you’ll soon start to think about swapping the bracelet out for a strap to really compliment the design of the watch in a more unique way.
First up, you’ll want to take a look at the Geckota Vintage Kudu Leather range, specifically the Contoured Italian from the Geckota collection. This strap is a dark brown colour with a waxy finish which really works to make the watch feel nice and casual.
Geckota Painswick with Quick Release Spring Bars
Next, the Painswick Leather from Geckota pulls on the Datejust’ rich history. The Distressed Grey option enhances the sporty feel of the silver dial. The addition of quick release spring bars as well means you’ll be able to swap out this strap on the go without a need for tools.
ZULUDIVER Grey Iridescent Herringbone
Finally sticking with grey, and the Iridescent Herringbone . Polished keepers on the strap tie in the polishing on the DJs case effectively. These military style straps are silky soft to touch so perfect for regular sports wear. As grey is so versatile you’ll find you won’t have a problem matching this strap to any dial colour Datejust you end up with.
The main points to consider with the modern Datejust are. Firstly, because the watch is jam-packed with history and province it will forever be a staple in the Rolex collection. If you pick up a Datejust you will enjoy never-ending versatility. With a huge amount of options available from Rolex, there is sure to be the right combo of bracelet, bezel and dial available. Finally, 36mm is the ideal size for a range of wrist sizes from 6 inches to 7.5. If you have a bigger wrist, take a look at the 41 Datejust II, the same amount of charm just in a larger size.
At the end of the day, the Datejust was designed to be worn every day as a versatile, reliable and endlessly stylish option for your wrist. And over 70 years after the first Datejust arrived on the scene, it continues to perform, day in day out.
Don't forget to check out the first two episodes of Your Next Watch live on the WatchGecko YouTube channel, here is episode 1 to kick you off: