Rolex Datejust II: The Perfect Everyday Watch
Whether on the golf course or in the conference room, the sporty and elegant Rolex Datejust II is the perfect companion for every occasion. A 41-mm case and date display with a Cyclops lens define this luxurious three-hand watch.
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Rolex's Classic 41-mm Watch
There's no denying that the Rolex Datejust is a classic. Introduced in 1945, it remains a cornerstone of the Genevan manufacturer's line-up to this day. The original Datejust was only 36 mm in diameter – a relatively small size by modern standards. This led Rolex to finally launch the Datejust II in 2009.
At 41 mm in diameter, the Datejust II is a fair amount larger than the original Datejust. Otherwise, the two models are nearly identical, as Rolex was careful to maintain the same proportions, down to the date display and Cyclops lens at 3 o'clock. Beyond the size, the most notable difference is the Oyster bracelet; Rolex typically outfits Datejust watches with the Jubilee bracelet.
The brand's engineers had to develop a new movement in order to mimic the original Datejust's look. The result was the caliber 3136. This movement has a larger base plate, Rolex's Paraflex shock protection system, and the company's proprietary blue Parachrom hairspring. This type of hairspring is particularly resistant to temperature fluctuations and magnetic fields, thus guaranteeing optimal precision.
Rolex ceased production of the Datejust II in 2016, at which point it was replaced by the Datejust 41. The main difference between these two models is the movement. The newer watch features the caliber 3235 with a 70-hour power reserve.
5 Reasons to Buy a Rolex Datejust II
- A classic 41-mm watch
- Distinctive date display with Cyclops lens
- In-House Caliber 3136 with a Chronometer Certificate
- Stainless steel, gold, or two-tone stainless steel and gold cases
- A large selection of dial designs
Prices at a Glance: Rolex Datejust II
|Model/Reference number||Price (approx.)||Feature(s)|
|Datejust 41, ref. 126301||12,500 USD||Stainless steel and rose gold, polished bezel, cal. 3235|
|Datejust II, ref. 116333||11,500 USD||Stainless steel and yellow gold, fluted bezel, cal. 3136|
|Datejust II, ref. 116334||10,500 USD||Stainless steel and white gold, fluted bezel, cal. 3136|
|Datejust 41, ref. 126300||9,000 USD||Stainless steel, polished bezel, cal. 3235|
|Datejust II, ref. 116300||8,700 USD||Stainless steel, polished bezel, cal. 3136|
How much does a Datejust II cost?
You can split the Datejust II collection into three basic groups: stainless steel watches, two-tone models in stainless steel and yellow gold, and two-tone editions in stainless steel and white gold.
The stainless steel versions are the most affordable. Watches with the reference number 116300 cost around 8,700 USD. The average price for the two-tone ref. 116334 in stainless steel and white gold sits at roughly 10,500 USD. Finally, two-tone Datejust II watches like the ref. 116333 in classic stainless steel yellow gold demand about 11,500 USD.
Datejust II: A Versatile Classic With Modern Proportions
The Datejust is one of Rolex's most expansive collections. This is also true of the Datejust II, which is available in several different designs. The stainless steel ref. 116300 is easy to recognize thanks to its polished bezel and comes with your choice of a black, blue, or silver-white dial. Most dials also feature a sunburst pattern. Furthermore, there are white editions with bar indices or Arabic numerals, while the black and blue versions have the option of bar indices or Roman numerals.
Models with Roman numerals are the least expensive. Those with a blue dial sell for between 6,900 and 7,200 USD, while the black variant costs around 8,100 USD. The ref. 116200 with a white dial and Arabic numerals occupies a similar price range. Depending on its condition, you can purchase this watch for between 7,700 and 8,100 USD. Classic watches with bar indices and a black or white dial change hands for about 8,500 USD in mint condition. Pre-owned pieces cost only a few hundred dollars less. The most exclusive stainless steel Datejust II combines a blue dial with bar indices. Plan to spend anywhere from 7,800 to 10,500 USD for this timepiece.
Prices for Two-Tone Models
Two-tone Datejust II models feature several golden elements, including their fluted bezels, crowns, and the middle links of their Oyster bracelets. These components are yellow gold on the ref. 116333 and white gold on the ref. 116334. The latter is available with the same dial color options as the steel editions. There's also a version with a mother-of-pearl dial and diamond indices. This timepiece is relatively rare and expensive, with prices for a well-maintained model demanding around 20,500 USD. Watches with a Wimbledon dial are also popular. This kind of dial features Roman numerals for every hour except 9 and 12, which are marked by a bar index and the Rolex coronet, respectively. These timepieces sell for as little as 11,000 USD. If you'd prefer a model with bar indices or Arabic numerals, be sure to have between 9,000 and 11,000 USD on hand.
The Datejust II ref. 116333 combines stainless steel and yellow gold. It comes with a silver-white, black, or golden dial. As always, you can choose from versions with bar indices, Roman or Arabic numerals, or diamond indices. It's also available with the Wimbledon dial. Prices vary by model and range from 13,000 to 15,500 USD. Used watches in good condition tend to cost a few thousand dollars less.
Datejust 41: The Successor
Like the Datejust II, there are numerous stainless steel and two-tone versions of the Datejust 41. This model premiered in 2016 and is slightly thinner than its predecessor. However, the biggest change took place inside the case. Rolex equips the Datejust 41 with the caliber 3235. This movement boasts an efficient Chronergy escapement and a 70-hour power reserve.
The Datejust 41 ref. 126300 is a stainless steel watch with a polished bezel. It costs between 9,000 and 9,500 USD, depending on the exact model. You can save a few hundred dollars by purchasing a pre-owned version instead. Prices for Rolesor (i.e., two-tone) editions also depend on their condition and dial design. For example, a never-worn ref. 126333 in stainless steel and yellow gold goes for between 13,000 and 14,500 USD. Then there's the ref. 126331. This model combines stainless steel and Everose gold and demands anywhere from 14,000 to 18,000 USD. Finally, the ref. 126334 in stainless steel and white gold requires an investment of between 11,500 and 15,500 USD.
Caliber 3136: The Power of the Rolex Datejust II
Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf emphasized the importance of precision, reliability, and robustness in his watches. Rolex calibers are considered prime examples of the art of watchmaking. Take the caliber 3136 from the Datejust II, for example. It's based on the 3135 but has an extra feature: Rolex's Paraflex shock protection system. Thanks to this system, the watch can withstand shocks and jolts 50% better than those with other protection systems. It also brings the balance staff back to its proper position more reliably. The Paraflex system made its debut in 2005.
The caliber 3136 features a blue Parachrom hairspring, as well. This component is also incredibly resistant to shocks. Since it's made of a special zirconium-niobium alloy, it's also non-magnetic. The hairspring features a Breguet overcoil, meaning its final coil is raised slightly and has reduced curvature, thus enabling it to "breathe" more freely and increase precision. Microstella nuts located on the inner side of the balance rim allow you to regulate the movement. You can adjust them with the help of a special tool. Every Rolex caliber comes with certification from the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). The movements also undergo even stricter certification tests in-house. Rolex chronometers only deviate by a maximum of 2 seconds a day.
Even though the watchmakers are the only ones to see the movement, some parts are still elaborately decorated. The winding rotor is partly skeletonized and, like the automatic bridge, features a sunburst pattern. The bridges also boast perlage finishing, while the screw heads are polished, and the edges are both polished and beveled. The blue hairspring and red crown wheels add bright color accents.