Never as popular as other Rolex watches, and now five years discontinued, the Datejust II is a strong buy in today’s market.
For a start, you get a hefty bracelet with every feature of a 2021 Rolex for half the price. Some might see that as ‘settling,’ but if you like the watch’s look, it’s a no brainer.
The Origins of the Datejust
To celebrate their 40th anniversary, Rolex created a groundbreaking watch, different from anything else on the market at the time. The first-ever water-resistant, self-winding wristwatch with a date window on its dial was born in 1945: The iconic Datejust.
The Datejust II
In 2009, almost 65 years after the world was introduced to the Datejust, Rolex unveiled the Datejust II. The model derived inspiration from the 1945 timepiece that gave birth to the flagship collection. The watch did, of course, have its fair share of modern upgrades.
The watch has a stunning oyster bracelet and had increased legibility from previous models in the collection with the addition of lune to the dial. In 2009 the watch’s case increased from the standard 36mm to a more significant 41mm, although the 36mm proportions remained.
When paired with the oyster case, the brands Twinlock Winding Crown increased the watches water resistance to 100 metres from 50 metres, although the most significant upgrade Rolex made was the new in-house Caliber 3136 movement which features Rolex’s Paraflex shock absorbers and their Parachrom hairspring.
The ´Correction´ to the Datejust II
In 2016 Rolex released the Datejust 41 and increased the proportions, as the name suggests, to 41mm instead of the previous 36mm. The bigger version released in 2009 maintained the same proportions as the classic Datejust, and many were happy that Rolex as good as corrected what was widely regarded as an aesthetic error in design.
I have been lucky enough to see three Datejust II models on the wrists of friends or acquaintances, and every time the watch has caught my eye. The smooth bezel, big markers and stunning oyster bracelet stand out, demonstrating that the wearer enjoys the classics.
A Big and Bold Watch That Still Looks Good Today
I generally believe that the proportions of a watch should change when moving to a more significant case, but in this instance, I am one of the few who prefers the look of the 2009 Datejust II as opposed to the ‘corrected’ 2016 Datejust 41.
The Datejust II was perceived by many at the time to be the wrong scale, and the opinion snowballed after a few negative reviews, but looking at the watch now, despite being a Big Boss watch, it looks good and exhibits all the traditional designs assets of Rolex.
If you are happy to delve into the pre-owned market and a rarer watch that is no longer in production takes your fancy, then the Datejust II is a perfect choice, although there is no doubt that the Datejust 41 is also a very elegant watch.