Rolex can be identified by the number of different luxury models they offer. By far, two of the most classic models of Rolex watches offered are the Day-Date and Datejust.
These two models have long been a pinnacle of success in life and a true gift to oneself for personal accomplishments. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date and Oyster Perpetual Datejust are both similar in size and style, but they each have their own functions and characteristics that define them as Rolex models.
The Day-Date, also known as the “President”, was first introduced in 1956 and quickly became the flagship model of the brand. This iconic model quickly received its nickname because in 1965 the president of the United States Of America, President Lyndon B Johnson, and many world leaders proudly wore this beautiful and distinguished piece.
Key Features of the Day-Date
- The only model to feature is the date, and day of the week.
- Only manufactured in different colored golds or platinum.
- Unique bracelet designed specifically for the model.
- First modern models with designer dials like marble, malachite, and wood to name a few.
- The only model to feature Rose, Yellow, and White Gold on one singular watch (the Tridor).
The Rolex Day-Date revolutionized the entire history of Swiss watchmaking due to the amazing innovation and complexity of the movement.
Initially, all of the Day-Date Presidential Models 1803 reference used non-quickset 1555 movements which mean to manually change either the day or date, you need to rotate the hands 24 hours in order to change them.
In the late 70s, Rolex began featuring the model with a single quickset movement 3055 for the 18038 reference models. It allows the user to quickly adjust the date independently from the time. They also upgraded the model to a sapphire crystal at this time.
In the late 80s, Rolex once again innovated and created the double quickset movement 3155 for the 18238 reference models which allowed the user to seamlessly change both the day and date independently from the time.
The Day-Date president bracelet was also the first introduced hidden Crownclasp, with the links seamlessly throughout the bracelet across the clasp. First manufactured on some early 1803 models then switching to the buckle bracelet, it was reintroduced on the 18038 models in the 70s.
The Rolex Datejust model is by far the biggest staple of the brand in its over 100 years of history and the most sold model to date.
Introduced in 1945, the look and style of this sleek and classy watch quickly took off. The traditional look of the jubilee bracelet was an immediate success for the brand and has continued to this day. In fact, it is so iconic, that once you see the jubilee bracelet you immediately know the watch is a Rolex.
Key Features of the Datejust
- Features the time and date.
- Manufactured in combinations of steel and gold.
- The first introduction of a date function on a self-winding watch
The Datejust was introduced in 1945 to celebrate the 40-year anniversary of Rolex. While it is not as iconic as other models, it is their longest-made watch and a standard of their catalog even today. It is a simple and beautiful luxury watch that can be worn through any day of life.
Like the Day-Date, the Datejust was initially used with a non-quick 1570 movement with the date changing at midnight or requiring the user to rotate the hands 24 hours to manually change it.
In 1977 Rolex introduced the 3035 movement which allows the wearer to manually change the date independently, saving time if this is not an everyday watch and needs to be adjusted infrequently. This movement replaced the non-quickset 1570 movement in the 36mm case Datejust and the 34mm case Date models.
In the ’80s, Rolex upgraded the Datejust crystal to sapphire as well. However, the hidden crownclasp was not added to the jubilee bracelet until the late 90’s/early 2000s.
Day-Date vs. Datejust
Both models offer a beautiful fluted bezel and cyclops lens over the date window, while the Datejust also offers two other standard bezel designs.
The Day-Date is about 3-5 times more expensive than the Datejust in terms of affordability. The difference in price comes down to the extra complexity of the Day-Date movement, as well as the case of the Datejust is made of stainless (there are some yellow gold exceptions, but the pricing does still differ from the stainless steel case models) whereas the Day-Date case is rose gold, white gold, yellow gold or platinum.
The Datejust is also more of everyday wear, and the Day-Date is a little flashier with the bracelet being made of gold. Everyday wear can cause more stretch to the bracelet and therefore generally reserved for specific occasions.
Both models also offer a variety of sizes. 26mm, 31mm, and 36mm. The Day-Date II offers a larger size of 40mm, and the Datejust II offers a larger size of 41mm.
We hope we’ve offered you some insight on both models and which one is the right fit for you. If you’re in the market for either model and have any questions we didn’t cover in this article or just questions about them in general; please feel free to call us at (855) 256-0100, text us at 213-623-3632 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk to one of our educated pre-owned sales associates today.