Ever Wonder About the Rolex Datejust Story Surrounding Your Favorite Rolex?
Well, stick with us. First up, let’s take a look at the iconic Datejust. Our Rolex Datejust facts take us back decades. No doubt, the Datejust is arguably THE iconic Rolex dress watch – and probably number two on the Rolex roster behind the Submariner.
The Rolex Datejust comes in four flavors, not counting the Lady and Oysterquartz versions. But we’ll cover those in future posts. The four we’ll discuss here are the Datejust, the Datejust Midsize, the Datejust Turn-O-Graph, and the recently introduced Datejust II.
Bubbleback By Lottery
In 1945, they introduced the 36mm Datejust as the Jubilee Datejust to celebrate Rolex’s 40th anniversary. That first version, a ref. 4467, was a bubbleback and was only available in 18K gold. Our Rolex Datejust facts reveal that when that watch was first introduced, Rolex took out an ad in the Tribune de Geneve, announcing the watch. But the first 100 pieces were not available from Rolex retailers. Apparently, the only way people could get one was by participating in a lottery, which they entered by mailing in a coupon from the newspaper ad.
A “Presidential” Datejust Fact
On December 19, 1950, it was a solid gold Datejust, ref. 6305, not a Day Date, that was given to future President Dwight D. Eisenhower. This was to commemorate the victory of WWII. In fact, it was the 150,000th certified chronometer that Rolex produced. Now, you may have seen photos of Ike wearing his Datejust and noticed it has a cyclops crystal – even though he received his watch in 1950 before the cyclops was introduced. That’s because Rolex retrofitted his watch with the newer crystal during a routine maintenance.
The Datejust II
In 2009, Rolex introduced the Datejust II. The fact is, this is a larger 41mm version of the Datejust as a nod to the developing trend in larger watches. Discover more about this growing trend for mens full size Rolex watches and the models following this direction.
The Datejust Midsize is the 31mm version of the Datejust. Since 2014, it was known as the Datejust Lady 31. In that guise it features Roman numerals or jewels for hour markers on the dial, and is available in a wide variety of metals, bezels, and dials.
The Datejust Turn-O-Graph
Rolex labeled the Datejust Turn-O-Graph the “Thunderbird.” In the 1950’s, pilots originally favored this timepiece due to its rotating bezel with minute indication. However, they discontinued it in the late 1970s, due to lagging sales. In the early 2000’s, Rolex introduced a modern version, however, they soon discontinued it again due to lack of consumer interest.