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Good news, two-tone is most definitely back! The classic combination of steel and gold has been popping up on new luxury watches everywhere. But if you’re like many Rolex fans, two-tone never went away since it’s such an integral part of the brand’s aesthetic. In fact, Rolex even has a special name for the merging of the two metals—Rolesor. And no Rolex model is as closely associated with the two-tone style than the famous Rolex Datejust dress watch.
While all two-tone Datejust models include design hallmarks such as the marrying of gold and steel, the date window at 3 o’clock, and the magnification Cyclops lens on the crystal, there’s also plenty of variety to speak of. Let’s take a look at four distinct ways to wear a men’s two-tone Datejust watch.
The most classic choice for a men’s two-tone Datejust are the ones with the 36mm Oyster case. In fact, since the men’s Rolesor 36mm Datejust has been around for more than six decades, it’s also the collection with the widest assortment with an almost infinite choice of bezel, bracelet, and dial configurations. Not to mention the different calibers and crystals available too.
For instance, there are the men’s two-tone Datejust ref. 16013 watches from the late 1970’s with an acrylic crystal and Caliber 3035. It’s interesting to note that this particular reference uses either 14k gold or 18k gold depending on production dates. There’s also the men’s two-tone Datejust ref. 16233 from the late 1980’s to mid 2000s, this time with sapphire crystal, Caliber 3135, and 18k yellow gold. Finally, the current men’s two-tone Datejust ref. 116233 is furnished with sapphire crystal, 18k gold, and an updated Cal. 3135 automatic movement.
Although the Rolex Datejust is unquestionably the brand’s signature dress watch, the Turn-O-Graph version offers a touch of sporty appeal thanks to its rotating bezel. For those looking for a sportier men’s two-tone Datejust, the Turn-O-Graph is a great option—it retains the 36mm case size, but wears larger because of its characteristic bezel. Sometimes nicknamed the Thunderbird because of the watch’s association with the US Air Force’s acrobatic squadron, Rolex made several Rolesor Datejust Turn-O-Graphs models.
There’s the vintage Datejust Turn-O-Graph ref. 6202 from the 1950s followed by the Turn-O-Graph ref. 1625, which produced from the 1960s until the late 1970s. From 1977 until the turn of the millennium, Rolex offered the Datejust Turn-O-Graph ref. 16253 followed by the ref. 16263 as the two-tone options. Finally, from the mid 2000’s until the collection was discontinued in 2011, Rolex manufactured the two-tone yellow gold and steel Turn-O-Graph ref. 116263 and the two-tone rose gold and steel Turn-O-Graph ref. 116261.
Proudly donning some serious seventies glamour is the distinct men’s two-tone Datejust Oysterquartz ref. 17013 running on a Rolex in-house quartz caliber. Though instantly recognizable as a Rolex Datejust, the Oysterquartz stands out for its 36mm angular case and integrated bracelet. As with most Rolesor editions, yellow gold on the two-tone Datejust is used on the bezel, winding crown, and links on the bracelet.
As we see from the different models above, men’s Datejust models always sported a 36mm case. However, Rolex changed things up in 2009 when the company unveiled the much larger Datejust II with a 41mm case. The two-tone version from that collection is the Datejust ref. 116333 with a wide yellow gold fluted bezel and a steel and yellow gold Oyster bracelet.
In 2016 Rolex replaced the Datejust II collection with the Datejust 41 lineup, featuring a slimmer profile, a thinner bezel, and a new 3235 movement. Within this new family of bigger Datejust watches, there are two Rolesor options—the steel and yellow gold Datejust 41 ref. 126333 and the steel and rose gold Datejust 41 ref. 126331.
As clearly illustrated, the men’s two-tone Datejust collection is a varied one offering wearers plenty of size and style choices. With a history that spans six decades, it’s safe to say that the men’s two-tone Datejust is here to stay.