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Rolex Datejust vs. Rolex Date: Key Differences

Learn about the distinction between Rolex Datejust and Date: A detailed comparison of their heritage, features, and styles.


Team Bezel

March 21, 2024


3 min read

The essence of Rolex watches’ enduring legacy shines in two of its iconic models: the Rolex Datejust and the Rolex Date, each bearing its unique hallmark in the world of horology. 

Read on to learn more about the differences between these two prestigious Rolex models.

Rolex Datejust Vs. Date: A Side-by-Side Comparison

The Rolex Date and the Rolex Datejust both symbolize prestige and precision. Originating from a rich heritage, the Datejust was the first wristwatch to feature an automatically changing date function. The Date followed with similar functionality in a more compact size.

Both watches highlight the Oyster case, feature water resistance, and are powered by perpetual mechanical movements. The Date measures slightly smaller than the Datejust for a subtler wrist presence. Each model boasts a Cyclops lens over the date, enhancing legibility.

The distinction also lies in their bracelets, with the Datejust offering a Jubilee or Oyster bracelet, and the Date typically paired with an Oyster bracelet. Modern versions include the Quickset feature, allowing quick date adjustment.

They share a lineage, but each has its unique allure, with the Datejust offering greater customization in materials and dials. Although neither model is still in production, you can still find plenty of affordable Rolex watches on the secondary market.

Rolex Datejust

The Rolex Datejust is a horological icon that debuted in 1945, marking Rolex's 40th anniversary with a novel feature: the self-changing date mechanism. 

Encased typically in a 36mm Oystersteel, a fluted bezel defines the Datejust's profile, which originally served a functional purpose, screwing the bezel onto the case to ensure waterproofness. Another signature feature is the Cyclops lens, which magnifies the date aperture for clear visibility, a thoughtful design added in 1953.

Its appeal lies in its heritage and adaptability. It has offered numerous dial options, from sunburst finishes to mother-of-pearl and diamond-set versions. Accounts of the Datejust mention it adorning the wrists of well-known people, such as political leaders, influential entrepreneurs, and pop culture figures.

Features of the Datejust include:

  • Oystersteel or precious metal construction
  • Water-resistant to 100 meters with a Twinlock double waterproofness system
  • Perpetual mechanical, self-winding Calibre 3235 movement
  • Approximately 70 hours of power reserve
  • A variety of dial choices, each with the date display at 3 o’clock
  • Cyclops lens over the date
  • Available with a fluted, smooth, or gem-set bezel
  • Oyster, Jubilee, or President bracelet options

The Datejust continues to symbolize Rolex's unyielding commitment to excellence, blending functionality and style. Its history, rich with stories of prestige, solidifies its standing not just as a timepiece, but as a legacy.

Rolex Date

The Rolex Date stands as a more understated counterpart vs. the Datejust. Introduced in the late 1950s, it presented a slightly smaller profile compared to the Datejust. This more modest dimension embodied a subtler elegance, which appealed to those seeking Rolex's craftsmanship in a less conspicuous form.

Its appearance, while resembling the Datejust, is marked by a simpler aesthetic. The Date typically forgoes the Datejust's embellished bezel for a smoother finish, though some variations with fluted bezels exist. The dial, often adorned with stick markers, maintains a clean look, emphasizing functionality and readability. The Rolex Date is equipped with a waterproof Oyster case and a screw-down crown, featuring Rolex's promise of durability and precision.

Features of the Rolex Date are:

  • Precision-crafted 34mm case, typically in Oystersteel
  • Waterproof Oyster case with a screw-down crown, water-resistant to 100 meters
  • Perpetual mechanical movement
  • Instantaneous date with rapid setting
  • Acrylic crystal on vintage models, sapphire crystal on newer ones
  • Available in various bracelets, including the Oyster and Jubilee
  • Wide range of dial options over the years, including baton, Roman, or Arabic numerals

The Rolex Date continues to be a choice for watch enthusiasts who prefer a smaller, classic Rolex model that upholds the brand's reputation for quality and excellence in watchmaking.

Find Your Next Pre-Owned Rolex at Bezel

Bezel stands out in the pre-owned luxury watch market for our meticulous in-house authentication process, ensuring every Rolex's authenticity. With backgrounds from renowned auction houses, our experts bring outstanding scrutiny to the verification process. 

Additionally, our vast inventory of Rolex watches features various sought-after pieces. And if a desired watch isn’t in stock, our concierge service, complemented by a client advisor, can  source it for you in three to five days.


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