The birth of the Rolex Datejust in 1945 was a memorable moment in the history of the Swiss company. Although a clear innovator in their field already, the Datejust marked a real ground-breaker for the brand, and the luxury watch industry more broadly.
The timepiece became the very first self-winding watch to automatically change the date in the window of the dial. The process of the date change was not as we know it today, however, as originally the change of date took place over several hours. This release also saw the first appearance of the now famous Rolex Jubilee bracelet, which was specifically crafted for it, and an early edition of Rolex’s now World-renowned fluted bezel.
In 1955, Rolex introduced a further set of innovations. As well as an instantaneous date change, the latest model introduced an automatic rotating 60 minute turn-o-graph bezel. This was designed to assist with the measuring of time intervals for pilots. The new version of the Datejust was presented to United States Air Force pilots on their return from combat. This lead to the nickname 'Thunderbird' after the United States’ Air Force Acrobatic team. Each member of the team was given a special production of the watch with a uniquely marked dial. The Rolex Datejust Thunderbird was also the first of the Swiss brand’s models to carry the 'Cyclops' 2.5x magnification over the date window, created for ease of viewing on the go. Production of the Thunderbird continued until the late 1970's, when it was retired due to slowing demand.
The ladies Datejust was first produced in 1957. This became the first chronometer for women with an automatic date function. More recently, in 1992, Rolex also released the Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster. This model is - to this day - one of the most prestigious and sought-after ladies watches on the market.
2009 saw the introduction of the Rolex Datejust II. With a 41mm case, this version of the watch stands out from the crowd because of the size of its case. Both the original and the Datejust II are still produced today.
All Datejust models are formed in the Oyster case, featuring the Cyclops lens at 3 o clock, offering excellent visibility in all conditions. Every Datejust also features Rolex’s Twinlock winding crown. There is, however, no standard size for the mode, with the ladies’ collection including a 26mm version, a 29mm Pearlmaster, and a 31mm edition. The men’s sizes include a 34mm special edition, a 36mm, and a 41mm Rolex Datejust II. The watch is also waterproof to 100m.
A wide range of Rolex Datejust models are available at Global Watch Shop. You can view all that are available by clicking the link here. We are also able to offer great prices when either selling or part exchanging your Rolex Datejust, or any other model from collections we sell. For a free quote and more info please click here.