Written by Contributing Writer, Alexander Kraft
Some may say the Rolex Datejust is one of if not the most iconic watches the brand has ever produced. Introduced in 1945, the Datejust was the first ever self-winding wristwatch to feature an automatically changing date function as well as the first-ever introduction of the renowned Jubilee bracelet that was made specifically for this model. As one of the oldest production models in the Rolex family, the modern models do not get as much attention as they deserve in today’s world of wristwatches.
The Datejust Today
As a child who was enthralled by wristwatches, I was fascinated by brands that, at the time, were way out of reach for me to obtain financially. One of these brands was Rolex. Seeing Sean Connery and his Rolex Submariner and Steve McQueen wearing his Rolex Explorer 2, the brand appealed to me in every way.
After reading, seeing. and listening about the brand for so long, whenever I hear the name Rolex, one model always comes to mind. That model is the Rolex Datejust. It captures the essence of the brand extremely well. The fluted bezel is recognizable from a single glance. It is a prestigious, reliable timepiece meant to be worn and appreciated. Worn by countless business professionals, politicians, tycoons, and TV stars, the Datejust is one of the watches that helped form what Rolex is today.
Simple and sporty yet elegant in design, the modern Datejust is one of the best wristwatches to be had on the market today. With the base design and layout of the watch remaining the same, minor changes have kept the Datejust fresh and modern in every sense of the word.
In Search of my Ideal Everyday Piece
As watch enthusiasts and collectors, we are constantly in pursuit of watches that fulfill our ever-evolving tastes. We find ourselves looking for the perfect aviation watch, a diver, dress watch, or in this specific case, a perfect everyday wearer. About a year ago, I thought I had found the perfect everyday watch when I purchased the Rolex Explorer One 214270. With the 39mm case, reliable movement, and under-the-radar aesthetic, there was no way this would not fit the bill. After about 4 months of wearing it, it simply got too boring. I am a watch guy who cannot have a plain bezel on my everyday wearer.
This led me to sell the piece and continue my search for the perfect everyday wearer. Flash forward to 2019. While at the local shops, I stopped into my Rolex AD to pay a visit and, of course, there were zero stainless steel models available to look at. My representative decided to point me in the direction of the 2019 Rolex Datejust 36.
2019 Rolex Datejust 36
The 2019 Datejust 36 hit all the marks. The updates to this model make it a perfect everyday watch for those looking for a modern classic. With slightly slimmer lug profiles, case, and bezel, this watch wears absolutely fantastic and ticks all of the boxes. Do not be fooled; the Datejust family can be worn on small and large wrists alike. If you have larger wrists, I would consider the 41mm. The 36mm wears perfectly on a variety of wrist sizes because of the overall design, but also because iterations of the Datejust 36 with the fluted bezel carry a great presence without being too loud.
Case and Dial Design
The white Roman numeral dial is something that I was never a fan of until I saw this year’s version up close. With the black outside track keeping the Roman numerals in line, you can easily get lost in this dial. Its versatility allows it to be worn with any outfit whether you are dressing up or just hitting the town in jeans and a t-shirt (I’ve even worn it in my swim trunks by the pool). If you aren’t a fan of Roman numerals on your dial, Rolex has a variety of different dial marker and color options including blue, black, and white.
The 2019 36mm Datejust had some updates done on the lugs, case and bezel. Previous models of the 36mm had a larger appearance making the 2019 model look and feel more refined. Feeling like an extension of the wrist, the slim profile of the lugs makes this watch hug the wrist quite nicely, leaving no room for discomfort. As for the bezel, if you look at the previous Datejust 36, you will notice the bezel is slightly more subtle on the 2019 when compared to the 2018 version. Although more subtle, the fluted bezel allows for that flashiness that makes you smile when it catches the sunlight.
The Jubilee Bracelet
Similar to the updates made on the case of the Datejust 36, the Jubilee bracelet saw very small tweaks that make it slightly better than its predecessors. It features polished center links that are designed to fit the roundness of the case more seamlessly. We also see an update in the clasp, with the addition of the 5 mm Easylink extension making it more versatile when the temperature begins to climb, and your wrist starts to swell.
Rolex updated the movements in many of their models, one of them being the Datejust 36. This model features the Rolex caliber 3235 which boasts a 70-hour power reserve, 31 jewels, and 4 Hz/28,800 vph. Of course, the movement has Rolex’s superlative chronometer certification as well as COSC certifications deeming it accurate within -2/+2 seconds a day. Along with being accurate, this movement has technology such as the paramagnetic Parachrom hairspring, and the Paraflex shock absorbers. All of these come together to create a durable, accurate, and long-lasting movement. After wearing this piece every day for the past few months, I am happy to say that it is living up to its specs. With a daily accuracy ranging from +1/-2, it has kept impeccable time.
The Whole Package
When first purchasing this model, I was skeptical about paying retail for this piece being that the 36mm sized Datejust usually drops in value more so than other Rolex models on the secondary market, but this piece was bought to be worn. It is the complete package for someone looking for an extremely versatile watch with history, style, and robustness.
After purchasing this watch, and spending a considerable amount of time with it, I found it hard to take off the wrist. Afraid of having feelings similar to my acquisition of my Rolex Explorer 1, I was relieved knowing that I am still over the moon with my purchase of the 2019 Datejust 36, months after the purchase. Exceeding my expectations, it has become my favorite and only watch in my collection. I found no point in having watches such as the Hamilton mechanically wound field watch, Seiko SKX 009, and others alike.
This watch is too comfortable and versatile to take off of the wrist. Whether you are dressing in a suit and tie or you are going casual with jeans and a t-shirt, I believe this watch will be and continue to be, a home run for anyone looking to buy a great, everyday timepiece.
|Lug-to-lug Height||44mm||Lug Width||20mm|
|Crystal||Flat Sapphire w/ cyclops||Strap||Jubilee Bracelet|
|Water Resistance||100 meters||Lume||None|
|Movement||Rolex cal 3235||Price||$8,200|
More Images of the Rolex Datejust 36
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