DayDate Vs Datejust: Ultimate Comparison Guide (2024)

The Day-Date vs. Datejust competition is evident among Rolex watch enthusiasts, especially since these impeccable timepieces are hard to distinguish. Yet, for someone with a keen eye for detail, each watch is distinguished by its subtle yet significant differences, making both the staples in the Rolex collection for decades.

This comprehensive article will explore the similarities and differences between the Datejust and Day-Date watches. Understanding the key distinctions between these two classic Rolex models will help potential buyers better appreciate the craftsmanship and innovation of these luxury timepieces.

A Brief Timeline: Day-Date and Datejust

Daydate

Day-Date 

  • 1956: The Rolex Day-Date was introduced. It was the first wristwatch to display the date and the day of the week in a full window on its dial.
  • 1956: Rolex introduced the “President” bracelet, typically associated with the Day-Date model.
  • 1977: The new 3055 caliber was introduced, improving the day and date function to change instantaneously at midnight.
  • 1988: Rolex introduced the Day-Date model with an updated movement – the caliber 3155.
  • 2008: Rolex introduced the Day-Date II, which featured a larger 41mm case.
  • 2015: Rolex discontinued the Day-Date II and replaced it with the Day-Date 40 with a 40mm case and a new caliber 3255 movement.
  • 2019: Rolex launched a new Day-Date 36 model featuring new dials and a new generation movement, the caliber 3255.
Datejust

Datejust

  • 1945: The Datejust, which was initially introduced in 1945 to celebrate Rolex’s 40th anniversary, is one of the brand’s longest-running watch collections that continues to be produced today.
  • 1953: Cyclops lens feature, which magnifies the date 2.5 times, was added to the Datejust model.
  • 1957: The Datejust was updated with a new movement, the caliber 1065, which allowed the date to change instantaneously at midnight.
  • 1977: The Datejust was again updated with a new movement, the caliber 3035, which featured a quick-set date function.
  • 1988: Rolex introduced the new Datejust model with a sapphire crystal and a new movement – the caliber 3135.
  • 2009: Rolex launched the Datejust II with a larger 41mm case and the same caliber 3135 movement.
  • 2015: Rolex launched a new version of the Datejust 36 with a redesigned case and the new caliber 3235.
  • 2016: Rolex discontinued the Datejust II and introduced the Datejust 41, featuring a more refined design and a new movement – the caliber 3235.
  • 2018: Rolex launched a new version of the Datejust 31 with a redesigned case and the new caliber 2236.
  • 2021: Rolex updated the Datejust 36 model with a range of new dials.

Comparison Table: Day-Date vs. Datejust

 

Day-Date

Datejust

Material 

  • Oystersteel
  • 950 platinum
  • 18k yellow gold, white gold, and Everose gold
  • Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires into the dial, bezel, or bracelet 
  • Oystersteel
  • 18k yellow gold, white gold, and Everose gold
  • Rolesor (A combination of Oystersteel and gold)
  • Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires into the dial or bezel

Dial 

  • Dial textures: smooth, sunray (a brushed finish that radiates from the center), and linen
  • Dial colors: black, white, silver, gold, blue, green, champagne, and ice blue
  • Dial Textures: smooth, sunray (a brushed finish that radiates from the center), and patterns like “fluted” or “jubilee”
  • Dials: black, white, silver, gold, blue, and green; Rolex periodically releases new colors, like the champagne dial

Lens

The Cyclops lens is a small, convex lens added to the sapphire crystal to magnify the date display up to 2.5 times for easier reading

Crown 

  • Position: It’s positioned on the right-hand side of the case, typically at the 3 o’clock position
  • Dual Function: The crown serves a dual purpose, allowing the wearer to wind the watch and set the date and day
  • Twinlock System: The Day-Date uses Rolex’s Twinlock system, which helps ensure the watch’s water resistance by securing the crown to the oyster case
  • Position: It’s located on the right side of the case, typically at the 3 o’clock position
  • Dual Function: The crown allows the wearer to wind the watch (if needed) and set the date and time
  • Twinlock System: The Datejust employs Rolex’s Twinlock double waterproofness system to help ensure the watch’s water resistance

Bezel 

Comes in smooth, gem-set, fluted, and fixed bezels

Case 

  • Comes in oyster cases
  • Is highly water-resistant up to 100 meters (330 feet)
  • Comes primarily in two sizes: 36mm (Day-Date 36) and 40mm (Day-Date 40)
  • Comes in oyster cases
  • Is highly water-resistant up to 100 meters (330 feet)
  • Comes in several sizes, like 28mm (Lady-Datejust), 31mm, 36mm, and 41mm (Datejust 41)

Bracelet 

  • Features a concealed folding Crownclasp
  • Has a distinctive, semi-circular, three-piece link bracelet that is both comfortable and elegant
  • Five-piece link Jubilee bracelet
  • Three-piece link Oyster bracelet
  • Semi-circular three-piece link Rolex President bracelet
  • Features the folding Oysterclasp with an Easylink 5mm comfort extension link

Movement 

  • Self-winding
  • 70-hour power reserve
  • Uses a blue Parachrom hairspring
  • The Calibre 3255 uses Rolex’s Paraflex shock absorbers
  • Superlative Chronometer- certified movements
  • Current Day-Date models (Day-Date 40) use the Rolex Calibre 3255 movement
  • Self-winding
  • 70-hour power reserve
  • Uses a blue Parachrom hairspring
  • The Calibre 3235 uses Rolex’s Paraflex shock absorbers
  • Superlative Chronometer- certified movements
  • Datejust models use the Rolex Calibre 3235 or Calibre 3135 movements

Based on the table above, both the Datejust and the Day-Date share several similarities, such as that they utilize the Oyster case, symbolizing waterproofness and robustness. They are also available in various materials, such as steel, gold, and Rolesor.

Most importantly, both collections have bezels, which are available in various designs. The common options are fluted, smooth, fixed, and gem-set bezels.

Meanwhile, some of the major key differences between the Day-Date and the Datejust are shown through their bracelets. The Day-Date generally has a three-link structure while the Datejust can come in a five-piece link Jubilee, three-piece link President, and three-piece link Oyster bracelet.

Additionally, potential buyers should also know that the Day-Date is only available in 36mm and 40mm sizes. At the same time, the Datejust has more size options, like 28mm, 31mm, 36mm, and 41mm.

Day-Date – The President

The Rolex Day-Date, commonly known as “The President,” is a luxury wristwatch that showcases Rolex’s prowess in watchmaking. It got its name after several former U.S. presidents, like President Lyndon B. Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Trump, were spotted to wear a Rolex Day-Date.

Introduced in 1956, the Day-Date was the first watch to display the day of the week spelled out in full, in addition to the date. These features are found at the 12 and 3 o’clock positions, respectively. This was a major innovation at the time and remains a distinctive feature of the watch.

Why Is the Day-Date More Expensive than the Datejust?

The Day-Date is exclusively crafted in precious metals such as 18k gold or platinum. These materials are more costly than the Oystersteel commonly used in other Rolex models, such as the Submariner or Oyster Perpetual.

Another factor contributing to the Day-Date’s higher price is its iconic status and association with power and prestige. This watch has been worn by numerous world leaders, CEOs, and celebrities, which has elevated its status in the watch market. This watch’s strong demand and high prestige allow the Rolex brand to command a higher price.

Rolex Day-Date’s Top 3 Models

1. Rolex Ice Blue Day-Date 228236

Rolex Ice Blue Day-Date 228236

Features a stunning 40mm platinum case with an ice blue sunray dial, a fluted bezel, and a president bracelet with brushed outer links and polished center link. Its average price in the secondary market is S$137,380. 


2. Rolex Rose Gold Day-Date 228235

Rolex Rose Gold Day-Date 228235

It has an elegant 36mm white gold case set with 52 brilliant-cut diamonds, and a president bracelet in 18k white gold with brushed outer links and polished center link. This has an average price of S$81,375.It has an elegant 36mm white gold case set with 52 brilliant-cut diamonds, and a president bracelet in 18k white gold with brushed outer links and polished center link. This has an average price of S$81,375.


3. Rolex Pink Diamond Day-Date 128349RBR

Rolex Pink Diamond Day-Date 128349RBR

It has an elegant 36mm white gold case set with 52 brilliant-cut diamonds, and a president bracelet in 18k white gold with brushed outer links and polished center link. This has an average price of S$81,375.


Each of these Rolex Day-Date models exemplifies the exceptional craftsmanship, attention to detail, and luxurious materials that contribute to this iconic timepiece’s elevated price point and prestigious reputation.

Datejust – The Self-Winding Chronometer

Introduced in 1945, the Rolex Datejust was the first automatic wristwatch that displayed the date in a window at 3 o’clock. This innovative feature soon became standard on many other fantastic watches.

The Datejust’s name, “The Self-winding Chronometer,” wristwatch stems from its automatic, self-winding movement. This characteristic and the Rolex brand’s prestige have enticed popular figures to wear the Datejust watch. Some of these notable individuals are David Beckham, Jennifer Aniston, and Roger Federer.

Is Datejust a Respected Watch?

The Rolex Datejust is widely respected and considered a prestigious watch in the pre-owned market. It has earned a strong reputation for its quality, craftsmanship, and enduring design. As a brand, Rolex is renowned for its attention to detail, precision, and robustness, and Datejust embodies these characteristics.

Moreover, the Datejust has been worn by numerous influential individuals, including world leaders, celebrities, and prominent figures, further enhancing its status and desirability. It is often associated with success, sophistication, and prestige.

Rolex Datejust’s Top 3 Models

1. Rolex Mint Datejust 126234

Rolex Mint Datejust 126234

It features a 36mm steel watch case with an 18k white gold fluted bezel. The dial color can vary but often features a crisp-white dial with Roman numeral hour markers. This sells for around S$14,693 in the secondary market.


2. Rolex Blue Datejust 126300

Rolex Blue Datejust 126300

This model exhibits a striking blue dial and is powered by the Caliber 3235 automatic movement; this watch is a perfect blend of style and functionality. You can purchase this for around S$13,345 in the private sales market.


3. Rolex White Datejust 126300

Rolex White Datejust 126300

The stainless steel case measures 41mm in diameter and houses the reliable Caliber 3235 automatic movement. This model maintains the timeless elegance of the Datejust line, sold at an average price of S$13,345.


Aside from the listed Datejust models, Rolex offers various options for individual preferences. With an extensive collection of Datejust variations and limited editions released over the years, there are countless choices to explore and find the perfect Datejust that aligns with your tastes and preferences. 

Pricing & Availability

Which Is More Expensive?

As for their pricing, the Datejust is generally more affordable than the Day-Date. On the other hand, the least expensive Day-Date is about five times the cost of the Datejust, making it a more premium and exclusive timepiece.

Here are the factors that commonly influence the price of the Rolex Day-Date and Datejust watches:

  • Additional Feature: The Day-Date offers an additional complication by displaying the full day of the week and the date. This extra functionality adds to the complexity and cost of the watch.
  • Prestige and Exclusivity: The Day-Date has a long-standing association with power, influence, and luxury. It has been famously worn by world leaders, celebrities, and influential individuals, contributing to its elevated status and pricing.
  • Materials: The Day-Date is exclusively crafted in precious materials such as 18k gold (yellow, white, or Everose) or platinum. These materials are more expensive than those used for the Datejust, including stainless steel (Oystersteel), gold, or Rolesor (a combination of steel and gold).

It’s important to note that the price difference can also vary depending on the particular model, materials, and additional features chosen. 

Which Is More Difficult to Obtain?

The Day-Date is considered a more exclusive and prestigious watch than the Datejust. Its reputation as the ultimate Rolex status symbol, its association with influential personalities, and its use of precious materials contribute to its desirability. 

As a result, the Day-Date may be relatively harder to obtain than the Datejust. Nonetheless, both models can have varying availability depending on regional market dynamics and production numbers.

Final Word

In summary, the Archetypal Rolex appearance is exhibited regardless of the collection. Each model suits different preferences and use cases. Ultimately, the Datejust vs. Day-Date debate ends when individual tastes and requirements are considered in purchasing these luxurious Rolex watches.

Key Takeaways

  • Price: Generally, the Day-Date holds a higher price point than the Datejust due to its use of precious metals and its exclusive nature.
  • Functions: Both watches showcase Rolex’s signature date window, but the Day-Date displays both the date and the day of the week spelled out completely at 12 o’clock.
  • Size: Day-Date watches are available in 36mm and 40mm case sizes, while Datejust models come in a wider range, including 28mm, 31mm, 36mm, and 41mm options.

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