For decades, the largest Rolex Datejust watch had a case diameter of 36mm - the same size as the rest of their non-sports watches. However, modern style trends called for bigger watches over the years, leading Rolex to introduce the Datejust II in 2009, which featured a larger 41mm case. Although it was noticeably larger than the classic 36mm version, the model retained all of the hallmark traits of the collection like its waterproof Oyster case, fluted bezel, and the Cyclops magnification lens on the crystal.
Production of the Datejust II lasted until 2016, when Rolex announced that it would be discontinued and replaced by the new Datejust 41, which was powered by their new-generation Caliber 3235 movement. Despite having the same 41mm case measurement, Datejust 41 cases are thinner and include slimmer lugs. As a result, the newer Datejust 41 watches appear slightly more elegant than the sportier Datejust II models. Just like all Rolex Datejust watches, both the Datejust II and Datejust 41 models have a timeless design and a very balanced weight on the wrist, making them incredibly comfortable watches that can be worn every single day.
Compared to most of Rolex's other models, which all have histories that span multiple decades, the collection is a relatively new line of timepieces with a rather short (but interesting) history. The classic 36mm Datejust has been a part of the Rolex catalog since it was first introduced in 1945, but a larger model only first made an appearance in 2009 with the launch of the Rolex Datejust II.
The Datejust's traditional case size of 36mm works well on the vast majority of wrist sizes, but anyone who wanted a larger watch was forced to look to Rolex's various sport and professional collections, which typically have case diameters of 40mm or more. A 36mm watch is not exactly small by most standards, but even on slender wrists, calling a 36mm Datejust 'oversized' is not in anyway accurate. Rather than changing the size of the iconic Datejust, Rolex simply added an additional case size of 41mm, dubbed it the 'Datejust II' and then offered alongside the classic 36mm model.
The Rolex Datejust II satisfied the public's demand for a larger Datejust watch and offered buyers the same legendary traits and features that had defined the collection for more than half a century. However, this was not simply a larger version of the classic 36mm model. Features and functions remained largely the same, but the overall proportions of the watch changed when everything was scaled up to its larger 41mm case diameter. While the collection was still immediately identifiable as a Datejust, the new proportions created a significantly different look and feel. Some collectors preferred the chunkier and more sporty aesthetic of the Rolex Datejust II, but others felt that the classic proportions were virtually perfect, and that the new model lost some of the versatility that had been a defining element of the collection since 1945.
By 2016, Rolex had discontinued the Datejust II and replaced it with the Datejust 41, which retained the new 41mm case diameter, but brought back the same celebrated case proportions of the classic 36mm model. Despite having identical case diameters, the Datejust 41 appears to be slimmer and more refined. While the Datejust II had a slightly more bold and sporty aesthetic, the Datejust 41 was more-or-less just a larger version of the classic 36mm model.
The Rolex Datejust 41 remains a part of the brand's current catalog, and the collection has since expanded to include additional options in regards to materials, dials, bezels, and bracelet styles. Despite being officially discontinued, Rolex Datejust II watches remain incredibly popular on the secondary market, and there are some collectors who prefer the more bold and chunky aesthetic compared to the newer Datejust 41 watches.
The current 2023 price for Rolex Datejust II watches starts out at the base price for the current stainless steel Datejust 41 model on an Oyster bracelet. Depending on whether the watch is a Datejust II or Datejust 41, and depending on its configuration and the materials of its construction, prices can range quite a bit, with the most expensive models being those crafted from stainless steel and Everose gold with diamond-set dials.
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Just like the more traditionally sized Datejust watches, the wide range of options means that the price of these models can range significantly. The different types of Rolesor versions all have different prices due to the different type of gold used in each one. Additionally, other options such as the style of bezel, dial, and bracelet can all influence the price of a Datejust II or Datejust 41 further, both at retail and on the secondary market.
The Rolex Datejust II was discontinued in 2016; however examples can still be found on the pre-owned market still offers models in stainless steel and White Rolesor. The Datejust 41 remains in production, and current suggested retail prices can be found below for the entirely stainless steel model with the Oyster bracelet and smooth bezel. However, retail prices quickly shoot up from there for precious metal models, with the classic two-tone Yellow Rolesor model (with the fluted bezel and Jubilee bracelet) and the Everose Rolesor equivalent.
With that in mind, the price premium for the precious metal models is far less on the secondary market, making Rolesor Datejust II and Datejust 41 watches some of the best buys in pre-owned Rolex when compared to their original retail prices. These two-tone models will almost always be more expensive than their stainless steel counterparts, but while the Everose Rolesor models cost more than their Yellow Rolesor siblings, both watches will sell for nearly the same price on the secondary market.
The Rolex Datejust II name is frequently used to describe all of the larger models, but there is actually a difference between the Rolex Datejust II and the current-production Rolex Datejust 41, despite the two watches both having 41mm case diameters.
In terms of functionality, both 41mm models are virtually identical; however the Rolex Datejust II and the Rolex Datejust 41 have different movements, different case proportions, and different dial, bezel, precious metal, and bracelet options available.
When the Rolex Datejust II was originally released, it was only available in Rolesor (stainless steel and gold) models. The Yellow Rolesor reference 116333 and the White Rolesor reference 116334 Datejust II watches were later joined by the all stainless steel reference 116300 in 2012; however no solid gold or Everose Rolesor models were ever released. Additionally, it is also worth mentioning that an Oyster bracelet was the only bracelet style fitted to the Datejust II. It was not until the arrival of the Datejust 41 collection that the Jubilee bracelet became an option for Rolex's larger 41mm Datejust watches.
In 2016, Rolex introduced the Datejust 41 to replace the Datejust II as the largest Datejust watch in their catalog. Initially the new Datejust 41 was only offered in Yellow Rolesor (ref. 126333) and Everose Rolesor (ref. 126331) configurations; however a White Rolesor (ref. 126334) and all stainless steel (ref. 126300) models arrived the following year at Baselworld 2017. Today, the Datejust 41 collection includes an all stainless steel model, along with two-tone models with all three colors of gold (yellow gold, white gold, and Everose gold); however Rolex has still not yet made a 41mm Datejust watch in solid gold yet.
The Rolex Datejust is the best selling Rolex watch of all time, and no other collection in the Rolex catalog has been offered in nearly as many different sizes, materials, or configurations. However, due to the relatively short histories of both the Datejust II and the Datejust 41, far fewer references exist for the 41mm versions compared to the classic 36mm Datejust.
In the same way that the standard Rolex Datejust is available in a wide range of sizes, the Datejust II and Datejust 41 can also be found in a variety of different materials. However, while material options are far more plentiful on these larger Datejust models than on most of Rolex's tool watch collections, the precious metal options are more limited than what is available for the smaller sized watches. Additionally, since these larger 41mm Datejust watches were first released in 2009, all Rolex Datejust II and Datejust 41 watches will have sapphire crystals, rather than crystals made from acrylic like vintage references.
Along with the standard Oystersteel (stainless steel) models, both have also been manufactured in a combination of gold and steel, which Rolex calls Rolesor (also known throughout the industry and two-tone). The Datejust II collection was offered in Yellow Rolesor (yellow gold and stainless steel) and White Rolesor (white gold and stainless steel); however an Everose Rolesor (Everose pink gold and stainless steel) option never was available on the Datejust II. However, when the Datejust 41 collection was unveiled in 2016, an Everose Rolesor option was included, and it still remains an option for Datejust 41 watches.
Although the classically-sized Datejust 36 has a seemingly endless variety of dial options, the larger Datejust II and Datejust 41 watches have significantly fewer styles available. All of the standard classic colors like black, white, and champagne (gold) in various sunburst and sundust finishes are available, along with the option of stick indexes, Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, or even diamond hour markers. However, unlike the smaller watches, Rolex has yet to make any stone dials for their Datejust II or Datejust 41 watches. At the present time, the only exotic material dial available for these larger watches is a mother of pearl dial that features diamond hour markers.
Additionally, while the total number of dial styles is slightly more limited on Rolex's 41mm Datejust watches (compared to the Datejust 36 or Lady-Datejust collections), there are certain dial styles that only exist on these larger Datejust references, like the “Wimbledon dial” which features painted Roman numerals (outlined in green) for all of the hour markers, except the 12 o’clock (which receives the Rolex coronet), and the 9 o’clock (which receives a lume-filled applied stick index).
Despite the Jubilee bracelet originally being designed specifically for the Datejust in 1945, it was not an option on any the Datejust II watches, and only became available on the larger models in 2016 with the introduction of the Datejust 41. While the Datejust II bracelet selection is limited to the Oyster bracelet alone (either stainless steel or two-tone), all different metal variations of the Datejust 41 are available with either flat three-piece link Oyster bracelets or rounded five-piece link Jubilee bracelets. Regardless of the specific bracelet style, every Datejust II and Datejust 41 bracelet is fitted with a folding Oysterclasp with Easylink 5mm comfort extension.
When the Rolex Datejust II first appeared in 2009, it was powered by the in-house Caliber 3136 movement - a self-winding movement with a 48-hour power reserve that is fitted with a blue Parachrom hairspring and high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers. For the most part, the Caliber 3136 is identical to the Caliber 3135 that has been used to power the majority of date-displaying men's Rolex watches since the late 1980s. However, the Cal. 3136 features Rolex’s in-house shock absorbers, along with a larger mainplate to occupy the larger case.
When Rolex released the Datejust 41 in 2016, they fitted it with their new generation of movement: the Caliber 3235. While the Caliber 3136 is a slightly modified and upgraded Caliber 3135 movement, the Cal. 3235 is an entirely new design that uses the latest and greatest Rolex technologies.
The Rolex Datejust name dates all the way back to 1933 when it was first registered, and since 1945, the Datejust has been a constant presence in the Rolex catalog. However, the larger Datejust II and Datejust 41 only first appeared in 2009, so the history for these larger 41mm models is far shorter than many of the other watches in the Rolex lineup.
Rolex released the first 41mm Datejust in 2009 in the form of the Datejust II. The series was Rolex's answer to a growing trend for larger luxury watches. 5mm larger than the traditional 36mm Datejust wristwatch, the newer model was significantly bigger and more bold while still adhering to the core design of the Datejust collection itself.
With that in mind, the Rolex Datejust II did have slightly altered proportions compared to its 36m sibling and appeared inherently more modern and sporty. Some popular references within the original generation include the reference 116333 in Yellow Rolesor and the reference 116334 in White Rolesor.
In 2016, the collection received a significant upgrade in the form of the Datejust 41, which kept the same case size but introduced the Cal. 3235 with a Chronergy escapement and a longer 70-hour power reserve. The case also received a thinner bezel and more tapered lugs. The result is a bold luxury watch that appears less "chunky" than its 41mm predecessor.
Collectors might note that this series offers the references 126333 (Yellow Rolesor), 126300 (Oystersteel), 126334 (White Rolesor), and 126331/126301 in Everose Rolesor. All are stylish options for those looking to buy a modern luxury timepiece.
Those in the market to buy a pre-owned model have a large selection to choose from within this model. The brand has offered a number of dials variations, metal options, bracelets, and bezel choices. If you are search for your next piece view our selection of new and used Datejust Rolex watches collection. Simply head over to our Rolex Datejust page.
A Rolex watch has become a fashion icon, and the Datejust is easily one of the brands most recognizable lines of watches. Countless celebrities and politicians choosing this reference throughout the decades due to its timeless design, robust construction, and the legendary quality of Rolex's manufacturing process.
The Datejust II and Datejust 41 are the larger versions of the best-selling Rolex watch of all time. Despite their relatively short history, their contemporary sizing has made these 41mm Datejust watches a popular choice for a number of high-profile individuals in the relatively short time since their initial release.
The Rolex Datejust and the Datejust II are both date-displaying Rolex watches. The difference between the Rolex Datejust and Datejust II is the case size of the watch. The classic Rolex Datejust has a case diameter of 36mm, while Rolex Datejust II and Datejust 41 watches have cases that measure 41mm in diameter. Despite their different case sizes, the Rolex Datejust, Datejust II, and Datejust 41 all offer the same accuracy rating and water resistance.
Like nearly all Rolex watches, the Rolex Datejust II is a good investment. While virtually all Rolex models retain their value over the years incredibly well, Datejust II watches are particularly desirable due to their larger and more modern case diameters.
The cost of Rolex Datejust II watches depend on the materials and configuration of the specific watch. Prices for new Rolex Datejust II watches start at a base price for all stainless steel fitted with an Oyster bracelet, and steadily increase from there, depending on the use of gold and whether or not the watch is fitted with a diamond-set dial.
Rolex Datejust II watches are equipped with automatic self-winding movements, which means that they wind themselves with the natural motion of your arm. As long as you wear your watch every day, you do not need to wind a Rolex Datejust II. However, you can still manually wind a Datejust II through the winding crown, if you would like it to stay running while on the days that you do not wear.