Are you in the market for a Rolex watch but are not sure whether to go for the classic Datejust or its successor, the Datejust 2? Choosing between the two can be a tough decision, especially if you’re not familiar with the nuances that set them apart.

Don’t worry, though – we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the features, pros, and cons of both watches to help you decide which one is the perfect fit for your style, budget, and needs.


A Brief History of the Rolex Datejust

The Rolex Datejust is a true icon of the watch world. Introduced in 1945, it was the first self-winding watch to display the date through a window on the dial, a groundbreaking innovation at the time that would go on to become a standard feature in the industry.

Over the years, the Datejust has undergone numerous updates, including changes in size, materials, and movements. However, its classic design elements – such as the fluted bezel, the cyclops lens, and the jubilee bracelet – have remained largely unchanged.

The Birth of the Rolex Datejust 2

In 2009, Rolex unveiled the Datejust 2, a modernized version of its popular predecessor. The new watch featured a larger case size (41mm compared to the Datejust’s 36mm), a thicker bezel, and a more prominent crown guard, giving it a bolder, sportier look.

Despite the changes, the Datejust 2 retained many of the original Datejust’s classic design elements, such as the cyclops lens and the jubilee bracelet.

What Sets the Two Apart?

So, what makes the Datejust 2 different from the classic Datejust? Let’s take a closer look.

Feature Datejust Datejust 2
Case size 36mm 41mm
Bezel Fluted Smooth or fluted
Crown guard No Yes
Bracelet Jubilee or Oyster Jubilee or Oyster
Dial options More traditional More modern

Rolex Datejust vs Datejust 2: Detailed Comparison

Case Size

The most noticeable difference between the two watches is their case size. The Datejust has a more compact 36mm case, which gives it a classic, timeless look that’s suitable for both formal and casual occasions. The Datejust 2, on the other hand, has a larger 41mm case that makes it stand out more and gives it a more masculine, sporty feel.


The Datejust’s fluted bezel is one of its most iconic features, and it’s a design element that has remained unchanged since the watch’s introduction. The Datejust 2 offers a choice of a fluted or smooth bezel, giving you more options to customize your watch to your liking.

Crown Guard

The addition of a crown guard is one of the most significant changes Rolex made to the Datejust 2. This feature protects the crown and prevents it from accidental damage, but it also adds to the watch’s overall bulk and makes it less elegant than the classic Datejust.


Both the Datejust and the Datejust 2 are available with either a jubilee or an oyster bracelet. The jubilee bracelet is a signature Rolex design that features five links of equal size, while the oyster bracelet is a more rugged, sporty option that’s better suited for outdoor activities.

Dial Options

One of the most significant differences between the two watches is their dial options. The Datejust offers a more traditional, timeless look, with options such as a silver dial with Roman numerals or a champagne dial with diamond hour markers. The Datejust 2, on the other hand, has more modern, sporty dial options, such as a black dial with luminescent hour markers or a blue dial with Arabic numerals.


Both watches are powered by a perpetual, self-winding movement that’s known for its accuracy and reliability. The Datejust features the caliber 3135 movement, while the Datejust 2 has the newer caliber 3136 movement, which is equipped with Rolex’s patented Parachrom hairspring and boasts a longer power reserve.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of the Rolex Datejust

  1. Timeless and elegant design.
  2. Compact size that’s suitable for both men and women.
  3. Wide range of customization options.
  4. Signature fluted bezel.
  5. More traditional dial options.

Disadvantages of the Rolex Datejust

  1. Smaller case size may be too small for some wearers.
  2. Lack of crown guard makes it less durable than the Datejust 2.
  3. More traditional design may not appeal to those looking for a more modern look.

Advantages of the Rolex Datejust 2

  1. Larger case size makes it stand out more.
  2. Choice of smooth or fluted bezel.
  3. Crown guard provides extra protection for the crown.
  4. More modern dial options.
  5. Newer caliber 3136 movement with a longer power reserve.

Disadvantages of the Rolex Datejust 2

  1. Bulky design may not be suitable for all occasions.
  2. Smooth bezel option may not be as iconic as the fluted bezel.
  3. More modern design may not appeal to those looking for a timeless look.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you swim with a Rolex Datejust or Datejust 2?

Both watches are water-resistant, but they are not suitable for deep-sea diving. The Datejust has a water-resistance rating of 100 meters, while the Datejust 2 is rated to 120 meters.

2. How often should I have my Rolex serviced?

Rolex recommends having your watch serviced every 10 years. Regular maintenance can help keep your watch in top condition and prevent any potential issues from developing.

3. What is the difference between the jubilee and oyster bracelets?

The jubilee bracelet features five links of equal size and is known for its elegant, sophisticated look. The oyster bracelet, on the other hand, has a more rugged, sporty look and is better suited for outdoor activities.

4. Can I change the bracelet on my Rolex?

Yes, Rolex watches are designed to allow for easy bracelet changes. You can switch between the jubilee and oyster bracelets or choose from a wide range of aftermarket options.

5. What is the price difference between the Rolex Datejust and Datejust 2?

The price of a Rolex watch can vary depending on factors such as the materials used, the condition of the watch, and the location where it’s purchased. That being said, the Datejust 2 is generally more expensive than the classic Datejust due to its larger size and updated features.

6. Is the Datejust or Datejust 2 more iconic?

Both watches are icons in their own right, but the classic Datejust is arguably the more iconic of the two. It’s a watch that has stood the test of time and has remained largely unchanged over the past several decades.

7. Can I wear a Rolex Datejust or Datejust 2 with a suit?

A Rolex watch is a timeless accessory that can be worn with a wide range of outfits, including a suit. The classic design of the Datejust makes it a perfect complement to a formal outfit, while the sportier look of the Datejust 2 can add a touch of personality to a more conservative look.

8. Are Rolex watches a good investment?

Rolex watches are known for their high quality and craftsmanship, which makes them a good investment for those who are looking for a timepiece that will hold its value over time. However, it’s important to do your research and choose the right model and condition to maximize your investment potential.

9. What materials are used in Rolex watches?

Rolex watches are made with a variety of materials, including stainless steel, yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, and platinum. Some models also feature diamonds or other precious gems.

10. Can I buy a pre-owned Rolex?

Yes, buying a pre-owned Rolex can be a great way to get a high-quality timepiece at a lower price. However, it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re buying from a reputable seller to ensure that the watch is authentic and in good condition.

11. How do I take care of my Rolex?

To keep your Rolex in top condition, it’s important to store it in a dry, cool place when you’re not wearing it. You should also have it serviced regularly to keep it running smoothly and protect it from damage.

12. What is the warranty on a Rolex watch?

All Rolex watches come with a five-year warranty that covers any defects in materials or workmanship. However, this warranty does not cover normal wear and tear or damage caused by misuse or neglect.

13. What is the average lifespan of a Rolex watch?

With proper care and maintenance, a Rolex watch can last for generations. Some models have been known to last for over 100 years and still be in excellent condition.


So, which is the better choice – the Rolex Datejust or the Datejust 2? The answer ultimately depends on your personal preferences, style, and budget. Both watches are icons in their own right, and each has its own unique features and advantages.

If you’re looking for a classic, timeless timepiece that’s suitable for both formal and casual occasions, the Datejust may be the perfect fit for you. On the other hand, if you want a bolder, sportier watch with a more modern look, the Datejust 2 may be right up your alley.

Regardless of which one you choose, you can rest assured that you’re getting a high-quality, meticulously crafted timepiece that will stand the test of time.

Closing Disclaimer

While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial, or professional advice. Rolex is a registered trademark of Rolex SA, and this article is not affiliated with or endorsed by the company.