The revolutionary Rolex Datejust was unveiled in 1945 by Hans Wilsdorf himself, the original Rolex founder. The original watch featured a domed back, like the early Rolex Bubblebacks, a “coin edge” bezel, and a date wheel alternating red and black numbers. The model was released in honor of Rolex’s 40th anniversary celebration, and still remains a favorite among the rich and famous today.
Year Introduced: 1945
First Model: 4467
First Movement: 740
The two main improvements brought to use by the Rolex Datejust were the sweep second hand and a date wheel that was visible on the dial. Although date wheels are common now, this was a huge advancement in watch technology when it was first introduced. 10 years later, Rolex added the important “cyclops eye” that magnified the date and made it much easier for users to read.
In the late 1970’s, Rolex added the “Quick Set” feature to the date function, and in 1983 all day date Rolex models were fitted with that Quick Set feature. Finally, Rolex found a way to upgrade the sapphire crystal, drastically improving the durability of the watches. While this new crystal was slimmer than the old one, it was far better at resisting water and scratches.
Throughout the years, the cases of the Rolex Datejust have changed to keep up with trending styles, but the basic mechanics and appearance of the dial layout have stayed true to the Hans Wilsdorf model. The original Rolex Datejust was only offered in 18k yellow gold, but in 1957 Rolex started producing the popular stainless steel models. By this time, there were a also few white gold and platinum Datejusts scattered about, but they were extremely rare as few were produced.
We also see examples from the 1950’s and 1960’s of various bracelet options coming into play. These bracelets included leather, Jubilee, and Oyster bracelets. By the early 1960’s Rolex introduced the first stainless steel and gold “two-tone” or “bicolor” Datejust, a style that is still popular today.
Get the most money for your Rolex Datejust
Condition plays a big part in determining the value of your Rolex watch.Whether your timepiece has been well-loved for generations or has been sitting untouched in a drawer, the watch experts at Regal Estate Jewelry Buyers know exactly how to determine the value using just a few photos. Boxes, paperwork, and original purchase receipts are also helpful and can increase your cash offer, so make sure to gather everything you have when submitting an inquiry.
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