What’s the Difference: The Rolex Date vs. Datejust?

Undoubtedly one of the most recognizable models in the brand’s line-up, the Rolex Datejust’s history is not only well documented – it was launched in 1945 to commemorate Rolex’s 40th anniversary – but it is also the brand’s bread and butter, outselling all other models. In contrast, the Rolex Date is often overshadowed by its more famous sibling and is often confused with the Datejust, which is understandable since they are so similar in design. However, this begs the question: What is the difference between the Date and the Rolex Datejust? Read on to find out.

In terms of production, the Rolex Datejust was the first, debuting on Rolex’s 40th anniversary in 1945. the Datejust was the first self-winding where to buy replica watches with a dial that automatically changed the date (hence the name). Gone were the days when the wearer had to bring the date forward on each new day, as the Datejust was already known to switch at midnight. Since then, the date mechanism has become a fixture of almost all major Swiss watchmakers, making the Datejust a true innovation of its time.

The Datejust was also the first Rolex to come with the now famous five-piece Jubilee strap, named after the 40th anniversary of the model’s debut. For most of its history, the men’s Datejust was only available in a 36mm case size, except for a few medium-sized options. However, things changed with the introduction of the Datejust II in 2009 and the subsequent introduction of the Datejust 41 collection in 2016. For the first time in Rolex’s history, a 41mm Datejust was introduced to keep up with the emerging watch fad. The Datejust, with all its different case sizes, has become one of the most recognizable and popular luxury watches on the market, sought after by men and women alike.6u

The Rolex 34mm Date watch was quietly introduced in the mid-1950s as a smaller alternative to the Datejust, and it continued to occupy that space for decades. Like the Datejust, it features a water-resistant Oyster case and a self-winding perpetual calendar movement with a jumping date mechanism. The main difference between the Datejust and the Date is the size of the case. Except for the 41 mm, medium-sized, and ladies’ Datejust models, the Datejust traditionally has a diameter of 36 mm, while the Rolex Date has a diameter of 34 mm. Further examining the case, the Datejust usually has 20mm lugs while the Date has 19mm lugs.

Just as quietly as Rolex introduced the Date to the market, it was removed from the brand’s catalog in 2021 and no longer appears to be in production. The current Rolex Datejust collection includes the Datejust 31, Datejust 36, Datejust 41, and the Ladies Collection. If you are interested in purchasing a Rolex Date, the secondary market is your only option for now.

Both the Rolex Date and fake rolex Datejust watches offer time and date functions. The Datejust ref. 160xx collection introduces the quickset function to this model. Quickset means that the date is set independently of the central hand, so there is no need to keep turning the hour hand on the dial to change the numbers in the date window. Likewise, the Date ref. 150xx collection introduces the quickset function to this line.