Collector’s Guides • 10 Feb 2017

Five Things To Know About The Datejust 41, A Rolex Icon

by Frank Geelen

Last year at Baselworld, Rolex introduced a new version of the Datejust, one of its iconic timepieces that was first introduced in 1945 – meaning the model has been in the catalogue the longest amongst all its models.

First launched in a 36mm Oyster case and kept that way for decades, it was made larger with the Datejust II of 2009 that was 41mm. That has now been redesigned with the Datejust 41 that remains the same size but improved in many ways. Here are five key things to know about the Datejust 41.

A new 41mm case that’s slimmer and thinner
While the Datejust 41 Rolex kept the same diameter as the previous Datejust II, but the case has been redesigned to be less bulky, following the example set by the redesigned Day-Date 40.

The proportions have changed rather drastically and for the better: the lugs are now slimmer, more pointed and curved, for more elegance and comfort. Same goes for the reduced thickness of the watch and for the width of the bezel, which is now thinner, allowing for a larger dial. The watch is less “maxi”.

Rolex Datejust 41


The comeback of the Jubilee bracelet
Until the Datejust 41, the larger Datejust was only available with the rather sporty Oyster bracelet (a 3-link bracelet shared with sports watches like the Submariner). The Datejust 41 marks the comeback of a defining feature of the Datejust that’s probably as iconic as the watch itself, the Jubilee bracelet. As the watch itself has been improved, so has the bracelet. All the bracelets links are solid and the ends of the bracelet are concealed beneath the bezel, which ensures seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case. That being said, the Oyster bracelet is also available on certain editions for a sportier look.

Rolex Datejust 41


A brand new movement
The new calibre 3235 inside the Datejust 41 boasts the same innovations found in the calibre 3255 of the Day-Date 40 introduced the year before. This latest generation of movements is made up of 90% new parts as compared to the previous 31xx family of movements.

Importantly, the calibre 3235 has an escapement named Chronergy that’s an optimized version of the Swiss lever escapement, which works with less friction, lowering energy consumption. And the gear train has been redesigned for more efficiency. Add to that a high-capacity barrel, and the watch has 70 hours of power reserve, 50% more than the earlier generation movement. Finally, even though it’s hidden behind the case back, the movement decoration is much more pleasing to the eye.

Rolex Datejust 41 movement


Precise and reliable
As with all Rolex watches, the Datejust 41 comes with a 5-year warranty as a testimony to Rolex’s legendary reliability. In addition, it is a “superlative chronometer”, meaning that the movement inside far surpasses the COSC requirements for precision, being rated at -2 / +2 seconds per day, less than half the deviation allowed by COSC. The series of tests performed before the watch is sent to the customer also ensures waterproofness, the self-winding capacity and the power reserve of the movement, going far beyond a basic movement test of a standard COSC chronometer.

Faithful to tradition
When you look at the Datejust 41, though the size has grown and the technology inside has leapt ahead, it retains all the attributes synonymous with this iconic wristwatch: the fluted bezel, Jubilee bracelet, cleanly designed dial with baton indices, straight hands and a date window at three (the raison-d’être for its name); a combination of luxurious details with an casual and timeless look. And in the very tradition of Rolex, the Datejust 41 has first been introduced in precious metal combinations (specifically Rolesor, combining steel and gold). But as is Rolex habit, the all-steel versions are expected soon.

Rolex Datejust 41


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