The Rolex Datejust
The Rolex Datejust was introduced in 1945, which was also Rolex’s 40th year anniversary. The new Datejust, model 4467, had an appearance similar to the Rolex Bubbleback and was introduced as the world’s first pressure-proof, self-winding, calendar wrist chronometer that automatically changed the date in its dial window. It also had an opening, two-piece bracelet. The major differences between the Bubbleback and the Datejust were that the Datejust introduced the date function at the three o’clock position and it was slightly thicker to accommodate the new date function. The Datejust had alternating red and black date markers to distinguish between odd and even days, a coin-edged bezel, and a pie-pan dial. The “coin-edged” bezel is the predecessor to the now named “Rolex Fluted Bezel”.
In the 1950’s, a magnification lens was added to the Datejust crystal which was, and is still referred to as the Cyclops feature. This was added to allow better visibility of the date and was first introduced with the Datejust. At the same time Rolex released another model of the Datejust named the Thunderbird. This model had a Rolex Turn-O-Graph bezel, which was the only real difference between the two models. The Datejust was Rolex’s premiere model in the early 1950’s until 1956 when the Day-Date took its place.
The 1970’s brought various significant changes to the design of the Datejust. The quick-set feature was added and thus a new movement was built to accommodate the complexity of this feature. The new movement gave the Datejust a new case, smaller profile, and a new dial. The plastic crystal was replaced with the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The Datejust is still a very desirable timepiece and ranks high in the Oyster Collection. With models available for men and women, the Datejust is a classic.
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Article by: Brad Cecil