Review: Rolex Datejust (36 and 41)

Release Date
2016 and 2019
Mechanical 3235, Manufacture Rolex
Oystersteel or Oystersteel and gold
Oyster or Jubilee (Steel, Steel and gold)
Green, Champagne, Brown, Multi-coloured, Blue, Black, Silver, Grey, Mother of pearl or White
Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date
Water Resistance
< 100 metres
36mm or 41mm
Screw-down, Twinlock winding crown
5 years
£6,700 - 18,800

In 1945, the Rolex Datejust was presented. It was the first automatic, water-resistant timepiece with chronometer value standard combining the designs of Rolex watches before it. The date was placed in an aperture at three o’clock, where the date changed automatically at midnight. The Datejust is titled after this rapid date change. 

The name of the watch was clearer after it was released, with its primary feature being the ability for the watch to automatically switch the date at midnight, a unique element of high-performance at the period. Ever since then, the “date complication” has been the most known element on timepieces immediately after showing the present time.

It is quite unusual for Rolex to put brand-new model lines. The company has built a brilliant marketing strategy that strengthens the already solid backbones of its collections. Most of the watch collections produced by Rolex have been around for a very long time, with there being only one Datejust but numerous versions from the years gone by.

The Rolex Datejust is one of the most widely recognised watches, not only in the brand’s collections but also in the world. Datejust watches are crafted for both women and men, but today we will be focusing on the men’s Datejust 36 and 41 models.


In 2016, after some innovations, Rolex relaunched the hefty Datejust as the Datejust 41. Attracting a public urge for more personalisation and differentiation, the Datejust 36 and 41mm watches were released with a very wide variety of dial designs. This means its less than likely to see two Datejust owners with the same watch design.

Rolex Datejust 36mm Oystersteel and White gold (Black dial)
Rolex Datejust 36mm Oystersteel and White gold (Black dial)

The dial of the Rolex Datejust 36 and 41 watches come in a wide range of dial colours and variants, with minute and hour markers either being indices, Arabic numerals, Roman numerals or even gem-set. The main available colours for the Datejust dials include green, champagne, brown, multi-coloured, blue, black, silver, mother of pearl etc, just to name a few. 

The dials have added Chromalight to add more legibility, exactly like the obtuse baton hands use. There is a date window located at three o’clock for both 36 and 41mm models, which is covered by the Rolex signature Cyclops magnifying lens. It must be easy to read always. The Datejust 36 and 41 are quite perfectly simple timepieces to operate.


The cases for the men’s Datejust are available as 36mm or 41mm. This is a good range in size, especially for those that might either have smaller wrists or for men with larger wrists who require a larger standout piece. Keeping it simple but classy, Rolex has made only two case types available for the Datejust. These are the special Oystersteel or Oystersteel and gold cases. They provide a full metal look to the watch that is not too loud, but simple enough to match formal and weekend outfits. 

Rolex Datejust 36mm Oystersteel and White gold (Rhodium dial)

The Datejust is moderately slim and measures 11.8mm in height. The main container slides easily under the cuff. There is a mild curve of the lug tailored to the wrist when viewed from the side. It is polished, slimmer and has contrasting brushed finishes. This comfy case creates a stylish and more classy watch. Both models (36mm and 41mm) are very appealing and work brilliantly in the sunlight. They are both available with a screw-down crown and case back guaranteeing up to 100m water-resistance.

The most remarkable and alluring part of the Datejust 36 or 41 models are their availability with fluted or smooth bezels (only the Datejust 36mm is available with gem/diamond-set bezels also). The case back does not reveal any information about any of the Datejust’s traits, such as its water resistance, its materials, or its reference number. 

Rolex Datejust 41mm Oystersteel and Everose gold (Choc dial)
Rolex Datejust 41mm Oystersteel and Everose gold (Choc dial)

The Caliber 3235 is revealing to wearers or admirers who do not have a permit to this piece. No doubt, this movement has nothing to restrain. It shows off all the beautiful features of a Rolex calibre such as specially shaped and organized bridges, gold-plated covers, red reversing wheels in the self-winding mechanism, and elegant topping such as sunburst shapes, polished matte parts, some bevelled edges, and brushed heads on the brushed.

The timepiece is driven by the new automatic Caliber 3235 movement. The Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 and 41 use a flexible finger which can adjust the date manually, very fast and anytime you want. Moving the crown to its centre territory, twist it counterclockwise, and the date evolves sharply and correctly. If attention is carefully given, you can see the modifications that Rolex made to this calibre, in the centre, making manual adjustments. 

Rolex Datejust 36mm Oystersteel and White gold
Rolex Datejust 36mm Oystersteel and White gold

The winding stem operates protectively in each position so the time can be corrected accurately. The crown winds with slick smoothness. The hands rotate with intent, so the minute’s hand can be put with its pointer perfectly deviated to the chosen index. The screw-down crown has a stem that is put into a lengthy tube and it is very simple to understand; it can stop the seconds-hand at the full minute without stress. It is safe to screw the crown shut with a visible spring resistance – a feature of the Twinlock system innovated by Rolex.

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The Datejust 36 and 41 men’s watches are only available with the Oyster or Jubilee bracelets. The Oyster bracelet fastens to the case where the Rolex signature tops the dial. The strap fits smoothly in the recently built binding pieces that are strongly fixed between the lugs. The bracelet has strong three-row, partially refined, and partially satin-finished items made of 904L stainless steel. There are various areas of these parts that are linked together, close to the clasp so the bracelet’s size can be effortlessly regulated. The folding clasp has the Easylink extension structure, a structure utilized by Rolex that lets the bracelet’s length be easily altered by as much as 6mm. 

Rolex Datejust 36mm Oystersteel and Yellow gold (Fluted bezel and Gem-set indices)
Rolex Datejust 36mm Oystersteel and Yellow gold (Fluted bezel and Gem-set indices)

The Jubilee bracelet, on the other hand, was released at launch in 1945 and was made specifically for the Datejust. Originally only available in full gold, it is now available in two-tone yellow gold, white gold and Everose gold. It is easy to see that this bracelet was made more for luxurious, evening wear compared to the sporty look of the Oyster bracelet, with the bracelet being made up of a five-piece structure with semi-circular links. The addition of the links makes the bracelet more elegant and refined and allows them to catch the light beautifully.

Generally, the Datejust 36 and 41 join together the latest progress from the Rolex brand, just as its forerunners did when it was launched more than seven decades ago. This is not apparent at the initial peek, and the understatement is precisely what renders this model so alluring.


The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 and 41 watches start from around £6,000 (€6,500 or $7,400) for the base models. The Everose gold models are priced at around £9,500 – 13,000 depending on the style. The price of the different variants is slightly influenced by the style of the bezel, the bracelet and the material used for the minute and hour markers. 

Rolex Datejust 36mm Oystersteel and Everose gold (Diamond bezel and gem-set markers)
Rolex Datejust 36mm Oystersteel and Everose gold (Diamond bezel and gem-set markers)

The top-end Datejust available in retail starts from £18,500 and is the Datejust 36mm Oystersteel and yellow gold jubilee bracelet, with an 18ct yellow gold case, diamond-set bezel and gem-set hour indices. The up-keep in value of a Rolex, as well as the long-standing classic heritage of this model, makes it a certain worthwhile investment in our opinion.

Review: Rolex Datejust (36 and 41)
Final Thoughts
Aesthetically, the Datejust does not need much introduction. The sheer variety of dials coupled with the reliability and luxury that comes with this timepiece allows it to remain as one of the most recognised and loved watches in the world. Every 'real' watch lover has or wants one.
Great movement
Robust and reliable
Built for luxury in sport
Only available in one size
Not many features
There may be better alternatives at price point
Editor's Score
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