The Rolex Date-Just and the Rolex Day-Date are similar which means deciding which one to buy can be tricky. Although you should always think about what type of luxury will give you the most pleasure as an owner, it is worth also checking out the differences between two similar models, such as the Date-Just and the Day-Date. Why? Because knowing where they differ as well as why they are similar to one another will help you to make an informed purchasing decision. Read on to find out the main differences between these two remarkable luxury chronometers.
To begin with, the Rolex Date-Just is the older design. It was first launched by the Swiss watchmaker in 1945. As such, some people think of it as a timeless design classic that has stood the test of changes in fashion and buying trends. However, the Day-Date isn’t that much younger. It was first presented in 1956 so there isn’t that much to separate them. Of course, watchmaking designs altered between the end of the Second World War and the mid-50s but both watches adhere to a common design aesthetic that sets them apart from Rolexes of the 1960s and 70s, for example, despite their visual differences.
Both watches are built on the famous Oyster architecture that Rolex favoured for decades. However, the Day-Date features 18-carat yellow gold while yellow Rolesar is the primary manufacturing material of vintage Date-Just models. Another distinctive visual difference can be detected with their bracelets. The Date-Just features a jubilee bracelet with five-piece links whereas the Day-Date sports a president-style bracelet with semi-circular, three-piece links. If you look at its clasp, you’ll see that a Day-Date has a concealed folding Crownclasp which some Rolex collectors prefer. By contrast, the Date-Just features a folding Oysterclasp with an Easylink comfort extension link for 5mm adjustments.
In terms of calibre, vintage models of both the Date-Just and the Day-Date feature Rolex’s 3135 movement, a calibre that is often considered to have been at the very top of the industry for decades. That said, Rolex introduced the 3235 calibre movement in 2015. Since then, Date-Just models have been made with this new system and Day-Dates have retained the older, 3135 movement. This means that newer Date-Just models come with Rolex’s latest Chronergy escapement. This offers up to 15 per cent greater efficiency than the 3135 movement.
At about the same time, Date-Just models were updated with newer, KIF-style shock absorbers. Another technical distinction between Date-Justs and Day-Dates is that the latter allows for unrestricted rapid time and date setting while the former does not. In fairness, this is a detail that is hardly going to bother most owners.
In terms of similarities, the list is extensive. Perhaps the most obvious design correlations are the watches’ scratch-resistant sapphires and Cyclops lenses. They both have perpetual, mechanical, self-winding movements and are rated for water resistance of depths of up to 100 metres. As such, you can’t go wrong with either model so long as the design style appeals. Why not speak to us about these and other Rolex models if you are looking for something special?