“An icon with heritage. It’s not just a timepiece; it captures life’s most touching moments. It reflects our passion, showing us who we want to be. It’s a testimony to what really moves us.” I recently read something along those lines in a Rolex ad for the Datejust. Is this really the case or is the watchmaker slightly overdoing it? I’ll give you my answer to that question at the end of this review. In any event, six months ago, I purchased a Rolex Datejust 41, and have had it on my wrist just about every day since. I’ll share everything you want to know about the specs, wearability, and quality of this Rolex classic, along with how it may have very well changed by wearing habits and watch tastes forever.
The Rolex Datejust: 41 mm, right?
Did you know that the Rolex Datejust 41 doesn’t actually measure 41 mm across? I’m not sure why this is, but it would appear to be common practice at Rolex. Neither the new Submariner, nor the current Oyster Perpetual, nor my Datejust 41 are actually 41 mm in diameter. Nope, the Rolex Datejust 41 actually measures 39.5 mm across.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. The case thickness of only 12 mm gives the Rolex Datejust 41 an extremely flat, refined feel. Plus, the most important watch measurement is actually the so-called “lug to lug” – the watch’s length between its tips. This is 47.5 mm on the Rolex Datejust 41. Rolex clearly put plenty of thought into these dimensions, making the Datejust 41 a great fit on just about any wrist. So, what about its other features? It is, of course, equipped with a sapphire crystal covering its dial. The date window with the famous Cyclops lens is its usual iconic self, and wearers will enjoy the very precise Quickset date feature. Water resistance to 150 meters (15 bar, 492 feet) make this a perfect watch for everyday wear, and its 70-hour power reserve mean you can take it off for a day or two without having to wind it when you put it back on. In short: The Rolex Datejust 41 delivers everything you could desire from a modern wristwatch.
Comfort: My Experiences With the Rolex Datejust 41
The Rolex Datejust 41 can do it all. It’s a watch you could wear to the beach or to a board meeting. And let me tell you something: It’s super comfortable. This Rolex icon hugs your wrist perfectly. Plus, it’s so light, you’d hardly know you’re wearing a watch. I wear my Datejust 41 nearly every day now, and when I do wear other watches from time to time, I immediately notice how much heavier and less comfortable they are. The day you become a Rolex Datejust 41 owner is the same day you’ll learn to appreciate this extraordinary comfort – and you’ll probably never want to give it up!
The clasp of the Rolex Datejust 41 delivers even more comfort with its integrated Easylink system that lets you lengthen or shorten the bracelet by a few millimeters. The Easylink system is a very practical feature, especially in summer when your wrist swells on hot days. I admit I wasn’t exactly blown away by the Datejust 41’s clasp when I first saw it. As an owner of a Rolex Submariner, I found the Glidelock clasp more impressive and considerably more practical. But comparing the two clasps, I’ve got to say that I don’t think the Submariner clasp is anywhere near as comfortable as the one on the Datejust 41. The Datejust 41 is simply one of the most comfortable watches I’ve ever had on my wrist. Sometimes less is more.
Quality and Design: My Experiences With the Rolex Datejust 41
If you’ve read some of my articles, you probably know that I find Rolex quality to be, well, perfect. Rolex haptics are unmatched, and the Datejust 41 is no exception. It’s simply a joy to pop the crown and turn it to set the date, adjust the Easylink clasp on the bracelet, or snap the clasp open and shut. The sounds that each of these make will put a smile on the face of any watch lover. The case and bracelet feel extremely smooth – I repeatedly catch myself feeling the entire surface of the watch, or running my fingers along the wonderfully finished edges and contours of the case. It’s a true sensory feast for a watch fan such as myself, even if all this handling has probably caused more than a few micro scratches. Speaking of which, it’s important to keep this in mind if you’re considering buying a Rolex Datejust 41. This horological icon has all kinds of polished edges and surfaces that will patina relatively quickly. I opted for a fluted white gold bezel and Oyster bracelet on mine. Although this bezel is extremely prone to scratches, its fluting does a great job of concealing the multitude that have accumulated over last six months. This is even more so with the Oyster bracelet with its fully polished and satinized links. I’m one of the more careful watch wearers out there, but sunlight is already starting to reveal the many tiny micro scratches on the watch’s case as well as the bracelet – there’s just no avoiding it. One way to help minimize this is to select a model with a fluted white gold bezel and Jubilee bracelet – these are your best options for keeping scratches, dings, and assorted blemishes to a minimum visually.
Despite this minor drawback, the Rolex Datejust 41 is a watch that simply outshines them all. The experience of seeing the white gold bezel reflect sunlight when you turn the watch on your wrist is one of pure joy. And even though the Rolex Datejust 41 makes a more luxurious impression than its stainless steel sports watch siblings, you’ll never have the impression that you’ve overdone it with your selection. The Datejust 41 is, and will always be, stylish and elegant. Plus, a watch icon like this deserves to exude a fair amount of luxury, don’t you think?
Conclusion: Is the Rolex Datejust a watch for life?
Six months on, I can tell you that the Rolex ad may have laid it on a little thick, but it wasn’t completely off the mark. The Rolex Datejust 41 is a watch that I’m probably going to hold on to forever. I want it to be on my wrist for the special moments in my life. I want to grow old with it. The Datejust 41 has completely changed my watch wearing habits: I used to be a huge fan of sports icons like the Rolex Submariner. These days, however, more elegant watches like the Rolex Datejust are catching my eye more and more. I’m finding that my stainless steel sports watches are spending more time in my watch box and the Datejust 41 is spending much more time on my wrist. It’s more comfortable, something you don’t see every other watch enthusiast wearing, and I love how it exudes a bit more luxury. The Datejust perfectly embodies the essence of Rolex, and in my opinion, does so even better than the brand’s sports models. And that white gold fluted bezel… what a joy to behold. If you’re interested in owning this Rolex icon, I can highly recommend the Datejust 41. You’ll be able to find your favorite combination of dial, bezel, and bracelet, and who knows? Maybe in a few months time, you, too, will discover that you’ve found your watch for life.