Rolex Datejust II
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Rolex Datejust II

Unlike the Submariner, James Bond never wore a Datejust; nor has it ever been military issue. No one ever scaled Mount Everest wearing one, as Sir Edmund Hillary did while wearing the precursor to the Explorer; nor does it have a flashy association with the Jet Set and Pan-American airlines, as the GMT Master does.

But over the decades there has perhaps been more variation in style, color, and texture to the Datejust than any other watch made by Rolex, making it Rolex's most versatile watch and the linchpin of its collection.

Rolex has always experimented with the Datejust. It's been in stainless steel, yellow gold (as with the first Reference in 1945), white gold, or steel-and-gold (a combination which Rolex patented as Rolesor). It can be found on a Jubilee bracelet (so named for the manufacture’s 40th anniversary), an Oyster bracelet, or on a leather strap. And throughout the years, it has borne a varied kaleidoscope of dials in textures and patterns, from mother of pearl to a floral motif, and everything in between.

There’s a Datejust to suit every wrist, every taste. Though subtle changes have been made to it over the years—like adding a cyclops over the date window, or making the center links in the Oyster bracelet polished instead of brushed—the 36mm Datejust has a kind of timeless look to it. Like the Omega Speedmaster, whose aesthetics have remained more or less the same since the 1970s, a 36mm Datejust from today looks almost indistinguishable from its vintage counterpart—aside from those small differences, of course.

But for those of us who prefer a larger watch, there’s the Datejust II.

Released in 2009, the Datejust II was built to house the Calibre 3136. In constructing the Calibre 3136, Rolex took the Calibre 3135—introduced in 1988 and found in everything from the Submariner to the Datejust—and gave it a Parachrom hairspring. That might not mean anything to the uninitiated, but for Rolex it represented a successful conclusion to their quest for self-sufficiency.

Prior to creating the Parachrom hairspring in 2000, Rolex had to do something that they’ve never really liked: rely on someone else. For a company that makes its own gold (Everose, which the company first used in the early 2000s), it makes sense that they’d seek to bring as much production in-house as possible—particularly when the hairspring, perhaps the most important part of a watch’s movement in terms of accuracy and precision, is concerned. So Rolex devised an alloy of niobium, zirconium, and oxygen, called it Parachrom, and put it in the Calibre 3136.

When compared with the conventional hairsprings used by other manufactures, which are made of iron or chrome-based alloys, Parachrom is resistant to magnetic fields. Anyone who’s accidentally gaussed their timepiece will know just how damaging magnetism can be to a watch’s movement. So with the creation of Parachrom, Rolex found a way to triumph over nature. 

And the watch built around this ground-breaking movement, the Datejust II, is a watch that is as sturdy and dependable as a Submariner, and with similar proportions, but it has the elegant look that we’ve come to expect from the Datejust. The Datejust II is a watch you can wear to work on Friday and then wear while rock-climbing on Saturday. For a rugged versatility, it’s hard to beat.

Details

SKU: AS02042

Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 41mm (excluding crown). Rolex Datejust II Reference 116334. Rolex Calibre 3136 Self-Winding Movement.

Overall Condition: Stainless steel Oyster case is in excellent condition, having been professionally refinished. Black glossy dial is likewise in excellent, like-new condition. Rolex crown. Rolex case back.

Includes one 20mm stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet with polished center links. Bracelet is in excellent condition. Also includes inner and outer boxes, booklets, warranty card and two extra links.

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