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While calendar watches existed throughout timekeeping history, some with extraordinary astronomical complications in addition to perpetual and complete calendars, Rolex lays claim to introducing the first watch displaying “just” the date in a window.
Rolex doesn’t mess with its formula for success, preferring instead to introduce subtle improvements such as those seen at Baselworld 2019.
The bracelet, with its brushed outer links and high-polished center links, makes the Datejust positively glitter like a gentle afternoon sea when paired with the sparkling, white gold, fluted bezel. Gone is the railroad track, replaced with simple index markers, which opens up the dial space quite a bit, creating larger and more open margins between the flange and hour indices.
Its Oysterlock clasp features a 5 mm Easylink extension, while the underside of the bracelet features broad channels between the brushed surface of the links to liberally aerate the wrist when worn. The dial is available with applied Roman numerals, gem-set hour markers, or applied hour indices that have been enlarged slightly, gaining more Chromalight lume in the process.
The second hand is an ever more persistent reminder of the stability of Rolex clockwork: its confident and even drift never disturbs or trivializes the supreme legibility of the dial and handset.
The athleticism of the case also influences the dial with its now less decorative and, for lack of a better word, sportier composition.
Legibility is where the Datejust has always remained excellent.
And ever since the date magnifier appeared on its crystal, reading the date has been the easiest task in the world.
Caliber 3235 is a new generation of Rolex movements that has been gently introduced throughout the Datejust family.The break – or plunge – from the edge of the hands to the dial is enhanced even more by the prominent, faceted edges of the baton shapes.White gold and gleaming, the longitudinally bisected hour and minute hands exude permanence.Starting at Baselworld 2018, Rolex has subtly been revisiting its 36 mm Datejust models.The two stainless steel/white gold models revealed at Baselworld 2019 were the last of these, and I am pleased to now delve into the details of this important modern wristwatch.