Rolex Datejust II vs. Datejust 41mm – What to Choose?

Rolex is a brand that’s synonymous with quality. The reputation is so strong that even people who know little about luxury watch brands will readily recognize the name. Within this family of watches is one of the most enduring. Dating back to the 1970’s, the original Datejust has enjoyed ongoing popularity. Since the dawn of the 21st century, two models for Datejust watches have entered the market. Those who are thinking of investing in one of these newer watches may wonder which one is best. Here are some essentials that will help you understand how the Rolex Datejust II and the Datejust 41mm compare and contrast.

1. The Mechanical Aspects

2. The Look of Each Watch

3. Options and Features Found With Each Watch

4. Comparing the Current Market Values

1. The Mechanical Aspects

Arriving on the scene in 2009, the Datejust II makes use of what’s known as the Cal. 3136 movement. This movement is essentially a slight upgrade from the 3135 movement used in earlier Rolex models. There are some adjustments made that make the movement a better choice for the DateJust II’s larger casing.

The 3136 includes a larger mainplate. This allows for a larger date wheel that’s easier to read. The date display is also shifted slightly from the first generate of Datejust watches; on this model, it’s included about 1mm away from the dial’s center. Paraflex shock absorbers are also found in the 3136. This was a new addition that was not found in the older 3135 movement.

The Datejust 41mm was introduced in 2016 and includes a movement that had been developed since the introduction of the Datejust II. Known as the 3235 movement, this update included significant changes to the Chronoenergy escapement. The individual components in the escapement were scaled down to eliminate as much of the mass as possible while not decreasing the efficiency. The pallet stones and the pallet fork were also scaled down, along with skeletonizing the escape wheel.

This makes the 3235 just as efficient as older movement designs and is sometimes said to offer increased efficiency. One report indicates that the movement changes allowed for a 15% increase in efficiency than previous escapements.

The movement changes also mean that the workings can be placed in casings that are smaller and thinner than the casing used for the Datejust II. This would make the Datejust 41mm a possibly better choice for someone who wants a slightly smaller scale and a little less heft.

2. The Look of Each Watch

Appearance is a major consideration when purchasing a luxury watch. Both the Datejust II and the Datejust 41mm are attractive choices, but they do vary somewhat. Here’s what you’ll find with each one.

*The Casing: Stainless steel cases are used for both watches. You’ll also find that gold is used to add a touch of elegance to each one. One factor that is different is the Datejust 41 offers more variety in terms of case colors than the Datejust II. Check some of those combinations and see if one of the appeals to you.

Do remember that the Paraflex shock absorbers are only found on the Datejust II. That feature was not included in the newer Datejust 41mm. Given that the absorbers add more stability and durability to watch in general, the Datejust II might be a better choice from frequent wear.

*The Bezel: One of the nicer things about the Datejust II is the fluted bezel that’s made with gold. This design helps to provide more visual impact, since it helps make the watch face look a little larger. For those who want to make more of a statement or need something that looks nice on a larger wrist, the Datejust II is the winner here.

For the Datejust 41mm, the bezel is also made in gold but has a slightly more subdued profile. Even though the watch is basically the same size as the Datejust II, the bezel creates the illusion of being a little smaller. Those who like a slightly smaller profile that balances well with a smaller wrist will likely prefer the Datejust 41mm.

*The Crown: On this front, both watches utilize the same type of crown. The design is the familiar screw-down type that creates a solid seal. This is great for protecting the workings of each watch from exposure to moisture and humidity. Even if immersed in water for a short time, the crown helps to boost the water-resistance of both watches. The fact that the crown design is so popular makes it an ideal choice for a luxury watch.

The Dial: Both watches make use of a Cyclops window that makes it easier to read the date aperture. It’s conveniently positioned at the 3 o’clock area, something that most buyers will appreciate. Each of the watches also make use of scratch-resistance sapphire crystals for the dial covering. They also share features like beautiful hour markets and baton hands that a luminescent.

There are more options for the dial with the Datejust II. One of the classic looks is the black face paired with gold elements. It’s possible to go with Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, or an index style that adds a sleek look to the dial. Even so, the Datejust II was only in production for a few years. As such, it was never offered with as many dial options as some of the other Rolex lines.

The Datejust 41mm may not have as much variety in dials, but it does offer a beautiful silver tone dial that’s not available with the Datejust II. Paired with the gold, this creates an understated but elegant look that’s sure to appeal. The dial size is also more in line with most of the traditional Rolex designs, something that will be refreshing for those who found the Datejust II a little too far removed for their tastes.