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Old 31 January 2010, 11:47 AM   #1
The GMT Master
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Rolex Datejust II

Hey all, here's the latest review to be published on my blog - go there for more articles, and for the accompanying pictures. Hope you enjoy reading!


Rolex Datejust II - Review
The Datejust II is the latest update to the long serving Datejust range, and this is arguably the most radical interpretation of the classic date watch that Rolex have ever done. It has a large size increase over the standard gent's Datejust, and is certainly a striking piece to look at. As such, the watch has divided opinion, with some arguing that it is simply too big to be a dress watch. On the other hand, it has turned what many perceive as a watch for the older man into very much a younger man's watch, and is certainly an interesting addition to the big watch parade. This article will assess features, looks, wearability and build quality, with a few pictures along the way. The model reviewed is the steel and 18Ct white gold model.



Technical Features

*Model number: 166334
*904 L steel case and bracelet
*18ct White Gold Fluted bezel
*Case Diameter: 41mm
*Choice of dials, model reviewed - Black baton dial, w/ luminous hands and markers, arabics around the circumference
*Twinlock crown
*Sapphire crystal w/ cyclops date magnifier (Antireflective coating on underside of cyclops)
*Oyster bracelet with Oysterclasp
*Waterproof 100m/330Ft

The Movement

*Cal. 3136 (exclusive to the Datejust II)
*28.8k BPH
*Self-winding, chronometer rated
*Quickset date complication
*Parachrom blue hairspring, Paraflex shock absorbers

UK RRP: 4940

The Aesthetics

The two most striking aspects about this watch is how big it seems, and how prominent the bezel is. Although the case diameter is essentially the same as, say, a Submariner or a GMT IIc, it appears larger than them placed side by side. I believe this is largely due to the size of the dial - with the bezel being thinner than the rotating ones on the sports models, the dial stretches further, which gives the appearance of a larger surface area on the wrist. That's not to say that the bezel is a shrinking violet - far from it. The dial to bezel ratios are more biased towards the bezel than on the 36mm equivalent (ref. 116234), making it really sparkle. Some people have expressed that they think it's too prominent, but I disagree - if it was any thinner, it would mean the dial would be even larger, and would make the watch begin to look odd on the wrist. You really need to see the bezel and the way it catches the light to appreciate it - it truly is a thing of beauty.

Another aspect of note is the size of the crown in relation to the watch. Rolex have decided to utilise the Twinlock crown on the Datejust II, the same as on the 36mm model. Whilst it looks spot on on the smaller watch, it seems a little disproportionate on a 41mm case. In a similar way to how they upgraded the crown on the GMT IIc to the Triplock, they probably should have done the same on the Datejust II. Finally, despite the large case diameter, the thickness of the watch is quite reasonable, which should mean it'll still fit nicely under a shirt cuff.




Practicality

I think this watch is a great addition to the range for those who want a smart looking dress watch that's a bit more substantial. I know I have small wrists, and the 36mm Datejust looks pretty good on me, but for men with larger wrists, it might not look right. Yes, it's a step away from classic Rolex sizing, but there's nothing wrong with offering more choice. People are wearing far bigger watches these days, with 45 and 50mm watches becoming more and more popular. In any case, the Datejust II isn't as radical as some would make out, and it is certainly more wearable than a lot of other oversize watches. Crucially, unlike the Deepsea, the thickness of the watch is reasonable, and that's the killer aspect when it comes to wearability.

In terms of comfort, it's on the latest incarnation of the Oyster bracelet - solid end links and solid centre links. Solid, practical, and comfortable - you won't have any problems with hairs getting caught. There is some room for microadjustment on the clasp, and it also features the Easylink - an extra half link that can be concealed or extended. It's not as good as the Glidelock adjustment you can find on Rolex's diving watches, but it means you can still get the watch nice and comfortable. The clasp itself is solid and well engineered - Rolex have gone from producing some of the most basic clasps on the market to some of the best. It certainly gives you a sense of confidence whilst wearing it. The watch is relatively weighty, but not to the point where it's unconfortable - you know it's there, it's a feeling of security.



Value for Money

Okay, at a shade under 5000, it's not a cheap watch. It's about a 20% increase on the price of a 116234, and are you getting more watch for your money? Hard to say - obviously there's more gold in the bezel, and the 3136 is an entirely in-house movement (I'm not entirely sure what differences there are between the 3135 and the 3136, my feeling is that there won't be a significant change.) It also goes with the usual Rolex practice of the larger the watch in a family, the more expensive it is. For the time being, dial choices are relatively limited compared to the 36mm Datejust and only the fluted bezel and Oyster bracelet are available. I expect a Jubilee bracelet and Polished bezel to become available in the future, as well as more dials - keep an eye out at Basel, they might decide to launch some then. In terms of engineering, it can't be faulted. Feels and looks like a premium watch should, and the quality is bound to be extremely high too. Initially, it'll be a relatively exclusive watch, but it won't hold its value as well as the sports models.

Conclusion

I have to admit, this watch isn't for me - just a bit too big for my wrists. However, I can appreciate and understand what Rolex are aiming for with this watch. The oversized watch market is big business at the moment, and, for me, the Datejust II fills a nice niche, and is certainly a lot dressier and practical than a lot of other large watches. It's helped to revitalise a staple of the Rolex range, and I really hope this introduces a new generation to the brand, and shakes off the "old man" image that Rolex seem to have developed recently.
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Old 31 January 2010, 12:57 PM   #2
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nice and detailed review !

the djII is super comfortable !
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Old 31 January 2010, 04:42 PM   #3
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Great review Chris - thanks for posting




Cheers
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Old 31 January 2010, 04:43 PM   #4
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nice and detailed review !

the djII is super comfortable !

That's a great looking watch




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Old 1 February 2010, 01:15 AM   #5
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nice and detailed review !

the djII is super comfortable !
Glad you enjoy it - the black baton dial is my favourite for the DJ II, looks great in the flesh
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Old 1 February 2010, 02:18 AM   #6
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I have to admit, this watch isn't for me - just a bit too big for my wrists. However, I can appreciate and understand what Rolex are aiming for with this watch. The oversized watch market is big business at the moment, and, for me, the Datejust II fills a nice niche, and is certainly a lot dressier and practical than a lot of other large watches. It's helped to revitalise a staple of the Rolex range, and I really hope this introduces a new generation to the brand, and shakes off the "old man" image that Rolex seem to have developed recently.
firstly, great review Chris!

as for the size, the DJII will satisify many people who finds the usual 36mm DJ too small for their wrist, NOT because the big watch fad thing

i too have tried the 36mm DJ many times and have always felt "something was missing"..... and i wanted to wait for the DJII to try before purchasing a DJ of some sort. for me, the DJII just felt "proper" for my 7.25" wrist. as soon as i tried 2 DJIIs on (1 x SS and 1 x TT), put the deposit down for a TT.

here is my 116333

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Old 1 February 2010, 03:42 AM   #7
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Chris: An excellent & informative yet unbiased review: thanks for posting....
& Guys LOVE those DJII's!!


(I put a deposit down on this one myself this morning.....)
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Old 1 February 2010, 03:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esm View Post
firstly, great review Chris!

as for the size, the DJII will satisify many people who finds the usual 36mm DJ too small for their wrist, NOT because the big watch fad thing

i too have tried the 36mm DJ many times and have always felt "something was missing"..... and i wanted to wait for the DJII to try before purchasing a DJ of some sort. for me, the DJII just felt "proper" for my 7.25" wrist. as soon as i tried 2 DJIIs on (1 x SS and 1 x TT), put the deposit down for a TT.

here is my 116333

Thanks for your kind words Eric, and I completely agree. It looks like Rolex are beginning to listen to the needs of their customers


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Originally Posted by spuds View Post
Chris: An excellent & informative yet unbiased review: thanks for posting....
& Guys LOVE those DJII's!!
(I put a deposit down on one myself this morning.....)
Thanks Dan, and congratulations! Which combination did you go for?
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Old 1 February 2010, 03:57 AM   #9
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Thanks Dan, and congratulations! Which combination did you go for?
Sorry Chris mate I was still working out how to upload the pic's when you posted!!

I've put a holding deposit (500) down on the rhodium with blue arabics so with the GMTIIc I already had on hold that's my next two quarters bonusses (and my next two quarters Clubcard vouchers) well spent already!!


Just an aside for anyone's info'......
As I won't have the funds for this watch for another three-four months I've also agreed with Goldsmiths that if the new ceramic sub IS released at Basel.... or indeed any other DJII combination that I might want to see....
I can just transfer the deposit over from the DJII.
I thought that was very fair of them really.....


Oh & P.S....!!
Just how 'sparkly' is the bezel on the DJII?????

WOW!!!!
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Old 1 February 2010, 04:13 AM   #10
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Sorry Chris mate I was still working out how to upload the pic's when you posted!!

I've put a holding deposit (500) down on the rhodium with blue arabics so with the GMTIIc I already had on hold that's my next two quarters bonusses (and my next two quarters Clubcard vouchers) well spent already!!


Just an aside for anyone's info'......
As I won't have the funds for this watch for another three-four months I've also agreed with Goldsmiths that if the new ceramic sub IS released at Basel.... or indeed any other DJII combination that I might want to see....
I can just transfer the deposit over from the DJII.
I thought that was very fair of them really.....


Oh & P.S....!!
Just how 'sparkly' is the bezel on the DJII?????

WOW!!!!
Ahh, I see the picures now, looks great! Nice choice Dan, bet you can't wait to get it all paid for
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Old 1 February 2010, 04:20 AM   #11
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Ahh, I see the picures now, looks great! Nice choice Dan, bet you can't wait to get it all paid for
It's driving me bl**dy nuts mate but they'll be all the sweeter when I do get 'em!!

soooooooooooooo tempting to get the plastic out but 'been there done that'..... & had the bills.... and the permanent stress-headache for years to prove it too.....
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Old 1 February 2010, 05:27 AM   #12
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good work Dan!

You didn't waste too much time did you? ;-)

Can I ask if you had all the "agreement/conditions" in writting with Goldsmiths? Especially the price, just in case a new price increase comes in..... Especially if there is a new model you like from the Basel release, most likely the new models would not hit the ADs until September.... Which is quite far away :-)
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Old 1 February 2010, 05:31 AM   #13
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Great review on the DJ!
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Old 1 February 2010, 05:43 AM   #14
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good work Dan!

You didn't waste too much time did you? ;-)

Can I ask if you had all the "agreement/conditions" in writting with Goldsmiths? Especially the price, just in case a new price increase comes in..... Especially if there is a new model you like from the Basel release, most likely the new models would not hit the ADs until September.... Which is quite far away :-)
To be honest mate I made a a bit of a faux-pas when I put the deposit down on the GMTII before Christmas.....
Because I will pay for part of both watches in Tescos Clubcard Vouchers (& the balance in cash) I have to pay 'full current list price' at whatever that is when I buy/pay the balance on the watch.

(The next batch of vouchers is due anyday/week now so I'm hoping to get the GMTII before any price rise is announced, although I know the DJII might well incure a price-rise by the time I get it?)


BUT I'll have at least a third of each watch's purchase-price covered in 'Rewards Vouchers', so I reckon I'm still better off buying them that way & I still get the 'full AD experience' at 'less than two-thirds of the cost'.
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Old 1 February 2010, 07:26 AM   #15
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Hmm, if you've already placed a deposit on the watch, then they'll be bound to keep the watch in stock for you. Although the RRP may increase, the dealer cost won't on that watch, so you really should get the watch for the price when you placed a deposit. That's certainly how we do things where I work
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Old 1 February 2010, 07:34 AM   #16
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Hmm, if you've already placed a deposit on the watch, then they'll be bound to keep the watch in stock for you. Although the RRP may increase, the dealer cost won't on that watch, so you really should get the watch for the price when you placed a deposit. That's certainly how we do things where I work
To be honest Chris the only increase so far/since placing either deposit has been the increase in VAT so I fully understand that I'll have to pay that...
I'll worry about any other price-rise/s if one's implemented before I buy the watches.

btw excellent blog mate.....
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Old 1 February 2010, 07:38 AM   #17
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To be honest Chris the only increase so far/since placing either deposit has been the increase in VAT so I fully understand that I'll have to pay that...
I'll worry about any other price-rise/s if one's implemented before I buy the watches.

btw excellent blog mate.....
Yeah, VATs a little bit different - 2.5% doesn't sound like much, but on a Rolex, it's a fair old bit. I'd kick up a stink if they mess you about with any further price rises And thanks for reading my blog, I'm glad you enjoyed it I'm hoping to add a few more articles up very soon, got a review of the latest limited edition Speedmaster Pro, a Ploprof, and a Seiko Monster in the pipeline
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Old 1 February 2010, 07:44 AM   #18
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....and a Seiko Monster in the pipeline
You're bl**dy psychic Chris mate.
I've just been searching the Monster's on ebay, amazon etc.....
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Old 1 February 2010, 07:45 AM   #19
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I should just add, the link to my blog is wrong - it's http://gmtmaster2207.blogspot.com/
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Old 1 February 2010, 07:47 AM   #20
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I should just add, the link to my blog is wrong - it's http://gmtmaster2207.blogspot.com/
It (the link) worked perfectly before for me mate..... "Time Keeps On Ticking"?????
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Old 1 February 2010, 07:57 AM   #21
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It (the link) worked perfectly before for me mate..... "Time Keeps On Ticking"?????
That's right, but the link is missing a "0" now
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Old 1 February 2010, 08:23 AM   #22
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Good review of the DJ2. My favourite is the SS with WG bezal and the white/baton dial or the TT with the ivory/baton dial. I wish Rolex would give us more choices on dials for the sports watches as white dials are very classy.
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Old 2 February 2010, 09:02 PM   #23
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Good review of the DJ2. My favourite is the SS with WG bezal and the white/baton dial or the TT with the ivory/baton dial. I wish Rolex would give us more choices on dials for the sports watches as white dials are very classy.
Agreed, the white dials are that little bit different - works very well on both the Daytona and the Explorer II
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Old 3 February 2010, 01:05 PM   #24
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Nice review !!!
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Old 3 February 2010, 03:17 PM   #25
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Old 17 March 2010, 02:41 PM   #26
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> Another aspect of note is the size of the crown in relation to the watch. Rolex have decided to utilise the Twinlock crown on the Datejust II, the same as on the 36mm model. Whilst it looks spot on on the smaller watch, it seems a little disproportionate on a 41mm case. In a similar way to how they upgraded the crown on the GMT IIc to the Triplock, they probably should have done the same on the Datejust II.

Agreed, I have noticed it too and that is one minor thing I don't like about this watch, the crown should been a tad bigger.
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Old 2 April 2010, 01:42 PM   #27
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Helpful review, and key points spot on.
Thanks-
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Old 3 April 2010, 12:35 PM   #28
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39-40mm is tops for me on any watch. Datejust at 41mm seems overgrown imo. Great forum btw.
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Old 3 April 2010, 03:31 PM   #29
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Sorry, forgot to add thanks for the review!
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Old 5 April 2010, 03:53 AM   #30
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nice and detailed review !
the djII is super comfortable !
Wow! That's what I call a nice looking watch. I't dressy and sporty at the same time. Just amazing...
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