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Rolex Datejust 36mm vs Datejust II 41mm (2020): Are They Really All That Different?

If you’re a Rolex fan and you’re looking to build your collection, then you mustn’t overlook the Datejust series. It’s the oldest running Rolex model line to date and so you can definitely say that it’s iconic. If you’re wondering which model to get, the Datejust and the Datejust II are both good choices. You need to pick wisely though because even if they seem completely identical at first glance, examine them up close and you’ll realize that they’re actually pretty different. To help you decide which one you should get, here’s an in-depth comparison of Datejust and Datejust II, taking their design, movement, and pricing into consideration.

Rolex Datejust vs Datejust II Comparison Chart

ModelRolex DatejustRolex Datejust II
 Rolex Datejust 36mm Mens Watch 116234Rolex Datejust II 41mm Steel Silver Diamond Dial Men's Watch 116334
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Size36mm41mm
BraceletJubilee or Oyster braceletOyster bracelet
Material904L steel, yellow or Everose gold, or a two-tone designSteel or a two-tone design
BezelSmooth or flutedSmooth or fluted
MovementRolex Caliber 3135Rolex Caliber 3136
Superlative Chronometer DesignationYesYes

Design

The Datejust and the Datejust II have different proportions and design permutations.

The Datejust II (right) has a larger bezel and thicker lugs compared to the Datejust (left).

Rolex has kept the Datejust’s look the same for over 70 years but when they came out with the Datejust II in 2009 (not to be confused with the Datejust 41 that was released in 2016), there were definitely some subtle changes. If you were to place the Datejust and the Datejust II side by side, the first difference you’ll probably notice is that one’s bigger than the other. The Datejust measures in at 36mm while the Datejust II is 5mm larger at 41mm. Because of that size difference, these two models have completely different proportions, the Datejust II sporting a wider bezel and thicker lugs than the Datejust. The only thing that remained unchanged is the width of their bracelets, both measuring in at 20mm.

Aside from size, these two models are also different when it comes to their design permutations, with the Datejust allowing for more combinations of different metals, bezels, dials, and bracelets. The Datejust, for example, is available with both the Jubilee bracelet (designed for the original 1945 Datejust) as well as the Oyster bracelet with an Oysterclasp and Rolex’s Easylink extension. The Datejust II, on the other hand, is only offered with the latter. When it comes to materials, you can get the Datejust in 904L steel, yellow or Everose gold, or a two-tone design while you can only get the Datejust II in either steel or a two-tone design. As for bezels, both models allow you to choose from a smooth or fluted one.

Movement

The Datejust runs on the Caliber 3135 while the Datejust II is powered by the Caliber 3136.

Both the Datejust and the Datejust II have the Superlative Chronometer designation.

The differences between the Datejust and Datejust II models don’t stop with their looks. They have different movements too, the Datejust powered by the Rolex Caliber 3135 and the Datejust II running on the Rolex Caliber 3136. Both are COSC-certified chronometer movements and are equipped with Rolex’s Parachrom hairspring, meaning they’re unaffected by magnetic fields and are 10 times more resistant to shocks. That said, the Rolex Caliber 3136 has the upper hand because it also has Paraflex shock absorbers and so it’s extra protected against shocks and extreme weather conditions.

While the Rolex Caliber 3136 is a little bit more advanced than the 3135 in terms of features, you can expect the two movements to be on a different level of accuracy. Both have the Superlative Chronometer designation, meaning they’ve been through an extra round of testing and fine-tuning and are twice as accurate as a COSC chronometer. Both movements have an accuracy of -2/+2 seconds per day while COSC’s certification only requires -4/+6 seconds per day.

Price

There’s a wide price range to choose from if you want to buy a Datejust or Datejust II.

Because the Datejust comes in many variations, you get to choose from a wide price range.

Because the Datejust is Rolex’s longest unbroken production run of any model, there are a ton of Datejust watches to be found in the secondhand market. Also, the Datejust comes in all sorts of variations (you can choose from different combinations of materials, bezels, dials, and bracelets) and so you’ve got quite a wide price range to choose from. Regardless of how big or small your budget is, there’s bound to be a Datejust out there that’s perfectly priced for you. It’s safe to say that both the Datejust and the Datejust II live in the $5,000 to $10,000 price range. But if you have your eye on a solid gold Datejust model that’s covered in precious stones, then be prepared to shell out more dough.

Verdict

Wrist size, design, and budget all play a role in the decision-making process.

When you’re choosing between the Datejust and the Datejust II, the biggest consideration you need to take into account is the size of your wrist. If yours are on the narrower side, the smaller 36mm Datejust might suit you better. But if you have thicker ones, you might be better off with the bigger, more angular-looking 45mm Datejust II. Another important factor you should look into is design. There are so many more variations to enjoy with the Datejust compared to the Datejust II, the former allowing you to choose between different kinds of bracelets and metals. Of course, your budget plays a big role in the decision-making process as well. The price of of your Datejust or Datejust II will depend on your chosen materials and design.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ How are the Datejust and the Datejust II different in terms of design?

The Datejust measures in at 36mm while the Datejust II is 5mm larger at 41mm. Because of that size difference, these two models have completely different proportions, the Datejust II sporting a wider bezel and thicker lugs than the Datejust. Also, the Datejust comes in more design variations than the Datejust II.

๐Ÿ“Œ How are the Datejust and the Datejust II different in terms of movement?

The Datejust runs on the Rolex Caliber 3135 while the Datejust II runs on the Rolex Caliber 3136. Both are COSC-certified chronometer movements and are equipped with Rolex’s Parachrom hairspring. The Rolex Caliber 3136, however, is a little bit more advanced because it also has Paraflex shock absorbers.

๐Ÿ“Œ How much are the Datejust and the Datejust II?

It’s safe to say that both the Datejust and the Datejust II live in the $5,000 to $10,000 price range. But if you have your eye on a solid gold Datejust model that’s covered in precious stones, then be prepared to pay more.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which one should you choose, the Datejust or the Datejust II?

If your wrists are on the narrower side, the smaller 36mm Datejust might suit you better. But if you have thicker ones, you might be better off with the bigger, more angular-looking 45mm Datejust II. Also, it might be better to go with the Datejust if you want to be able to choose from more designs.

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Denise Jose
Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.