Tuesday 11 January, 2011 - 13:00 PM EST
In 1942, with the introduction of the bubbleback powered by a perpetual version of the classic 10 - 1/2”’ Hunter, Rolex made one of the most significant movements of its history. This new model had two additions: a sweep seconds hand and a date disc visible though and aperture in the dial at 3.
The first Datejust was a seminal one, a model and a design that would last for the next 50 years. This model is still the most beautiful of the Datejusts. Even though the registered name was Ritedate, by the time the watch was presented, it was called “Datejust” and the model was “Jubilee”, applied later to the bracelet.
The date function also retained its alternating red and black numbers, presumably to let the wearer know that the date had indeed changed. The only obvious change was when Rolex introduced the Cyclops date magnifier at Basel becoming a signature for the Rolex line.
The stainless and gold Datejust was introduced around 1962 and has proven to be one of the most popular models Rolex has ever produced. The new “two-tone” look not only fit the times, but also enabled Rolex to increase the margins on a very popular watch.
Since the end of the 1980s, all Datejust have been equipped with a “sapphire” crystal. This crystal is sliced out of a lab-grown sapphire with the Cyclops date window cut from a smaller crystal and the applied.
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