Rolex double review: Lady Datejust 31mm and Datejust II
Today we’re going to be doing a double review for WatchPaper — the Lady Datejust II and the men’s 41mm Datejust II. For the DJ2, we’ll be reviewing the black dial, stick dial, smooth bezel model. The Lady Datejust 31mm is my wife’s timepiece, but since I wind it and set the time etc., I felt I should be able to review it. It is the 31mm with a grey floral dial. Both of our Rolex have the beautiful oyster bracelets.
So let’s start out the blog with some negatives and get them out of the way. I have two criticisms and each apply to both the men’s and ladies’ watches. The Rolex oyster bracelet is gorgeous, but seems very awkward to adjust. Consequently, it took a long time at the store to adjust my wife’s bracelet and I still find it too loose on her. Mine, on the other hand, is too tight. There seems to be no middle ground — even with the 5 mm adjustment on the clasp. The other criticism I have is that the crown settings feel very wonky. Both on mine and the Lady model, you have to fiddle with the crown before it finally sets into position. I have accidentally quick-set the date when I should not have because of the imprecise feel of the crown. It is actually quite shocking that Rolex would allow such mechanisms to leave the factory.
OK, now that the complaints are out of the way, let’s go straight to a review of the performance. Both models claim a 48 hour power reserve and I can confirm that they easily get 48 hours. No problem there. With my wife’s floral dial, it is impossible to do any real accuracy measurements. It seems as though her timepiece is losing 3-4 seconds per day, which would be a very good rate of accuracy. My DJ2 is consistently losing 2-3 seconds per day, which is really excellent. To be honest, my Panerai is far more accurate than that. But 2-3 seconds per day is really an excellent performance.
So how do these timepieces wear? You would think that a 31mm ladies’ piece would wear very small compared to modern pieces. But let me tell you- it is stunning and gorgeous on the wrist. In fact, the sensational beauty and presence of the Rolex on my wife’s wrist prompted me to acquire my very own Rolex. Although the Lady Rolex is quite a dressy piece, it looks superb with a t-shirt and jeans or any other casual clothes. The polished Rolex Steelinox is incredible and, in my opinion, is what makes the whole “package” just pop. Stunning. Sensational. Superb. These are all very appropriate terms for the Lady Rolex. My wife chose it for the floral dial, otherwise she would have chosen a Cartier. The floral dial is just….see the photos for yourself! Fun, funky, feminine…just excellent.
And for the men’s piece? My DJ2 seems even dressier than the Lady Datejust. At 41mm and very slim, it is not a large piece. I must say that it wears best with a business suit. But, as with the ladies’ piece, the super-high-quality Rolex Steelinox really makes it pop. I think it looks amazing with many casual clothes, although it goes best with business attire. A salesman at a Rolex dealer once told me that once I had a DJ2, I would find myself wearing it every day. He was (almost) right! The thing about a Rolex on steel bracelet is that it wears so easily. Even though mine is a bit tight (or else it would be too loose), I can just forget it once it’s on. I just don’t feel it. The all-steel case and bracelet make it very colour-neutral and it will match anything — even with the black dial.
Let’s discuss the dial — the black, stick dial. I dislike many many Rolex models, but I have always liked the stick dial. The dial has minute markers at 5, 10, 15, 20, etc.- large, simple and obvious. Gorgeous, actually. And there are also small lines marking each minute. In very small writing above the “sticks” marking each 5 minutes are actual numerals. This is a very subtle design element. It is also very effective. It adds a little sporty touch which seems to make the whole piece even more versatile. I am not crazy for the date magnifier, but it does add another sporty element. The hands on this piece are… perfect. They are just perfect. Overall, the DJ2 dial feels solid, purposeful, high end yet understated.
Understated. That’s a great word to describe the DJ2. Understated yet high end. My DJ2 does actually get a lot of compliments, but it does not scream for attention. It has a quiet confidence because it is just so high end and capable. I would go so far as to say that it may be the ultimate business watch: versatile, accurate, solid, robust and elegant. Having a slight sporty character. Simple. Look at the dial- so simple. It just confidently displays the time and the date. Simple. But that’s all you need for a day of meetings and appointments.
Now, for sure, the Lady floral dial is a different animal. It is gorgeous and takes a very formal piece and transforms it into a feminine and fun timepiece that suits fancy dresses and gala evenings as well as shorts & t-shirts. I would go out on a limb and actually claim that the Lady Datejust 31mm with floral dial is the most attractive ladies’ timepiece on the market.
I am a collector. I like to wear different timepieces on different occasions and I like to match different pieces with different suits. But if there was a piece that could become my de facto “go to” piece, it could easily be the DJ2. As I mentioned above, both the lady and the DJ2 just wear so easily. They match anything. I wish mine had a happy medium between being too loose and too tight. The Rolex bracelets have a 5mm adjustment that you can change yourself, but it doesn’t help my problem. But even being a bit tight, I can just wear it and not really feel it. I prefer other, larger timepieces for real casual wear, but I have been wearing my DJ2 on certain weekends with jeans. If you need it to, the DJ2 can adapt to any situation.
The main thing I will emphasize about wearing a Rolex is the feeling of high end quality. And that’s what it is all about. The oyster bracelet is a huge factor on each of our Rolex — it’s what gives the pieces their sensational style, along with the supreme Steelinox stainless steel. These are pieces that are just gorgeous in every detail, modest in size, and very high end in their feel. It is quite a special feeling to wear a Rolex. I still like to wear different pieces depending on the occasion and the suit, but if I am undecided, I can just go for the Rolex every time.
I hope this review has given you some perspective on owning and wearing Rolex. I should also point out the value. While a Rolex will hit your wallet harder than an Oris or a Baume & Mercier, it offers exceptional value considering the caliber of the in-house movements and the overall quality. Enjoy your shopping. The fun is always in the search…