Rolex Day Date vs. Datejust: Spot the Differences!

April 29th, 2024

What is the difference between a Rolex Day Date and Datejust?

When it comes to luxury timepieces, few brands command the respect and admiration of Rolex. In Rolex’s illustrious catalog, the Day-Date and the Datejust stand out as two of the oldest watch models created. A Rolex buyer knows the difference between a Day-Date and a Datejust, but do you? 

The Rolex Day-Date and Datejust are similar in many ways. 

  • They are both durable timepieces. 
  • They both look grand and beautiful. 
  • They have almost the same design. 
  • You can wear either of them every day. 
  • They both underwent innovations and improvements at almost the same time. 
  • They are both status symbols of success and personal accomplishments. 

When you are selling a Rolex watchyou need to know the critical differences between the Rolex Day-Date and the Rolex Datejust. Keep reading!

The Emergence of the Day-Date and Datejust Models 

The Rolex Day-Date and Datejust share the brand’s commitment to impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Used Rolex Day-Date for Rolex Buyer
Pre-owned Rolex Day-Date 18238 in 18k yellow gold, perfect for us watch buyers.

Rolex Day Date

The Day-Date was introduced in 1956 and immediately became Rolex’s flagship model. This timepiece is nicknamed the “President” because President Lyndon B Johnson (in 1965) and many world leaders proudly wore this beautiful and distinguished Rolex timepiece.

Key features of the Rolex Day Date include:

It is the only Rolex that displays both the day of the week and the date spelled out in full.

Unique bracelet design.

It was manufactured in gold and platinum.

The only Rolex to feature White Gold, Rose, and Yellow on one watch (Tirador).

The first Rolex with designer dials (wood, marble, malachite, etc.)

Innovations and Improvements include:

Initially, the Day-Date required a manual setting of the day or date by rotating the hands 24 hours (non-quickset 1555 movements)

Late 1970s. 18038 reference models featured a single quickset movement 3055, which quickly adjusted the date of the watch independently from the time.

Late 1980s. The double quickset movement 3155 for the 18238 reference models allowed the watch to change the day and date independently from the time.

The Day-Date President also pioneered the bracelet with hidden Crownclasps (early 1803 models). Eventually, the bracelet switched to a buckle (18038 models in the 1970s).


Used Rolex Datejust for Rolex Buyer
Pre-owned Rolex Datejust, 278241 31mm, Automatic, 18k rose gold & stainless steel, perfect for us watch buyers.

Rolex Datejust

The Rolex Datejust was introduced in 1945. The Jubilee bracelet, characterized by its five-piece links creating a refined and subtle feel on the wrist, was an instant success and has continued until today. Once you see the Jubilee bracelet, you can immediately tell that the timepiece is a Rolex.

Key features of the Rolex Date Just include:

Crafted in combinations of gold and steel.

Features date and time.

Pioneered the introduction of a date function on a self-winding timepiece.

The Datejust was launched to celebrate Rolex's 40th anniversary and has sold the most models in Rolex’s over 100-year history. It is also the longest-running model, as it is still a standard in Rolex’s catalog.

Innovations and Improvements include:

The Datejust initially had a non-quick 1570 movement where the date changed at midnight, or the wearer had to rotate the hands for 24 hours to change it manually.

1977. The Datejust sported the 3035 movement (replacing the 1570 movement), allowing the wearer to manually change the date independently.

The Datejust crystal was upgraded to sapphire in the 1980s, and the hidden Crownclasp was added to the jubilee bracelet from the late 1990s to the early 2000s.

Day-Date vs. Datejust

While both models share Rolex's commitment to functional Swiss watchmaking, high standards, and reliability, they have fundamental differences.



Displays both the date and the day of the week.

It functions as a calendar watch, making it particularly useful for individuals who require quick access to both the date and the day without the need for additional adjustment.

The day display is available in multiple languages.


Focuses on displaying the date without the day of the week feature.

The date display includes the iconic Cyclops lens, magnifying the date window for improved legibility. This feature is unique only to the Date Just line.

Case Size


It typically features a larger case size than the Date Just.


Comes in multiple case sizes, from compact to more substantial cases.



This model features more intricate dial designs, including unique patterns, textures, and precious stone embellishments.


It has a broader range of classic and understated options.



It often features more lavish bezel options, such as diamond-set or precious metal bezels.


This model offers several bezel styles, from the iconic fluted bezel to sleek and modern options.



This timepiece is carved from 18k gold (yellow, white, or rose), platinum, and even precious stones.


Available in stainless steel, Rolesor (a combination of steel and gold), and 18k gold.



This model offers a more limited range of bracelet styles compared to the Datejust.

Offers one of the most iconic bracelet options, the President bracelet, characterized by its semi-circular three-piece links.


Offers a broader range of bracelet styles compared to the Day-Date.

Offers the Oyster and Jubilee bracelets as standard options.

Market Position


Positioned as the brand's flagship model.

Appeals to an elite clientele.

With its opulent materials, intricate craftsmanship, and iconic status, the Day-Date commands a premium price point.


Positioned as a more accessible entry point into the world of Rolex luxury watches.

It is typically priced lower than the Day-Date, making it more accessible to a broader audience.

Notwithstanding their differences, The Rolex Day-Date and Datejust exhibit superior precision and reliability, a testament to Rolex’s engineering prowess.

Where Can I Sell My Rolex? 

When thinking of selling a Rolex watch, there is no better destination than Sell Us Your We are the # 1 Rolex buyer in the United States. Sell Us Your is the buying platform of Gray & Sons Jewelers. 

Why sell my Rolex to Sell Us Your 

  • We have been buying and selling luxury watches, jewelry, diamonds, and sterling silver for over 40 years. 
  • We have six in-house master-trained watchmakers and qualified GIA-certified jewelers with extensive knowledge of Rolex watches, allowing them to assess the true worth of your timepiece. 
  • We offer the most money for your Rolex. 
  • We make quick payments. 
  • For transparency, we maintain open communication with our customers at every step of the selling process. 
  • We have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for excellent customer service.
  • We offer a safe and secure shipping method via our EZ Ship box, which comes with shipping labels and instructions. 
  • You can sell, consign, or trade your Rolex online or by visiting our showroom at 9595 Harding Ave., Surfside (Miami Beach), FL 33154. 

Earn top dollar for your Rolex Day-Date or Rolex Datejust. Request a free quote, and our sales specialist will respond with an initial quote within 24 hours.



Claudine Faifer: Estate Jewelry & Sterling Silver Specialist

Meet Claudine Faifer: Estate Jewelry & Sterling Silver Specialist

Meet Claudine Faifer an estate jewelry, watch and sterling silver specialist with a professional career spanning over 50 years, including an impressive 30 years career at Gray and Sons Jewelers, the premier destination for selling, buying, repairing and consigning luxury watches and estate jewelry… Discover Claudine Faifer's Captivating History




What would you like to sell?

No Selected images
* Max. file size: 40 MB, Max. files: 5.

click here to