We know it is folly to think that owning only one watch will be enough for the average watch lover, but we have always been on a mission to find just ‘one watch’ to satisfy our habit. That watch you would take you from the day job to the evening party to the holiday in the sunshine.
All this time we have been looking, we have missed what is right in front of us - the Rolex Datejust 36mm. It’s not new, it’s not complicated, it’s not unique, but it is versatile. So here are our top 5 reasons why it is the only watch may ever need.
Reason 1 - It dresses up
The particular model we are referring to is a Z series 2006 Rolex Datejust with roulette date wheel. This watch has an Oyster bracelet with polished mid-link. The polished mid-link can be too much on some of the models, but on the 36mm with black dial, the polish offers just the right amount of showiness, just a touch of ‘look at me’ but not too much. The roulette date wheel - where odd numbers are red and even numbers are black - if fun and subtle, adding a touch of something different to the watch.
The smaller dial, the lack of crown guards and the beautifully curving case all make this watch a ‘dress watch’ challenger of the highest order.
This watch looks great with black tie or a suit and tie. It’s smart and classy and unmistakably Rolex, without being too much, or too big, or too in your face about it because it’s small and subtle in other ways.
Reason 2 - It dresses down
As this watch is smaller, built from 904L stainless steel and waterproof to 100m, it goes just as well on holiday with shorts and a polo shirt, or swimming trunks. It remains subtle and comfortable on the wrist, without being too flash or bulky to wear everyday.
Reason 3 - It’s the perfect size
Small is beautiful and plenty of people will try to tell me that at, 36mm, it is too small. I admit it is smaller, but not too small. Recently, we’ve seen a growth in the number of 40mm or less watches coming back to the market. The one thing Rolex have almost always got right is their sizing, even when their designs have gone a little off piste. The way that the 36mm Datejust has been designed gives it plenty of wrist presence, even if you have a larger wrist. The case and strap create a solid look on the wrist and the dial is held perfectly in the centre of even larger wrists. The size means it easily fits under dress cuffs.
Reason 4 - It’s beautifully designed
There are plenty of designs to choose from in the Datejust, but our favourite is the polished bezel, polished Oyster bracelet, black dial with markers combination. The Roman numerals on the dial are a subtle, but classy touch that adds real presence to the dial. The squared off hands are slightly more dressy than the Mercedes hands of the Explorer model, but the luminescence means that the watch is still practical.
Reason 5 - It’s a Rolex
Rolex make great watches. Admittedly there are some we don’t like that much, but they are reliable and sought after the World over. Rolex watches are robust and relatively easy to service. They mostly look great and hold their value, often increasing in value over time. In some places a Rolex will do for currency, so they are always useful.
And there you have it, quite simply, you can’t go far wrong with a Rolex Datejust 36mm and it may just be the only watch you ever need.