Hot Take: Rolex Datejust 36 Reference 126234
This classic is considered to be the mother of all modern wristwatches, and every collector at least needs to have one or have tried it.
The Datejust was actually my first Rolex. I got it in 2002 when I finished university and went straight for the Datejust in 36mm with a white gold fluted bezel and Jubilee bracelet. It is basically one of the Rolex watches I respect most and this year we see an updated version of that classic. Let’s forget about the Sea-Dweller in gold & steel for a moment (that Michael covered here) or the new Rolex GMT-Master II Batman with Jubilee that I wrote about earlier yesterday. The Datejust release is less controversial, very safe even, and that’s what I feel Rolex is best at. Do minor changes, keep watches in production for a long time, only change small bits and pieces for the better (including design). In a time where it feels that Rolex needs to start and discontinue collections more than they ever did, the Rolex Datejust 36 is a safe haven. This watch is ‘always good’. Well, perhaps for the Rolex Datejust II model in 41mm that was – again – short-lived.
Rolex Datejust 36 Ref. 126234
The reference number already gives away the fact that it is a new version of the classic reference 16234. The Rolex Datejust in 36mm, Rolesor configuration (steel & white gold) and jubilee bracelet. It sounds all very simple, but if you have a classic like this, it is easy to do things wrong in newer versions. In this case, Rolex did it right.
36mm might seem small, but it will fit a lot of men (and women) perfectly. If 36mm is not your thing, then Rolex has their 41mm versions for you as well, of course. Luckily, Rolex discontinued the Datejust II and brought the design back to the 36mm style (especially the profile/contour was different) and keep it at 41mm. But anyway, my 18cm wrists can easily handle a 36mm and I must say that due to the shape of the case and the steel bracelet, it appears a bit larger than some of the classic round 36mm watches. That said, always make sure to try it on first.
The Datejust 36 comes in two new versions, the black dial model that we have here and a mother-of-pearl configuration with diamond hour markers. The black sunray finished dial looks pretty amazing and I can only imagine what it will do when it catches sunlight (instead of the artificial light inside the halls of Baselworld). As always, the hour markers and hands are made of 18-carat white gold. Of course, the fluted bezel is also made of 18-carat white gold and gives an equally amazing effect in the sun, like the black dial.
Speaking about the dial, Rolex uses their Chromalight applied hour markers and hands that give a blue luminescent colour in low-light conditions.
What’s Good About It?
There are tons of different Datejust models, but this new Datejust 36 has a dial that certainly stands out. Half of our team has Datejust watches, but actually, none of us owns one with a black dial. This new sunray finished black dial is definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for a Datejust 36. In combination with the gold fluted bezel and Jubilee bracelet, it is a ‘tres chic’ watch for sure, but will also perfectly work with casual attire. In fact, the Datejust 36 will work with anything (or nothing). It is one of those perfect all-rounder watches, period.
Also, the new Rolex Datejust 36 has the caliber 3235 movement. This new generation of Rolex movements offers an accuracy of -2 / +2 seconds a day deviation on average, well within the official chronometer (COSC) standards. It contains the Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers. It offers a power reserve of 70 hours.
The Datejust 36 has a water resistance of 100 meters, a screw-down (Twinlock) crown and a screw case back, as always. Part of the reason why it is such a perfect all-rounder, it can be worn under almost any circumstances.
On the Jubilee bracelet, one of the most comfortable bracelets ever (click here for our Top 10 of best watch bracelets), there’s the Easylink system that allows you to adjust it with 5 millimetres (without using any tool) for more comfort.
Price of this Rolex Datejust 36 ref. 126234 is CHF7,800.- Swiss Francs (or €7.550,- incl VAT). If you want to have the watch without the 18-carat fluted bezel, the price is a bit friendlier at CHF6,600.- Swiss Francs and the reference then will be 126200. An Oyster bracelet instead of a Jubilee will save you another CHF100,- Swiss Francs.
More information via Rolex online.