“A witness to world affairs.” That is how Rolex poetically introduces the Datejust when you visit their website. First released in 1945, the Rolex Datejust has earned its place as one of the most iconic and sought-after watches in the brand's remarkable lineup. This timepiece was revolutionary for its time, featuring a self-winding perpetual movement and a date window on the dial – a combination that was a first in watchmaking history.

Over the decades, the Datejust has evolved in design while retaining its signature aesthetic of a classic, versatile, and timeless look. Its iconic 36mm case size, fluted bezel, and the distinctive cyclops lens magnifying the date have become hallmarks of this legendary watch. Compared to other Rolex models, the Datejust stands out with its perfect balance of sophistication and practicality. Its durable Oyster case and waterproof construction make it suitable for everyday wear, while its luxurious finishes and attention to detail elevate it to a symbol of success and achievement.


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The Rolex Datejust's popularity is due to its versatility – it seamlessly transitions from boardroom to black-tie events, making it a favorite among professionals, executives, and watch enthusiasts. You can say the same now for other Rolex models like the Submariner, but the Datejust has a more obvious dress watch look that has broader market appeal.

Today, we will talk about how you can create an homage to this horological marvel with Seiko mods. But first, a short history lesson is in order.


The Original Datejust

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When the reference 4467 Datejust made its debut in 1945, it represented a groundbreaking achievement in watchmaking. This inaugural model was available solely in 18K yellow gold (which was the popular style at the time), paired with Rolex's signature Jubilee bracelet in matching precious metal.

The understated dial featured a warm, creamy hue with contrasting gold baton hour markers. A unique detail was the alternating day/date window, displaying even dates in red and odd dates in black numerals. Notably absent was the emblematic cyclops date magnifier, which wouldn't be introduced until a decade later in 1955. Instead of "Datejust" on the dial, the text read "Rolex Oyster Perpetual" at 12 o'clock and "Chronometre" at 6 o'clock, reflecting the watch's self-winding perpetual movement and chronometer certification.

While the fluted bezel was present, it had a more subtle profile compared to later iterations. This first Datejust laid the foundation for an icon, gradually evolving through numerous references and variations.


The Datejust of Today

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In 2009, Rolex shook up the Datejust collection with the release of the Datejust II. While the traditional 36mm case size had been a staple for decades, the Datejust II ushered in a commanding 41mm variant. This larger execution housed Rolex's caliber 3136 movement to accommodate the amplified proportions. Departing from the 36mm's option of either an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet, the Datejust II was exclusively paired with the iconic Oyster design.

Though meeting demand for a bigger modern sports watch, the Datejust II didn't achieve immediate widespread popularity. After a few short years, the series was discontinued. However, Rolex resurrected the oversized concept in 2016 with the Datejust 41 - featuring an updated reference, movement, and refined aesthetics. This resilient reinvention has ensured the Datejust's lasting relevance among today's varied wrist sizes and style preferences.


A Datejust Seiko Mod


Today we’ll teach you how to create your own homage to arguably the most popular iteration of this watch: the Datejust 36. We think they already nailed it with the dimensions, and it’s only getting more attention especially now when people are gravitating more towards smaller watches.

To start, you don’t have to worry about individually picking out each part like the case, crystal, etc. We already have a convenient case bundle that has everything save for the dial and hands. This is the NMK937 bundle which includes a 36mm stainless steel case with polished sides and brushed lugs, the iconic fluted bezel with a matching sterile crown, an AR-coated sapphire crystal, a slim caseback, and of course, the option between an Oyster and a Jubilee bracelet.



And by the way, if you want a more attention-catching Datejust build, you can also go for the Two-tone stainless steel and gold case bundle.

Now that you pretty much have everything, it’s time to focus on what’s missing: the dial and hands. For the dial, you don’t have to think too hard either, as we have enamel dials in 5 colors that will help you create a faithful homage. We highly suggest going for baton hands as well to complete the look.


Wrap Up

The Rolex Datejust is an extremely influential watch that will remain as a watchmaking icon for the foreseeable future. By using Seiko mod parts to build your own Datejust-inspired watch, you get to appreciate this legendary timepiece in a creative way. Modding allows watch enthusiasts like you to put your own unique spin on an iconic watch while still respecting its historic significance.

So don’t be afraid to check out our complete catalog to see just what kind of watch you can make for yourself. Whether it’s for a dive watch, a vintage pilot watch, or something to wear for the very special occasions in your life, we have all the parts you’ll need to build one. 

Happy modding!

May 19, 2024 — Jeremiah A

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