The Rolex Datejust has been a mainstay of the brand ever since it first appeared in 1945 and has never really gone out of style. The new Datejust 36, announced at Watches & Wonders, is the product of careful curation over the years and the combination of Rolex’s signature features. The new pieces feature two new motifs, a ‘palm’ dial version with a nature theme and a ‘fluted’ motif that has a pure Rolex aesthetic.
There are four new Datejust 36s being released with these new motifs so let’s jump in and explore the palm ones first. The leafy pattern is emblazoned on the dials of three of the watches and features a lush depiction of palm fronds in either green, gold or silver. The green option, found on an oystersteel case, is particularly nice as it gives a strong impression of tropical forests, maybe on a gorgeous island surrounded by glittering waters… ah, we can dream.
The golden palm dial is found on a yellow Rolesor case and the silver is on an Everose Rolesor version. Rolesor, if you’re wondering, is Rolex’s combination of gold and Oystersteel and has been a signature of the brand since 1933. It supports the attractive qualities of the yellow or rose gold with the strength of the steel. Basically, it’s the best of both worlds with a splash of retro charm.
The gold and silver variations of the palm dial make less sense in my head than the green one. It’s a little odd to see a plant depicted in colours that are less associated with the natural world. Either way though it’s a cool pattern that emphasises Rolex’s superlative finishing in a way we’ve not really seen before.
The last new Datejust 36 is the fluted motif version, available solely on yellow Rolesor, which has a strong geometric flair. The pattern is inspired by the classic bezel design that can be found on countless Rolexes past and present, including the Rolesor options presented here. The design imagines the flutes flattened out and even uses two slightly different tones to represent the way the light plays across the actual bezel.
All four watches use a 36mm Oyster case that’s water resistant to 100m and feature a sapphire crystal with cyclops lens at 3 o’clock over the date. It’s a famously robust design thanks to the innate strength of oystersteel and protects the COSC certified calibre 3235. The in-house movement was first seen in 2015 and has been a staple of the Datejust 36 since 2018. It utilises Rolex’s patented Chronergy escapement and more modern barrel design for a 70 hour power reserve.
The watches come on a range of Oystersteel and Jubilee bracelets that have been paired to the colours and materials of the cases and gives a sense of completeness to the whole appearance of them.
While I can appreciate each of these Datejust 36s in isolation, if I had to pick I’d go for the green palm. And no, not just because green is the colour of this watchmaking year, but because it has a purity I love. Although you can’t deny the fluted option is pure Rolex and will likely be the star of the show when these start racing off the shelves.
Price & Specs:
Model: Rolex Datejust 36 ‘Palm’ and ‘Fluted’ Motifs
Ref: 126200 (Oystersteel case with olive green palm motif dial)
126233 (Oystersteel and 18k yellow gold case with golden palm motif)
126231 (Oystersteel and 18k Everose gold with silver palm motif)
126233 (Oystersteel and 18k yellow gold with golden fluted motif)
Case/Dial: 36 mm diameter, Oystersteel, Oystersteel and 18k yellow gold or Oystersteel and 18k Everose gold
Movement: In house Calibre 3235, automatic, 31 jewels, Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing)
Water Resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 70h
Functions: Hour, minute, seconds, date, stop seconds for exact time setting
Strap: Oystersteel, Oystersteel and 18k yellow gold or Oystersteel and 18k Everose gold
Price/Availability: £5,650 (126200), £8,850 (126233), £9,600 (12623) and £9,350 (126233)
More details at Rolex.