As women made bolder life choices and took control of their time, in 1957, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust was born. It was a symbol of liberation for women, acknowledging their passion for life and their renewed confidence in their abilities. The timepiece recognised that it was time for women to own watches that boasted accuracy while being visually stunning. This cognizance was appreciated. From musicians like Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Anoushka Shankar to golfer Annika Sörenstam, marine biologist Sylvia Earle and more—women have not only embraced this Rolex timepiece but also made a case for its reliability. Here’s a closer look at the coveted watch.
Small But Mighty: The Lady-Datejust Way
Though only 28 mm in diameter, the timepiece packs a powerful punch. Encased in Oystersteel or 18-karat gold, the dials come in several colours, including sunray blue and rhodium. The date window is magnified by a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock—crafted with scratch-proof sapphire—which is a design feature that Rolex introduced on the Datejust in 1945. And like all Rolexes, it has the five-point crown logo—a symbol of the brand’s commitment to quality. Additionally, the case is waterproof to 100 metres, allowing for the watch to accompany women on their adventures.
A Technical Marvel
The Lady-Datejust has undergone several changes over the years. In 2009, Rolex equipped it with a new movement, the Calibre 2236, which is entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. The oscillator features the patented Syloxi hairspring—made of silicon and immune to magnetic interference—offering great stability in the face of temperature variations and shocks. The self-winding mechanical movement also has a power reserve of approximately 55 hours.
A Rolex exclusive, the Syloxi hairspring is made of silicon—a material with exceptional stability that is resistant to magnetic fields and shocks. This makes it the ideal material for a watch that will be worn every day. Moreover, the watches are Superlative Chronometer certified, which means they have been tested in accordance with Rolex’s own strict standards. These standards are more stringent than those for COSC certification.
The Beauty Of Choice: Dials, Bezels And Straps
Over the years, the Lady-Datejust has been offered in an array of metals, dials and strap or bracelet options. The result is a wide variety of timepieces to suit any taste. For one, when it comes to the bezel, Rolex primarily offers three iterations in domed, fluted or gem-set. As for the dial, wearers can choose from faces that feature the warmth of champagne or the dazzling diamonds, or they can opt for the many other shades, from pink to silver, that the Lady-Datejust offers. One of the most noteworthy dials is the mother-of-pearl dial. Used in its natural state by Rolex, it can be of any colour, be it white, black, pink or yellow. Rest assured, each mother-of-pearl dial is unique—given that it’s organically acquired—thus making your watch one of its kind.
Every aspect of the timepiece boasts variety. For instance, besides the dials and bezels, the wearer can also choose from a range of hour markers, in Arabic or Roman numerals and gem-set or not. As for the strap, you could go for the steel Oyster bracelet or the 18-karat yellow, white or Everose gold President bracelet. You could also switch it up with colourful leather, rubber or fabric options. The timepiece boasts three main kinds of bracelets: a three-piece link Oyster bracelet which features the Oysterlock clasp; a five-piece link Jubilee bracelet with a Crownclasp, or a three-piece link President bracelet with a Crownclasp.
The Lady-Datejust And Gemstones
In line with Rolex’s commitment to excellence, the Lady-Datejust is also available in an array of jewel-encrusted bezels and dials. Be it rubies, sapphires or emeralds, only the finest gemstones are used to create a timepiece that shimmers with brilliance. In fact, in 2021, Rolex unveiled an 18-ct yellow gold gem-set iteration of the Lady-Datejust, featuring a diamond-set case, dial, bezel and President bracelet.
The Lady-Datejust: An Enduring Style
Besides celebrities like Grace Kelly and Jennifer Garner, the timepiece has adorned the wrists of everyday women who value its beauty and technical prowess. It is a watch that transcends generations while remaining relevant in today’s ever-changing landscape. And it is precisely this combination of forward-thinking design and traditional elegance that has made the Lady-Datejust one of Rolex’s most iconic models.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust is the perfect example of how a classic watch can evolve over time and remain relevant. It is a timepiece that has been worn by some of the most influential women of our time, and it continues to be a popular choice for those who appreciate its beauty and technical prowess.