At 34 mm, the Oyster Perpetual Date is the ideal size for both men and women. This watch with a date display and Cyclops lens combines a sporty-elegant design with the finest craftsmanship, making it the perfect gift for any young adult.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date adds a practical date display at 3 o'clock to the popular three-hand Rolex Oyster Perpetual. A so-called "Cyclops lens" on the sapphire glass above the date helps make it easier to read. This lens is a common feature on other Rolex models, including the Submariner Date and the Datejust. Unlike those two models, the Oyster Perpetual Date is a modest 34 mm in diameter, making it a suitable companion for both men and women. It is the perfect gift to celebrate the transition into adulthood. The reserved yet sporty-elegant design of this luxury watch makes it appropriate for both formal occasions and everyday life.
The Datejust is easy to find and only slightly larger at 36 mm. If you prefer more sizable watches, you should take a closer look at the Datejust II or the Datejust 41. Both models are 41 mm in diameter and also feature three hands and a magnified date display. Thanks to its caliber, the 3235, the Datejust 41 has a 70-hour power reserve, surpassing that of its sister model by a good 22 hours. Those who can do without a date display should enjoy the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39. The dial of this 39-mm watch feels even tidier and is easy to read.
|Model||Price (approx.)||Diameter in mm|
|Datejust II, Ref. 116300||7,800 USD||41|
|Datejust 41, Ref. 126300||7,300 USD||41|
|Datejust 36, Ref. 116200||6,400 USD||36|
|Oyster Perpetual Date, Ref. 115234||7,700 USD||34|
|Oyster Perpetual Date, Ref. 115200||6,000 USD||34|
|Oyster Perpetual 39, Ref. 114300||5,500 USD||39|
A stainless steel Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date with the reference number 115200 costs about 6,000 USD new and 4,900 USD pre-owned, making this 34-mm watch one of Rolex's most affordable models. Its polished bezel lends it a certain elegance, which is further underscored by the polished middle links of the Oyster bracelet. The variant with a fluted bezel is made of Rolesor, a bicolor combination of stainless steel and gold. Current models have the reference number 115234 and cost around 7,700 USD new and 6,100 USD pre-owned.
There are many vintage examples available of the Oyster Perpetual Date such as the ref. 1500. You can purchase this pre-owned timepiece for as little as 3,400 USD. Pre-owned pieces with the reference number 15200 go for around 4,000 USD. Watches from the 1950s with the reference number 6534 are especially rare. Plan to spend up to 6,200 USD on one of these timepieces. Considering its age, this is actually quite inexpensive. A Rolex Explorer from the same decade can cost anywhere from 7,500 to 37,400 USD depending on its condition.
Many men today may find the 34-mm case of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date a bit too small. The size of Datejust 36 is also no longer considered contemporary. Since these smaller watches are in lower demand, you can often get them at great prices. For example, a mint-condition Datejust 36 in stainless steel with the reference number 116200 only costs 6,400 USD. Prices for pre-owned pieces come in at around 5,600 USD.
You can purchase a 41-mm, stainless steel Rolex Datejust II with the reference number 116300 starting at about 7,800 USD. Pre-owned models sell for around 7,000 USD. Mint-condition Datejust II watches are getting ever harder to find since they were taken out of production and replaced by the Datejust 41. This move may drive up the price of Datejust II models going forward. Its replacement has a markedly improved power reserve of 70 hours and a flatter case. The stainless steel version bears the reference number 126300 and costs 7,300 USD new and 7,200 USD pre-owned. You're not likely to come by many pre-owned pieces, however, as the ref. 126300 has only been available since 2017.
An alternative without a date display is the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 ref. 114300. It is almost identical to the Date except for its more up-to-date 39-mm diameter. It is a great choice for both men and women, especially since women's watch trends are now leaning toward larger pieces. Prices for a never-worn Oyster Perpetual 39 sit around 5,500 USD, while pre-owned examples demand 5,200 USD.
Rolex primarily uses stainless steel in the newer models. They use type 904L stainless steel, which is particularly scratch and corrosion resistant. In some versions, Rolex combines the steel with 18-karat white gold to create the Rolesor combination .
The watch features a screw-down case back and the double-gasket Twinlock crown is also attached to the case. Scratch-resistant sapphire glass protects the dial. The glass is formed in a convex curve over the date display at 3 o'clock. This magnifies the display by 2.5x in order to improve legibility. The watch is waterproof to 100 m (10 bar), making it easy to take with you while swimming or snorkeling.
The use of white gold or diamonds on certain versions of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date raises their value. Watches with reference number 115234 feature five gemstones as hour markers on the dial.
The dial is the distinctive element of the Oyster Perpetual Date. It's available in pink, silver, dark blue, or black. The hour indices are either lines, thicker bars, or diamonds and Arabic numerals, depending on the version. Most versions, however, feature lines or bars. The line indices are made of white gold in order to prevent tarnishing. On the versions featuring diamonds and numerals, the diamond indices represent odd hours and the Arabic numerals even hours. A small touch of extravagance is the watch's fluted bezel, which is available as an alternative to a smooth bezel.
Due to the date display, the Date version of the Oyster Perpetual has a different movement than those without a date. The caliber 3135 powers newer models, in addition to larger diving watches such as the Submariner, Sea-Dweller 4000, and Sea-Dweller Deepsea. Its perpetual rotor automatically winds the movement through natural arm movements and it has a power reserve of 48 hours. It deviates from the reference time by a maximum of two seconds a day, and therefore easily passed the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute's (COSC) tests to receive certification. It vibrates at 28,800 alternations per hour.
As a member of the Oyster Perpetual family, the model featuring a date display is following a tradition reaching all the way back to the 1920s. Rolex introduced the Oyster case in this decade, making a waterproof wristwatch possible for the first time. As an advertising tactic, Rolex acquired small aquariums for their display windows in which they presented the Oyster alongside goldfish. The fish watched the timepieces with just as much disbelief as passersby. In the fall of 1927, swimmer Mercedes Glietze wore an Oyster Perpetual as she attempted to swim across the English Channel. Unfortunately, she gave up after about eight hours due to the freezing cold water, but the watch withstood the test.
The perpetual rotor was introduced in 1931 and is still used today in automatic movements, and not just by Rolex. The flexibly-mounted rotor primarily consists of a metal weight. As you swing your arm naturally throughout the day, the rotor swings with it to a certain extent, thereby winding the watch up a little bit with every swing. A slipping clutch prevents the mainspring from getting overwound, even if the watch is worn a lot, and thus helps prevent damage.