For the last four years I’ve been obsessed with watches, especially luxury watches (I know that some may not consider Rolex and Omega to be a luxury brand, but I do). It all began with a simple blue dial Tag Heuer Aquaracer my mother bought me when I was still in high school, but at the time I didn’t think much about watches. The next watch I have is an Omega Seamaster Professional GMT, the one with blue wavy dial in 2012 and it is still being my daily watch today when I am going to do a lot of physical activities. Then, as you might have guessed, my collection grow into several other watches. Including the latest Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-axial and Speedmaster “FOIS”. All of them have bezel size between 39mm to 41mm, which translate to “looks good” to “looks little big” on my 6.5 inch wrist (for those with small wrist who needs a reference). And that’s how I stumbled into the iconic 36mm Rolex Datejust I, which I could say the perfect size for my wrist. In my quest to find my perfect watch, I would say Rolex Datejust I is pretty damn close.
Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-axial 41mm with perlon strap on my 6.5 inch wrist
I have only use the watch for 4 days now, so my perspective might be biased and change in the future. I bought it on June 3rd 2016, one day before my CFA exam, in Rolex boutique with an arguably fair price compared to black-market retailer, costing me in total of US$7100. The packaging is great, using not too large box but nicely finished and provides space for manual and guarantee card. Currently Omega has a bigger but more luxurious packaging, but I like the small size packaging of Rolex better since I don’t really use the box so it’s easier to be stored.
The classic Rolex logo on the top of the box
The box inside the outer box (boxception).
Rolex Datejust I with blue dial, fluted bezel and jubilee bracelet
First of all, the watch is very flashy under proper lighting condition due to the white gold bezel and polished centre link on the bracelet. There is a smooth bezel variation for this Datejust I and it comes with a slightly cheaper price for those who prefer something more subtle. Rolex also offered the watch with oyster bracelet with centre link polish as well, however it is more prone to scratches. The date colour changes between black and red marks, depends on the number of the date (even is black, odd is red). The blue dial, which I believed termed “midnight blue”, is stunning under the sun and looks like black at night. Talking about the lume, to be frank there’s a lot of watches with better luminosity, but for a dressy watch it is good enough.
Notice the reflection on the sapphire glass and the polished surface of the lug, indicating a dressier watch compared to brushed surface commonly on dive watches.
Different shade of blue compared to photos below, depending on the lighting condition
Jubilee bracelet with polished centre link, a new type of clasp compared to older model of Datejust.
The bracelet feels very comfortable but is not as stiff and rigid as the oyster bracelet. It could be tailored to my 6.5 inch wrist and still left 1 link left that could be removed, suitable for women and men with smaller wrist. This may not be a problem for American and European people, however Asian men are blessed with a small wrist, hence limiting the variety of watches to match the wrist proportion.
The end-to-end lug width is not wider than my radius and ulna bones.
Just look at how stunning the blue dial catch the light!
Overall, I am very satisfied with Rolex Datejust I and how it fits perfectly on my wrist. There are other options though, such as Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 38.5mm, IWC Mark XVIII 36mm and Tudor’s 36mm watches. Aqua Terra has more water tolerance of 150 meters compared to Datejust 100 meters, comes with more affordable price and has a teak pattern dial, which may appeal to certain buyers. Both Rolex and Omega are using parachrome hairspring in their latest watch to enhance magnetic resistance, but since Master Co-axial release it’s open to debate as to decide who has a better movement.
At last, I hope my perspective and photos helps you in deciding your next purchase!