The Oyster Perpetual Datejust was introduced in 1945, Rolex’s 40th anniversary. The design brought together two of the 115-year-old Swiss watchmaker’s biggest innovations — the waterproof Oyster case, invented in 1926, as well as its trademark perpetual self-winding movement — and introduced a third: the first-ever dial window on a wrist chronometer to automatically display the day’s date. Rendered in 18-carat yellow gold and topped with a minimally fluted bezel and alpha-shaped hands, the Datejust also debuted the now-iconic Jubilee bracelet, with its elegant five-piece interlocking construction. Though initially created for men, it quickly became a hit with women, so much so that Rolex introduced the more petite Lady Datejust in 1957.
The style has since become a brand signature, reimagined in countless iterations, including the new Oyster Perpetual Datejust 31, its face available in mint green, white lacquer, dark grey and — most arrestingly — rich aubergine. With a bezel set in 46 brilliant-cut diamonds, its dial has 18-carat white-gold hands and Roman numerals, including a “VI” encrusted in more diamonds. Made in a combination of gold and steel that’s been a house trademark since 1933, the watch is fitted with a flat, three-piece wristband designed in the late 1930s, giving it a touch of Art Deco charm. Part timepiece and part decorative jewel, it’s synchronicity objectified.