When it comes to rarity, no other brand seemingly attracts the superlative more so than Rolex. That’s why we love the brand so much – there is so much detail to be found in each vintage line. A lot of this fine detail has been discovered and discussed over the years on forums and IG. There is, however, undoubtedly more to be uncovered in the future and that is the collector’s quest. The Datejust is, on the surface of it, one of the most humble members of the Rolex clan and yet over the past few years it has become of great interest to collectors due to the huge variety of dials and combinations of references. It is also a watch that is reasonably stealthy, especially in stainless steel and is also incredibly versatile to wear and style up for different occasions and environments. There is a Datejust, however, that truly is rare and even more stealthy and discreet that its steel brother. The white gold Rolex Datejust takes the DJ to a whole new level.
White gold has a look all of its own. The way the light hits the watch is very different to steel and yet only a very discerning eye would spot the fact that its white gold from a few feet away. Rolex has an illustrious past of producing their watches in precious metals, including white gold, for their Day Dates, Daytonas and even the Submariner. The Datejust is not a watch, however, that was seen as a ‘luxury’ piece and so very few were produced in gold and even fewer in white gold.
There are a couple of discreet differences in the case of the watch though that can be seen when comparing it to a steel example. The most obvious, perhaps, is the lack of drilled-through lugholes. Much like its cousin the Day-Date, the white gold DJ is sans lugholes, which does give the watch a less utilitarian look and lifts it somewhat.
Secondly, the midcase extends a little further between the lugs as you see on a Day-Date and the early Bubbleback Oysters from the 1940s. Subtle, but a cool touch that sets the watch apart from the steel version.
Dial ‘G’ For Gold
The white gold Datejusts were fitted some beautiful dials including diamond set and stone dials. One of our favourites at Bulang and Sons, however, is the gilt dial and especially if the gilt dial turns tropical. We were fortunate enough to discover this incredible example recently – just check out that dial! Totally incredible, like a cross between a tiger’s pelt and an old patinated piece of wooden furniture.
And when the sun hits the dial at different angles – ‘wow’ doesn’t even come close. And of course, because these old gilt dials were created through a galvanic printing process, where the text is actually printed in relief, all the writing on the dial is pristine and crisp despite the cool aged effect across the dial.
If You Know, You Know
The white gold Rolex is for the knowing and discernable collector. When steel isn’t lux enough and yellow gold is to flash, white gold is the perfect partner. The weight is reassuring as is the anonymity of the metal. And its styles up so well with different straps including cool bright natos for summer – we’ve always been fans of gold watches on nato straps and the WG DJ is perfect for this combo. It isn’t flash and it certainly ain’t bling. But with the white gold Datejust if you know, you know.