The Oyster Perpetual Date: A Practical Update
Considered by collectors to be one of Rolex’s classics, the Oyster Perpetual Date is a smaller version of the Datejust that also incorporates functional elements from their groundbreaking Oyster Perpetual suite. With most cases measuring in at 34mm, this collection borrows many of the same aesthetics from its larger counterpart, as well as the perpetual rotor and Oyster case from the original Oyster Perpetual. Its sporty elegance is great for those who love the look of a Datejust, but need something a bit more compact. Plus, it’s available in a variety of dial colors like black, blue, silver, white, and pink, and metal offerings include Oystersteel or Rolesor. If you’re looking for ladies models, some 26mm pieces are available on the pre-owned market, but have been discontinued in the Rolex catalog—the same can be said for their midsize Oyster Perpetual Date 31 models. Interested in seeing one of these pieces up close? Watch this expert review of the handsome reference 115200.
The Collection’s History & Evolution
To understand the Oyster Perpetual Date collection, it’s important to recall the history of both the Datejust and the Oyster Perpetual. The first waterproof Oyster watch was designed in the 1920s. Then in 1931, Rolex added a perpetual rotor to the design. After this, the original Oyster Perpetual gained steam, and Rolex began adding other innovative features and functions like the date display window—this brings us to the spin off suite which officially debuted as the Rolex Oyster Datejust in 1945. As the Datejust boomed in popularity throughout the 1950s, Rolex started creating this model in various sizes aside from the traditional 36mm. The 34mm iteration that we know today was released in the mid-1950s. Some of the earliest references from this collection include the 6530, 6534, 6535, and 6537. Before this, a sort of “transitional model” ref. 6518, was released under the names “Oysterdate Perpetual” and “Oyster Perpetual.”
From a style standpoint, many of the original aforementioned references were available in steel, gold, and other two-tone combinations. Bezels ranged from simple domed to decorative and ornate. Additionally, dial colors varied, but many included Alpha hands and faceted triangular hour markers. Another detail featured in many of the original references was the “Roulette” date wheel that got its name from a mix of red and black numerals. Finally, while current Oyster Perpetual Dates are powered by the caliber 3135, the original releases were equipped with the 1035 movement—the same caliber used in Datejusts from the time. This allowed the date window to adjust instantly after midnight, giving off a seamless transition below the signature Cyclops lens. If you’re interested in a classic two-toned model, watch this review of the stunning ref. 16013.
Purchasing a Pre-Owned Rolex Oyster Perpetual DateAs the world’s leading platform for buying, selling, and trading pre-owned luxury watches, we strive to curate a near-mint condition collection of Rolex Oyster Perpetual Dates. Each piece is thoroughly inspected by our team of in-house, Swiss-trained watchmakers and refinishers, giving you peace of mind. If you’re interested in exploring watches similar in style to the Oyster Perpetual Date, browse our selection of stainless steel pieces. Or, shop other Rolex collections like the Submariner, Day-Date, and GMT-Master II.
Explore Pre-Owned Perpetual Date Models
Featuring an Engine Turn bezel, this handsome timepiece is equipped with a stainless steel Oyster bracelet and grey dial—a great beach to tuxe look.
Looking for a piece with a darker dial color? This captivating watch features a deep blue dial, Engine Turned bezel, and a stainless steel Oyster bracelet.
Flaunting an absolutely mesmerizing 18k yellow gold case and matching Oyster bracelet, this statement-worthy watch has a champagne dial, too.
In the 1960s, Rolex released several 26mm time and date pieces to cater to female collectors. However, these watches have been discontinued and can only be found on the pre-owned market. Perfect for a slightly smaller wrist, this sharp stainless steel watch features an Oyster bracelet and a neutral, navy blue dial—a great color for any casual or formal occasion.
Frequently Asked Questions About This Model