Question Time: What Can I Buy Instead Of a Rolex Datejust?
One of the finest entry-level Rolex watches, there are not many luxury timepieces matching the heritage, look and design of The Rolex Datejust. Since 1945, it has been Instantly recognizable as the go-to dress watch standing the test of time. But do our list of alternatives stack up against this horological champion?
For more than 60 years, The Rolex Datejust has undergone significant changes in both mechanics and appearance. However, it actually took the same amount of time to provide a larger size, the Datejust II. Originally starting out as the first automatic chronometer to boast a date window, those looking to buy a Rolex will find this an extremely popular selection.
Suitable for all manner of events or a casual lunch at the in-laws, adapt your own style and personality according to its variety of dial options, classic baton hands and fluted bezel. However, if you are not in with the Wilsdorfs or cannot get on the so-called “waitlist” for a Rolex Datejust, read on to discover our top alternatives.
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M
For daily wearers, you cannot go wrong with The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra.
The number 1 choice of the British Military and worn by many high profile actors including actor Eddie Redmayne, this watch is a great choice instead of buying a Rolex.
Eddie Redmayne sporting the Aqua Terra - Source: Omega
Sure, we have a penchant for The Speedmaster Moonwatch and Seamaster Diver but The Aqua Terra ticks all the timepiece boxes. And yes we can harp on about its rich maritime history and exquisite craftsmanship.
But it is the diverse array watch collectors have within this appealing range. Available in a host of sizes from 28mm to 43mm in diameter, there’s a piece to suit any wrist. Mind you, there’s also the larger 49.2-mm Aqua Terra XXL Small Seconds if you want something bigger.
Utilising extraordinary materials such as their in-house 18K Sedna gold, this range comes with a beautiful sub-dial located at 6 o’clock
Combining the robustness of a diving watch with the sophistication of a men’s dress watch, The Aqua Terra enjoys up to 150m (492ft) of water resistance. Yet watch fans, we are only just scratching the surface of its sapphire case back. So why should I buy an Omega instead of a Rolex Datejust?
Firstly, expect nothing but the highest standards of timekeeping. Next up is the powerful automatic Co-Axial calibre 8900 and a striking nautical dial reflecting decking you might find on a luxury yacht in St. Tropez. Oh la la! Accentuate with a snappy suit, smart polo or linen shirt for the ultimate arm candy.
But that’s not all from this Swiss manufacturer who have been defining watchmaking excellence since 1848. Signature triangular hour markers as well as luminous hands and indices allow the wearer to glance at the time even in the darkest conditions.
Buy an Omega like The Aqua Terra 150m this year and benefit from premium materials featuring yellow gold, rose gold, stainless steel and two-tone versions with 18K gold and stainless steel.
It provides an extremely diverse range of models, bracelets and complications with movements that are Master-Chronometer certified which can be viewed through the caseback.
From Omega chronographs to Omega world time display models, the Swiss brand also launched its “Ultra Light '' edition providing a host of cases and movements. Meanwhile, ladies are covered thanks to its range of dainty ladies watches equipped with quartz ETA calibres.
It’s no surprise that The Aqua Terra is an excellent replacement for The Rolex Datejust. Whether you’re after sporty chic, ocean style both on and off the water or simply sublime mechanics, this is one to consider.
Retail prices of an Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m: From £5,200
Considered one of the most affordable luxury watches to The Datejust (as these bad boys start around £5,000), may we present to you The Seiko SGF206.
Yellow-gold bracelets are for the watch community a double edged sword. Transformed from an iconic piece in the 50’s and 60’s to an uber glam trashy trend in the 80’s when rolled up white suits were all the rage, this could prove to be a great alternative to the Rolex Datejust.
But don’t ask for a Don Johnson slick back cut just yet. Known among watch circles as the “Seiko Datejust,” this does appear to be the genuine article. Stainless steel case? Check. Jubilee bracelet? Check. Seiko’s own composition of the fluted bezel? That too.
Measuring 36 mm in diameter, this watch offers baton hands and markers as well as a day and date window located at 3 o’clock. If you are willing to forgo the minus points, namely its quartz movement and 30m of water resistance, then buy a Seiko like this to shake your watch collection up.
Understated fashion symbol or uber glam flop…which horological fence are you sitting on?
TAG Heuer Carrera Ref. WAR201D.BA0723
Do you feel the need for speed? Then check out our next offering, The Tag Heuer Carrera Ref. WAR201D.BA0723.
Source: Tag Heuer
Synonymous with manufacturing some of the most iconic watches of recent times including the Tag Heuer F1 and Tag Heuer Monaco, this Swiss brand is notorious for its infamous entry-level sports timepieces.
Its close connection to motorsports and F1 drivers like Max Verstappen might not make you want to buy a Tag Heuer in a hurry.
That being said, there are contemporary models such as The TAG Heuer Carrera Ref. WAR201D.BA0723 delivers subtle style and elegance which are worth looking at as an alternative to a Rolex Datejust. Switch from the office to that all important function in a matter of minutes with this popular watch.
Another potential dress watch to pin on your watch noticeboard, it comes with an attractive silver-tone dial, lugs as svelte as Victoria Beckham and a three-link stainless steel bracelet. Measuring 41mm, it offers a tough stainless steel case, a gorgeous exhibition caseback and an identical day-date window at 3 o’clock as represented on The Seiko SGF206.
Housing its celebrated self winding Tag Heuer Calibre 5 movement, it enjoys a 38 power reserve and 100m of water resistance. The rose gold hand and hour indices, SuperLuminova hands and brand logo under 12 o’clock enhance the dial's smart, neat appearance.
Sapphire crystal glass ensures watch lovers won’t suffer from any scratches while benefiting from first rate clarity. If you want to buy a Rolex lookalike for nearly half the price this really might be one for you. Although discontinued, a pre-owned TAG Heuer Carrera Ref. WAR201D.BA0723 costs around £1,400 on secondary markets at the time of writing.
If you want to supersize your Datejust alternative from 36mm to 43mm The Breitling Transocean may be up your timekeeping street.
Source: A Blog to Watch
Watch connoisseurs listen up. We are aware that Breitling rarely does small things. Its avalanche of ostentatious watches such as The Navitimer pack a punch. But consider this.
Measuring 43mm, the date-only Breitling Transocean may be as big as Lebron James. Nevertheless, if The Rolex Datejust is not imposing enough to deserve your wrist why not check out this contender.
Dating from the mid-century when air travel was literally taking off with easier access to international destinations, The Transocean raised the watch stakes with its no frills yet incredibly elegant design.
Think more Qatar Airways than Ryanair. Luxury, simplicity, comfort and those small details that go above and beyond cattle class. Launched in 1958, this uncompromising and uncomplicated timepiece has plenty to offer that’s the perfect onboard companion.
Formerly powered by an ETA 2365, admire the tachymeter scale that’s home to Breitling’s very own chronometer certified calibre B01 and 70-hour power reserve. There is also a generous application of luminous material applied to both the hands and indices.
For those with around £50,000 to drop, upgrade to The Breitling Transocean Chronograph QP Limited Edition. Ideal for collectors, they offer models limited to less than 30 pieces benefitting from varied complications including a chronograph and perpetual calendar. As a result, this makes it one of the most complicated models ever released by the outfit from Grenchen, Switzerland.
If you want to buy a Breitling watch with a smattering of aviation inspiration and retro appeal, this could be the ticket. Although this version is discontinued, a used Breitling Transocean day and date version can be snapped up for around £4,000 on the secondary market at the time of writing.
And finally, a ladies' watch that is worthy of horological consideration.
Longines may not spring to mind as the best alternative to a Rolex Datejust. This is especially the case as some of their timepieces are concerned with transport featuring The Longines Railroad.
But for watch enthusiasts searching for an understated ladies' dress watch to buy, The Longines Conquest Ref. L33164766 is almost a like for like Datejust tribute act. Measuring 36mm, this conservative model has a stainless steel case and bracelet that will stand up to knocks, scuffs and bumps.
On the other hand, this quartz watch boasts a white dial that is silver carved with silver-tone luminous hands and hour indices that are slightly bigger in contrast to The Rolex Datejust. Its signature date window comes as standard at 3 o’clock with a triple folding clasp and push piece opening function. Nonetheless, it does not lose any of its refined luxuries creating a fabulous statement.
Buy a Longines watch and you are guaranteed first class watchmaking expertise, tradition and optimal performance that has seen this Swiss brand a longstanding timekeeper of many sporting events such as The Commonwealth Games 2022.
Retail prices of The Longines Conquest range between £500 to £800.
The Rolex Datejust remains unquestionably one of the hottest men's dress watches in 2023. Unphased by time, it demonstrates classiness, simplistic luxury, accuracy and of course brand status.
If your wallet doesn’t stretch that far, these models above are without doubt some of the best alternatives to the Rolex Datejust.
Incorporating the spirit, design and refined aspects many collectors adore in The Datejust, our exclusive list will no doubt provide food for thought if you decide to buy a replacement.
Time to buy a watch? Want to buy a Breitling or intend to buy a Tag Heuer to start off your collection? Wait no more as Chrono Hunter is your essential number 1 luxury watch broker.
Contact us here and benefit from our expert watch team. Receive the most competitive offers on our platform today from all major brands across our dedicated selection of luxury watch retailers. Delivering consistent five star service on Trustpilot, we can assist in providing the most seamless and hassle free purchasing experience.
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