While the Rolex Datejust collection includes certain models that come with factory-set diamonds, you won’t find a fully flooded diamond Datejust like this straight from the Rolex catalog (especially considering this is a stainless steel version). For a completely iced out Datejust, you need to take matters into your own hand, or better yet, an independent gem-setters hand, so they can customize it flawlessly with aftermarket diamonds. This is what we call a bustdown setting. Highly skilled gem-setters can add diamonds to any Datejust (or any Rolex for that matter), to give you that entirely diamond encrusted look you want. This bustdown Rolex Datejust 41 is the perfect example of what a master gem-setter can do with an original non-diamond Datejust. This went from a normal Datejust 126300, to a Datejust 126300 with brilliance that is out of this world.
Below we will discuss the iconic Datejust collection, as well as how this specific timepiece became one of the the most extravagant, high-quality bustdown Datejusts you will find on the secondary market.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ROLEX DATEJUST
The Rolex Datejust was created in 1945. It was for Rolex’s commemoration of their 40th anniversary as a company. At that time, the Datejust was only available in 18K yellow gold. It had the waterproof Oyster case that was first introduced in 1926, as it still does today. And, it featured a fluted bezel (like many modern Datejusts do) and the then-new Jubilee bracelet.
Nowadays, the Datejust is one of Rolex’s oldest collections, and it is also one of the most iconic dress watches in the world…
Over the decades, the Datejust saw an expansion of design options for both men and women as well as improvements to the overall technology of the watch, which, of course, includes the movement. Moreover, it earned many achievements in the watch industry and it has played a major role in making Rolex the widespread, highly successful brand that it is.
The Datejust was the first automatic wristwatch with a date-displaying window that would automatically change in a blink of an eye at midnight. While this is standard in modern time, it was a revolutionary feature back then. It set the bar for how all date complications in wristwatches should function.
What’s more, Datejust was the watch to introduce the Jubilee bracelet, which is now one of the most iconic watch bracelets in the world. It also introduced the now-famous and expected date window Cyclops lens on the sapphire in 1955.
All in all, the Datejust is more than just a fantastic watch, it is a status symbol…it is an icon in popular culture. Much of the Who’s Who in the world have worn the Datejust. We are talking about the 14th Dalai Lama, Dr. Marin Luther King Jr., Ronald Regan and President Eisenhower, Winston Churchill, Roger Federer, Michael Jordan and the list goes on and on. It’s no wonder the Datejust collection is as big as the Rolex brand itself.
Although there are too many Datejust references to name, the Datejust can be categorized into four separate collections (with one being for the ladies).
First, you had the “Datejust”, which started off in 36mm, but saw a number of case sizes over the years.
The Datejust is also still offered in its original size at 36mm. It is now called the Datejust 36.
In 1957, Rolex unveiled the Lady-Datejust, the first official ladies version of the Datejust. They still produce Lady-Datejust. In 2015, they revamped it to 28mm, which is the only size offering.
In 2009, Rolex put out the Datejust II, which was significantly bigger than the previous generations of the Datejust, measuring in at 41mm (excluding the crown). The Datejust II was discontinued in 2016, replaced by the Datejust 41.
The Datejust 41, which remains in production, is also 41mm. It is essentially the more refined, more modern version of the Datejust II, with some important updates such as the new generation movement, calibre 3235.
As of this year, 2020, we got a new line of Datejust watches, the Datejust 31. Needless to say, these have a 31mm case size.
As of now, you can get the Datejust in 28mm (ladies), 31mm, 34mm, 36mm, and 41mm.
Note: More and more women are buying “men’s” Datejusts these days, so they are all essentially unisex.
The Bustdown Datejust you are looking at here is the Datejust 126300. It belongs to the Datejust 41 lineup.
WHAT IS A BUSTDOWN WATCH?
If you don’t know what a bustdown watch is, let’s just get this out of the way…
A bustdown watch is a watch with aftermarket diamonds, which means the diamonds were not set by the factory (in this case, Rolex). A bustdown watch features diamonds set by an independent gem-setter.
The term “bustdown” refers to the watch being taken apart (i.e bust down) and then drilled and filled with diamonds.
A bustdown watch is the most extravagant (and expensive) customization you can do to a high-end timepiece.
To be a true bustdown watch, the diamonds must be real. In terms of the setting, they can feature any shape of diamond, but typically you will find round brilliants, baguettes and emerald shape diamonds.
What’s more, a bustdown watch may feature diamonds on only certain components OR it can be completely flooded with diamonds like the one you see here. Typically speaking, most people say bustdown when the watch is entirely covered in diamonds.
One of the best things about the possibility of adding aftermarket diamonds to a watch is that you can customize the watch exactly to your liking and you are getting a high-end watch with high quality diamonds for a fraction of the price. And if you decide to purchase an existing bustdown watch (second hand diamond watch), the value is very stable. You are paying for what you get…
Overall, you will hear mix reviews on bustdown watches, as some watch purists take it as a form of disrespect to the brand. However, as long as the aftermarket diamond setting is done well, most watchheads appreciate it. Busting down a watch and encrusting all the pieces with diamonds is a form of art that requires scrupulous effort and skills. It takes many, many hours to make a bustdown watch like you see here with this Datejust.
But, we guess you already knew all of this. Bustdown watches have been a thing of popular culture since the rap game took off in the 90s, with the Datejust being one of the most desirable watches to bustdown. After all, it is a dress watch and people who have the wherewithal want to get dressed to the nine with a watch on their wrist that shines like no other.
WHO WEARS BUSTDOWN ROLEX DATEJUST WATCHES?
Right now, many professional music artists are customizing Rolex watches (along with Patek, AP, and Cartier timepieces). For Rolex watches, the Datejust 41 is the most popular dress watch to bustdown. It has the size that the modern watch connoisseur wants (big, but not too big) and the diamonds just go so well with the dressy look that that original state of the watch provides. Thus, you will find a flooded diamond Datejust 41 in many of hip hop’s most famous watch boxes.
Some of the rappers that have recently been spotted wearing a custom diamond Rolex Datejust 41 are French Montana, Kanye, Davido, and Nikki Minaj. Just keep your eye on IG and you will see many more.
The Datejust will forever be among the most classic of watches. A must have for every collector. So, if you love diamonds, this is a very special watch to own.
THIS CUSTOM ROLEX DATEJUST 41’S BUSTDOWN DIAMOND SETTING
This Bustdown Datejust features countless round brilliant diamonds that cover the case, bezel, bracelet, clasp and dial. The diamonds are set so tightly, using a shared prong setting, that the surface metal of the watch is completely deleted.
As we all know, round brilliant diamonds offer the best fire, scintillation and brilliance. And with these being very high grade diamonds, the watch as a whole offers some of the best light performance we’ve ever witnessed. Pictures simply can’t do this custom, fully flooded Datejust justice. On the wrist, this watch is truly the definition of “marvelous”. It will take your breath away each and every time you wear it, as will it for those who you surround yourself with.
We are now going to review the watch itself, the Rolex Datejust 126300, along with each of its components aftermarket diamond setting.
CUSTOM DIAMOND BUSTDOWN ROLEX DATEJUST 41 126300
First off, this is a Datejust 41 in stainless steel, so it is one of the newer models in the Datejust world. You won’t ever find a steel Datejust with factory diamonds, as Rolex doesn’t add diamonds to their steel watches. It may seem like steel is harder to work with for diamond settings, and it is, but it also makes the diamonds hold a lot better. It’s just more time consuming to get the diamond customization done.
41MM OYSTER CASE
The Datejust II and the Datejust 41 are both 41mm watches. However, the Datejust 41 has a slimmer, more refined Oyster case. Thin watches are in these days, and Rolex adjusted to that accordingly.
Overall, the case is curvaceous and ergonomic, so it contours the wrist for a very comfortable fit. And with the Twinlock system, you are guaranteed 100m of water resistance. The diamonds do not affect this feature whatsoever.
As for the diamond setting, the case is completely covered in round brilliants. From the lugs to the flanks, you will find the watch’s largest round brilliant diamonds, all sized perfectly in their place.
The Rolex Datejust 126300 came with a smooth bezel, as many modern Rolex Datejust do. It gives the dress watch a more sporty feel, allowing the watch to be worn casually and dressed up without a second thought.
It goes without saying, this Datejust 126300 no longer has a smooth bezel. This one has a channel of round brilliant diamonds. The steel edges of the bezel makes for some much needed contrast and separation of the case and bezel. It allows the bezel to pop.
The Datejust dial has always been simple. It has hour markers (in this case, Roman numerals), a date window, a Rolex coronet at the 12, the “Rolex” and “Datejust” plaques, and the white gold seconds, minutes, and hour hands. It’s clean, it’s sophisticated, it’s highly legible. This dial is no different, it just has rows and rows of tiny round brilliant diamonds that blast light in every direction. Nevertheless, they do not distract in anyway way from the legibility, as many diamond dials do…Very well done by the designer and gem-setter of this custom bustdown Datejust 41 watch.
The classic Jubilee bracelet is an elegant five-piece link design that forms small X-like patterns. It is probably Rolex’s most jewelry-esque bracelets. That said, it is very durable, solid and long lasting. Moreover, it is super comfortable.
This is, of course, Rolex’s standard new Jubilee bracelet design with an adjustable Oyster clasp. It just has a plethora of high grade diamonds set in each and every link and all over the clasp. The diamonds, like the rest of the watch, are set in rows, but with the Jubilee design, you have some diamonds set horizontally (outer links) and vertically (inner links). This creates wonderful polarity between each link and makes for a unique sparkle. A bustdown Jubilee bracelet is always astonishing to look at in real life.
CAILBRE 3235 MOVEMENT
The engine at the heart of this custom diamond Datejust 41 is original and completely untouched. As any good bustdown Rolex should be. It’s the calibre 3235, which is Rolex’s new generation movement. It is the modern day workhorse that the 3135 was for many decades of the past. It features a new Chronergy escapement that aids in precision and magnetic resistance. A blue Parachrom hairspring so it remains stable even in temperature fluctuations and during shock. As always, its accuracy is rated to within +2/-2 seconds a day. And, it has a whopping 72 hour power reserve.
In fact, we could go on and on about this movement, as it has 90% new parts from the calibre 3135, and 14 patents…but we will save that for another post.
WHERE TO BUY THIS BUSTDOWN ROLEX DATEJUST 126300?
The exact custom Bustdown diamond Rolex Datejust 41 featured here is available now at Diamonds By Raymond Lee in Boca Raton. If you are interested in purchasing it, you can come into our showroom in East Boca to try it on. You can also order it online now.
See the full sales listing for this custom bustdown fully flooded diamond Rolex Datejust 41 126300
If you have any questions about this custom diamond Datejust watch, our watch specialists will be happy to help.
You can contact us here or give us a call (561) 750-6744
Diamonds By Raymond Lee Showroom Address: 2801 N Federal Hwy, Boca Raton, FL 33431
We look forward to hearing from you!