Rolex Datejust 31 Artistic Dial
This time last year, Jon wrote a story about a trio of new special dial iterations for the Rolex Datejust 31 Artistic Dial in 36mm, including two with subtle foliage patterns. Not to leave the smaller 31mm Datejust out in the cold, Rolex dropped a bouquet of flora-focused dial iterations at Watches & Wonders 2022 with a fanciful yet (mostly) subtle effect.
This 31mm trio spans three dial colors and three distinct Rolex formations, but all are a loose backcross of your garden variety Rolex Datejust 31 Artistic Dial Datejusts. There is a Silver dial in an Everose and Oystersteel two-tone format with a diamond bezel and a jubilee-style bracelet, an Olive-Green dial in an 18k yellow gold case with a diamond bezel and matching bracelet, and a vibrant Azzurro-blue dial in a White Rolesor (the brand’s own mix of Oystersteel and white gold) case execution with a fluted bezel on an Oystersteel bracelet.
But it’s not just the flowers and combination of metals that set this group apart from many other colorful 31mm Datejusts, it’s also that the center of each flower (often known as a pistil), is set with a single small diamond. Each dial has 24 such diamonds and the effect is both more interesting and somewhat more subtle than something like diamond markers. If you’re a budding flower shop mogul, this is how you let ’em know you’re not just some delicate flower to be messed with.
While not traditionally the sort of Rolex that gets my blood pumping, I think these special floral dial models are just as interesting as what Rolex launched into the Professional line last week. I really liked the look of the foliage pieces from last year, and I think this broadens the scope for those who prefer a somewhat smaller footprint, but don’t want to grow in the shadow of more prominent models in terms of precious metals, movement quality (and tech), or the availability of uncommon appeal.
As great as a black or blue-dialed Rolex Datejust 31 Artistic Dial is (and that’s pretty dang great), do you look twice when you catch one on someone else’s wrist? Like Brown Eyed Girl or Dancing Queen, we all love a world-famous hit, but there’s a special excitement to an alternative that you weren’t expecting. Not so much a deep cut, but something easy and just outside the norm of your expectations, like And It Stoned Me or Take A Chance On Me.
Meant to invoke the warmth and refreshing novelty of spring, these three watches have blossomed just in time to add some seasonal efflorescence to the perennial charm and rosy nature of the 31mm Datejust.