Rolex Datejust 36 leather Strap Guide collection reference 16234 16233 1601 two tone blue white dial

Rolex Datejust 36 Strap Guide by WatchBandit

The Rolex Datejust is one of the Rolex’s icons and one of the brand’s oldest models of its collection, that still remain (in multiple updated forms) in production today. For us, at the Team WatchBandit the most descriptive and classic version of the Datejust comes in the size of 36 mm, a fluted bezel and a jubilee bracelet. Our question is, what is the best band for the Rolex Datejust 36? We have to admit, that most Rolex watches look great on their factory bracelet, which is either the Oyster- Presidential- or Jubilee-Bracelet and which are one of the best engineered and executed stainless steel- or precious material bracelets on the market (at least the modern ones); But let us show you, how versatile especially the classic Rolex Datejust can look on a variety of the best of our 20mm leather- and perlon straps in the following Rolex Datejust 36 Strap-Guide!

A true classic: The Rolex Datejust

The Rolex Datejust was first introduced in 1945 and it revolutionized the world of watchmaking: The Rolex Datejust was the world’s very first automatic wristwatch to feature a date in a window at 3 o’clock on the dial, that would automatically change over at midnight. Long before sports models like e.g. the Rolex Submariner was introduced, it followed the classic Rolex design language.

Rolex Datejust ref. 16234 from 1997

Rolex Datejust ref. 16234 from 1997 with the iconic fluted bezel and jubilee bracelet

In contrast to the famous models like the Rolex Submariner, Daytona, and GMT-Master, the timeless and versatile aesthetic of the Datejust was not designed as a sports watch, but as a classic timepiece, that can be worn every day and throughout a wide variety of activities. Even though it’s considered as a dress watch, the Datejust featured a water-resistance like a sports watch thanks to the famous Oyster case invented by Rolex in 1926, with its patented system of screwing down the bezel, case back and winding crown against the middle case.

Rolex Datejust reference 1601 brown tanned textured calfskin leather strap by Watchbandit

Rolex Datejust ref. 1601 from 1976 paired with a tanned textured calfskin leather strap by WB Original

While the Rolex Datejust is considered a very classic watch, the combination of an indeed classy design on the one hand, but also sporty functionality e.g. in terms of robustness and waterproofness, has made the Rolex Datejust an underestimated and actually very versatile watch. Older Datejust bracelets don’t have an easy-link function in their bracelet, which allows so size the bracelet size slightly. If you don’t want to wear it quite loose, it can get uncomfortably tight e.g. when your wrist swells during hot days. A leather- or nylon band is easy to adjust, easy to change, it is light and breathable and gives you the possibility to match the color of your outfit. Let us present to you the best strap combinations for the Rolex Datejust 36 in the following strap guide!

Elegant: Textured Calfskin Leather Strap

Our Textured Calfskin Leather Strap is the perfect match for your Rolex Datejust; Finest hand-made Italian, natural vegetable-tanned leather with a certain leather texture and white side stitching, that gives your watch a casual, but yet elegant look. We consider it one of the best leather bands for the Rolex Datejust 36, which you are able to compliment your outfit perfectly.

Sophisticated: Nubuck Calfskin Leather Strap

Our Nubuck Calfskin Leather Watch Straps are made of soft leather with a smooth texture and fine side stitching, that gives your Datejust a sophisticated look. Especially lady- and modern 6-digit reference Rolex look good on a little thicker bust soft nubuck leather band. The band is made in Europe of genuine and ultra-soft calfskin and natural vegetable-tanned. This strap will bring out a great look for your Rolex Datejust, and age well with time.

Casual: Suede Strap

You like to wear boots, jeans and checked shirts, but you don’t want to miss out on your Rolex Datejust? Then you need to wear it a Suede Strap. It’s not only very soft and comfortable, but it also provides the perfect casual look. Our WB Original suede leather watch straps with their characteristic double-stitching at the lugs are handmade in Italy, with genuine leather from Tuscany and are naturally tanned.

Vintage: Vintage Leather Strap

The Vintage Leather Band for the Rolex Datejust rounds up every outfit with its light retro-look. You can make it match the leather of your shoes and belt perfectly, which you’re wearing to your suit. It’s not too sporty and yet not too elegant – it’s just perfect from Monday to Sunday. Like all our WB Original leather straps they are handmade in Italy, with genuine leather from Tuscany and are naturally tanned.

Summer-time: Perlon strap

The Perlon band is the perfect strap to transform your elegant Rolex Datejust into a classy and yet casual summer-watch: The Perlon strap is thin, light and breathable, which makes them perfect for hot and active summer days. The synthetic nylon fibers are water-resistant and are sturdy enough to not fray or tear. It’s is so light that after a while on the wrist, you’ll barely notice that you’re wearing a watch. They are available as a single- or two-piece perlon straps.

Which strap size does my Rolex Datejust 36 need?

Rolex Datejust case engraving reference 16234 original rolex design

Rolex Datejust ref. 16234 with its typical case engraving – The space between the lugs is 20 mm

For the Rolex Datejust 36, you need a band-width of 20 mm, which is the most common lug width at Rolex watches. Of the Datejust collection only the new Rolex Datejust 41 has a lug width of 21 mm. If you can’t find a leather strap in 20 mm, it is no problem to take a 21 mm strap instead; Even though there is a small size difference of 0,5 mm each side, leather is soft enough to fit your watch and the difference of 0,5 mm each side is not enough to make it looked squeezed. More about how to find out which strap size your watch needs here.

Rough case-surface of Rolex watches

Please note: As you can see on the picture above Rolex cases have quite rough case surface behind the lugs. Leather straps with a smooth surface, such as our vintage leather, may rub on this rough surface and can get damaged by it. Rough leather such as suede or thin straps such as textured leather- and Canvas straps should not touch the surface in most cases, as you can see in the galleries (There may be exceptions and must be checked individually). Damage on smooth leather straps can be easily fixed with common shoe creme, in the same color as the strap of course. An alternative solution are curved spring bars.

How do I change the bracelet or strap on my Rolex?

To change the bracelet of your Rolex watch, you’ll need a spring bar tool with a special 1 mm fork, that fits in the openings of the bracelet, for example, the Bergeon 6767 spring bar tool.

Photos were taken by us and our brand ambassadors @rolopalooza, @gmtfanatic @neverlate_watches and @rhythmonthewrist. Thank you for the awesome pictures of our straps on your Rolex Datejust!

Please note: Any watches pictured in this blog post are for illustration purposes only and the watches are not included in our strap offers. Straps may vary slightly from those pictured.

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13 thoughts on “Rolex Datejust 36 Strap Guide by WatchBandit

  1. David Fulenwider says:

    I am refurbishing a Ladies Rolex Datejust that was purchased in 1980. I want to place a leather band on it.
    Can you tell me what size and offer a selection of bands that I could peruse?
    Thank you

    1. Mick says:

      Hi David, you would need to measure the distance between the lugs. After you have done that, then we need what size straps you can use, and we will of course gladly share our recommendations. Cheers Mick

  2. Darren says:

    Love the piece!

    Just want to be sure – am I able to swap out my Jubilee bracelet on my date just 36? Or is this only possible on oyster bracelets?

    Sorry if the question is obvious! Haha

    1. Chris says:

      Hi Darren,

      thank you for your question! Of course it’s possible, the watch and the lugs remain the same with all type of bracelets ? But it’s not that obvious with modern Rolex models like GMTs with oyster and with jubilee, they have different end links. But that only matters if you want to swap between the bracelets, the watch case and 20 mm lug width always stays the same.


  3. Mich says:

    Nice article! Is it better to get a vintage rolex for this or can you do it aswell on new datejust ? I heard the vintage is less thick so it may be better, is that why you chose a vintage?

    1. Chris says:

      Hey Mich,

      thank you for your comment. You are correct, the modern 41 mm Datejust is larger and thus heavier and the rough inner side of the case + the weight are not good for leather straps for example. But it goes very well with our nylon-, and rubber straps as many other modern large Rolex watches. – Another important fact is that vintage bracelets aren’t of such good quality as the modern ones. The old bracelets feel rickety and are often stretched. That’s why people like to switch to one of our straps 🙂

      Chris & Team Watchbandit

  4. Tom says:

    Hi, I have a genuine Rolex
    Leather strap on my vintage Datejust, will the Rolex mental buckle for your straps?

    1. Mick says:

      Hi Tom,

      You should measure the buckle width on your Rolex buckle, if it’s 16mm then our Handmade Italian Leather straps will be a perfect fit.



  5. Tim M says:

    This shows it working on a five-digit Datejust, will these also fit a six-digit Datejust?

    1. Mick says:

      If you have a Rolex Datejust 41 then it has a lug width of 21 mm, check out our vinage and suede straps

      1. Kyle Barr says:

        What about on a new 36mm datejust? Are the lug holes higher up in the case than the older models?

  6. Robert Murphy says:

    I have a 1980 Rolex President and would like to consider a leather strap as a replacement for the Presidential Band due to wear of my Bracelet. Is this something that can be done and what are my options?

  7. Brian Holland-Jones says:

    Hi I have a 1970 Rolex Datejust 1601 model but I think the bracelet is the wrong one. Do you have side views of the correct bracelet so I can check please ?

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