History of the Roulette Date
The Rolex “Roulette Date” was found on the first Datejust model back in 1945. It gets its name from the alternating red and black numbers, similar to the casino game. Originally, even number were red and odd were black. The modern version is reverse of that: odd dates are red and even dates are black. Interestingly, some vintage Tudor Prince watches also have Roulette style calendar wheels.
Official Rolex Name
Rolex doesn’t officially refer to this style of date wheel as a Roulette date wheel. Instead, they simply call it a “two-colour date display.”
Dial Color Matters
Getting a Datejust 36 with a Roulette Date may seem like luck of the draw, but Rolex isn’t the gambling type. Whether or not you get the red & black date has to do with the dial color of the watch. Here are your options:
- Bronze Arabic
- Black Arabic Concentric
The Roulette Date wheel is only available on the Datejust models with the dial options mentioned above, however, since the Datejust is powered by the Rolex caliber 3135 you can have it custom installed in other watches with the same movement. It makes for a fun mod on a Yacht-Master, Submariner, Sea-Dweller or Deepsea – it will also work on a GMT-Master II (Ref: 16710 caliber 3185/3186) which would look amazing with a Coke bezel!
This of course is if you can get your hands on one… it is not possible for an AD with an official Rolex parts account to simply order a new Roulette calendar wheel from the factory. To get the part itself, one would have to send in an original part for swap.
The watch featured in the video above is a Z serial Rolex Datejust 116203 with with a black dial, 18K gold smooth bezel, and a two tone Oyster bracelet.
We hope this information was useful to you. Please consider buying your next watch from our shop.