When it comes to watchmaking, the first brand that comes to 99% of people’s minds is Rolex. And there’s little to say: the green-and-gold Swiss Maison has dominated the market for decades, racking up a string of successes that have made it one of the world’s most well-known and respected brands.
That’s why we want to offer you our little analysis of Rolex and what are its most interesting watches, especially at this particular moment in history where, for the first time in about two decades, the prices of these timepieces on the second-hand market have lowered.
The Rolex market
Let’s examine the production of the Geneva-based Maison. First, we can find that Rolex offers fundamentally technical watches (its most sold line is dubbed “Professional), ranging from the smart casual of the Datejust models to a more sporty vocation, as in the case of the Submariner and the GMT Master, to the chronographs of the Daytona series.
The higher the expenditure, the more precious these watches become, thanks to cases and bracelets, which move from steel to gold and platinum, and exceptional models such as the DayDate make their appearance. The exception to the rule is the Cellini series, which features a balanced and refined line of dress watches that mount fine complications.
Speculating on Rolex watches
Over the past 20 years, we have witnessed the creation of a speculative movement on Rolex watches. Many people have bought watches purely as an investment, which has generated a shortage of supply and, thus, a rise in prices in the second-wrist market. We have reached a point where used watches cost much more than new ones, precisely because of the inability to get them at list price from the Rolex brand boutiques.
This upward movement came to a halt during 2022, with average watch prices falling to reach the same level as they were a year ago, before the “bubble” of late 2021, and we are thus ending up with a secondary market that is gradually and steadily declining. Mind you, this is not a collapse, but prices, rather than going up, are going down, on average. This downward trend is finally bringing many Rolex timepieces that had never seen the light of day out of safe deposit boxes, eventually becoming available for enthusiasts who have long wanted a Rolex but could not justify the street prices multiplied by speculation.
Best Rolex Watches for men
In this diverse world, we find a Rolex production that offers many new and used references, some of which represent true icons of the watchmaking world that will never go out of fashion and that bestow to the wearer an unquestionable character.
In particular, Rolex created the original models of many of these watches several decades ago: suffice it to say that the Rolex Submariner dates back to 1953, and the current model, though revised and improved, is still very similar to that reference. So, we can undoubtedly assert that a Rolex is forever: for that reason, you will not waste your money if you buy one (at a suitable price). And we hope our pointers will be helpful to you for this end!
Best Rolex sports watch
To a question like this, we could say “all,” but that would not be a constructive answer. In summary, since every sport is different, the best watch also changes. For example, if you are a sailor, you might consider the Yacht-Master, while if you are a pilot, the Daytona is your timepiece. In general, however, there is one very interesting reference that, in our opinion, could suit many people: the Rolex Explorer II.
The Rolex Explorer II combines many excellent qualities. First, it has an automatic movement with a GMT function to mark two time zones simultaneously. More, its design is less technical than the Submariner or GMT Master II, which places it somewhere between smart casual watches like the Datejust and the Professional line. Finally, it has a very wearable diameter: 40 mm for older examples and 42 mm for those after restyling, which makes it easier to read. In addition, it is not particularly sought after in the second wrist market; therefore, it is possible to snag some good deals.
Best Rolex for work
In our opinion, the best Rolex watch for work is the Datejust. This iconic model has been in production forever and has been updated over the years to follow the evolution of calibers and market demands. Nevertheless, the model that combines elegance and sportiness in a mix that is difficult to surpass is the 36 mm size: a truly unisex watch that looks good on everyone and goes with everything, thanks in part to the endless variety of versions offer dials of all kinds and types, from the most spartan to the most luxurious.
The steel versions are in high demand, but we recommend considering the steel and gold versions, which are both elegant and sporty. Very much in vogue in the 1980s and then in decline, these timepieces are currently making a comeback even if their prices on the second wrist market are not that high.
Best Rolex watches to invest in
As we said, the central theme of the market that led anyone to buy a steel Rolex and put it in a safe deposit box waiting for its revaluation over time is coming to an end. And the watch investment market is no longer so linear.
These same pieces have seen a loss in value of up to 20 percent compared to the prices a year ago. It must be said, however, that the value of some references, on the other hand, has dropped only slightly. Without going into details, in addition to the aforementioned Rolex Explorer II, we can add other watch models that the general public has less appreciated and, as such, have not been the subject of this speculative phenomenon, which has instead focused on other more “popular” watches.
Specifically, we think that timepieces such as the Rolex Submariner no-date 14060, the Rolex Sea-Dweller 16600, and the 36mm Rolex DayDate 18238 are watches for the discerning investor to evaluate.
Best Rolex watches price between $10,000 to $15,000
After last year’s surge, as we said, Prices have cooled, and at the moment, it is possible to find around this figure watches that were available at $20,000 and above until yesterday. However, we think it is not yet time to buy among the various Submariners and GMT Masters on the market today.
Our advice remains as expressed above: move toward lesser-seen watches that are likely to retain relatively low prices. In addition to those noted above, there are other models that have not been widely appreciated, such as the Yacht-Master: this is a sizeable 44 mm watch that houses a fascinating timer complication with a user-adjustable countdown via an operation on the rotating bezel.
Rolex’s name is a guarantee: it is difficult to think that this company, which alone has 25 percent of the turnover of the entire Swiss watch market, will go through a crisis, and therefore, its watches will always have a considerable value.
The important thing is to pay attention to the originality of the timepiece and its components, of course, and to find, among all the models present, those most in line with current market trends. The trend sees an overbearing return of dress watches in smaller sizes, so the future looks bright for these models. But we are sure that the luxury sports watch will not disappear at all, although its importance and presence on the wrist will undoubtedly be scaled down in the years to come.