5 Affordable Rolex Watches for New Collectors

Rolex is the most recognizable and most coveted watch brand in the world, with prices that can be prohibitive to some. However, we found five popular Rolex watch models that are available, either new at authorized retailers or on the secondary market, that offer accessible (for Rolex, that is) prices for collectors looking to spend under $10k.*

1. Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Rolex calls it the quintessential Oyster, and the purest expression of the Oyster concept. It’s hard to argue with that, and this watch provides an excellent entry point into the world of Rolex.

The Oyster Perpetual offers its owner many of the advances Rolex is known for, including some of the best technical developments. The 36-mm or 41-mm 904L stainless steel case is water-resistant to 100 meters, or 330 feet. The center section of the case is milled from a solid block of steel. The crown uses the patented Twinlock system to keep the elements at bay, and the sapphire crystal is virtually scratchproof.

Both sizes of the model are powered by the Rolex manufacture self-winding caliber 3230. This movement bears the official Swiss chronometer certification, and, like all Rolex movements, it is known for both precision and reliability while featuring a solid 70-hour power reserve. The precision is made possible by a free-sprung balance, prized by collectors and found in the finest movements. The patented blue Parachrom hairspring offers excellent protection against shocks, magnetic fields and temperature variations. The Oyster Perpetual begins in price at $5,600 retail.

2. Rolex Explorer

Rolex Explorer

The Rolex Explorer (for a review, click here) is a true icon, not only for Rolex, but within the larger world of rugged, precision-made timepieces. It famously accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay when they became the first to reach the summit of Mt. Everest in May, 1953. That achievement is one of many, but it is emblematic of the adventurous spirit that guides both Rolex in its quest for perfection, and those who consider their Explorer an essential part of their success.

Relaunched in 2010, the Explorer remains faithful to the heritage that extends back to 1953. Blue Chromalight hour markers and hands ensure excellent visibility in all conditions. In 2021, Rolex introduced the latest update to the collection, showcasing a new 36-mm version available in steel or two-tone — which, style-wise, is much the same as the previously introduced 39-mm, complete with an Oyster case, Twinlock crown, and signature Explorer dial.

Inside, the Caliber 3230 self-winding movement is as robust as it is precise, capable of a 70-hour power reserve. Of course, the movement is an officially certified chronometer. The free-sprung balance is precision-fitted between two Paraflex shock absorbers, developed and patented by Rolex. The blue Parachrom hairspring assures high-precision timekeeping. The bracelet is fitted with the patented Oysterlock clasp, and with the Easylink comfort system, which allows the user to extend the bracelet by 5 mm. The Rolex Explorer is priced from $6,450 at retail.

3. Rolex Datejust II

Rolex Datejust II
Rolex Datejust II

The Rolex Datejust is the quintessential “goes everywhere, does everything” timepiece. When men say they want a watch they can wear with jeans as well as a suit, this is the go-to recommendation. The Datejust defines versatility.

The Datejust also represents another time-honored and timeless Rolex design. Though it has been updated since its creation in 1945, it remains an instantly recognizable talisman of taste and refinement. In 2009, the brand launched the Datejust II, which while discontinued in 2016 with the launch of the Datejust 41, nonetheless still represents some of the more affordable options in modern Rolex collecting on the secondary market. With its 41-mm diameter, the incarnation satisfies the desire for a timepiece that makes a bold statement on the wrist.

The Datejust II is the only watch among our selections to offer one of Rolex’s most widely-recognizable technical enhancements: the Cyclops lens above the date. Invented by Rolex in 1953, the lens magnifies the date 2.5 times, making it much easier to read. The date display itself offers both quick correction via the crown, and instantaneous changing.

The 904L stainless steel Oyster case is available with another instantly identifiable Rolex hallmark: the fluted bezel. When the Oyster debuted in 1926, the fluting was functional – it allowed the crown to be gripped so it could be screwed down onto the case to guarantee a watertight seal. The self-winding Caliber 3136 movement bears the “Chronometer” designation, awarded by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). It features the Microstella variable-inertia balance, Paraflex shock absorbers, and Parachrom balance spring with Breguet overcoil for improved timekeeping precision. The Rolex Datejust II starts at an MSRP of $9,100.

4. Rolex Submariner

Rolex Submariner 2020

The Rolex Submariner is instantly recognized anywhere on the planet. It exemplifies precision under pressure, and it exudes a sense of adventure. Created in 1953, it was the first watch waterproof to a depth of 100 meters, or 330 feet.

We have selected the so-called non-date model for our survey, reference 124060, as it represents the entry point into Submariner world. Many think it also represents the Submariner in its purest form. The original models did not feature a date, and this timepiece is, after all, a tool for divers, who rarely need to know the date when under the sea. With no date, the watch offers an uninterrupted time display – a requirement for adventurers of all types. Rolex calls it the dive watch archetype. That pretty much sums it up.

Today, the 904L stainless steel Oyster case offers water resistance to 300 meters, or 1,000 feet. The blue Chromalight display, protected by a sapphire crystal, assures excellent visibility. The patented Triplock crown is reserved for Rolex timepieces built to visit great depths. The rotatable 60-minute bezel with scratch-proof Cerachrom ceramic insert allows divers to time their dives. The bezel’s triangular zero marker glows Chromalight blue. Divers also appreciate the Oyster bracelet fitted with the Glidelock system for fine adjustment of the bracelet length.

Precision timekeeping is especially important under water, and the Submariner’s self-winding Caliber 3230 movement inspires confidence with its COSC-certified chronometer rating. The heart of the movement features a blue Parachrom hairspring and high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers that together offer excellent stability when exposed to shocks, vibrations, magnetic fields, and temperature changes. The resilience of the working movement comes in a addition to a notable 70-hour power reserve. The Rolex Submariner reference 124060 begins in price at $8,100 at retail.

5. Rolex Milgauss

Rolex Milgauss

The Rolex Milgauss was created in 1956 for engineers and technicians who are exposed to strong magnetic fields in their work. These fields can affect the performance in mechanical watches. Rolex solved the problem by developing and patenting a magnetic shield for the movement that allowed the watch to withstand fields up to 1,000 ( “mille” in French) gauss – the unit of measure for field strength. The Milgauss became popular among scientists working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva.

In 2007, Rolex launched a new generation Milgauss that incorporates all of Rolex’s technological expertise. The new model’s orange seconds hand shaped like a lightning bolt is inspired by the original.

Today we encounter powerful magnets every day, from refrigerator doors and tablet computer cases to and handbag and briefcase clasps, we are surrounded by magnets. Magnetic fields are also present in a range of industries, including telecommunications, medical technology, aerospace and electrotechnical.

Rolex uses several innovations to keep these fields at bay. The first line of defense is the magnetic shield inside the case. Made of ferromagnetic alloys, it surrounds and protects the movement. This invention was patented by Rolex in 1956 and has since been further improved. The second line of defense involves some of the movement’s key components, made from innovative nonmagnetic materials. The escape wheel is fashioned from an antimagnetic nickel-phosphorous alloy using a complex process called UV-LiGA or ultra-violet lithography that Rolex has master in-house. The oscillator uses the patented blue Parachrom balance spring.

Of course the movement is protected from more than just magnetic fields. The 904L stainless steel Oyster case and the Twinlock crown seal out the elements, offering water resistance to 100 meters or 330 feet. The Rolex manufacture Caliber 3131 movement is a certified Swiss chronometer. To ensure that the Milgauss remains comfortable on the wrist, the Oyster bracelet is fitted with the patented Easylink system, which allows the owner to extend the bracelet by up to 5 mm. The Rolex Milgauss is priced at retail from $8,300.

This article was originally published in 2014 with periodic updates; prices are subject to change.

If you buy something using the affiliate links in our stories, WatchTime may earn a small commission. WatchTime does not accept money for editorial review. 

No Responses to “5 Affordable Rolex Watches for New Collectors”

Show all responses

    Please send me Your catalogue by post and email and how do I get 30MM size. watch and finance statement payment please let me know
    thank you very much for your kind help

  2. James Goss

    I want to see all of the different styles and prices of men’s Rolex watched


    My grandson wants a watch for his birthday. My income is $250 a week after bills. You say these watches are “affordable” Please explain your comment. You may give me new insight into how I can “afford” one for him. .

    • These are affordable Rolexs intended to provided a starting point for serious collectors not a present for your grandson.

  4. Carole Waterer

    Have an original Rolex Watch that was bought in the early Seventies, its been in for repairs and very costly…now he is in his seventies and the watch is needed to be Wound and continually check for timing…what do you suggest.

  5. Rayon Collins

    I’m interested in buying a rolex as a first timer but based on my budget I will have to start with a used one.

  6. Manoj gunna

    Where can I buy at this price??
    I very much like to buy my first Rolex.

  7. Kishor Tirky

    I love rolex but I can’t buy because it is expensive and I am poor man to buy it. Yet I love rolex watch so much. Thanks.

  8. Flora Babeck

    Hi! Are all these watches new, or pre-owned?.. If they are new, please let me know where I can buy it( need a present to my husband`s Birthday. Thank you in advance.

  9. wish there was a rolex that was a couple hundred dollars instead of thousands


    I used to have a mens Rolex Submariner watch And loved it until it started to not work anymore I DESPERATELY want another Mens Rolex Submariner but this time I’m thinking about it in maybe a Blue gray the one I used to have was Emerald Green and I want a blue gray as a hundred dollar Knock off

  11. Dr Ramani Ranjan Mishra

    Some sites selling Rolex watches with 91% discount.is it accepabe?

  12. David Simpson

    I have acquired a Rolex oyster perpetual superlative chronometer officially certified cosmography. It’s in 18k gold and has 8 decorations on the face. On the back it reads Rolex 24 Daytona 1992. I am interested in buying a upgrade can you help me ?

  13. Malik javed

    Please send me the pictures and price of cheapest Rolex wates

    • alfred borg

      I always that one i will be the proud owner of a Rolex wrist watch.
      Wishful thinking.

  14. Kevin. C. Harmo.

    The article was very informative. I found everything I wanted and needed to know!! Thank you.

  15. JP Howell III

    I bought my Rolex in Tiajauna for $150! A genuine Submariner though it was used. Find Pedro’s watches on El Tiguan St he’ll make you a deal!

  16. Derham Paul

    These prices are so so wrong it’s 2018 ok you have to keep updating the prices these prices are not of Rolex Geneva or any country A to Z you have to check the US dollar with the Euro and the bank of Switzerland Germany the yen the pound the Nikki Dow then calculate very very carefully the prices because you will never ever get a genuine Rolex from any store on this earth for les than 17 thousand dollars ever it does not matter if it looks rubbish you are buying a brand Rolex loook Rolex thanks I should know I use to make them for years and years millions and millions of hours my eyes are lucky I don’t need glasses my whole job 6 days a week 6 was my head down with a eye glass all my tiny tools making all of them all models personally I prefer the Rolex Deepsea divers watch I never see take off platinum I did not make this one if I had of would not wear it always I needed a break so in ending you have A Rolex for lifetime then your son or daughter has your Rolex for his or her lifetime and so on it’s 2018 the company started in 1901 bye Hans in Geneva and you know where Rolex the name is from watch in the old Switzerland language means TIME 5 letters 5 so mystery solved xx

    • You’re probably the silliest talking out of your ass, misinformed blow-hard I’ve come across in a while…

    • What the heck are you babbling about?!?!!? A new, 2018 Oyster Perpetual has a retail price of $5,700, not $17,000. My 2018 blue, two-tone Submariner has a list price of $13,400.

    • Just bought a new ROLEX Submariner with date and cyclops lens at the dealership in Pensacola, Florida. Price was $8,500.00 brand new in the box. Don’t forget your sales tax.

  17. Geoffrey Dylan Allen

    I bought the 2010 Milgauss w/green sapphire face and black background. I spent around $8300 and it was worth every cent! It’s my favorite timepiece.

  18. Ciara Shelton

    This will be for my very own grandma and if I do then I will get one to remember my grandpa or for me

  19. Md Akram Hossain

    send me a free 5 affordable rolex watch i have no money but i like it.

  20. Elizabeth Wilburn

    Excellent article related to pricing However, the history etc on each watch was a bonus ! Thanks for doing the research and putting your spin on the article. Very well done and informative and helpful!

  21. trevor gill

    the explorer was not up everest ,it was the oyster perpetual the explorer came after the climb to commemorate the feat , schoolboy error still being made after all theese years.

    • Nickey Lou

      The proper terminology is, “least expensive” or ‘most affordable.’ The word cheap should never be used when speaking of a Rolex lol

  22. Ever since the beginning, the men’s style in each and every thing they did were and still are different from that of women. Men like independence, they like ruling and do not like being ruled. They have their own style and ways of doing things. Men’s style in dress, are extremely different. The market is full of different watches, styles, and designers with great advancements in technologies too. These are also the Western styles watches too such as Rolex Watches.

  23. all i do is rolex rolex dab a ranch!!!!!&&%%*()^^*_())^&%%&*()_

  24. I bought my girlfriend her first Rolex and we were disappointed. Of course we saw the date was missing but we didn’t notice…even the lumen dots were also gone…come on Rolex, how hard would it have been to at least let the time be seen at night?

  25. naoma foreman


  26. NotHoodRich

    I love all the people talking about how, indirectly, wearing a Rolex makes them feel superior and indicates Quality. That seeing another person wearing a Rolex indicates that person has Quality. Trying to conflate Rolex wearers with a social class.

    The truly rich consider a Rolex a bauble like any other. If they want to impress with a watch, the watch will have a story. It will have been worn by Someone who Did Something. You’re less likely to find a Billionaire wearing a 60s Rolex as a symbol to others, than the watch Douglas MacArthur wore when he returned to the Phillipines.

    Buy a Rolex because it’s quality and it holds value. Don’t fool yourself into thinking your hood rich status symbol actually impresses anyone.

  27. Dinkee H. O.

    WILL THIS LIE FOREVER BE REPEATED ON WATCHTIME??? “The Rolex Explorer is a true icon, not only for Rolex, but within the larger world of rugged, precision-made timepieces. It famously accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay when they became the first to reach the summit of Mt. Everest in May, 1953.” In the first place, Sir Hillary “carried a Smiths” to the summit as documented in perior ads. The Rolex Explorer was not even created until a year later. The actual Rolex watches which were conventional bubblebacks. I like the Explorer. It was a garbage watch in years past was demonstrated very graphically and in a ugly way by Walt Odets in his infamous unflinching examination under the microscope. It had further missteps with the version before the current one with mismatched hands and the poor low light visibility with the metal numerals. The CURRENT Explorer is a fine watch — though overshadowed by the offerings from Tudor, ironically.

    You will not post this. And even if you do, these lies will continue as you want Rolex ad money.

  28. Thomas Ling

    I like older model Rolex. They are more subtle. The newer ones are too ‘showee’.
    I have three vintage Rolex Road King (if you know what it is), had a Oyster Datejust and Submainer which I sold already. I am wearing an Explorer l which is small and simple.
    Rolex is good for everyday use. For other occasions, I prefer my vintage IWCs, 9K rose gold Omega and AP moonphase. My watch for hiking include G-Shock Mudman and Seiko Prospex Tuna.

  29. Jack T

    I like the article but love the responses…many opinions, Rolex illicits strong feelings both ways. I really like mine, and I agree there are many brands and models that cost less (and more) that are as good. You can say they’re over priced, but wear one for a while and you won’t think Rolex is overrated.

  30. It’s a shame that people think they’ve ‘arrived’ because they own a Rolex. They’ve only bought a Rolex because that’s the only watch brand they can a)- pronounce, b)- that’s the only watch brand they know, c)- it’s the only watch brand their friends know, d)- lack imagination. If someone gave me a Rolex I’d ask ‘…what have I done to offend you?’ before simply giving it back.

    • ronaldo tato

      My first Rolex was given to me for my 15th birthday back in 1965. It was a pre Daytona manual rewind with a cost of US$150 back then. Ive kept it for about a year or so and sold it to a friend just because of the manual rewind. I replace it with a Submariner base model without date. So far Ive had 11 Rolex watches 3 of them stolen from me in armed robbery.One of them was a Day Date with diamonds. Some day I will complete the dozen watch with exactly my first model.

  31. Vernon Smith

    Just disbanded much of my watch collection (pun intended) which included a UN Marine Chrono, a VC Overseas, an Omega Constellation, a JL Reverso, and a Rolex Yacht Master but I couldn’t part with a 1981 Datejust. It started life as a SS silver dial with jubilee bracelet but over the years I added a white dial with gold romans, a diamond bezel and a two tone jubilee bracelet and it still looks great. I took the money I got for my watches and bought a new Datejust steel-white gold with silver deco dial and blue Arabic numerals and oyster bracelet – awesome. I’ve had a number of nice watches over the years but always seem to end up with a Rolex (still have a Daytona and a Day-day). I love the precision, skill and art of all brands of fine watches. If just want the time don’t invest in a Swiss masterpiece.

  32. sam smith

    I just purchased my first Rolex, model 116200 thanks large in part to this review! Great review guys. Now that I have had a 36mm on my wrist I am in the process of getting rid of my other watches over 40mm, and will be sticking to watches strictly 39mm or less. Also, in the days 10 I have the watch, it’s 9 seconds fast!

  33. Bill Stallings

    I can afford to buy quite a few Rolex watches but I wear a cheap $20 Casio just like Bill Gates does. Why? Because I am not a shallow loser who tries to make themselves feel better by proving they can throw away money. The bill of materials for a Rolex is barely 20% of the actual cost. Thousands upon thousands of dollars go to the retailers and importers. Donate your excess money to charities, I guarantee you will feel better about yourself with a much longer lasting happiness. Oh, by the way, my Casio keeps better time, offers more functions and I’m much less likely to get murdered by wearing it than your Rolex!

    • Charles

      Yeah mother teresa… Bill Gates should sell his island and live in a trailer park too right? Go and love your Casio, but why you got to judge others for their watch preference. Btw most charities end up keeping 80 percent or more proceeds for self use.

  34. My mom and dad have rolexes, Rolexes are part of my family. Not because my parents want them to show off.
    It is them. When I grew up ive realized that based on my parents
    choices and tastes they buy only the best and expect only the best
    I have gotten to be used to this kind of mentality. It sounds funny
    but you know ….it becomes you. Qualities of rolex to my opinion are that they are reliable, dependable,
    I learned not to judge the book by its cover (as rolex timepieces are not a pretty sight either for a woman)
    but my full respect are on these watches. It sounds funny, but when I choose friends, my first statement will be,
    are they Rolex type not fakes, not plastic, are they genuine inside out, reliable, water, shock resistant.
    That is rare. When I see someone who has Rolex, I feel they are in my caliber, I feel at home.

  35. Jack sims

    I’m not a Rolex guy. I like them and I would cry if I had one, but I do think it’s over priced. Not saying that Breiting isn’t, but the styling of a Breitling does more for me than a Rolex or Omega. Quality wise I like a Breitling better than both.

    • With Rolex you pay a little more for the name and reputation. You always know you are getting a quality product 100% of the time. Sure you can find better watches that are more affordable, but with Rolex you get the peace of mind that you are getting great quality and have no doubts. Some People would say Breiting, omega and even a rolex are all rip offs and do the same thing a Invicta does, which is keep time. So it all depends on what matters to you, their is no wrong answer even if you like Invicta or G shocks. Just as long as it’s not a fake or knock off your all good and other people’s opinions don’t matter just as long as you like it.

    • Sour grapes. In any case, for the non-inheritor of wealth it becomes affordable the older you get. So “chicken” and “egg” I suppose…

    • Carey J

      Breathing makes you older. If you don’t want to get any older, just stop breathing.

  36. Back in 1982 I was givin a Rolex steel justdate.
    Had it serviced in 1982 for $300.00.
    It’s now 2015. Have not serviced it since and still keeps great time with no problems! I put in my draw sometimes leaving it there for months. Set the date, put it on, and it works fine.
    Why do most co’s copy Rolex, Harley Davidson, etc.
    Because they are the Best!
    I just bought a pre owned Rolex Milguess.
    I hope to pass these fine timepieces to my sons.

  37. I own a 1984 air king ,I have not worn it since I had it repaired in 1995,it was rusting,even through it had only been worn on weekends mostly to church.I still love the old Rolex magazine ads,lots of stories of daring do,now I wear a $5.00 discount store watch and some $2.50 flea market pulsar watches.oh well.

  38. Brad Cheek

    I recently bought a submariner date and love it. I own Tags, Hamiltons, Seikos and a few others.
    There are faster bikes and bikes with bigger brakes, and bikes with more modern styling, but there is only one Harley. By the way…So far my Submariner Date is keeping great time

  39. Debashish

    Rolex is Rolex and you just cannot compare it with any other watch brand on earth.

    As a timepiece brand, Rolex is the “Numero Uno”, there cannot be any doubt in this regard.

    Long live Rolex!!!

    • Yeh! Yeh! Yeh! Rolex is only one of the great brands. But when you are spending 2-3 times more on advertising around the world. ie. F1 Grand Prix, Tennis Opens, Yaughting, FIFA + not to mention magazine editorials that they pay good money for to be in. The name is in your face and gets around if you know what I mean. I own Tag Heuer, Rolex and the low end of the market Invicta. I can tell you for a fact the models at the high price bracket of all brands are a much of a muchness. Movements are Swiss Made and the finishes are superb. Tag Heuer for example produce Tourbillions into the hundreds of thousands that does not mean that they are any better than Rolex. They produce such a diverse range of watches with composite materials ie. Titanium, Ceramic, Platinum etc. Rather than your traditional old fashioned types like Rolex produce. Who cater for a different market. Remember one thing in this industry and like other industries. Money is the key to success. If you have enough of it to throw around then enough people will stand up and listen and take notice. So don’t give me this “NUMERO UNO” rubbish.

  40. Robert C

    My apologies to those who love the Rolex brand but, despite the wonderful technical specifications, the first impression conjured up in my mind upon seeing the Rolex Oyster Perpetual was of a 1960s era Timex.

    I realize Rolex is known for quality products and stylists eventually produce similar designs, but I lived through the 1960s.

    Should I decide to purchase a Rolex as a complement to my Omega, it will most likely be any of the other Rolex designs.

  41. I’ve been condidering a Rolex for my 50th birthday. I think they are terribly overpriced at full retail. If I do buy one, it will likely be a pre-owned from a reputable dealer.

  42. Every time I admire a Rolex and think about buying one, I read comments from owner like the ones here and I remember why I don’t want to be associated with this brand. It really is about showing people how much you spent, isn’t it?

    • Top Dogg

      What’s wrong with that? Wearing a Rolex lets people know I have money to spend. Sure beats being poor.

      • Its such a shame that your self esteem is so low that you want people to know you have money to waste.

  43. Lester

    I’m wearing my Dads 1970’s datejust as I’m reading this. I also own a new yachtmaster and next month am purchasing a GMT II for my birthday gift when I find one in stock. I work hard for my money but there is something intangible about the feeling I personally get when I wear my Rolex versus one of my many other watches. I’m not proving anything to anyone and I just feel good when I put them on.

    • Richard

      Lester’s comment is right on point. The timeless beauty, the legend, and the wearability of Rolex sport models to me are the best criteria. Ever wonder why most other brands copy Rolex?

      • Vern Smith

        No brag just fact. I work hard for my money, 60 or more hours a week, but as Homer Simpson says, share the wealth. That said, I wear a Rolex, drive a Mercedes, and my wife and daughter drive BMW’s. Why? Because we can. And you’re right the Rolex just feels good on your wrist.

    • Totally agree. It’s not about showing off it’s about what you like and work for!

  44. Rolex, if you have to explain, they’ll never understand. In a world of inexpensive, replaceable goods, there are still a few companies that pride themselves on legacy to offer only the best. So go ahead and whine about the price and purchase the “wanna-be’s” ……You’ll find out at resale time when you get offered 5 cents on the $ for your Taq, Seiko etc.

    • I hear this rebuttal often. However, if these watches are as great as they may seem, then why are so many people concerned about recouping their money at “resale time”? Is it because Rolex is still just a watch, like any other brand? Or should many people who own them be purchasing “wanna-be’s” like Tag, Seiko, etc because they can’t actually afford to own a Rolex? I mean, are people selling because they need money? Or are they selling because they want to upgrade from what they already perceive to be the cream of the crop? I’m scratching my head here…

  45. I love precision and accuracy in engineering. My issue with Rolex as a woman in the styling not its function or performance. I prefer a larger diameter for a woman’s time piece 33mm not 40mm and a leather strap versus a bracelet. I wish they had a greater variety of offerings in that category and I would be a customer but since they don’t at $6k+ I am not. I like classic circa 1945+ styling not the sportsman look.

  46. When I think of Rolex, I think of a man whose focus and good business sense created a legend. He knew what was important and knew how to promote. He was a British citizen. Rolex might not be the best watch but certainly is the most recognisable, and sought after, brand in the watch world. Is it loosing its place and, like Rolls Roys or Blackberry be pushed aside as yesterdays glory? There is a battle raging and unless all key- elements of what embodies a Rolex are maintained (in a modern way) that battle will be lost.

  47. Andrew B.

    Hello Watch Afficionados, Rolex is not just an accurate time piece, it is considered jewelry for men…So if your not fun of jewelries for men, then go buy a Timex..Best time piece I know for accuracy and durability…

  48. GradyPhilpott

    Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay wore Oyster Perpetuals to the summit of Everest. The Explorer was introduced to celebrate that achievement.

  49. I have a Datejust and an Explorer II and both keep excellent time. Rolex owners who complain about their watches’ poor timekeeping need to get theirs watches serviced.

  50. john colonese

    These respondents are jealous that they can’t afford to buy a Rolex. You can purchase other inexpensive watches that probably keep better time, look nice but they don’t have the feel of a Rolex. I had a Pepsi GMT Master from 1979 to 1994, sold it in 1994 and bought another Swiss watch brand but was never satisfied. Purchased a GMT Master II in 1999 and still have it. Looking to trade it in for a new Sea Dweller when I can afford it but am extremely satisfied with what I have.

    • Rolex loves you and all others like you.

      Good watch, good brand, wrong price.

  51. Juan Gonzalez

    In 1991 my mother gave me a Rolex Datejust as a law school graduation present. Since then I have owned many other watches (Omega, Zenith, IWC, Oris, Ebel, Concord) but none has been worn more often than that Rolex. I look forward to giving it to one of my children when they graduate. I do not think i could confidently say that if the watch had been a Citizen or Seiko.

      • Paavo Carey

        Thank you Gerard for your informative article here regarding Rolex. My spouse just gave me a Rolex Datejust for my fifty third birthday. I must say that it is absolutely beautiful, the most appealing watch by far I have ever worn. It just grows on you. Your article is for people interested in collecting Rolex watches, not an indictment of their products or a price value comparison. If you don’t like Rolex, for whatever reason then there are many, many nice choices out there. Cheers!

  52. While I’m fascinated with the Rolex story and history; I find it very strange that almost every owner of Rolex that I personally speak with complain to me about the accuracy. As others have said they have watches that perform better at a fraction of the price. I have a MARS from Vostoc Europe that is anti-magnetic, anti-shock, and has the 2824-2 movement in it. It is highly accurate only losing about one minute a month right now. The price was no place near the Rolex’s and I couldn’t be happier. I have always been puzzled by the Rolex owner’s I speak to about the accuracy problems. Normally I just stay quiet not wanting to hurt their feelings. I also have a couple of watches that I had made for me in Island that even being made to order with the top movements never cost half a Rolex. And I would stack those two against anything Rolex can make. I think we should be honest about the entire status symbol issue and perceived class issue when discussing Rolex. And I believe the CX DeepSea Diver holds the world record for diving. So maybe there is more to this story.

  53. Joseph White

    You did not mention the Air-King, which at about $4,500 is the entry-level Rolex. A very nice, elegantly simple watch that perfectly fits smaller wrists. The current line of Air-Kings are also COSC certified chronometers as well.


  54. Robert Pealton

    If owning a Rolex were just about the cost I would get a sundial, which is cheaper than a Citizen or a Seiko.

  55. Jim Doyle

    Still have my 1973 Date just (36 m.m.) I had my watch serviced twice but in 1995 it sadly stopped running. One of these days I will send it to Rolex for evaluation. I get quite a smile when I remember the priced I payed was $325. CDN. Feb. 23, 1973.
    I guess I would label myself a watch fanatic on limited means.
    I could never sell this timepiece due to it’s history or origins.
    If you are a fan of this make, you will come to cherish whatever model you choose.

  56. Dennis Houle

    Owning a couple Rolex watches I agree with the 904l ss case, well made, but there are
    many others that keep much better time. I have a few Swiss watches with the eta 2824-2
    hands down out performs my rolex movements, but I still like them, will keep mine.

  57. Virgil Howarth

    Affordable??? I think I’ll stick with the mechanical Citizen or Seiko watches. The Grand Seiko’s and upper Citizen’s are finer finished and just as accurate.

    • Bert Kanne

      I agree totally. The prices of Rolex watches are not justified in the end product. The good part is many other watch companies incorporate similar or better qualities in watches for a fraction of the price. Many watches have all the attributes of Rolex watches except they don’t cost a ransom and they likely won’t get stolen You need to insure Rolex watches, something you don’t think about with popular Seiko, Citizen, Orient or Deep Blue watches, just to name a few.

    • Bert Kanne

      I agree totally. The prices of Rolex watches are not justified in the end product. The good part is many other watch companies incorporate similar or better qualities in watches for a fraction of the price. Many watches have all the attributes of Rolex watches except they don’t cost a ransom and they likely won’t get stolen. You need to insure Rolex watches, something you don’t think about with popular Seiko, Citizen, Orient or Deep Blue watches, just to name a few.

        • bob hayner

          trouble is, they don’t keep time, the primary function of a watch. its a jewel – ok – for some, but others want time!

          • You’ve clearly never owned one, they are precise at keeping their time, plus you don’t need a battery.

    • Bert Kanne

      There are a few others besides Citizen and Seiko to consider. Check Orient, Deep Sea and Steinhart for example. Rolex is grossly over rated and overpriced imo.

      • If watch choices were strictly about practical price/performance and *nothing* else then we would all be wearing G-Shocks – able to withstand more abuse than (just about) every mechanical watch ever made and commonly available at ‘Wally World’ starting at around fifty bucks.

        Do I believe today’s retail prices for Rolex are overly high? Sure! Are the watches overrated? No, I don’t think so. I own modern and vintage Rolex (and also own Bulova and Tissot and Seiko and Hamilton and Armida and Citizen and so on) but would never directly compare Rolex to those pricewise any more than I would directly compare a Chrysler 300 to a Bentley and declare the latter ‘grossly overrated’ because of a misplaced notion that the ‘ghetto Bentley’ is somehow ‘exactly the same for a fraction of the price’. It’s not, and by the same token a Seiko Monster, Steinhart, etc. are *not* ‘exactly the same for a fraction of the price’ as a Rolex Submariner either. Rolex vs., say, Omega, Concord, or Breitling? Now we’re talking.

        Simply put: anyone in the market for a Bentley is going to compare its offerings to those of other automakers in a similar price range whereas anyone who tries to convince you their Chrysler 300 ‘is the equivalent for a fraction of the price’ isn’t/wasn’t in the market for a Bentley at all. Nothing wrong with the 300 – same number of doors, wheels, seats and such as the Bentley but the two are VERY different.

        • And that ladies and gentlemen is the answer. Ps no don’t have a rolex or a Bentley, but have a tag and had a Chrysler 300, and can only dream of the cream

          • My mom and dad have Rolexes……it only shows that my parents wanted only the best…and I think that I got that very mentality that I should also be choosing the best…… ……and no they never gave me a Rolex. They believed am going to have one on my own. It’s like a family tradition, it is part of my family….my family who believes in reliabilty,dependability, quality, finest craftsmanship…that reflects me and my family….

  58. Anthony Halstead

    114060. Typo in article.

    I love the perpetual. The older “explorer” style with blue dial is a fantastic looking watch. These are pretty great too- especially the purple.

    • Mike Disher

      Thank you for alerting me to the typo in the Submariner reference number! It’s fixed.

Leave a Reply