Image: A 2006 women’s Rolex that sold for $10,000 at auction at Sotheby’s in New York. The auction of vintage and modern watches raised more than $9 million. Source: Sotheby's.

Rolex Timepieces Are a Hit with Young Watch Buyers

For decades, watches have been symbols of luxury, wealth and personal taste. But their potential as investments is now more easily tracked and understood. You can credit technology for shining a light inside the dusty watch shop.

When it comes to watches as investments, the market is dominated by two brands: Rolex and Patek Philippe.

Rolex has become a cultural symbol and a status symbol. The quality you receive in a Rolex is above most other watches at that price point.

Benjamin Clymer, Founder and Chief Executive of Hodinkee

Wearing a Rolex means wearing an investment on your wrist.

Lockdowns around the world appear to have sharpened appetites. There were already waiting lists for trophy Rolex timepieces including the Daytona, GMT-Master II and Submariner at the beginning of the year. Now the lists have got longer.

With inspirational buyers eager to acquire luxury timepieces to diversifying their portfolio, there has never been a better time to splurge “a little” on a good vintage watch.

Because let’s face it – buying a good vintage Rolex is as good as purchasing stock in a company like Google or Nestle. Watches are the new quintessential bluechip.

Rolex Sky Dweller

Designed in 2012 as part of an entirely new collection for the Swiss watchmaker, the Rolex Sky-Dweller is an elegant watch designed for those who frequently travel.

With its larger 42mm Oyster case, the Sky-Dweller is emphatically not a sports watch like the Submariner, Daytona, or GMT-Master, and is considered to be one of Rolex’s larger design timepieces.

With a display of two time zones, the Sky-Dweller is a dressy watch fitted with an annual calendar complication. This is what makes the Rolex Sky-Dweller a unique timepiece worth investing in.

Recognised for its larger than life design, the Sky-Dweller is Rolex’s most complicated watch and is its first-ever annual calendar timepiece. The annual calendar – so important, it was even named Saros – a smart mechanism designed to automatically differentiate between 30- and 31-day months.

The Sky-Dweller indicates the time via the centre hands, the date through the window at 3 o’clock, and the month by the small rectangular windows next to the hour markers.

A classic timepiece, suitable for any occasion.

The Details

Diameter: 42mm
Water Resistance: 100m
Movement: Rolex 3135 automatic
Price: A$59,000+

Rolex Submariner Blue Dial

In a time when the overwhelming majority of men still wore pocket watches, Rolex revolutionised the watch industry when it introduced the first-ever Rolex Submariner in 1953.

Recognised for its unique ability to tell the time underwater, the Rolex Submariner is the first divers watch ever designed. This is what makes the Rolex Submariner a unique timepiece.

With its unique precision to clearly “tell the time” in depths of over 300 meters and above, the Rolex Submariner is a timepiece recognised not only for its elegant and sophisticated design but also for its ability in helping divers stay safe underwater.

When diving, being able to read the time with absolute certainty is a matter of survival.

Rolex

With a slightly large 41mm Oyster case, the rotatable bezel allows divers to read their immersion time effortlessly, while underwater.

The Rolex Submariner was made even more famous by Hollywood-royalty James Bond, who wore one on screen throughout the 1960s and most of the 1970s and become Rolex’s most emblematic model. 

The yellow Rolesor version combines Oystersteel and 18 ct yellow gold, a royal blue dial, rotatable bezel and a blue Cerachrom insert. This submariner has a distinct look recognised by watch enthusiasts around the world.

This Rolex is a vintage timepiece every avid watch collector should own.

The Details

Diameter: 41mm
Water Resistance: 300m
Movement: Rolex 3230 automatic
Price: A$20,200+

Rolex Deepsea

Rolex is umbilically associated with water-resistant watches and while the Rolex Deepsea initially existed in the Submariner line – this Rolex model has well and truly made a name in its own right.

The Rolex Deepsea is a timepiece like no other.

Waterproof to a depth of 3,900 metres (12,800 feet) with a unidirectional 60-minute rotatable bezel, the Rolex Deepsea is amongst the ‘ultra-resistant divers’ watches engineered by Rolex for deep-sea exploration.

With an incorporated helium escape valve feature created specifically for professional divers living underwater (or in pressurised environments) for extended periods. This is what makes the Rolex Deepsea a unique timepiece worth investing in.

Commemorating James Cameron’s historic solo dive. From brilliant blue to bottomless black, its two-colour gradient dial celebrates one man’s journey to the deepest place on earth: the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

The Rolex Deepsea has a domed, 5.5 mm-thick scratch-resistant sapphire case. Its screw-down, triplock triple waterproofness system and approximate 70-hours of reserve power ensure you can tell the time no matter how extreme the conditions you’re in are.

The Deepsea is an elegant, sports watch designed for the thrill-seeker.

Diameter: 44mm
Water Resistance: 3,900m
Movement: Rolex 3235 automatic
Price: A$18,200+

Rolex Datejust

Up until the year 1945, when someone wondered what the date was, they looked it up on a calendar. In 1945, Rolex changed that with the introduction of the Datejust, which has the honour of being the first wristwatch to display the date in a window.

While calendar watches existed throughout timekeeping history, some with extraordinary astronomical complications in addition to perpetual and complete calendars, Rolex lays claim to introducing the first watch displaying “just” the date in a window.

This is what makes the Rolex Datejust a unique timepiece.

With its stainless steel Jubilee bracelet in Dark Rhodium and simple lines – the Rolex Datejust is the perfect dress watch to have part of a collection. A classic and iconic timepiece that has always been undervalued

Diameter: 41mm
Water Resistance: 3,900m
Movement: Rolex 3235 automatic
Price: A$11,100+

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