The brand Rolex has become synonymous with great wealth and elite status. The Geneva, Switzerland company has been in business since 1905 and produces between 80,000 and one million timepieces per year. Rolex watches are generally considered good investments because they appreciate over time and are always in demand. Often, pre-owned Rolex watches go for more than they did when they first hit the market.
Just how much will a Rolex watch set you back? We’ve taken a look at Rolex’s popular watches and found that on average, you can expect a Rolex watch to cost anywhere between $5,000 and $75,000. Mind you, the sky’s the limit when it comes to these luxurious timepieces. One Rolex watch — the Paul Newman Daytona — sold at a 2017 auction for $17.8 million.
The Cost of Rolex Watches
Here’s a look at an array of Rolex watch models, what makes them unique, and, most importantly, how much they cost.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Cost: $5,800 to $6,150
Back in 2021, you could buy a Rolex Oyster Perpetual for as low as $2,500 but the model underwent a sweep of updates since then, including a range of new dial colors that made consumer demand soar.
The Rolex Submariner
Cost: $8,950 to $37,950
Rolex Submariner was designed as an underwater survivor tool, and as such is the perfect choice for divers — down to 1,000 feet — and others performing water sports. This timepiece is available in stainless steel, two tone and precious metals.
The Rolex Sea-Dweller
Cost: $12,950 to $17,000
The Rolex Sea-Dweller is the ideal watch for the high roller who is also a deep sea diver. Wearers can plunge down to 4,000 feet and still keep the time. This Rolex comes in stainless steel, two tone and precious metal references.
The Rolex Sky-Dweller
Cost: $15,200 to $49,350
Designed with the frequent traveler in mind, the Rolex Sky-Dweller is available in stainless steel, two tone and precious metal references. This Rolex displays the time in two time zones simultaneously and also features an annual calendar.
The Rolex Yacht-Master
Cost: $11,600 to $48,150
Marketed as “the watch of the open seas,” the Rolex Yacht-Master is inspired by 1950s sailor design and touts regatta chronograph made for yachting competition.
The Rolex GMT Master II
Cost: $10,750 to $39,350
Dubbed “the cosmopolitan watch” by Rolex, this elegant timepiece displays the time in two different time zones at once and is an evolution of its predecessor, the GMT-Master which was introduced in 1955 and marketed as a navigation tool for globetrotters.
The Rolex Datejust
Cost: $7,200 to $14,800
The original Rolex Datejust came out in 1945 and was the first self-winding waterproof chronometer wristwatch. Today, the Datejust is available in three sizes: 31, 36 and 41 mm and each type touts a sweeping selection of dials in different colors, finishes and materials.
The Rolex Daytona
Cost: $14,550 to $75,000
One of the most coveted Rolexes is the Rolex Daytona. It’s highly in demand because Rolex doesn’t make very many and vintage models can go for much more than $75,000. The Rolex Daytona is marketed as robust, high-performing and efficient. Presumably all Rolex watches possess these characteristics, but the Daytona might be thought of as the signature Rolex that exemplifies its most functional traits.
The Rolex Explorer
Cost: $7,200 to $11,150
Adventurers looking to keep the time while climbing the highest mountains need look no further. The Rolex Explorer is the ideal watch for their intrepid spirit. It’s got all the glitzy elegance that Rolex is famed for, but it’s also built to endure rough weather conditions and extreme heights.
The Rolex Milgauss
One of the more affordable Rolexes out there, the Rolex Milgauss is Rolex’s way of “honoring science,” as its tagline touts. Launched in 1956, the Rolex Milgauss can withstand magnetic fields of up to 1,000 gauss. Its unique secondhand is shaped like a lightning bolt and features a green crystal border around the face.
The Rolex Day Date (President)
Cost: $37,450 to upwards of $60,000
“The watch of the prestige,” as Rolex calls it, the Rolex Day Date (President) is one of the most exclusive Rolex timepieces out there. The name doesn’t lie either — this is literally the model Rolex donned by presidents. This is appropriate given its international bent: Though the days are the same wherever you are on the globe, they are displayed differently depending on the local language.
What Makes Rolex Better Than Other Watches
There is no shortage of high-end watches out there, which prompts the question, why Rolex? What makes Rolex better than any of its competitors. Though the true answer to this question is entirely subjective, some of the reasons that people favor Rolex is because all of its models are waterproof — to some extent, durable, efficient and, of course, impeccably sleek and highly detailed.
Can I Buy a Rolex Watch Online?
You can buy a Rolex from a third-party seller online, but you cannot buy one directly from the Rolex site. If possible, do go in person to a Rolex store to make your purchase. It’s the best way to ensure you’re getting the real deal.
Can I Get a Discount on a Rolex Watch?
Authorized dealers do sometimes offer discounts on Rolex watches — but typically only on weaker sellers. If you have your heart and wrist set on a highly sought after item like a Rolex Daytona, don’t expect any deals or luck negotiating.
How Do I Spot a Fake Rolex Watch?
As with any luxury brands, knockoffs abound — and some of them are so well done you can mistake them for the real thing. Rolex watches are no exception, and there are plenty of bad actors out there producing fake Rolexes. To spot a fake Rolex, check for the following:
Second Hand Ticking: Most Rolex watches tick four to six times per second. This makes it look like the hand is gently swirling around the face rather than stuttering by. If you can tell the secondhand is ticking, it’s probably a fake Rolex.
Serial Numbers: Every Rolex watch has a serial number etched into it. If you don’t see a serial number or it looks tacky, it’s a fake.
Weight: Rolexes are made of heavy metals and so they have a hefty weight to them. Make sure the Rolex you’re eyeing packs a bit of a punch when you hold it.
Waterproof: All Rolex watches are waterproof — some more than others. If you’re about to pull the trigger on a Rolex watch that you’re not buying from a verified Rolex retailer, ask the vendor if you can dunk the timepiece in a glass of water. If they wince or refuse, that watch is a fake.
The Face: There should be no scratches, off lettering, unevenness or other flaw no matter how minute. Rolex watches are built to withstand tough conditions, and the face is designed with extreme meticulousness. If something looks off in the face, it’s not a glitch — it’s a fraud.
Price: If it’s a deal that’s too good to be true, then it’s probably a lie.
Final Take: Is It Worth It To Buy a Rolex?
If you can spare as little as $5,000 or as much as $75,000, buying a new Rolex watch is definitely worth it. They are highly respected items that emanate authentic luxury and are solid investments as they get even more valuable over the years. They are, pardon the pun, timeless.
Rolex Watch FAQ
- How much is the cheapest Rolex watch?
- The cheapest new Rolex is around $5,000, but you can find some for cheaper if you search reputable vendors selling pre-owned Rolex watches. You might want to begin your search on eBay to get a sense of what is out there, but if you're going to make the buy, it's best to go to a reputable jeweler in person.
- How much should I expect to pay for a Rolex?
- Expect to pay anywhere between $3,000 and $75,000 on average -- but if you really want to splurge, some extremely rare models go for millions of dollars -- like the Paul Newman Daytona.
- Why are Rolex watches so expensive?
- Rolex watches are so expensive because they are one-of-a-kind timepieces that appreciate in value over time. Additionally, Rolex watches are in high demand, and though the company makes up to a million of them a year, that's not a lot when you consider how many millions of people want one of these elegant and inimitable watches. Additionally, Rolex watches often sell for more money as vintage items than they do new, making them smart long-term investments for collectors and newbies alike.
Information is accurate as of Sept. 6, 2022
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