When you're ready to invest in a luxury watch, there's one brand that stands above the rest when you start shopping: Rolex. As one of the most recognizable brands in the watch game, the Rolex family has dozens of options for you to choose from. As with any brand, there are some that are better than others, which is why we've put together a list of the best Rolex watches for men to invest in to improve your watch game.
Is this the greatest watch of all time? That isn’t a radical question to ask. While this model completely changed the way watches were made multiple times and is often cited as an inspiration for many watches today, making it sound like a relic of a bygone era, it holds strong as a staple.
With such high praise and numerous accolades across the industry, looking at this watch can feel a little surprising. It isn’t flashy or showy. This is a simple watch for a reason. You can wear it anywhere, with anything — And once you have one, you'll want to wear it everywhere.
GMT Master II
This is the watch of choice for globe trotters, as it was designed specifically for them. It has a dual color combination of what Rolex calls "everose gold" and a black dial, and it features a glowing Chromalite display to allow you to see the time in the dark, making the watch an excellent exploration tool.
It's waterproof down to 330 feet (100 meters) and comes with the classic Rolex Oyster bracelet. The watch was introduced in 1982 with the ability to display two different time zones. That means if you live in Los Angeles and want to know what time it is in New York, you don’t have to do the math yourself.
With its distinctive black dial, the Air King Rolex is a throwback and an homage to the pilots of the past who showed humanity’s ability to conquer the skies. It's got a classic look, down to the "Air-King" lettering on the face in the same design that was used for the model in the 1950s.
Several pilots set records wearing one of these bad boys, and that makes this a great choice if you're a fan of pilot watches, the skies, or simply something that looks fantastic. If you don’t have a pilot’s watch in your collection, this is definitely the right choice to honor the pioneers of the skies.
Yacht Master 42
Rolex explicitly designed the Yacht Master, launched in 1992, for navigators and skippers of the high seas. Rolex has a connection to the water, with sailing watches reaching back as far as the 1950s, and this specific selection is the perfect combination of function and nautical fashion.
It's made in 18 carat white gold with a black dial, a Chromalight display, and a functional bezel for a timeless look. Out of all the Rolex options you have to choose from, this is the one we most recommend if you want to move on from the steel bracelet and opt for a rubber.
Day Date 40
At its launch in 1956, the Day Date was the first to offer the innovation of the day of the week spinning just under the number 12 on the face. Thanks to the many world leaders who have elected to sport this beautiful timepiece, this watch became known as 'The President's Watch" in the 1960s when President Lyndon Johnson was seen wearing one while in office.
After Johnson left the Oval Office, other presidents, including Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford also wore the model, making it the perfect choice if you want to rub shoulders with the most influential people around.
The Datejust was the first self-winding, waterproof chronometer wristwatch to display the date in a window at 3 o’clock on the dial, and the first to combine all of the best watch innovations of its time when it was first launched in 1945.
While the majority of the Rolex watches on this list are timeless due to the fundamental nature of the face and the band, the Dateadjust 31 offers multiple face options (all of which are set with diamonds in 18-carat gold settings), including a beautiful floral option that makes it stand out even more than the name Rolex.
The short answer to the question of why Rolex watches are worth as much as they are, is quality and scarcity. From the company's start at the beginning of the 20th century, Rolex set out to make the best watches in the world, ones that could survive any condition and still keep precise time, which is still true today. In fact, up until around the 1960s, Rolex watches were considered high-quality timepieces instead of luxury items only for the wealthy, very much like the Apple Watch of today.
During the 1980s, Rolex started to move more toward the luxury market, and began marketing Rolex as a status symbol, and as a result, the demand for watches far outstripped the supply, which led to long waiting lists for some models. In turn, these waiting lists made the prices of pre-owned watches skyrocket on the secondary market, and the demand for Rolex timepieces continues today.
So, a Rolex is more than a simple fashion statement, with its high-quality materials and top-of-the-line engineering combined with high demand and limited supply, it's an investment better than the stock market.
A men's Rolex watch is an investment. Of course, you can always roam the streets of New York and see if you can find someone to open their jacket and sell you a faux-ex or a stolen Rolex. But let’s be honest: You don’t want to go back to the office and find the cops waiting for you because you’re wearing hot property. So your best bet is to get something from a certified dealer.
Since there is no such thing as a “bad” Rolex, we won’t say that you need to spend X amount of dollars to get a good Rolex. Instead, we’ll just tell you that a new timepiece from the most recognizable brand in the world can run you anywhere from $7,000 to $12,000 on average. You can find them for as low as $5,000 or as expensive as $75,000 — and some for much higher. The unique thing about Rolex watches is that they almost always retain — or even gain — value over time.
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