For over a century, the Rolex watch has been synonymous with impeccable quality, iconic designs, trusted reliability, and blue-chip investment status.
When looking to put your hard-earned money into a fine timepiece — be it vintage or modern — there are few better choices than going with a Rolex watch, and few that’ll look better on your wrist, to boot. Over the past 113 years, the coronet bearing watch brand has developed a mass following and international regard like no other, and with good reason.
The Rolex watch has a stellar reputation is largely due to their long history of trailblazing within the industry through the production of innovative, top tier watches. This reputation began in 1910 with the production of the very first chronometer certified wristwatch, and continued in the following decades with the introduction of the first waterproof wristwatch known as the Oyster, the first automatically changing date equipped watch, the first dual-time zone displaying wristwatch, along with the first timepiece with a 100 m waterproof rating. These groundbreaking developments in movement and case design paved the way for countless new categories of professional wristwatches, that are now celebrated in both civilian and industry applications.
The timepiece manufacturer’s most sought after offerings can be grouped into two classes, the first of which fall under their professional line. This line consists of the legendary Submariner, its more capable cousin known as the Sea Dweller, the high flying GMT Master, and the Daytona – unofficial king of all sports chronographs. The second grouping consists of the more formally suited Datejust and Day Date “President,” which might just be the ultimate status symbol in watches as a whole, given its production in precious metals exclusively.
Vintage incarnations of the aforementioned watches are icons of design and innovation in their own right, but what makes them such a joy to collect in the 21st century is studying the number of rare variants in which they were produced, and subsequently tracking down the ultimate examples available on the market. While it may be a crisp full-set Ref. 6263 that helps develop one’s love for the Daytona, it’ll likely be something more exotic, along the lines of a Paul Newman dial equipped example that keeps one’s reverence for Rolex going strong. The same goes for Submariner’s and Sea Dweller’s, as there’s always that extra line of red text or gilt dial detailing to strive for!
As is the case with any other vintage watch purchase, it’s always advisable to go for the best possible example you can find, given the fact that these watches have long been out of production, and are finite in nature. With this in mind, top quality examples are only becoming more and more valuable with the passing of each and every day, and are about as liquid as water itself. It can be said with absolute certainty that vintage Rolex is the single strongest subcategory of the vintage watch market, making the purchase of one an easily justifiable decision, that your investment portfolio will surely enjoy just as much as you will.