For any avid watch collector, Rolex has to be on your radar. However, if you are new to the collector game and are looking for some great, entry-level finds that’ll get your collection off to a great start, then this article is perfect for you.
Made with the utmost precision and state-of-the-art functionality, a Rolex is symbolic of the highest level of craftsmanship and luxury. Every watch collector wants to add a few Rolexes to their collection.
While most Rolexes come with a premium price tag, a few might still be available for someone with a budget. Some of which might even see you turn a profit if you choose to sell them on at a later date.
Today, we’ve created a list of the top 5 most affordable Rolexes, but before that, let’s dig deeper into why a Rolex commands such a high price tag.
Which Rolex Holds its Value Best?
As a collector, you’re always going to want a watch that holds up or increases its value over time. While most Rolex watches are worth a fortune, be it new or resold, some of its timepieces are more likely to hold their value over time.
One of the strongest indicators for a Rolex to hold its value is its exclusivity. The rarer it is, the more value it holds over time. Additionally, the watch’s age, condition, specifications, and materials are all contributors too.
Those of you who are lucky enough to be able to invest in a sports model from Rolex will definitely see the highest return. Those in precious metals like platinum and gold hold a lot more value over time. One of the most recognizable Rolex watches, the Submariner is a great investment based on popularity alone and comes in at a great price.
If you can get your hands on a Cosmograph Daytona, though, you’ll definitely be in the money. Having said that, the watch isn’t exactly one of Rolex’s most affordable options and has even been dubbed the most expensive wristwatch ever sold.
What are the Best Entry Level Rolexes?
Appreciation of fine watches is a great way to express your personality and lifestyle without going overboard. Getting your first luxury watch also needs to not be too much of a burden on your pockets; especially if you’re a first-timer. Rolex never compromises on quality, so even if it’s a slightly cheaper model, you can guarantee that it will be just as well-made.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual is a classic and minimalistic watch for anyone looking for their first Rolex. Retailing for less than £5000, it’s a great first-time investment and the perfect way to start your Rolex Collection. It also gets you on the books with your local authorised dealer for when you’re ready to purchase premium models.
The Rolex Air-King is also a staple Rolex with a hefty history in the aviation industry. Pilots love this watch. Like the Oyster Perpetual, the Air-King retails for under £5000 and is great for the more understated buyer because of its simple and timeless design on the watch dial. The minimalistic design of the Air-King has made it a watch that is favoured by many.
The 5 Most Affordable Rolex Timepieces
Rolex and affordable can sound like an oxymoron to some. However, it’s not a myth and you can get a lot of watches for a reasonable amount of money if you know where to look. Here are the 5 most affordable Rolex watches for an entry-level collector:
1. The Rolex Datejust
The Rolex Datejust is a classic that comes with countless customisations. The Lady Datejust is perfect for a female wearer and it’s a timeless classic that’ll hold its value for years to come. Having launched 75 years ago, its elegance and simplicity make it a perfect first watch for any collector. At £5200, it also comes with a reasonable price tag. As it’s not ultra-rare either, it’s a model you can usually pick up unannounced at your local Rolex dealer.
2. The Rolex Explorer
A Rolex icon yet one of the cheapest ones in their range, the Rolex Explorer is a star in every sense. It’s accurate, rugged and designed for those of you with a sense of adventure who enjoy living life in the most extreme corners of our planet. This affordable sports model has even been to the very top of the world, joining Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay when they became the first to make it to Mt. Everest in May 1953. At £4700 it’s a worthy timepiece with a lot of history.
3. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual is one of the most elegant watches that a collector can have. If you are looking for an entry-level Rolex, then this watch is an ideal choice. It costs around £4500 depending on your customisations and derives from the first waterproof watch in the world (The Oyster).
4. The Rolex Milgauss
We love the Milgauss not only because of its affordability but also because it’s a little different to your average, entry-level Rolex. Its signature Z-blue dial and lightning bolt second hand perfectly complements the slightly tinted green sapphire crystal cover which is virtually scratch-resistant. Impenetrable to the magnetic fields of the earth (up to 1000 gauss – hence the name) this watch has been a hit with scientists for years. With prices starting from £6650, this watch must be on every collector’s list.
5. The Rolex Air-King
Designed originally for pilots, the Rolex Air-King is a great option for a premium watch at an affordable price. It debuted in 1945 and continues to make its presence felt even after so many years.
Having been discontinued a few years ago, the Rolex Air-King has suddenly made its presence felt with a striking comeback. You can purchase this watch for just £5150. It’s designed with easy navigation in mind; a jet black bezel with distinctive 3,6 and 9 and large minute numbers for fast reference. Like the Milgauss, it’s also protected from the earth’s magnetic field.
As you can see, entering the Rolex market isn’t as daunting as it might initially seem, and there are some good options out there for the novice collector. We hope that some of these watches make it into your collection and if you do choose to resell it, you can make a hefty profit to put towards a rarer model. No matter your intentions for what to do with it in the future, you can be sure you’ll be making a statement.