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Rolex

While the rise in popularity of vintage Rolex watches is of no surprise to aficionados, collectors and industry experts, when it comes to contemporary luxury wristwatches, Rolex is also often the first brand that springs to mind. Not only is the company revered for its precision timekeeping and impeccable craftsmanship, but its name was designed to be memorable.

Rolex's enviable worldwide recognition can be credited in part to the genius of company founder Hans Wilsdorf. When the German-born watch dealer and his brother-in-law, Alfred Davis, set up their London enterprise, in 1905, they called it Wilsdorf & Davis, according to the traditional formula.

But Wilsdorf was determined to come up with another name that was short, would look good on a watch dial and was easy to say and remember in several languages. In 1908, he trademarked the name Rolex, and by 1920, he had moved the company to Geneva and redubbed it as Montres Rolex S.A.

But the main reasons for the brand’s success are its aforementioned commitment to precision and unflagging pursuit of innovation. In 1926, the company introduced the aptly named Oyster model. With a screw-down crown and case back, both fitted with rubber gaskets, this was the first truly waterproof watch.

Five years later, Rolex upped the ante with the Oyster Perpetual. That model’s patented Perpetual movement contained a rotor mechanism enabling it to self-wind. In another trendsetting move, in 1945, the brand debuted the Datejust, with a date window prominently displayed on the dial.

The company’s two most iconic models are sports watches. Although the Submariner, which debuted in 1953, was developed as a dive watch, its waterproof case, solid construction and good looks made it a favorite of adventurers and urbanites alike, including James Bond, who wore it in classics like Dr. No and Goldfinger. The Daytona, the racing chronograph made famous by Paul Newman, is especially sought after by collectors. Newman’s personal Daytona, which hit the auction block in 2017, sold for $17.8 million.

Find vintage Rolex watches, bracelets and more on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
US$7,759
Styles
Rolex 14Kt. Solid Gold Date Model with Custom Finished Dial from 1970's
By Rolex
Located in Long Beach, CA
FACTORY / HOUSE: Rolex Watch Company STYLE / REFERENCE: Oyster Perpetual Date / Reference 1500 METAL / MATERIAL: 14Kt. Yellow Gold CIRCA / YEAR: 1970's DIMENSIONS / SIZE: 41mm x 35m...
Category

1970s Modern Vintage Rolex

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Red Grape Dial Steel Mens Watch 114300 Box Card
By Rolex
Located in Atlanta, GA
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Red Grape Dial Steel Mens Watch 114300 Box Card. Officially certified chronometer self-winding movement. Stainless steel case 39.0 mm in diameter. Rolex logo o...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Rolex

Materials

Steel

Rolex Submariner Steel 18K Yellow Gold Blue Dial Mens Watch 116613 Unworn
By Rolex
Located in Atlanta, GA
Rolex Submariner Steel 18K Yellow Gold Blue Dial Mens Watch 116613 Unworn. Officially certified chronometer self-winding movement. Stainless steel and 18k yellow gold case 40.0 mm in...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Rolex

Materials

Yellow Gold, Steel

Rolex GMT Master II Black Blue Batman Jubilee Mens Watch 126710 Unworn
By Rolex
Located in Atlanta, GA
Rolex GMT Master II Black Blue Batman Jubilee Mens Watch 126710 Unworn. Officially certified chronometer self-winding movement. Stainless steel case 40 mm in diameter. Rolex logo on ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Rolex

Mens Rolex Oyster Precision 5500 Air King Automatic 1970s Vintage RA253
By Rolex
Located in Beverly Hills, CA
Timeless icon, Men's Rolex Oyster Precision Air-King 5500 automatic, c.1971, all original. Verified authentic by a master watchmaker. Gorgeous Rolex signed silver dial, applied indic...
Category

1970s Vintage Rolex

Mens Rolex Oyster Datejust 16234 18k SS Automatic Diamond Dial 2000s RJC111
By Rolex
Located in Beverly Hills, CA
Timeless icon, Men's 18k gold and stainless steel Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Ref.16234 automatic, c.2002, all original, with original Rolex tag. Verified authentic by a master w...
Category

Early 2000s Rolex

Rolex Yellow Gold Hooded Lugs Vintage Art Deco Wristwatch, 1937
By Rolex
Located in London, GB
An Art Deco vintage wristwatch by Rolex made in 1937. Gold case with rare and unusual hooded lugs, marked “RWC LTD” for the Rolex Watch Company Ltd and “27 Records Universels”. Hal...
Category

1930s Art Deco Vintage Rolex

Materials

Gold, 9k Gold

Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 126660 Men's Watch in Stainless Steel
By Rolex
Located in New York, NY
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 126660 Men's Watch in Stainless Steel SKU: 113273 PRIMARY DETAILS Brand: Rolex Model: Sea-Dweller Deepsea Country of Origin: Switzerland Movement Type: M...
Category

2010s Rolex

Materials

White Gold, Stainless Steel, 18k Gold

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Rolex Sellers

SwissWatchExpo, Inc.
4.9 / 5
The Collective
4.8 / 5
Chrono Store
5 / 5
Advent of Time
5 / 5
DeMesy Fine Watches & Jewelry
4.6 / 5
International Vintage Watch Company
5 / 5
Phigora
No Reviews Yet
WatchCentre
4.5 / 5

Creators Similar to Rolex

Questions About Rolex
  • 1stDibs ExpertAugust 17, 2021
    A Presidential Rolex is worth about $20,000. Presidential Rolex watches are typically yellow gold with white, green or gold faces. Some models feature diamonds and other gems, but the classic doesn’t. Find Presidential Rolex watches and other Rolex models on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertAugust 17, 2021
    The Rolex Sea Dweller’s cost varies depending on material. A new Rolex Sea Dweller starts at around $12,000.00. On the secondhand market, the price of these watches varies. Shop different styles of the Rolex Sea Dweller on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021
    The popular Rolex Oyster Perpetual is usually between $5,900 and $6,600 in price.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021
    The new Submariner Rolex with a Black Bezel is worth around $8,100 with some of the more expensive new Submariners in yellow gold costing around $36,950.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021
    Because platinum is denser than other metals, it is often more expensive to purchase platinum watches than gold. One of the most expensive watches sold was a Platinum Rolex worth $277,000.