Virtually every Rolex model is a desirable purchase, especially since they are produced by what is arguably the best-known watch brand in the world. However, picking which model to invest in right now can feel like a daunting choice.
So to help first-time buyers uncover their inaugural Rolex and to guide seasoned collectors to choose the next Rolex model to add to their collection, we developed this flowchart.
Follow the flowchart below to decide which Rolex watch you should buy! (Click to enlarge.)
And if you’re not interested in weaving your way through the Q&A flowchart, here are the short-cut answers:
FIRST-TIME ROLEX SHOPPERS
First-time Rolex buyers who are just dipping their toe into watch collecting should pick up a Rolex Air-King, the perfect introductory model that boasts that immediately recognizable Rolex look.
New Rolex buyers ready to make an investment in building a respectable watch collection should buy the Sea-Dweller. Introduced in 1978 and discontinued in 2008, the Rolex Sea-Dweller is a rare and collectible model, making it a smart investment for any new or seasoned watch collector.
For new collectors looking for a Rolex that is distinctively “Rolex” but has sportier and rugged undertones, opt for the Explorer. So named in honor of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s first summit of Mount Everest, the no-frills Rolex Explorer is an important part of Rolex’s history and any watch collection.
SEASONED ROLEX SHOPPERS
If you already have a few Rolexes in your collection and are after something that feels uniquely “you,” the Rolex Datejust is an ideal choice. The stately design is available in an expansive variety of dials and bezels so you can perfectly tailor your Rolex Datejust to suit your personal taste.
As a perennial favorite, the Rolex Submariner is a must-have for any watch collector, but it is most appealing to longtime collectors who want an unstuffy Rolex to wear every day. Even if you already own a Submariner with a black dial, consider branching out into one of the more collectible versions with a colorful dial and bezel like the Rolex-green “Hulk” model.
Veteran collectors who prefer newer over vintage models should add a Rolex Daytona to their watch wardrobe. Since the Daytona became the watch of choice by actor and accomplished racecar driver Paul Newman in the 1960s, the Daytona has been a hotly coveted model. Even though Daytonas are still in production today, they retain their value incredibly well and are a savvy investment if you’re in the market for a new Rolex.
Rolex devotees who gravitate towards vintage models should consider a GMT-Master I. The GMT-Master I was an immediate sensation when it was released 1954. Although they were briefly in concurrent production, the GMT-Master I was ultimately usurped by the updated GMT-Master II in the 1980s. The discontinuation of the GMT-Master I makes it a collector’s item and a desirable addition to any vintage watch collection.