10 best affordable Rolex watches to buy in 2021
10 best affordable Rolex watches to buy in 2021
Finding the right Rolex isn't easy. That's why we figured we'd help you out.
Here at Time 4 Diamonds, we took to our huge collection of luxury watches to bring you our top 10 affordable Rolex models for men. Yet even though these gorgeous timepieces offer the most competitive of all Rolex pricing, they are still Rolex. Their impeccable quality and effortless style remains. But first, a quick history lesson...
Why is Rolex so valuable?
The enormous value of the Rolex brand comes down to many things. Now a brand synonymous with wealth and power, the mighty brand achieved this global opinion by staying stoic and silent in its communication and marketing.
Rolex has nothing to prove; they let their products do the talking. This brand personality is their key to a mystique around the brand that fascinates people all over the world.
However, Rolex is also the most valuable watch brand today because it produces incomparable products of high precision and reliability. The classic sporty Rolex models each have their clearly defined field of application, in which a watch is used for often vital decisions. They are watches for divers, sailors, aviators, globetrotters.
For example, the GMT-Master was developed for the pilots of the American Pan-Am airline, who wanted a watch against jet lag that displays two time zones simultaneously. The Submariner was developed explicitly for divers, and the Milgauss, in turn, was introduced in the 1950s as an anti-magnetic watch for people who worked around strong electromagnetic fields, such as those encountered in power plants, nuclear research laboratories or at a computer tomograph.
Which Rolex models are particularly sought after by collectors?
Many collectors are therefore particularly enthusiastic about models that can be associated with researchers or athletes. The Submariner, for example, which was made famous by James Bond, among others. In the development of the models, there are barely noticeable special features that have led to a unique exclusivity in the models over the decades, because a minimal change to the case or dial only existed for a short period.
These 10 Rolex models were incredibly worthwhile in 2020
The restrained model policy makes the watches icons that have grown up over the decades. A Submariner from 2020 still resembles a Submariner from 50 years ago, even if it has come a long way from it technologically on the inside.
So you can't go wrong with these ten models, because even 50 years from now they will still be iconic watchmaking pieces, and there's a perfect chance that these models will still be around in perhaps only modified form.
Let's get to it.
The Rolex Submariner Date Oystersteel Ref. M116610LV-0002 "Hulk"
The Submariner is by far Rolex's most recognizable watch. Built from 1989 to 2010, the ref. 16610 can be considered the predecessor of the contemporary ref. 116610LN. At first glance – date stamp aside – they all look the same, but that is not the case. Rolex purists love the ref. 16610 because it is the last one with the tapered lugs. A much more elegant variation of Oyster Perpetual sports watches.
The Rolex “Hulk” is an Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date in Oystersteel with green Cerachrom bezel and dial, and large luminous hour markers. Introduced in 2010, it immediately wowed watch fans with its striking colour. The green changes from light to dark green in different lighting conditions. It is also ultra-sought after and available at £7,750
The Rolex Datejust 36 Oystersteel Ref. M126200-0002
Probably the most popular model from Rolex, this timepiece was presented in 1945 on the occasion of the watchmaker's 40th anniversary. It was also the first time that the now distinctive Jubilee bracelet was used. The Datejust is the first wristwatch with a date that changes automatically just before midnight. Price - £5,770.
The Yacht-Master 40 Ref. 16622
Rolex introduces new model lines so infrequently that they resemble era changes. Since 1967, there have been only two new launches: the Yacht-Master introduced in 1992 and the Sky-Dweller in 2012.
With its Oyster bracelet with fold over clasp, solid case back and sapphire glass, the Yacht-Master is the epitome of a luxurious yet gloriously understated stealth luxury watch. An absolute steal at this price. Price - £7,995
The Rolex Air-King Ref. M116900-0001
Not only a fantastic buy but, for us at Time 4 Diamonds, one of the greatest luxury watches ever created. Truly one of those rare pieces that suits any occasions, the unusual dial of the Air-King divides the markings between hours and minutes.
Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf developed the Air-King for RAF pilots in the Battle of Britain, and the company introduced this redesigned Air-King in 2016 with a larger 40mm case. The green second hand in the Rolex brand colour is unique to this watch, which for true aficionados makes it worth the purchase alone. Price - £5,300
The Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126710BRLO "Pepsi."
A Rolex GMT is the ultimate adventurer's watch. Introduced in 1955 with the legendary 24-hour scale on the bezel, it was nicknamed "Pepsi". The red and black "Cola" appeared in 1983, and the latest steel version features a state-of-the-art movement and a more elegant anniversary bracelet. Other than that, the design has barely changed in 60 years, which in turn adds to its unique charm that Rolex aficionados are succumbing to in droves right now. Price - £7,900
The Rolex Explorer Ref. 214270 'MKII'
The first Explorer with the reference 1016 was in production for almost 30 years until it was taken out of the program in 1989. She is THE Explorer, and her design still defines the successor models today.
Designed for explorers and equipped with Paraflex shock absorbers to give it more excellent shock resistance, this reference's predecessor was on the first ascent of Mount Everest, and even James Bond author Ian Fleming owned a Ref 1016. Current Explorer reference is the 214270 'MKII' which has been around since 2016. Price - £5,350
The Rolex Submariner Oystersteel Ref. M116610LN-001
The gold standard for the mechanical diver's watch genre. This classic Rolex Submariner with its black dial and the black bezel is something for purists, and still resembles the first Submariner today. If you like it even simpler, do without the date and take the "No Date". Price - £7,350
The Rolex Milgauss Ref. 116400
The Milgauss is the Rolex with perhaps the most interesting story. Designed with science in mind, this forward-thinking, diamond-encrusted timepiece features resistance to magnetic fields, making it the favoured luxury watch of scientists across the globe.
With the 116400 featuring an eye-catching orange lightning bolt as a seconds hand, the Rolex Gilhauss has bags of personality, made all the more enticing when matched with its affordable price point. Price - £8,995
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 Oystersteel Ref. M114300-0004
If you had to choose one watch to go with every outfit and situation for the rest of your life, this would be it. The Oyster Perpetual received an update in 2015 that included a new and larger 39mm case instead of 36mm, an Oyster bracelet and a range of dials in blue, grape red and dark rhodium. Price - £4,670
The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Oystersteel Ref. M116500LN
Paul Newman's 1968 Daytona remains the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction. In 2017, a collector won the bid for a staggering $17.8 million. The current Daytona is the most advanced timepiece Rolex has ever produced and is at least as sought-after today as it was then. A true icon, and a safe bank. Price - £10,790
It is easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of Rolex watches on the market; especially when they all look so spectacular.
That's why, if you're new to the world of Rolex, getting started with a more affordable one is the way to go. But be warned: luxury watches are addictive. Before you know it, your collection can begin growing and growing. Take it from us at Time 4 Diamonds when we say it's a beautiful and enriching journey you've got ahead of you.
We hope that one of our top 10 picks has helped get you started. Whether deciding on the timeless prestige of the Rolex Air-King or the ubiquitous, ever-present beauty of the Rolex Submariner Date Oystersteel, we believe that even the most staunch opponent of luxury watches will find something worthy of their wrist.
Did one in particular jump out at you? Take a closer look at our inventory and get in touch today.