Rolex is the gold standard in luxury watch brands. Over the last century, the Geneva-based company has produced some iconic timepieces. Meticulously designed and of exceptional quality, certain models are scarce and incredibly sought-after.

Rolex watches are an excellent investment, but some are more valuable than others.

The best pre-owned Rolex watches for investment are the Daytona, Explorer II, Submariner, and Day-Date President. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual, Sea-Dweller and Datejust are also among the best pre-owned Rolex models worth investment.

This article will examine the best second-hand Rolex watches for investment, highlighting how much you can buy them and how much profit you can make from them.

Rolex Daytona

As one of the most iconic timepieces, the Daytona will always be one of the best second-hand Rolex watch models to invest in. Production levels of this sleek racing watch have dwindled in recent years, increasing its value tenfold.

The lowest pre-owned Rolex Daytona Gold/Steel sells for £12,298. A vintage Daytona (made pre-1998) can sell for £50,072 today.

The Daytona Platinum, which currently sells for £84,630, is another model worth investing in.

The most expensive market price model would be The Daytona Platinum Ice-Blue Arabic Dial, which can sell for as high as £199,995 today.

The Daytona has remained a popular fixture since it was first introduced in 1963 and will likely always be a popular model amongst race car drivers, collectors, and stylish celebrities for years to come. Therefore, investing in Daytona will always be a good idea!

Rolex Explorer II

The Rolex Explorer II, a steel sports watch, will likely increase in value as it reaches its 50th anniversary in 2021. The coming years are forecast to see a renewed interest in the Rolex Explorer II, with more models set to be produced.

With various models released since its 1971 debut, the reference number on the Rolex Explorer II can determine its value and whether or not it is worth investing in.

You can purchase the 2011 Explorer II with the ref. 216750 for as low as £6,500 as second hand. Buying this Rolex model would be a good investment, as its pre-owned price increased by £1K between 2019 and 2020 and will likely continue to do so.

Explorer II’s with the reference numbers 16550 and 16570 are slightly rarer and can be purchased for around £10K today. Their value has increased by £4K over the last five years, so it is worth investing in now!

The most sought-after Rolex Explorer II reference number is 1655. These are the original Explorer II’s and sell for around £16K today - a figure that is predicted to grow in coming years.

Rolex Submariner

The Rolex Submariner is one of the most popular diving wristwatches amongst collectors and investors. The Submariner has long been a go-to for a guaranteed investment and still turns over good returns.

The value of Submariners has been in a state of perpetual ascendance since Rolex first introduced them in the 1950s. Its sleek, highly functional design has made it a must-have for all watch fans.

It is one of the best second-hand Rolex watch models to invest in as you can buy it relatively cheap and sell high. Submariner rarities such as ref. 5512 and 5513 sell between £9K and £17K, with interest constantly increasing as years go by.

2020 witnessed an increase in Submariner interest, mainly due to the new models that Rolex introduced, which featured 41mm cases instead of 40mm.

The 40mm cases are still available for a discounted price, including the ref. 16610 model, which sells for £7,788 on average. Second-hand market interest on this watch has increased by 15% over 2020, making this discounted watch an excellent investment.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Being one of Rolex’s original designs, the Oyster Perpetual will always pique the interest of collectors and can quickly turn out to be a worthwhile investment.

The latest Oyster Perpetual models that Rolex gave a makeover in 2020 come in various shapes and prices. The biggest of the new designs is the ref. 124300, with a size of 41mm, and an average price tag of £4,288.

The Oyster Perpetual 41 has received universal acclaim by collectors and investors alike and regularly sells for 70% above retail price. For this reason, now would be a good time to purchase this model.

The Oyster Perpetual 39 is another recent model that has garnered much attention on the Rolex resale scene. After just five years, the company decided to stop producing this model, making it a collector’s second-hand must-have.

The Perpetual 39 can currently be bought for £4,723 and sold for a higher price in future.

Rolex Day-Date President

The Rolex Day-Date President is a guaranteed good investment. A favourite of President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Day-Date has always provided a healthy return on the resale.

The return rate on the Day-Date President has risen over 2020, as the value of gold increases. Containing 13.875 grams of gold, the value of this watch will never go down due to this high gold content.

You can pick up the classic ref. 118238 for around £18,500 today. It is worth investing in this much-sought-after timepiece that will constantly increase in value.

Rolex Sea-Dweller

Invest in a Rolex Sea-Dweller as it is often overlooked. Since its inception, the Sea-Dweller has been overshadowed by Rolex’s more prominent dive watch - the Rolex Submariner.

The Rolex Sea-Dweller is one of the best second-hand Rolex watch models as its value is often undermined. Collectors often overlook it and miss out on an incredibly healthy investment.

The cheapest Rolex Sea-Dweller, the Deepsea, currently sells for £9,807 while the most expensive model, the Sea-Dweller ‘Double Red’, sells for £18,524.

You can purchase one of these current Sea-Dweller models as an investment to get ahead of the competition. Collectors will soon catch on to their value.

Vintage models, particularly ones that date to the 1960s and 1970s, sell for around £20,340, a figure that is sure to increase with more interest on Rolex’s underdog diving timepiece.

Rolex Datejust

The Rolex Datejust has been a sweeping success since its debut in 1945.

A reliable and basic timeframe, its simplicity renders it the crowning jewel of many investors' collections.

The most appealing reason for the Datejust being the best pre-owned Rolex model to invest in is its affordability. The current stainless steel Rolex Datejust models sell for as low as £5,157.

Even models for this low will guarantee an increase in value in years to come, with buyers constantly on the lookout for older watch face characteristics.

The rarest vintage datejust, ref. 4467 will sell for £7,800 on average.

It may not afford a big return on investment as some of Rolex’s other sports watches, but, with selling prices so cheap, it’s worth investing in.


Pre-owned Rolex investment is a lucrative trade. As long as the watch is in a suitable condition when the time comes to sell, you can increase your investment price tenfold.

Rolex is constantly updating its designs, with styles and sizes always subject to change. This creates a wide area of discontinued models and rarities that avid Rolex collectors would be willing to pay handsomely for.

Certain models have a far greater return than others, particularly the Rolex Daytona, Rolex Explorer II, and Rolex Submariner. There is often always a big market for second-hand models of these three.

Other models, such as Rolex Datejust, may not produce such a big investment return but are still worth investing in, as they will likely turn over some returns.

If you’re looking to invest in these jewels, check out our pre-owned Rolex models.

Time 4 Diamonds specialises in providing the best quality second-hand watches to men and women looking to invest in the rare and vintage Rolex.

Click to check out our Best Rolex Watches for Investment in 2022