2020 is over, and what a year we had.

Yet even in the middle of a global pandemic, investors took full advantage of explosive returns in the stock market. Companies including Amazon, Tesla and PayPal saw record levels of growth in the unlikeliest of backdrops. Even Bitcoin ended the year at an all-time high.

Because of this, the savviest of investors began 2021 with a healthy bump in their personal wealth. But it's not too late to make some money. 

If there's one thing we know at Time 4 Diamonds, it's watches. With Rolex in particular, many pieces of their collection are currently underpriced and guarantee an increase in value if you know what to look for.

Read on to discover our best Rolex investment picks of 2021, where we're starting with a personal favourite of ours...


Rolex Explorer II


First arriving in 1971, the Rolex Explorer II will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, making it a prime moment to invest.

With the odds of a new Explorer II arriving in 2021 highly favourable, this stunning sports watch will enjoy a resurgence of interest and inevitable increase in value. The collection is already undervalued, so investing in an earlier 36mm model such as the ref. 14270 or ref. 114270 could result in a lucrative year.

It would also be wise to consider the 39mm ref. 214270 due to its low price point. At present one of the least expensive Rolex sports watches, it will be a welcome addition to your investment portfolio that promises to continue gaining value alongside all other Rolex steel sports watches.


Rolex Oyster Perpetual


As one of the oldest watches in the Rolex catalogue, the Oyster Perpetual is also its most enduring model. An excellent starter watch that's effortlessly elegant, this model has seen a recent resurgence in 2020.

A new range of head-turning models were released including the Oyster Perpetual 41, which now proudly stands as the line up's largest model. This, alongside its 36mm brother, has been met with universal acclaim, and is currently consistently selling for 70% above the true retail price.

However, if you're looking for an older model and don't want to spring for last year's release, we also recommend investing in the Oyster Perpetual 39. Now discontinued, its short 5-year production cycle has left it incredibly desirable for collectors and aficionados alike. 


Rolex Submariner 


2020 was an eventful year for this fan favourite. Esteemed beyond measure and a staple of any Rolex aficionado's wrist, the Rolex Submariner is a timeless timepiece.

Be that as it may, last year saw the 40mm models being discontinued and replaced by the 41mm cases. Although changes were negligible, this has left the previous iterations a great investment piece. For an almost identical watch, you can purchase the older model for thousands of pounds less, even though it possesses the almost exact same properties.

Our investment choice for the older generation 40mm Submariners would be the ref. 16610. As one of the lowest-priced of all Submariner models, it is a safe bet that has already increased in value by over 15% in 2020 alone. A sign of things to come, as it is sure to continue being a great choice for the wise investor.


Rolex Day-Date President


With the pandemic causing gold prices to surge even higher, gold Rolex watches have seen a rise in value, with none being more evident than the Day-Date collection.

A safe and brilliant investment, the Rolex President is often considered the greatest gold watch ever crafted. For this reason alone, it will never lose its value and always be worth at least its weight in gold. It will never be seen as a dated timepiece and will only become more valuable as time goes on.

Consider investing in the classic ref. 118238. A timepiece that, although costly at a price of over £18,500, is still priced significantly lower than the current model. Should gold keep going the way it's going, this is sure to be a great return on investment.

Also consider the Rolex Day-Date II, the largest-sized of the Rolex President collection. Although overlooked now, we envision this bold watch gaining great value in the near future.


Rolex Datejust


The best-selling Rolex watch of all time, the Datejust is a beautifully understated two-tone masterpiece. Consistently considered one of the watchmakers' finest works, demand for the Datejust has only increased with its age, making it an excellent investment.

For an affordable piece, consider investing in the Datejust 36; a vastly underpriced watch on the pre-owned circuit compared to its counterparts. 

With its yellow gold and stainless steel two-tone, this gorgeous watch has many iterations, all of which are sought after and we consider great investments. Regarding our personal investment choices, consider ref. 16233 and ref. 16013. 


Rolex Date

The Rolex Datejust's baby brother, the Rolex Date, is a slightly smaller version of the popular classic at 34mm. Although today crafted exclusively from stainless steel, previous models have been crafted from solid gold. It is these models that have now become sought after, and which we consider a worthwhile and lucrative investment.

Coming in both 14k and 18k gold, these gorgeous versions of the Rolex Date are worthy of an investment. There are many nuances to each model, but all hold their value exceptionally well. Our personal favourite is the ref. 15238 for its stunning gold rivet link bracelet.

As quite possibly the best value gold Rolex watch on the market today, the Rolex Date 34mm has slowly been gaining more and more traction amongst wise investors. For this reason, we feel that it's a worthy watch to hold onto in 2021.


Ladies Rolex Watches

The sheer elegance exuding from these timepieces are worth the investment alone. Yet even when leaving emotion at the door, we see incredible potential for a vast array of ladies Rolex models in 2021 and beyond.

Focusing on discontinued smaller models, tasteful timepieces such as the diamond-encrusted Lady-Datejust 28mm ref. 69138 are now exploding in popularity. Having seen a recent spike in interest alongside many similar models, investing now is a smart move.

Find yourself a Rolex ladies cocktail watch – a colloquial name used to describe the stylish and discerning models of yesteryear – and you're sure to discover a bargain. Made from gold and encrusted with diamonds, these tiny timepieces are often overlooked and criminally underpriced.

We're certain that this won't last forever, however, so investing in one today could be one of the best tips for 2021.


Rolex Air-King


As arguably the most undervalued Rolex watches on the market, these vintage, minimal timepieces are quickly becoming noticed by watch investors worldwide.

The older Air-King 34mm ref. 5500 in particular – produced for almost 30 years (1958-1989) – is renowned as one of the most affordable Rolex models on the market, making it a lower-risk investment alongside an excellent entry-level watch.


Of all 34mm models however, reference numbers with 6-digits (ref. 114200ref. 114234) have historically gone from strength to strength regarding their value. Although considerably more expensive than their 5-digit counterparts, they offer many additions – including unique and vibrant dial styles – that will intrigue collectors and investors alike. We believe that the Rolex Air-King has certainly got some tremendous growth to look forward to in 2021.


Rolex Sea-Dweller


Seen as somewhat of an underdog due to the Rolex Submariner – the brand's other professional dive watch – regularly taking centre stage, the Sea-Dweller has found itself hugely undervalued.

Fortunately for sharp investors, this leaves us with an incredible moneymaking opportunity. Offering greater performance metrics than the Rolex Submariner, any iteration of this model can be considered a smart addition to any watch investor's portfolio.

Somewhat of a rarity, the ref. 116600 is a beautifully unique 40mm timepiece that was the first of its kind to have a ceramic bezel insert. With not many produced (crafted 2014-2017), this watch is seen as somewhat of a curiosity among collectors, yet amazingly still affordable. Although in recent times, investors have become more and more aware of the Sea-Dweller and this undervalued collection.

For this reason, you can be sure that this will change in the near future.


Rolex GMT-Master II

The timepiece that epitomises the beauty and sophistication of Rolex. A universally adored pilot's watch that consistently sells at a premium of the original retail price.

Yet besides the ever-increasing demand of the GMT-Master II, there are still certain models that offer fantastic value for money, as well as being a shrewd investment. The first two generations – ref. 16710 and ref. 16760 – are age-old classics that can be purchased at a lower price than their more modern versions.

Their vintage visage has become extremely popular with collectors, so investing in one in 2021 will always be a good decision.
Also consider the ref. 116710LN, the dark horse of the GMT-Master II family. An incredibly unique timepiece that is currently undervalued, invest and watch its value grow.

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