Which Rolex is right for you? Do you need watch insurance? Discover the best models of the world’s favourite luxury watch brand with the Lycett’s guide.
Which Rolex is right for you
Ah, Rolex. Arguably the most famous of all watches – with almost 2 million yearly searches for the brand by UK Google users. Rolexes are prestigious, technically perfect and a true sign that you know your fashion. Adorning the wrist of celebrities and figureheads across the globe, Rolex watches are also a handy investment since they hold their value so well. Some rarer watches increase in value over time.
The company was established in 1905 and has always been at the peak of innovation. Rolex delivered the world’s first waterproof wristwatch, the Oyster and also the world’s first self-winding mechanism. The brand’s achievements in the exploration and sportswear sectors have carried them into a world of prestige, where they now sit as the pinnacle of timepieces. Whether you wear one to the office or to an event, they will catch the eye and create talking points.
So, whether you’re a first time buyer or looking to expand your collection – here are the Rolex models you need to be aware of. First though, you need to understand that if you’re going to shell out on a luxury watch brand, you need to expect certain features. Rolex watches come with high-grade, pristine steel cases. Their movement is made in-house, crafted with a durable mechanism that promises reliability. Quite simply: if you’re going to spend big money on a watch, it should either be a Rolex or live up to one, which is no small feat.
Spotting a fake
First and foremost, you need to learn to identify fake Rolexes so you don’t end up spending unwisely on inferior goods. The following are all tell-tale signs:
- Price. Too low is usually a warning sign. Trust your instincts – if something seems like too good a deal, it probably is.
- Model number. Check the model number online and see if it matches the metal. If they don’t match it’s easy to discern a counterfeit.
- Imperfections. Rolex watches are a study in precision – so any imperfections can spell disaster.
- Weight. Rolex watches tend to be fairly weighty due to the high quality metals used in their design. Fake models are significantly lighter.
- Movement: One of the easiest ways to spot fakes is to look at the movement of the hand. If your watch ‘ticks’ it’s a fake. A Rolex uses automatic movement which sweeps rather than ticks.
- Date magnification: Look at the face of the Rolex. If the date is not magnified by the ‘cyclops lens’, it’s probably a fake.
Which Rolex should I buy?
Rolex are renowned for smaller watches, as they have stuck to vintage designs that have been popular for decades. There are a number of larger models now available – but in choosing your watch you should first consider your wrist size. A smaller Rolex on a larger arm may not look ideal.
There are far too many individual styles and models to cover – so we’re offering a select amount of styles to help you decide on a Rolex. Firstly, you’ll need to decide on your usage – sporting or dress.
Sport Rolex Watches
Despite their reputation as prestigious pieces of formalwear, Rolexes were originally designed as adventure watches and continue to set new records in sportswear. Recently, a Rolex Deep Blue watch set the record for water resistance.
Of the Rolex sport line, the Rolex Submariner is one of the most popular options. It is available in a number of styles and retails from around £7000 and up – with one of the most common styles being the black model with steel strap. The only negative to this piece is that it’s the most popular model, so you won’t be unique when wearing it.
Alternatives are the Deepsea, which is a larger watch and the Yachtmaster – which is a dressier style of the Submariner. If you’d like a slightly more affordable alternative, the Rolex Explorer and Explorer II are good choices as they retail for between £3,000 and £5,000
Dress Rolex Watches
If you’d prefer a dressier watch to turn heads when you’re in formalwear, the huge range of dress watches will suit well. Men should ideally purchase watches that are above 38”, as others may look small on the wrist.
The Rolex Datejust II is a good option as a dress watch. It is less bulky than the sportier styles but retains a solid steel strap that commands attention. It’s a watch that fits dress styles without pandering to them by being too slim or sleek. The Datejust II is priced around £5,500.
If you’d prefer to forgo the steel strap and aim for something more subtle, the Rolex Cellini Time is a beautiful option but far more expensive, priced from £8500 and rising to over £10,000.
Of course, there are more expensive styles available, but for newcomers to the Rolex brand all of these styles offer accessible routes into luxury watch ownership. As with any Rolex, they hold their value very well and can be worn to almost any occasion. Sports watches are suitable in dress occasions as long as you match your outfit to the watch. They are also more suitable for everyday wear. Dress watches are more delicate and should only be worn to specific events and occasions – but their value can increase as a result.
Pre-Owned Vs New
The final thing to cover is the pre-owned vs brand new Rolexes. Unlike most retail products, pre-owned Rolexes can be more expensive than their newer models. This is because lots of lines are produced in low numbers, so older models become more expensive and desirable to collectors. Some of Rolex’s finest watches are models from the 60’s and 70’s – and the price of these pieces reflects that.
When buying used, you’ll need to pay close attention to our spotting a fake section to ensure you aren’t being duped. Buying used does give you the ability to scrutinise, select and buy like a true collector.
When buying new, it’s important to try and choose a model that can increase in value. Selecting a watch with a limited production number is a good way to achieve this. If you don’t, you’ll end up experiencing depreciation – as any new watch can quickly lose value once you purchase it.
Of course, you also get the knowledge that no one else has worn your watch and it is truly unique to you.
Caring for your first Rolex
Because a well-sourced Rolex is an investment, you’ll want to protect it. One of the first things to do is take out insurance, as most are costly enough to warrant the low price of insurance to cover any damage. Lycetts, a provider of insurance for private and financial services, can net you competitive cover on watch insurance.
You should also care for your Rolex in the same way you’d care for any luxury watch – keeping it in a box, keeping it in use so that it doesn’t sit inactive for any lengthy periods and getting it serviced every few years by a watchmaker.
If you choose the correct Rolex, you’ll find a prized possession that can be enjoyed for years and then resold at similar values to purchase price. You can wear it as a point of pride – or as a new piece to a collection you’ll want to expand year after year. Just remember: treat your watch well and it will treat you well in return. If any disasters strike, such as water entry or case chips, this is one item where watch insurance can be invaluable.