Cheapest Rolex Watches You Might Actually Be Able to Afford

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We’re not going to kid anyone. Rolex watches are expensive, and they’re only getting more expensive every year. As an investment, certain Rolexes do quite well. If you buy a new one, perhaps you’d have to wait a few years before you break even and start to profit from your investment, but if you buy one used, you might see your investment start to pay off immediately. Again, it all depends on the model you get.

Even if you’re not buying it as an investment because you’re truly a watch enthusiast, or you’d like to treat yourself or someone close to you to a nice gift, it’s nice to know what the entry prices to get into the world of Rolexes looks like. We were curious ourselves, and boy are the cheapest watches still expensive. But honestly, we shouldn’t have been all that surprised. We’re talking about Rolexes after all.

Brief history of Rolex watches

Rolex is a Swiss luxury watchmaker that was founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis. The company’s early years were focused on developing high-quality wristwatches, which were not yet a popular form of timekeeping at the time.

In the 1920s, Rolex introduced several significant innovations in watchmaking, including the first waterproof watch case, which was called the Oyster. The company also developed the first watch with an automatic winding mechanism, which allowed the watch to self-wind using the movement of the wearer’s arm.

In the following decades, Rolex continued to innovate and expand its product line, introducing new models such as the Datejust, the Submariner, and the GMT-Master. These watches became icons of style and functionality, beloved by everyone from deep-sea divers to pilots to Hollywood celebrities.

Today, Rolex is one of the most well-known and respected luxury watch brands in the world, with a reputation for quality, durability, and timeless design. The company continues to innovate with new materials, technologies, and designs, while also remaining committed to its traditional values of precision and craftsmanship.

Cheapest Rolex watches for men

Listed from least to most expensive.

1. Rolex Oysterdate Precision Ref 6694 [$3,500]

This Rolex makes the list, even though as a vintage watch, you’ll likely have to acquire it pre-owned. However, there are some that have been well taken care of. It comes in at 34mm in diameter, but it looks and feels more like a 36mm watch. Note that this is also a manually wound watch and not an automatic.

It is also a unisex watch. You’ll see that it makes both the men’s and women’s list as it is the most affordable Rolex you can get at around $3,000-$4,000.

2. Rolex Air-King Silver [$6,150]

The Rolex Air-King is a 34mm watch that is often overlooked in Rolex’s line of watches. It’s got quite a lineage, and if you’re looking to get into the world of Rolexes, this is a great watch to start with. This particular model comes at a price point of $6,150.

3. Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34mm [$6,150]

Comes with a stainless-steel oyster bracelet. This is a perfect entry-level Rolex if you don’t need a day or date on your watch. Timeless design, and one of Rolex’s most iconic watches.

4. Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 34mm [$6,395]

The Datejust is quite like the Oyster Perpetual and is itself an Oyster Perpetual, but with a cyclops date magnifier. It’s a great watch for both men and women, but Rolex does make a version specifically for women that women themselves might prefer.

5. Rolex Datejust 36mm [$8,850]

Out of all the watches mentioned here, the Rolex Datejust is the most popular of them all.  The jump in price from an Oyster Perpetual Date to a Datejust is a bit more, and this watch comes in 36mm, slightly larger than the Oyster Perpetual Date at 34mm. There are many different variations of this watch and prices will vary accordingly.

6. Rolex Explorer Automatic [$9,450]

The Explorer is a sports model in Rolex’s lineup. It is one of the most understated watches around and has a great history. The explorer was introduced shortly after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climbed to the peak of Mount Everest and was aptly named in honor of their accomplishment.

It is a comfortable yet rugged watch and has a classic silhouette similar to the rest of the Oyster Perpetuals.

7. Rolex Datejust 41mm [$9,475]

The Datejust is the collection in Rolex’s arsenal that has the most variety and options. Although the 36mm Datejust is an all-time classic, the 41mm fits certain people with larger wrists much more proportionately.

Cheapest Rolex watches for women

Listed from least to most expensive.

1. Rolex Oysterdate Precision Ref 6694 [$3,500]

As mentioned above, this watch is a unisex watch, and you’ll likely have to acquire a pre-owned version of this since it is a vintage watch. Also note that it is manually wound and not an automatic like the other watches mentioned. Even though it is 34mm, it feels and looks more like a 36mm watch on the wrist.

2. Rolex Oyster Perpetual 26 [$4,995]

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual 26 is a watch size introduced exclusively for women. It comes in a few color choices to suit your personal taste. This is one of the more recent offerings from Rolex.

3. Rolex Oyster Perpetual 31 [$6,265]

Similar to the 26, but if you prefer a slightly larger size, this one’s perfect. It’s a classic in its own right, and comes with a stainless steel oyster bracelet.

4. Rolex Lady Datejust 28 [$6,435]

Just like with the men’s versions, you’ll find the most variety within the Datejust lineup compared to the Oyster Perpetual and Date lines. Here we have a 28mm sized Datejust if you prefer a smaller watch. If you prefer a larger one, there’s a 31mm just below.

5. Rolex Lady Datejust 31 [$7,150]

A beautiful piece offered in a slightly larger size. It offers the quickset feature, meaning that you can set the date independently from the center hands.

6. Rolex Lady Datejust Rhodium With 18K White Gold [$9,500]

If the above are just not enough for you, Rolex has you covered. We are talking about the Datejust line here, so there’s something for everyone. This one has 18K white gold with a rhodium dial and a cyclops date magnifier.

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