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10 Most Expensive Rolex Watches Of All Time

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most expensive rolex

Rolex is a name that has become synonymous with luxury, precision, and timeless style in the world of timepieces. With a history that spans over a century, this esteemed watchmaker makes Rolex watches that have garnered the attention of collectors and horologists alike.

Among the vast array of Rolex watches, specific contemporary models hold a level of prestige and value that sets them apart from the rest. These prized timepieces are made using the finest materials and showcase unparalleled craftsmanship, often adorned with precious gems or boasting distinctive and storied histories.

As the demand for these pieces grows, so does their value. Currently, there are Rolex watches that are taking the world by storm and selling at eye-watering prices. Which are they? The post below reviews some of the most expensive Rolex watches ever sold as of 2023.

1. Rolex Datejust 36 ref. m126233-0037 (S$16,329)

rolex datejust 126233-0037

About

The Rolex Datejust 36 ref. m126233-0037 is a beautiful luxury women’s dress watch from Rolex’s Datejust collection. As the name implies, the collection’s watches display the ‘just’ date at 3 o’clock since it changes every midnight.

The Datejust was introduced in 1945. It was created to commemorate Rolex’s 40th anniversary and comes in various dial options, materials, bezels, bracelets, and sizes, one of them is the ref. m126233-0037. 

It combines elegance and class with its 36mm Yellow Rolesor case, matching bracelet, unique bezel, and an exotic dial with a special pattern and golden details.

Features

They include a golden dial with a palm motif, a date window with a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock, a supple Yellow Rolesor Jubilee bracelet, a Yellow Rolesor case, a fluted bezel, and a screw-down crown with a Twinlock double waterproofness system.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2021
  • Case Size: 36mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Golden, with palm motif, with gold-tone Chromalight lume-applied hands and index hour markers
    • Bracelet – Yellow Rolesor, Jubilee, with a Folding Oysterclasp with Easylink 5mm comfort extension link
    • Bezel – Fixed, fluted, Yellow Gold
  • Function: Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Chronometer
  • Mechanism: Self-winding Caliber 3235 movement with 31 jewels, a 70-hour power reserve, and a 28,800vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

Since it’s a Rolex watch and a proud member of the iconic Datejust collection, it retains its value and can increase in value with time. 

For instance, according to WatchCharts, its average private market price increased from S$17,799 on June 1, 2023, to S$18,015 on November 14, 2023. 

It does better on the pre-owned and secondary markets, boasting a S$18,974 pre-owned price tag compared to its S$16,329 retail value. The cost can be higher depending on its condition, demand, and retailer.

2. Rolex Submariner Date ‘Bluesy’ ref. m126613LB-0002 (S$21,052)

rolex submariner bluesy 126613LB-0002

About

Coming in with an equally impressive charm, the Rolex Submariner Bluesy ref. m126613LB-0002 is a luxury men’s dive watch that defines masculinity. It’s part of Rolex’s Submariner Bluesy collection which was started in 1984.

The Bluesy has been reincarnated four times so far, with the ref. m126613LB-0002 being the latest as of now. It boasts a powerful 41mm Yellow Rolesor case beautifully contrasted by its blue bezel and dial.

It also has a commanding yet comfortable wrist presence thanks to its sporty Oyster bracelet that’s functional and elegant. Its blue dial is a shade darker than the bezel, giving it a balanced and visually appealing design.

Features

Some of the main ones include a blue dial, a Yellow Gold unidirectional rotatable bezel with a blue ceramic Cerachrom insert, a Yellow Rolesor Oyster bracelet, gold-tone hands and hour markers, crown guards between its crown, and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal over the dial.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2020
  • Case Size: 41mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Blue, with gold-tone Chromalight-applied Mercedes-style hands and round/rectangle/triangle hour markers
    • Bracelet – Yellow Rolesor, Oyster, with Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system 
    • Bezel – Unidirectional rotatable, smooth, with a blue ceramic Cerachrom insert with gold-coated 60-minute numerals and graduations
  • Function: Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Chronometer
  • Mechanism: Automatic Caliber 3235 movement

Why You Should Invest?

As per WatchBase, its price has increased between 2020 and 2023. It had a S$19,896 price tag on September 1, 2020, which rose to S$20,481 on January 19, 2021, and S$22,821 on January 10, 2023.

Experts believe it’ll continue appreciating in value- especially on the pre-owned and secondary markets- for its golden materials and unique Rolex DNA.

3. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. m126503-0002 (S$26,316)

rolex daytona 126503-0002

About

Looking for a beefy piece with more than just good looks? The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. m126503-0002 fits the description. It’s a luxury men’s race-inspired sports watch that’s part of Rolex’s iconic Cosmograph Daytona collection- that was introduced in 1963. 

Rolex borrowed the ‘Daytona’ from one of Florida’s most race worthy cities at the time for its expansiveness and compacted sand.

The ref. 126503-0002 introduces elegance to racing with its chiseled, indestructible 40mm Yellow Rolesor body and matching Oyster bracelet. It also has a bright black dial with gold and diamond details- emphasizing its versatility on and off the race track.

Features

They include a Yellow Gold tachymeter scale on its bezel, gold-tone subdials at 3,6, and 9 o’clock, 8 diamond hour markers, a Yellow Rolesor case, and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal over its dial.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2023
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Black, with gold-tone Chromalight-filled hands and index/diamond markers
    • Bracelet – Yellow Rolesor, Oyster, with Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5mm comfort extension link
    • Bezel – Fixed, smooth, with a Yellow Gold tachymeter scale
  • Function: Chronograph, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Small Seconds, Tachymeter
  • Mechanism: Self-winding Caliber 4131 movement with 44 jewels, a 72-hour power reserve, and a 28,800vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

It might still be relatively new, but WatchCharts indicates its average private market price increased from S$29,701 on October 7, 2023, to S$30,257 on November 15, 2023. 

Overall, Cosmograph Daytona watches increase in value- especially vintage pieces like the Paul Newman Daytona ref. 6262- for their rarity, rich history, and collectability.

4. Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. m336933-0004 (S$25,978)

rolex sky-dweller 336933-0004

About

The Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. m336933-0004 is a men’s luxury watch for global travelers. It’s part of Rolex’s youngest and most complicated collection so far- the Sky-Dweller. 

The Sky-Dweller celebrated a decade of existence in 2022 and marked 20 years since Rolex presented another notable collection- the Yacht-Master-in 1992.

The ref. m336933-0004 shows it means business with its attention-grabbing, intricate dial design and sophisticated overall appearance. 

Additionally, it has a noticeable wrist presence thanks to its burly but classy 42mm Yellow Rolesor case. Its matching Jubilee bracelet makes up for the intimidating size with its collected confidence, allure, and gentle hug of the wearer’s wrist.

Features

They include a Yellow Gold fluted bi-directional rotatable Ring Command bezel, an off-center 24-hour disc with an inverted red triangle above it pointing to the chosen reference time, a deep red rectangle in one of its 12 windows that indicates the current month, a Jubilee bracelet, and a date display at 3 o’clock with a Cyclops magnifier lens above it.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2023
  • Case Size: 42mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Black, with gold-tone Chromalight lume-applied skeleton hands and index hour markers
    • Bracelet – Yellow Rolesor, Jubilee, with a Folding Oysterclasp with Easylink 5mm comfort extension link
    • Bezel – Bi-directional rotatable, Yellow Gold, fluted, Ring Command
  • Function: Date, Month, GMT, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Self-winding, COSC-Certified Caliber 9002 movement with 40 jewels, a 72-hour power reserve, and 28,800vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

Sky-Dweller watches generally hold their value well with time. However, they can also increase in value.

This timepiece is an attractive investment opportunity since it has a unique design, and its price has increased by 25% since its production. The increase is mostly due to its golden case and Jubilee bracelet.

5. Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. m228238-0059 (S$51,956)

rolex daydate 40 228238-0059

About

The Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. 228238-0059 is a luxury men’s dress watch that says a lot without having to speak. It’s part of the Day-Date collection, which was introduced in 1956 and was the first timepiece to indicate the day of the week at 12 o’clock and a date window at 3 o’clock.

From its authoritative President bracelet to its Yellow Gold body to its deep black dial with a reflective surface and smooth texture, the ref. 228238-0059 gives the modern (male) watch enthusiast a full dose of prestige and prominence.

Features

The main ones are a full-day display at 12 o’clock, a black onyx dial with a reflective surface, a President bracelet, a fluted bezel, a date display at 3 o’clock with a Cyclops magnifier lens above it, and a screw-down crown.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2016
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Black, onyx, with gold-tone hands and 10 braguette-cut diamond hour markers framed in Yellow Gold (double at 6 and 9 o’clock)
    • Bracelet – Yellow Gold, President, with a concealed folding crownclasp
    • Bezel – Fixed, fluted, Yellow Gold
  • Function: Day, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Automatic Caliber 3255 movement with 31 jewels, a 70-hour power reserve, and a 28,800vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

It’s a handsome watch with a lasting, positive impact. Additionally, its price has increased by over 40 percent between 2016 and November 15, 2023.

Typically, it appreciates in value more when you sell it on the pre-owned market in top condition. Its rich heritage and luxurious materials are most of the reasons for its demand.

6. Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. m228206 (S$89,338)

rolex daydate 40 228206

About

Want a brighter luxury piece that packs the same elegant punch as our previous choice? The Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. m228206 is the watch for you. It’s a discontinued luxury men’s watch with pretty much the same characteristics- except for its handsome Platinum body, matching President bracelet, and blue dial with golden details.

The blue dial seamlessly contrasts the all-Platinum background while maintaining the prestigious aura. Pair this expensive Rolex watch up with your best formal attire and you’re set to leave a lasting impression wherever you go.

Features

The main ones are an ice blue dial, Roman numeral hour markers, a 40mm Platinum case, a Platinum bracelet with a concealed clasp, a full day display at 12 o’clock, and a date display at 3 o’clock.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2015
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Ice Blue, with gold-tone hands and index/Roman numeral hour markers
    • Bracelet – Platinum, President, with a concealed folding crownclasp
    • Bezel – Fixed, smooth, Platinum
  • Function: Day, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Self-winding Caliber 3255 movement

Why You Should Invest?

It’s a discontinued timepiece, increasing its value among most watch enthusiasts and collectors. Additionally, according to WatchCharts, its average private market price increased from S$93,362 on July 24, 2023, to S$95,005 on November 15, 2023.

7. Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. m228239-0033 (S$56,005)

rolex daydate 40 228239-0033

About

Still on the Day-Date theme, the Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. m228239-0039 is another luxury men’s timepiece with a striking design and flawless look. This Rolex reference flaunts its excellence with its 40mm White Gold case and matching President bracelet that contrast the olive green dial.

Its sophisticated design, excellent craftsmanship, and advanced watchmaking technology well earn this expensive watch its deserving price tag.

Features

They include a 40mm White Gold case, an olive green dial, a fluted bezel, a President bracelet with polished center links, gold-tone Roman numeral/index hour markers, a date display at 3 o’clock, and a full day display at 12 o’clock.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2016
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Olive green, with White Gold hands and Roman/index hour markers
    • Bracelet – White Gold, President, with a concealed folding crownclasp
    • Bezel – Fixed, fluted, White Gold
  • Function: Day, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Self-winding Caliber 3255 movement

Why You Should Invest?

Moreover, as per WatchBase, its price rose between 2016 and 2020. It had a price tag of S$50,618 on February 1, 2016. The watch maintained its value until August 11, 2017, before increasing to S$54,568 on January 17, 2020.

8. Rolex Daytona Platinum Edition ref. m116506-0002 (S$109,985)

rolex daytona platinium 116506-0002

About

The Rolex Daytona Platinum Edition ref. m116506-0002 is a discontinued luxury men’s sports chrono that resembles the Paul Newman Daytona. It’s the most expensive Rolex watch on our list and was created to celebrate the Daytona’s 50th anniversary.

It introduced several interesting features to the Daytona lineup, such as a brown Cerachrom bezel and a full Platinum design- hence its record breaking price.

The innovative introductions didn’t sit well with some Rolex Daytona enthusiasts at first. However, Rolex fans have now appreciated them for their uniqueness and contrast among other Daytona models and rare watches from other brands in general.

Features

Some of the main ones are an ice blue dial, a Platinum case and Oyster bracelet, a chestnut brown Cerachrom bezel, screw down chronograph pushers, a tachymeter scale, subdials at 3,6 and 9 o’clock, and 11 baguette diamond hour markers.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2015
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Ice blue, with White Gold hands with luminous fill and 11 braguette diamond hour markers
    • Bracelet – Platinum, Oyster, with Oysterlock double-locking deployant clasp fitted with the patented Easylink 5mm extension link
    • Bezel – Fixed, smooth, Platinum, chestnut brown ceramic Cerachrom, with a tachymeter scale
  • Function: Chronograph, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Small Seconds, Tachymeter
  • Mechanism: Automatic Caliber 4130 movement with 44 jewels, a 72-hour power reserve, and a 28,800vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

Due to its rarity, discontinuation, and growing demand among watch aficionados, the value of this Rolex Daytona ref. 116506-0002 is likely to increase over time, making it a great addition to any watch collection.

Additionally, it sold for between S$117,141 and S$167,345 at the Bonhams Knightsbridge auction on September 13, 2022.

9. Rolex Submariner No-Date ref. m124060-0001 ( S$12,281)

rolex submariner date 124060-0001

About

The Rolex Submariner No-Date ref. m124060-0001 is a luxury men’s dive watch. It’s among the new-generation Subs, boasting several exciting tweaks from previous models, such as a larger 41mm Oystersteel case (from 40mm) with a slimmer profile, thinner lugs, a well-tapering Oyster bracelet, and the latest movement.

This stainless steel reference might still have the plain yet iconic black dial- Oystersteel body trademark Rolex Submariner design, but it meets the modern watch fan with a taste for underwater adventure’s expectations.

Features

The main ones are a larger 41mm Oystersteel case, a unidirectional bezel with knurled edges and a black ceramic Cerachrom insert, luminous Mercedes-style hands and hour markers, an Oyster bracelet with a safety clasp, and a fine printed minute track on the dial’s outer rim.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2020
  • Case Size: 41mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Black, with Chromalight-filled polished Mercedes-style hands and applied polished round/triangle/rectangle hour markers
    • Bracelet – Oystersteel, Oyster, with a Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system
    • Bezel – Unidirectional rotatable, smooth, Oystersteel, with knurled edges and a black ceramic Cerachrom insert with a luminous pip at 12 o’clock, and 60-minute numerals and graduations
  • Function: Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Self-winding Caliber 3230 movement with 31 jewels, a 70-hour power reserve, and a 28,800vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

According to WatchBase, its price has increased steadily between 2020 and 2023. This iconic timepiece had a S$11,265 price tag on September 1, 2020, which rose to S$12,435 on January 19, 2022, and an impressive S$13,313 on January 10, 2023.

10. Rolex GMT-Master II “Sprite” ref. m126720VTNR-0001 (S$15,182)

rolex gmt-master-ii 126720VTNR-0001

About

Also known as the ‘Lefty,’ ‘Destro,’ and ‘Sprite,’ the Rolex GMT-Master II ref. m126720VTNR-0001 is a luxury men’s world traveler’s watch meant primarily for left-handed individuals.

It’s among the most controversial timepieces in Rolex’s catalog (and probably the watch industry) for its drastic repositioning of the date window and crown and bold bezel color choices. 

Looking to break the norm and try something new? You’ll love this unique traveler’s accessory with its 40mm Oystersteel case, unique bezel, and stylish Oystersteel Jubilee bracelet.

Features

They include a winding crown on the left side of its case, a date window with a magnifier lens at 9 o’clock, a bi-directional rotatable bezel with a black and green insert, a Jubilee bracelet, and a green arrow-tipped GMT hand that points to the 24-hour indications on the bezel.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2020
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Black, with lume-filled Mercedes-style hands and circle/rectangle/triangle hour markers
    • Bracelet – Oystersteel, Jubilee, with a Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link
    • Bezel – Bi-directional rotatable, smooth, Oystersteel, with a black and green ceramic Cerachrom insert with 24-hour indications
  • Function: GMT, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Automatic Caliber 3285 movement with 31 jewels, a 70-hour power reserve, and 28,800vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

According to WatchBase, its price increased between 2022 and 2023, from S$15,361 on March 31, 2022, to S$16,385 on January 10, 2023.

Summary

The following table highlights the most sought after Rolex watches above, plus their key features, retail, private market, and pre-owned prices:

ModelKey FeaturesRetail PricePrivate Market PricePre-Owned Price
Rolex Datejust 36 ref. m126233-0037• Golden dial with palm motif
• Date window with a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock
• Supple Yellow Rolesor Jubilee bracelet
S$16,329S$18,015S$18,974
Rolex Submariner ref. m126613LB-0002• Blue dial
• Yellow Gold unidirectional rotatable bezel with a blue ceramic Cerachrom insert
• Yellow Rolesor Oyster bracelet
S$21,052S$22,490S$23,700
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. m126503-0002• Yellow Gold tachymeter scale on its bezel
• Gold-tone subdials at 3,6, and 9 o’clock
• 8 diamond hour markers
S$26,316S$30,257S$39,900
Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. m336933-0004• Yellow Gold fluted bi-directional rotatable Ring Command bezel
• Off-center 24-hour disc with an inverted red triangle above it pointing to the chosen reference time
• Deep red rectangle in one of its 12 windows that indicates the current month
S$25,978S$26,005S$26,800
Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. m228238-0059• Full-day display at 12 o’clock
• Black onyx dial with a reflective surface
• President bracelet
S$51,956S$57,163S$74,900
Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. m228206• Ice blue dial
• Roman numeral hour markers
• Platinum case
S$89,338S$95,005S$93,900
Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. m228239-0033• 40mm White Gold case
• Olive green dial
• Gold-tone Roman numeral/index hour markers
S$56,005S$55,404S$55,500
Rolex Daytona Platinum Edition ref. m116506-0002• Platinum case and Oyster bracelet
• Chestnut brown Cerachrom bezel
• 11 baguette diamond hour markers
S$109,985S$134,231S$156,900
Rolex Submariner ref. m124060-0001• Larger 41mm Oystersteel case
• Unidirectional bezel with knurled edges and a black ceramic Cerachrom insert
• Luminous Mercedes-style hands and hour markers
S$12,281S$15,538S$16,200
Rolex GMT-Master II ref. m126720VTNR-0001• Winding crown on the left side of its case
• Date window with a magnifier lens at 9 o’clock
• Bi-directional rotatable bezel with a black and green insert
S$15,182S$25,322S$24,900

Final Word

Investing in a Rolex watch can be a rewarding experience in terms of appreciation in value and personal satisfaction. The key is to research and stay informed about the market trends and recent auction Rolex prices, and you’re a step away from adding a high-end timepiece to your repertoire.

Key Takeaways

  • Expensive watches are a good investment, with most retaining value and others-like the famous watches above- appreciating in worth with time.
  • Factors contributing to a Rolex watch’s value include its condition, demand, provenance, and rarity.
  • Rolex timepieces are crafted from the finest precious metals, showcase unparalleled craftsmanship, and boast storied histories- hence their global popularity.

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