If you are new to watch collecting, or just casually curious, you might be wondering why Rolex watches are so popular. Over the last few decades, Rolex has gone from a watch for professionals and explorers to a highly coveted status symbol. The iconic crown logo is used in all types of media to convey wealth, power, and the fruits of success and hard work. But what makes this watch so special and worth the expense?
A History of Groundbreaking Innovation
Rolex has a history of pushing the status quo in watchmaking techniques, achieving an impressive number of ‘firsts’ in horology. With each innovation, Rolex further cemented itself as a leader within the industry, setting the standards for the rest of the watchmaking world.
These impressive milestones include the first water-resistant wristwatch, the first self-winding watch, the first dual-timezone complication, and the first chronometer wristwatch certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres.
Due to these successes, Rolex timepieces are often found on the wrists of some of the most accomplished explorers in history. From the deepest depths of the ocean to the highest peaks in the world, Rolex has been there each step of the way. In 1953, when Sir Edmund Hillary became the first man to climb to the summit of Mount Everest, he sported a Rolex Oyster Perpetual. And then in 1960, The Rolex Deep Sea Special accompanied the first and then deepest dive to the bottom of the Marianas Trench.
Timeless Quality, Style & Value
Over decades of design and technical refinement, flagship models like the Day-Date, Submariner, and Datejust remain true to their original designs. When purchasing a Rolex, you won’t have to worry about your favorite watch going out of style. Timeless style combined with high-quality materials and production has made even vintage Rolex models valuable and sought-after by serious collectors and casual wearers alike.
While iconic Rolex models retain their value well compared to other watchmakers, there are certain models that fetch a high asking price on the secondary market. Limited production and long waitlists have made the 2016 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (ref.116500LN)a collector must-have. When released in 2016, Rolex sold the watch for $12,500. On the secondary market in 2019, this watch usually sells for around $24,000 – quite the return on a three-year investment.
With such a distinguished and expansive history in watchmaking, there is no shortage of novel and rare watches. At auction, Rolex watches have received some of the highest prices in history. A one of a kind Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona sold at auction for a record-setting $17.75 million. While not every collectible Rolex will fetch quite that much, pieces with small details and intricacies stand out to collectors and increase the value of hard to find watches.
The brand’s illustrious history has certainly contributed to the inherent value of a Rolex timepiece. A Rolex timepiece is ingrained with a spirit of adventure and achievement, and it’s built to the highest standards in watchmaking. The qualities combined have turned a Rolex into a commemorative symbol of an individual’s own personal accomplishments and success.
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