For many, purchasing a Rolex watch involves some level of financial commitment. It might mean saving for months or even years to come up with the money to invest in the piece they’ve been eyeing. For a select few, the budget is not an issue, and the options are endless. An even smaller select few of these collectors are young, well versed in all that is Rolex, and have the expendable income to purchase any watch they so desire. They are the Rolex fashionisto, and these are the 3 Rolexes they are most likely to wear.
The Rolex Submariner 116610
The Rolex Submariner 116610 is a fantastic pick for its rarity and exclusivity among authorized dealers. Walk into any AD, and they will tell you that these stainless steel sports models are being picked up quicker than dollar bills on the ground.
Luckily there is a way to source these exclusive models without having to be on the “VIP” list for Rolex Authorized Dealers. The secondary market makes these watches available to the public. The reason why this is good news is that of how much you need to spend to get to the VIP list for these authorized dealers. Often, you’ll be required to purchase multiple low-end watches, then you’ll get preferential treatment.
Online markets changed the game making this watch attainable. Submariners on Bob’s Watches can be purchased by anyone who wants to check out, plus they have financing options. This would be my first choice.
The Rolex Submariner ref. 6200 with an Explorer Dial
The Submariner is easily one of the most iconic timepieces in the entire Rolex catalog and is a popular choice among many avid collectors. Every well-rounded collection should have at least one, and we speculate that the fashionisto would choose one of the most sought-after references, the vintage Submariner 6200 with an Explorer dial. As one of the first Submariner watches introduced in the early 1950s, this reference is incredibly rare. Most Submariners display the time via round, baton, and triangular hour markers. The ref. 6200, however, features a dial topped with the luminous 3, 6, and 9-hour markers that are more commonly found on the Explorer watch. While the ref. 6200 offers a few dial options; the Explorer dial is the rarest. This early variation of the Submariner was also the first in the line to offer Mercedes hands and features the highly coveted “Big Crown,” giving it the robust, utilitarian aesthetic that is often found on older-style dive watches.
Approximately only 300 examples of the Submariner ref. 6200 were ever produced, making them very hard to come by on the secondary market. If you’re lucky enough to find one through a reputable seller, expect to pay as much as $290,000, depending on condition and dial variation.
The Paul Newman Daytona
Another vintage Rolex that is in high demand is the Paul Newman Daytona. Given that the budget is not an issue, it’s likely that the fashionisto would have one in his collection. The iconic chronograph earned its moniker after the actor Paul Newman, who was known to wear the reference 6239 daily and also happened to be an accomplished race car driver. His Daytona was characterized by what is commonly referred to as a “Panda” dial, which features a white dial topped with contrasting black registers and red font. The hour markers are minimal, displaying the time via small markers around the outer rim of the dial. The most notable part of the dial, however, are the registers, which feature a charming Art Deco font and lollipop hash marks topped with squares.
This extraordinary variation of the Daytona is very rare and commands a premium on the secondary market, selling for upwards of $250,000. Other references with similar Paul Newman panda dials are also available for a much more, albeit still very high, price including the references 6263 ($95,000) and 6241 ($175,000).
The Rolex GMT Master II ref. 126710
While the Paul Newman Daytona and early model Submariner are both insanely coveted vintage watches, the fashionito, we expect, would also wear a newer-model Rolex. The release at BaselWorld 2018 that received the most buzz was the newest GMT Master II ref. 126710. The latest generation of Rolex sports watches offers upgraded ceramic bezels, contemporary cases with more squared-off lugs and larger crown guards, new-style bracelets, and dials topped with larger “Maxi” displays. The newest GMT Master II brings all of these features to the table as well as the first instance of a ceramic Pepsi bezel on stainless steel. Previously, this bezel option was only offered in precious metal. While the fashionisto could certainly afford the ceramic Pepsi GMT Master II in gold, the buzz generated around the stainless steel model is enough to persuade him to add a ref. 126710 to what we imagine is a very remarkable watch collection.
There is a considerable wait list for the newest Oystersteel GMT Master II 126710. At retail, the ref. sells for $9,250 and can command upwards of $20,000 on the secondary market.