Rolex is an extremely popular brand when it comes to telling the time. Not only is their Rolex wall clock a popular option, but their watches are even more so.
They are one of the most recognized and popular brands across the globe. They came into being in 1905, and since then they have become the most well known and biggest manufacturers of Swiss-made clocks and watches.
Their iconic watches like the Submariner and Daytona are considered as being the absolute pinnacle of elegance and luxury. If these watches do not hold their value, they increase instead.
Rolex is more than just a status symbol though, they are investments.
So, with this in mind, let’s consider the most popular Rolex watches to ever exist!
#1. The Rolex Daytona
This watch was released in 1963 and was originally named the ‘Le Mans’, but two years later Rolex renamed it the ‘Daytona’. Early versions of this watch were fitted with chronograph buttons that were push-in, however by 1965 they were then fitted with waterproof pushers.
Later, in 1988, Rolex decided to introduce a Daytona that was self-winding before they decided to use the Zenith El Primero movement.
The most recent version of this watch is the 116500, which is the first steel Daytona that has a black ceramic bezel.
The newest Daytona is beautiful, but many dismiss it due to its costliness. The 116520 is just as good, as are versions with the updated claps on it and the gorgeous glowing blue Chromalight dial.
#2. The Rolex Submariner
This Role was released in 1954 in BaselWorld. They produced the Turn-O-Graph in ‘53, and actually believe that this would be the birth year of this watch. The relevance of the 6204 is that it was the first Rolex that had the word ‘Submariner’ on the dial.
It had the now automatically recognizable layout of its dials, with an inverted triangle at the ‘12 o-clock’ marker, and batons 3,6, and 9.
In the 6205 was also the first to don the Mercedes styled layout as well
In the 50’ the Submariner continued to evolve and by ‘62 it was on the silver screen, in which Sean Connery wore one in the first Bond film.
The most recent version is the 126600LN, which came out in 2020. It has grown to 41 mm, but the feel has not increased. It is a bit highly priced for what it is, it is probably better to go for an earlier model.
#3. The Rolex GMT Master II
The GMT Master II was released in ‘54, and was referenced 6542 with luminous bakelite bezel insert.
It has a blue/red Pepsi bezel and was in collaboration with Pan-Am Airways, allowing you to track 2 time zones at the same time. It ended up being nicknamed ‘Pussy Galore’ as it was worn by the character in the film ‘Goldfinger’.
In ‘59 the Master 1675 released, it was continued until 1980 and was often fitted with 1565 and 1575 movements with the blue/red Pepsi bezel.
The current versions of this watch include the Rolex GMT Master II, which has the 1267 BLRO Pepsi and the 126710 BLNR Batgirl.
Both are only up for grabs with a Jubilee bracelet.
There are many nice models of this, however, the best is probably a 16750.
#4. The Rolex Sea-Dweller
The Sea-Dweller was released in 1967, and it was a watch that came around as needing a dive watch with a depth rating higher than the Submariner.
It went from being the Double-Red to the ‘Great White’ when the text changed from red to white.
In ‘65 this watch had a depth rating of 610 meters, but it increased to 1220 when the ‘Triple 6’ was released in ‘77.
The newest version is the 126600. It was released in 2017. If you wanted a Sea-Dweller then the 16600 would be a good choice.
#5. The Rolex Explorer
Finally, we have the ‘Explorer’. This came about around the time Sir Edmond Hillary and Tenzig Norgay climbed Everest while wearing Oyster Perpetuals that were modified.
Neither climber wore a Rolex, but the brand was fast to take advantage, and they launched the first explorer, the 6289.
The most recent would be the 2010 Explorer 214270 that had 3132 automatic movement with a 39 mm case.
The 36 mm is still probably the best though. Aka. the Rolex Explorer 14270 with a SWISS only dial. It’s a rare enough watch, but it is simple and perfect.