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Rolex at a glance

Most famous watch brand in the world

House created in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf

First manufacturer to offer a waterproof wristwatch

Key words: precision and reliability

Each model is subject to the Official Swiss Chronometer Test (COSC)

Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex

A visionary of the watch industry

Few brands symbolize prestige, achievement and success as well as Rolex. The company certainly owes this reputation to its founder, Hans Wilsdorf. This Kulmbach-born businessman was a pioneering marketing genius and a brilliant entrepreneur. When he founded his watch distribution company in London in 1905, he already seemed to know the recipe that would lead his company to success: offer only the best to his customers. True to this motto, Hans Wildorf sold only high-end luxury watches made in Switzerland from the beginning.

To make his wristwatches easily recognizable.

in 1908 he signed them with a name that was easy to pronounce and remember in all languages: Rolex. Many myths surround the meaning of the name of the most famous watch brand in the world: according to some experts, “Rolex” is a contraction of the words “Horlogerie Exquise”, or “Rolling Export”, referring to the continuous exchanges between the company and its supplier. Although the actual origin of its name may be different, the Rolex brand is still defined today by its refined watchmaking art and its commercial success.

Waterproof case and automatic movement watch

Rolex: innovative watches

Although Hans Wilsdorf did not invent the wristwatch, Rolex contributed greatly to its development and the creation of many innovations. In 1926, the watch company, now based in Geneva, presented the world's first waterproof and dustproof watch: the "Rolex Oyster" (in French: "oyster"). Just like an oyster, the case of this watch is screwed tightly to perfectly protect the mechanical movement. At the request of Hans Wilsdorf, the Rolex women's Oyster was worn by swimmer Mercedes Gleitze during her historic crossing of the English Channel: a legend was born.

The day after this feat.

Rolex published a large advertisement on the front page of the British Daily Mail to celebrate the success of the Oyster. The demand for this robust wristwatch has continued to grow ever since. While Wilsdorf could have been content with this success, he did not stop innovating. Keen to offer his customers the ultimate in comfort and functionality, he asked John Harwood to perfect the invention of the automatic watch. The result caused a sensation: in 1931, Rolex created the first movement with an automatic rotor winding mechanism, thus revolutionizing the entire market.

Indeed, this invention finally made it possible to produce self-winding watches on a large scale. Like its waterproof predecessor model “Oyster”, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual with automatic winding was a milestone in the history of watchmaking. This model was also a testimony to the inventive spirit of Rolex, a character trait that continues to define this watchmaking house.

Reliability, precision and consistent value

The promise of every Rolex watch

Rolex owes its exceptional reputation to its famous customers, but also to the impeccable quality of Rolex men's and women's wristwatches. The launch of the first waterproof watch in 1926 and the creation of the automatic rotor movement in 1931 formed the basis of the legendary Oyster collection. These groundbreaking innovations reflect the company's core philosophy.

A Rolex watch will never let you down.

no matter the circumstances. The company's founder, Hans Wilsdorf, placed particular emphasis on making watches with unfailing precision and reliability. In order to guarantee this quality requirement, the capacity of Rolex watches to measure time without

sink of the exact time of more than a few seconds per day is verified by independent organizations.

The search for perfect precision and official certification are among the fundamental principles of the crown brand. The words “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” (in French: superlative chronometer officially certified) on the dial of each Rolex testify to this desire. Instead of developing numerous fancy complications, the manufacture focuses on producing precise and reliable watches with an unmistakable Rolex design that is recognizable at first glance.

In addition to being the brand's recipe for success.

this also explains why new models and vintage Rolex watches are in such high demand among collectors.

Price overview

How much does a Rolex cost?

Market price and list price

There is no single answer to the question “How much does a Rolex cost?” ”, because the cost strongly depends on the model. According to list prices, most models cost between 5,000 and 35,000 euros: a Rolex Oyster Perpetual 31 costs around 5,000 euros, while the price of a Rolex Day-Date 40 is around 35,000 euros. List prices for the highly sought-after professional stainless steel models are generally between 7,500 and 14,000 euros.

Another crucial factor in answering the question

“How much does a Rolex cost?” » is availability, as very few models are available at list price. In particular, the most sought-after models, such as the Rolex Daytona or the Rolex GMT-Master II, are either not available at all, only available to long-time customers, or come with a waiting period of several years. This rarity is partly due to the quantity of Rolex watches produced and the enormous popularity enjoyed by certain models. This craze has particularly increased in recent years, driving up the price of a Rolex.

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market prices vary depending on the popularity of the model. The list price of the Rolex Daytona in stainless steel, for example, is 12,000 euros, while the market price is more than 30,000 euros. As it is impossible to obtain this model at list price, the free market represents the only chance to acquire a Daytona. Despite its high market price.

the Daytona is still ideal for an investment: after the launch of the first ceramic model in 2016, its cost on the open market was around 15,000 euros - just five years later it has double. Obviously the current price is always the highest due to continued increases in value, but this also means that buying as soon as possible is always the cheapest purchase.

Vintage and second-hand:

great variety, lower prices

When looking at the price of a Rolex, the vintage and used watch market also comes into play: if you are looking for a specific reference that is no longer produced, purchasing a Rolex from opportunity becomes interesting. Vintage and used models have the advantage of offering a wide variety and being accompanied by attractive price advantages. For example, while the Rolex Submariner ref. 126XXX is available in three different stainless steel variants (Black Date, Green Date, No Date), 25 different references have been produced since the 1950s - including vintage classics like the

ref. 5513 or highly sought-after second-hand.

models like ref. 16610LV. Given the high price of new models, vintage references have become more attractive from a financial point of view. At CHRONEXT, each watch undergoes a thorough inspection, verification of its authenticity and quality by certified watchmakers before being put on sale. Our 24-month CHRONEXT warranty certifies this.

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How much does it cost to maintain a Rolex?

The maintenance costs of a Rolex are comparatively low: while an annual check is generally recommended for cars, the service intervals recommended by manufacturers are much longer for mechanical watches. Most manufacturers recommend servicing every five years.

Although it never hurts to have your watch checked.

it is up to you to judge whether you want to have your Rolex serviced every five years or if you only want to consider it when it shows signs of weakness. This may be the case, for example, in the event of cadence inaccuracy, reduced power reserve or other problems. The cost of a Rolex service depends on the amount of work required and the model. Typically, costs are between 600 and 1,200 euros.

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If you own a Rolex as an investment and keep it in a safe, for example, without wearing it, rest assured:

Since synthetic oils have been used for many years in watch movements, they cannot become clogged. So, even after several years of non-use, your Rolex will work perfectly.

Rolex as an investment.

Stocks, gold and luxury watches

How to make a profit with your Rolex on your wrist?

No other watch manufacturer has as great a reputation as Rolex. This is also reflected in the valuation of the company, which is the fourth most valuable brand in Switzerland after Nestlé, UBS and Zurich.

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Although the value of a Rolex watch has always been extremely stable and immune to crises.

the possibilities of a Rolex as an investment have become particularly attractive, especially in recent years. If you choose a classic model.

there is a good chance that your watch will increase in value in a few years. It doesn't matter whether you wear your watch or not. This feature is precisely what many Rolex enthusiasts appreciate: you can enjoy your luxury watch day after day without losing money, but rather benefit from a significant increase in its value.

Each model represents an investment.

Although some Rolex models are particularly suitable for investments, all models benefit from a significant increase in value. This applies not only to “Professional” models (sports models) but also to classic timepieces such as the Rolex Pearlmaster or the Rolex Day-Date. List prices have sometimes multiplied over the last twenty years.

Typically, Rolex increases the prices of its models by seven to eight percent every one to two years. For example, from 2000 to 2020/2021, the list prices of the three models below increased as follows:

Rolex Datejust (ref. 16200/116200/126200):

from 2,658.72 euros to 6,450 euros;

Rolex Submariner Date(/rolex/submariner) (ref. 16610LN/126610LN): from 3,067.75 euros to 8,300 euros;

Rolex Yacht-Master (ref. 16622/126622): from 5,803.16 euros to 10,900 euros.

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However, we must not forget that these are only list prices.

If it was possible to buy almost all Rolex watches at list price or with discounts ten or twenty years ago, this is no longer possible today. Since the end of the 2010s, it is no longer the list price that is decisive, but the market price. This realistically reflects the costs of acquiring a Rolex and is significantly higher than the list price of the majority of models.

Given the high cost of stainless steel models, it is worth considering purchasing two-tone or solid gold Rolex watches. These models are also a good investment. The Rolex Sky-Dweller and Daytona are good examples: for the market price of the stainless steel Sky-Dweller, you can easily buy the two-tone reference. With the Daytona, the value of the stainless steel model is moving ever closer to the solid gold variants.

The Rolex Daytona as an investment

The Rolex Daytona is the most suitable model when we talk about the concept of “Rolex as an investment”. There are two main reasons for this: the ongoing craze for this model and low supply coupled with high demand. To better understand this context, it is necessary to go back to the 1960s: when Rolex gave its chronograph, presented in 1955.

the name "Daytona" in 1963.

the movement, which only had a manual winding, was simply inferior to automatic chronographs from Breitling and Heuer. Therefore, only a few Daytonas were sold. When Rolex changed its strategy in 1988 and offered an automatic Daytona with Zenith calibers in the form of the Ref. 16520, demand increased. But due to the subcontracting of the movements, Rolex was not able to respond.

Even today, the Rolex Daytona is a perfect investment:

it is by far the brand's most sought-after model.

The low quantities of the first references created the “Daytona myth”, which still persists and generated particularly high demand.

While the price of a Rolex Daytona in 1963 was around 200 US dollars, the price increase has exploded since the 2010s: a Rolex Daytona ref. 116520 cost around.

11,000 euros in 2015, almost 14,000 euros in 2017 and more than 20,000 euros a year later.

In the meantime, the 30,000 euro mark has long been reached. So, when it comes to investing in the Daytona, it pays to get one as soon as possible because the value of this watch is growing exponentially.

Yesterday like today.

Luxury watch and toolwatch without compromise

Then and now: precision and reliability


Ilsdorf, founder of Rolex.

has always attached great importance to precision and reliability. Whether on land, in the air or underwater, they needed watches they could rely on. Even today, these two qualities - precision and reliability - constitute the history and present of the Swiss luxury manufacturer Rolex, which specialized very early in diving watches, pilot's watches and other timepieces. professional use.

Rolex produces mechanical watches that are not only among the most robust but also among the most sought-after in the world. The robustness of a Rolex makes it an ideal toolwatch and a perfect luxury watch for every day:

Rolex watches.

(with the exception of the delicate Cellini Time, Cellini Date, Cellini Dual Time and Cellini Moonphase models) are water resistant to less than 100 meters and resistant to shocks and other impacts. In general, Rolex movements are considered reliable and indestructible items.

However, we must not forget that the Swiss house always seeks to innovate and achieve even greater perfection: in the history of the company, Rolex has already filed more than 500 patents and has repeatedly set new standards in the art of watchmaking.

Chronometer certificate:

a guarantee of precision

The Rolex manufacture obtained its first chronometer certification as early as 1910. Even today, each model undergoes extensive testing by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) and then receives the chronometer certificate, which is governed by the standard international ISO 3159. The demands placed on a watch are therefore high: before being mounted in the case, the movements are subjected to extensive tests for 15 days in different positions and at different temperatures to guarantee their precision.

In 2015, Rolex developed its own quality standards.

with the Green Seal, which exceed COSC requirements. With the green seal, Rolex promises a power accuracy of +/- 2 seconds as well as compliance with defined requirements for water resistance, automatic winding and power reserve. Nevertheless, the house still relies on the official federal certification of chronometers.

Rolex and the impressive expedition to the Challenger Deep

Rolex demonstrated its great reliability in the 1960s and 2010s, among others. In 1960, Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh dived aboard the Trieste in the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, which is 10,916 meters below sea level. The Rolex Deepsea Special was attached to the outer wall of the submersible , although the pressure at such a depth is 100 times higher than on the earth's surface.

After the dive.

the prototype indicated the time with unchanged accuracy. The appearance of the watch testified to its immense resistance: the Deepsea Special was distinguished by its large case and its highly domed spherical glass to withstand the extreme pressure conditions at the deepest point on earth.

In 2012, Rolex once again proved its impressive capabilities:

this time, director and screenwriter James Cameron once again dived to the deepest point on earth in a 7.3 meter submersible called the Deepsea Challenger, reaching a depth of dive of 10,908 meters. While James Cameron wore a Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea (ref. 116660), the Deepsea Special, which can withstand diving to a depth of 12,000 meters, was on the robotic arm of the Deepsea Challenger and worked perfectly this once again.

Unlike the 1960s.

the Deepsea Special today looks like a diving watch at first glance. It is only on closer inspection that we understand that it makes it possible to reach diving depth records in hostile environments: the diameter of the Deepsea Special is 51.4 mm, its height of 28.5 mm, of which 14.5 mm corresponds to the extra thick sapphire crystal alone.

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Rolex Models.

From A like Air-King to Y like Yacht-Master

Rolex Submariner, Rolex Sea-Dweller and Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea

Rolex describes the Submariner as the benchmark among dive watches, and rightly so. No other dive watch enjoys such cult status as the Submariner.

Since 1953, this model has adorned the wrists of professional divers and enthusiasts. This is due to both its great functionality and its simple but attractive design. If the Rolex Submariner Date offers a practical everyday date function, the Submariner is appreciated for its symmetry and its resemblance to the first Submariner models from the 1950s. A version with date was only added in 1966 with the ref. 1680.

In addition to the Submariner.

Rolex offers two other dive watches, the Sea-Dweller and the Sea-Dweller Deepsea, each with enhanced water resistance:

Rolex Submariner: 30

0 meters diving depth.

Rolex Sea-Dweller: 1,220 meters diving depth;

Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea: 3,900 meters deep.

One of the best examples of the professional use of the Submariner and the Sea-Dweller is the cooperation between the Swiss manufacturer and the French diving company COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d'Expertises). Since the 1960s, COMEX has received Submariner and Sea-Dweller models characterized by COMEX engravings on the dial and on the caseback. Rolex also benefits from this collaboration: for example, COMEX has developed a testing device that allows Rolex to simulate a diving depth of at least 3,900 meters to test the pressure resistance of the Rolex Sea- Dweller Deepsea.

Rare COMEX watches today fetch prices in the six-figure range, as the model's history makes the hearts of many enthusiasts beat faster. You can also obtain certified Rolex COMEX models online on the CHRONEXT website.

A vintage Submariner is available at CHRONEXT for 7,600 euros and a certified used model for 9,900 euros. Always with a 24-month CHRONEXT warranty.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona.

If we compare the Rolex Daytona to the Patek Philippe Nautilus, both watches are characterized by a market value at least three times their list price since 2021 - and the trend is increasing. For this reason, a Daytona remains a great investment. The high value combined with its robustness makes the Rolex Daytona an ideal investment that does not fear daily use on the wrist and which, due to its history, is perfectly suited to an automotive environment.

The Daytona joined the lineup in 1963.

and was named after the Daytona International Speedway, a world-famous race track in Florida. Rolex became the official sponsor of this race a year earlier. As the first manual winding models (four-digit references until around 1988) sold little, these references are today the most expensive due to low quantities, notably the Paul Newman Daytona (ref. 6239, 6241, 6262, 6263, 6264 or 6265), which is characterized by small squares on the dial totalizers.

Immediate availability:

you can buy a vintage model from the Daytona collection online on CHRONEXT for 14,700 euros.

Rolex GMT-Master and GMT-Master II.

The Rolex GMT-Master is the globetrotter’s toolwatch par excellence. The GMT-Master was developed in collaboration with Pan American Airways to meet the needs of professional pilots. Since 1954, the Rolex GMT-Master - since 1989 the GMT-Master II - has been on the wrist of pilots, jet-setters and luxury enthusiasts. Thanks to the GMT bezel and the GMT hand, the GMT-Master II has what is called a true GMT function, which allows a second time to be set independently of the first time zone.

The GMT-Master craze really took off with the launch of the new GMT-Master Pepsi in stainless steel (ref. 126710BLRO).

Since then, prices have continued to rise for all GMT-Master references, whether old or current.

The Rolesor and gold versions have also experienced real growth since the launch of the Everose gold models with stylized powder pink lettering (ref. 126711CHNR and 126715CHNR). Due to the high cost of current models, it may be worth purchasing vintage models such as ref. 1675 or transitional references like ref. 16750 for the Rolex GMT-Master.

You can buy well-preserved GMT-Master II.

watches at CHRONEXT for 13,700 euros. A vintage model is even currently available for less than 10,000 euros.

Rolex Sky-Dweller.

In 2021, Rolex introduced the Sky-Dweller, the newest and most complex model in the collection to date. The Sky-Dweller not only has a GMT function, carried out by a digital disc on the dial, but also, for the first time in the history of the Swiss company, an annual calendar. While the day is indicated in the date window, as usual, the corresponding month can be read using a red rectangle behind the hour markers. In addition, the annual calendar offers the advantage of only having to correct the date once a year, in February.

Many watch enthusiasts appreciate the sophisticated features of the Rolex Sky-Dweller, which can be useful in daily life. The elegant appearance - the Sky-Dweller is one of the classic models and is not part of the Professional series - combined with its 42mm diameter make this watch a highly sought-after timepiece. Many variations of the watch are now available - in different materials and with different straps. If the stainless steel Sky-Dweller is the

The more popular Rolesor model has a similar price.

This is an interesting opportunity for lovers of two-tone models.

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