Rolex watches remain timeless and stable, especially when it comes to their value. The brand fascinates watch enthusiasts and collectors with its nostalgic charm and distinctive style.
Vintage Rolex watches in particular are in more demand today than ever before, and this is something that is extremely unlikely to change. As a result, these timepieces are almost guaranteed to be solid investment and anything but a short-lived hype – provided you do everything correctly of course.
Whether you are looking to purchase vintage Rolex watches for investment or just to add to your collection, here are five examples that are well worth your attention.
Rolex Submariner Reference 5513
The Submariner is probably one of the most iconic vintage Rolex watches. Indeed, it is arguably THE flagship of all the Geneva-based manufacturer’s products and enjoys cult status across the world. Many enthusiasts will go as far as to call this timepiece the mother of all diving and sports watches – and this would not be much of an exaggeration at all
One of the most affordable vintage Rolex watches of this series is the Submariner Reference 5513 Maxi Dial. The earliest (and most expensive) of this collection was manufactured until the mid-1960s and is noticeable thanks to its gilded, high-gloss dials. In the 1970s, this design was modified with a matte dial instead. The last generation, made 10 years later, was manufactured with a more modern-looking high gloss dial and a white gold border on the indices.
What makes the Submariner Reference 5513 so special as an investment opportunity is the fact that it is largely unaffected by an extremely long production period. While some timepieces will suffer from there being a glut in the market, thanks to the concept of supply and demand, this is not something that holds back the 5513. It remains as popular today as it ever has been and will always hold its value.
If you are looking for the most affordable version of the Reference 5513, the ones with the matte dial should be your first port of call. A well-preserved timepiece in its original condition can usually be purchased in the five-digit range and will not lose its value.
Rolex Oysterdate Reference 6694
This timepiece is considered by many to be the entry-level point to owning vintage Rolex watches. First released in the 1960s, is simple and understated minimalism. The watch is in plentiful supply in the second hand market, considering it was in production until the 1980s – so you should have no trouble picking one up for yourself. Of course, if you are planning on acquiring one as an investment piece, you should take great care that you are purchasing it in good condition.
Although it was originally marketed as a men’s watch, the Reference 6694 is actually an ideal unisex timepiece. Its stylish yet simple design also appeals to people who are not typically fans of the Rolex look.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this Reference is the fact that it uses the manual-winding caliber 1225, despite it belonging to an era of Oyster Perpetuals and sports watches. Despite this difference, it is still an Oyster through and through, since it has a screw-down crown and is water resistant up to 100 metres.
The fact that it is a self-winding timepiece may cause some worry about wear and tear, given the need to pop out the screw-down crown daily to wind the watch. Thankfully, there is no need to worry, as the Reference 6694 is extremely solid in its construction – something that the Rolex brand is famous for.
Rolex Air-King Reference 5500
The Air-King was the first ever professional watch that Rolex introduced. Launched way back in 1945, this particular timepiece remained in production for over 30 years – making it one of the longest-running References in the watchmaker’s history.
At 34mm in diameter, the Air-King Reference 5500 is similar in design to the Oyster Perpetual and Oysterdate, however its “professional” lineage has an additional layer of history that many collectors and enthusiasts will appreciate.
This series is also a fantastic entry point into vintage Rolex watches, since it generally flies under the radar and does not ignite the same level of passion as other products, such as the Submariner. As a result, even the most rare Air-King timepiece can be bought at a comparatively affordable price.
Rolex DateJust References 1601 & 1603
If you are looking for affordable vintage Rolex watches that carry the history of the brand inside, the DateJust References 1601 and 1603 are absolutely ideal. These models from the 1960s and 1970s feature the now-classic design features of strap lugs and acrylic glass paired with either a Jubilee or Oyster bracelet. Although you will most commonly see examples of this watch with silver dials, variants with sigma dials or gold indices can also be found on the market.
Like several examples on this list, the DateJust References 1601 and 1603 are widely available on the second-hand market. Thankfully, this does not reduce their investment potential, since they are probably not going to lose their value anytime soon. This is generally because they are examples of the most classic Rolex models available and are part of the very foundation that makes what the brand is today.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Reference 1002
Similar in design to the aforementioned Oysterdate Reference 6694, the Oyster Perpetual Reference 1002 strips out the date window to become one of the most simply three-hand watches available. Manufactured from the late 1950s right through the 1960s, there are many examples of this timepiece that can be found on the second-hand market.
Another notable difference between the Reference 1002 and Reference 6694 is the fact that the former features an automatic movement, the caliber 1560 no less. It is a chronometer-certified movement, which also powers some of the most popular sports watches of the same era.
The Reference 1002 measures 34mm in diameter and features baton indices that are topped with small tritium lume plots. It also has a screw-down crown and Oyster case. While the most common variation found on the second-hand market will usually have a silver sunburst dial, other versions are available, linen, slate grey and Tiffany-stamps are also available – along with many other styles.
Why Buy Vintage Rolex Watches from Blowers Jewellers
If you are looking for vintage Rolex watches, or any other type of jewellery, you can rely on Blowers Jewellers to help. We have lived and breathed the luxury jewellery industry for decades, meaning we are perfectly placed to help you find the right piece for you.
With over 50-years experience we have an unrivalled service network of over fifty independent Watchmakers and service centres across the UK ten ensure all services and corrections are carried out to the highest standards.
Over the years, we have cultivated an exceptional reputation for both the quality of our products and our service. We understand that purchasing an item of jewellery or special Watch is an extremely personal process, so we will take the time to understand your motivations for purchasing and assist you with coming to the right decision.
All of our second hand vintage Rolex watches are available at our boutique in Hull and by appointment in our office in London’s Mayfair. We also have a generous finance option available to make owning your ideal piece of jewellery that little bit easier.