5 Affordable Rolex Watches for New Collectors

Rolex is the most recognizable and most coveted watch brand in the world, with prices that can be prohibitive to some. However, we found five popular Rolex watch models that are in stores now and that offer accessible (for Rolex, that is) prices for collectors looking to spend under $10k.*

1. Rolex Oyster Perpetual


Rolex calls it the quintessential Oyster, and the purest expression of the Oyster concept. It’s hard to argue with that, and this provides an excellent entry point into the world of Rolex.

The Oyster Perpetual offers its owner many of the advances Rolex is known for, including some the best technical developments. The 36 mm 904L stainless steel case is water resistant to 100 meters, or 330 feet. The center section of the case is milled from a solid block of steel  The crown uses the patented Twinlock system to keep the elements at bay, and the sapphire crystal is virtually scratchproof.

This model is powered by the Rolex manufacture self-winding caliber 3130. This movement bears the official Swiss chronometer certification, and, like all Rolex movements, it is known for both precision and reliability. The precision is made possible by a free-sprung balance, prized by collectors and found in the finest movements. The patented blue Parachrom hairspring offers excellent protection against shocks, magnetic fields and temperature variations. The 36-mm Oyster Perpetual is priced at $5,400.

2. Rolex Explorer


The Rolex Explorer is a true icon, not only for Rolex, but within the larger world of rugged, precision-made timepieces. It famously accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay when they became the first to reach the summit of Mt. Everest in May, 1953. That achievement is one of many, but it is emblematic of the adventurous spirit that guides both Rolex in its quest for perfection, and those who consider their Explorer an essential part of their success.

Relaunched in 2010, the Explorer remains faithful to the heritage that extends back to 1953. Blue Chromalight hour markers and hands assure excellent visibility in all conditions. The 39-mm Oyster case, the Twinlock crown, and the sapphire crystal secure the movement against harm.

Inside, the Caliber 3132 self-winding movement is as robust as it is precise. Of course it is an officially certified chronometer. The free-sprung balance is precision-fitted between two Paraflex shock absorbers, developed and patented by Rolex. The blue Parachrom hairspring assures high-precision timekeeping. The bracelet is fitted with the patented Oysterlock clasp, and with the Easylink comfort system, which allows the user to extend the bracelet by 5 mm. The Rolex Explorer is priced at $6,550.

3. Rolex Datejust II


The Rolex Datejust is the quintessential “goes everywhere, does everything” timepiece. When men say they want a watch they can wear with jeans as well as a suit, this is the go-to recommendation. The Datejust defines versatility.

The Datejust also represents another time-honored and timeless Rolex design. Though it has been updated since its creation in 1945, it remains an instantly recognizable talisman of taste and refinement. In 2009, Rolex launched the current model, the Datejust II. With its 41 mm diameter, this latest incarnation satisfies the desire for a timepiece that makes a bold statement on the wrist.

The Datejust II is the only watch among our selections to offer one of Rolex’s most widely-recognizable technical enhancements: the Cyclops lens above the date. Invented by Rolex in 1953, the lens magnifies the date 2.5 times, making it much easier to read. The date display itself offers both quick correction via the crown, and instantaneous changing.

The 904L stainless steel Oyster case is available with another instantly identifiable Rolex hallmark: the fluted bezel. When the Oyster debuted in 1926, the fluting was functional – it allowed the crown to be gripped so it could be screwed down onto the case to guarantee a watertight seal. The self-winding Caliber 3136 movement bears the “Chronometer” designation, awarded by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). It features the Microstella variable-inertia balance, Paraflex shock absorbers, and Parachrom balance spring with Breguet overcoil for improved timekeeping precision. The Rolex Datejust II retails for $9,100.

4. Rolex Submariner


The Rolex Submariner is instantly recognized anywhere on the planet. It exemplifies precision under pressure, and it exudes a sense of adventure. Created in 1953, it was the first watch waterproof to a depth of 100 meters, or 330 feet.

We have selected the so-called non-date model for our survey, reference 114060, as it represents the entry point into Submariner world. Many think it also represents the Submariner in its purest form. The original models did not feature a date, and this timepiece is, after all, a tool for divers, who rarely need to know the date when under the sea. With no date, the watch offers an uninterrupted time display – a requirement for adventurers of all types. Rolex calls it the dive watch archetype. That pretty much sums it up.

Today, the 904L stainless steel Oyster case offers water resistance to 300 meters, or 1,000 feet. The blue Chromalight display, protected by a sapphire crystal, assures excellent visibility. The patented Triplock crown is reserved for Rolex timepieces built to visit great depths. The rotatable 60-minute bezel with scratchproof Cerachrom ceramic insert allows divers to time their dives. The bezel’s triangular zero marker glows Chromalight blue. Divers also appreciate the Oyster bracelet fitted with the Glidelock system for fine adjustment of the bracelet length.

Precision timekeeping is especially important under water, and the Submariner’s self-winding Caliber 3130 movement inspires confidence with its COSC-certified chronometer rating. The heart of the movement is the adjustable-inertia balance wheel with gold Microstella weights with a blue Parachrom hairspring that offers excellent stability when exposed to shocks, vibrations, magnetic fields, and temperature changes. The height-adjustable traversing balance bridge allows very stable positioning to increase shock resistance. The Rolex Submariner reference 114060 is priced at $7,500.

5. Rolex Milgauss


The Rolex Milgauss was created in 1956 for engineers and technicians who are exposed to strong magnetic fields in their work. These fields can affect the performance in mechanical watches. Rolex solved the problem by developing and patenting a magnetic shield for the movement that allowed the watch to withstand fields up to 1,000 ( “mille” in French) gauss – the unit of measure for field strength. The Milgauss became popular among scientists working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva.

In 2007, Rolex launched a new generation Milgauss that incorporates all of Rolex’s technological expertise. The new model’s orange seconds hand shaped like a lightning bolt is inspired by the original.

Today we encounter powerful magnets every day, from refrigerator doors and tablet computer cases to and handbag and briefcase clasps, we are surrounded by magnets. Magnetic fields are also present in a range of industries, including telecommunications, medical technology, aerospace and electrotechnical.

Rolex uses several innovations to keep these fields at bay. The first line of defense is the magnetic shield inside the case. Made of ferromagnetic alloys, it surrounds and protects the movement. This invention was patented by Rolex in 1956 and has since been further improved. The second line of defense involves some of the movement’s key components, made from innovative nonmagnetic materials. The escape wheel is fashioned from an antimagnetic nickel-phosphorous alloy using a complex process called UV-LiGA or ultra-violet lithography that Rolex has master in-house. The oscillator uses the patented blue Parachrom balance spring.

Of course the movement is protected from more than just magnetic fields. The 904L stainless steel Oyster case and the Twinlock crown seal out the elements, offering water resistance to 100 meters or 330 feet. The Rolex manufacture Caliber 3131 movement is a certified Swiss chronometer. To assure that the Milgauss remains comfortable on the wrist, the Oyster bracelet is fitted with the patented Easylink system, which allows the owner to extend the bracelet by up to 5 mm. The Rolex Milgauss is priced from $7,650.

Richard Mille RM 055 Bubba Watson

Richard Mille continues its partnership with the young and talented self-taught golfer Bubba Watson with the presentation of a second timepiece designed for this athlete: RM 055 Bubba Watson. A tonneau-shaped piece which combines white rubber over molded titanium and ATZ. This ultra-technical and resistant case houses a caliber titanium skeleton able to withstand accelerations of 500 G.

The new RM 055 Bubba Watson is inspired by the concept of the tourbillon RM 038 Bubba Watson watch presented in 2011. Its mechanical movement in grade 5 Titanium is skeleton to the extreme with PVD treatment for the Platinum and Titalyt for bridges.

The whole thus has optimal rigidity and excellent flatness of surfaces, essential combination for a perfect functioning of the gear train. The RMUL2 calibre can withstand accelerations of more than 500 G. The movement has a variable inertia balance. This type of balance ensures greater reliability in the event of shocks and during Assembly and dismantling of the movement. “The accuracy is improved long term” ensures the brand.

The index of the paddle is removed. End and repeatable inertia adjustment is possible directly on the pendulum by four adjustable weights. The mechanism of double-barrel helps to improve the stability of the couple in the long term. Its number of towers being higher, the gearing, bearings and pivots face less pressure and friction and the performance is improved.

RM 055 Bubba Watson is assembled using many screws Spline on the box and in the movement. These screws, ensures the release, offer better control of torque during Assembly. So, they resist perfectly to mounting or dismantling operations and are not subject to aging.

The specific construction of the housing of the RM 055 is thought to meet the requirements of athletes. Indeed, the ATZ bezel is produced from alumina oxide powder tubes injected at a pressure of more than 2000 bars. This high pressure injection gives 20-30% more rigidity and maximally reduces the porosity of the material. The ATZ is known for its high resistance to scratches (1400 vickers) and its unalterable colour. It is, after the diamond, one of the hardest materials in the world. A long and difficult task of machining and grinding with diamond tools is required for this complex shape and satin-looking bezel.

The middle and bottom are grade 5 white rubber over molded titanium. This rubber is injected at high pressure around the room in titanium and thus isolate the movement of vibration by inducing a progressive deformation. It also provides a high level of comfort at the door.

The Japanese watchmaker Seiko has unveiled its latest high creation of range: the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36,000 special edition. A timepiece connoisseurs only proposed in gold versions. A watch of amateur beautiful mechanical, classic in its design and in its size (38 mm), with what is better in the country of the rising sun in automatic calibre…

Fifty years ago was born in Japan, the Grand Seiko. One ‘ from legend of a simple idea: create the ideal watch “provides the Japanese brand in its release. As a starting premise: every Grand Seiko model had to be “as accurate, reliable, readable, and easy to carry as possible. Nothing more, nothing less.

In this spirit, for more than fifty years, Japanese watchmakers who work on the Grand Seiko collection select the most noble materials, design and manufacture advanced movements in relying on traditional techniques to assemble hand these watches ‘simple and sophisticated at the same time ‘.

Today, the performance of Grand Seiko watches reach new heights, especially with the introduction of the new special edition Hi-Beat 36 000 vibrations. The first Grand Seiko standard was defined in 1966, then redefined that were developed new materials, technologies and techniques. Today, Hi-Beat 36,000 special edition exceeds this standard by accessing “one of the highest levels of precision in the world”.

This model is equipped with a specially adjusted size. A gold lion (Grand Seiko emblem) is also engraved on the oscillating. This Hi-Beat movement, introduced in 2009, saw the day through various technological advances. The spring is manufactured in a new SPRON, a material with a better couple. On their side, the new palettes of anchor as well as a new wheel improve the efficiency of the exhaust. All these technological advances provide greater accuracy and a comfortable 55 hours power reserve.

This new timepiece is marketed (23.300 euros in yellow gold) in limited edition and “exceeds all the criteria of accuracy of Grand Seiko standard” ensures the brand in its release. Great performances of this new special edition based entirely on the skill of the most experienced watchmakers of the studio of Shizukuishi. What are these master watchmakers who entrusted the selection of the spiral, adjustment, Assembly and testing of each watch.