Used Rolex watches and Rolex vintage
are among the most coveted on the second-hand market. Rolex today is not only one of the biggest watch brands but also one of the most renowned brands of any category. The brand was first registered in 1908 and begun with manfacturing handwound mechanical watches.
Rolex Bubble Back
In the 1930's Rolex started manufacturing automatical watches, using a rotor that rotaded a full circle (360 degrees). The movement was very quiet compared to other movements at the time. The technology however had one drawback, which ironically makes it very sought-after on the market today; In order to enable the rotor to spin a full circle, the back casing had to be made much thicker than before. Hence the back casing has the shape of a half sphere on these models, thus giving them the "Rolex Bubble Back" moniker. The first model was introduced in 1934 and it was produced up until the 1950's.
Submariner vintage watches
Rolex started making their watches water proof early using different methods. The patented screw-down crown was introduced, vastly increasing water proofing for swimming use but still being sensitive to higher water preassures. During World War 2 Rolex supplied Panerai with a special casing which was used in watches made for elite Italian navy frogmen - the Decima MAS of the Regia Marina. These models however where not avaliable to the general public until modern days. In the 1950's the interest and demand for diving watches increased, and Rolex quickly released the first Rolex Submariner in 1954. It was waterproof to a depth of 100 meters and had a screw-down crown without the protection guards seen on later models. Early Rolex Submariner models are often refered to as James Bond Submariner since the model was sported by the famous agent in several of the early movies. In the 1960's the model evolved with additions such as crown guards, a thicker casing and increased water resistance to 200 meters. The 1972 model Submariner was used by James Bond in the 1973 movie "Live and Let Die". In the movie, the watch had a magnetic function to attract bullets (and unzip dresses!) and the rotating bezel doubled as a saw. Vintage Rolex Submariner watches are today among the most coveted on the market.
Vintage Rolex Daytona
Historically, chronographs were never the strongest part of the Rolex collection. Focusing on their famous water proof Oyster-watches, they left the chronographs to other companies. It was not until 1937 that Rolex begun manufacturing chronographs. They had a single button for starting, stopping and zeroing the chronograph. The most well-known Rolex chronograph is the 1960 Rolex Cosmograph. When launched, the model didn't sell in any extraordinary quantities, but demand soared when the model was worn on a magazine cover by Paul Newman. As late as in the 1980's the price for the model was considerably lower than today. In the mid 80's the model retailed for approximately 1000 EUR, but only a decade later the price was closer to 5000 EUR. Later still, a Rolex Daytona once belogning to Paul Newman was sold for more than 25.000 EUR. In the 2000's, two prototype Daytonas with Ferrari-red dials surfaced at an auction. Never before seen, these fetched an astonishing price of over 200.000 EUR a piece.
Rolex Precision Royal
Rolex Precision Royal are sought after on the vintage market today. They were among the most affordable Rolexes when introduced in the 1960's and today you can, with a bit of luck, find one of these used Rolex watches for around 1000 EUR. The look and model name has changed over the years and today the equivalent model is the Rolex Air-King.
Used Rolex Explorer
Rolex Explorer was originally produced with the Rolex Bubble Back. Rolex Bubble Back has always been well looked upon. Vintage Rolex Explorer watches are very popular today. Edmund Hillary wore one when first conquering Mount Everest in 1953. The first Rolex Explorer models used the Bubble Case but it has since been changed to a thinner case.
Rolex Kew A
In 1947 Rolex decided to produce watches capable of withstanding the most demanding test at the time, a six week testing period originally developed for testing Royal Navy chronometers known as "Kew A". They sent in 145 watches to the British Kew Laboratory. Of watches tested, 136 passed the test and received the Kew certificate, grade A. These watches, being extremely limited in supply, are very highly sought after and in the rare occurance that one is available for sale will fetch a high price. Steel models typically sell for around 3.500-4.500 EUR and gold models go for over 10.000 EUR.
Used Rolex Explorer II
The Rolex Explorer II was originally based on the Rolex GMT, the model sports a 24 hour function which can be used to indicate day/night or a second time-zone. The model was unveiled in 1971 and in the middle of the 1980's was avaliable with sapphire glass and the classic Rolex Mercedes-style hands.
Rolex Milgauss - vintage from 1954
Rolex Milgauss was introduced in 1954 with e special heavy duty anti-magnetism protetcion. This is useful primarily when working in environments with heavy electrical equipment or strong magnetical fields. The model had a small group of fans who purchased it not only for it's technological anti-magnetical qualities but also for the slightly oversized casing. The model was removed from the Rolex catalouge in 1988 but was still avaliable for special orders from professionals. Today used Rolex Milgauss watches are very sought after, in part due to the small number produced which makes it rare and hence popular amongst collectors.
Value of used Rolex & vintage
Below is a list of approximate prices for famous Rolex vintage watches. Many factors affect the price of a vintage Rolex watch, thus the prices listed here are to be considered indications and not absolutes. Model by model, the prices may vary greatly.
|Rolex Bubble Back gold||1938||approx. 2.400-3.200 EUR|
|Rolex Bicolour Hooded Bubble Back||1945||approx. 4.000-4.500 EUR|
|Rolex Submariner||1960's||approx. 4.000-6.000 EUR|
|Rolex Submariner James Bond Live and Let Dive||early 1960's||approx. 60.000-80.000 EUR|
|Rolex Daytona||1980's||approx. 6.500-8.500 EUR|
|Rolex Daytona Paul Newman||1960's||approx. 30.000-50.000 EUR|
|Rolex Oyster Precision Royal||1960's||approx. 800-1.200 EUR|
|Rolex Explorer||1969||approx. 2.200-2.700 EUR|
|Rolex Explorer II||2003||approx. 2.500-2.800 EUR|
|Rolex Exploer II Orange Hand||1985||approx. 4.500-6.500 EUR|
|Rolex Oyster Airking||2003||approx. 1.800-2.200 EUR|
|Rolex Milgauss||1968||approx. 10.000-17.000 EUR|
|Rolex Oyster Chronograph Antimagnetic Jean Claude Killy 6036||1954||approx. 70.000-80.000 EUR|
|Rolex Oyster Chronograph 6236||1953||approx. 70.000-80.000 EUR|
|Rolex Chronograph Dato Compax||1949||approx. 70.000-80.000 EUR|
|Rolex Chronograph 6238#Pre-Daytona)||1966||approx. 25.000-30.000 EUR|
|Rolex Oyster Superlative Chronometer Cosmograph Daytona 6263||1977||approx. 25.000-30.000 EUR|
|Rolex Raleigh 3478||1941||approx. 1.500-2.500 EUR|
|Rolex Perpetual Chronometer Mickey Mouse Dial 3131||1949||approx. 10.000-15.000 EUR|
|Rolex Star Dial 6098||1954||approx. 25.000-30.000 EUR|
|Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date Chronometer 1803||1972||approx. 4.000-5.000 EUR|
|Rolex Presidental Seal 6085||1946||approx. 100.000-150.000 EUR|
|Rolex Perpetual GMT-Master 6542||1956||approx. 9.000-11.000 EUR|
|Rolex Perpetual GMT-Master 1675||1960||approx. 3.500-4.500 EUR|