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How much is the cheapest Rolex watch? [2024 prices]

Updated 15th July 2024 by Craig Gibson

Looking for your first Rolex and want to know how much the cheapest or most affordable Rolex is? Read this article for the low down, including prices for new and preowned models.

TL;DR/Summary

  • The most affordable new or preowned Rolex watches are stainless steel models in the Oyster Perpetual range.
  • These are the brand’s entry-level range with the Oyster case and Perpetual chronometer-certified movement.
  • They have a simple, classic design that is unmistakably Rolex and have been in production since the 1920s.
  • Expect to pay anywhere from $8k depending on the age and if it has a box and papers.

*This article is updated regularly to reflect current pricing in Australian dollars, and covers the new and pre-owned market. You also need to be aware that prices do fluctuate, and some models are in more demand than others.

How much is the cheapest Rolex watch? [2024 prices]

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41mm Stainless Steel Silver Dial ref 124300
  • The most affordable new or preowned Rolex watches are models in the Oyster Perpetual range, which is the brands entry-level model. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual comes in a no-date stainless steel version with a variety of dial colours in 34mm, 36mm and 41mm. Expect to pay anywhere from $8k for a pre-owned Oyster Perpetual, depending on the condition and if it has a box and papers.
  • The next ‘cheapest’ Rolex is the Datejust, which comes with a smooth, domed or fluted bezel, and wide variety of dial designs and colours. In terms of sizing they are available in ladies-friendly Datejust 31mm, Datejust 36mm and Datejust 41mm, all in stainless steel. Expect to pay anywhere from $8,995 for a pre-owned Rolex Datejust 36mm Blue Roman Dial Fluted Bezel Jubilee Bracelet Stainless Steel ref 16234.
Rolex-Oyster-Perpetual-41-Green-Dial-Oyster-Bracelet
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 Green Dial Oyster Bracelet

Looking for the cheapest Rolex model in Australia?

The most affordable Rolex watches are models in the Oyster Perpetual range, which is the brands entry-level model.

Let’s take a closer look at some current prices for this model. Remember, prices vary depending on the age, condition, new vs preowned and if it has a box and papers. Watches with a full house (box and registration papers) will cost more than an item without either of these.

Expect to pay anywhere from:

  • $9,995 for a 2020 model Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 116000 Stainless Steel Silver Dial 2020 Ref. 116000
  • $12.995 for a 2023 Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41mm Stainless Steel Silver Dial Ref. 124300

The original Oyster was first released in 1926 and was the first mass produced water-resistant (100m) and dustproof watch with a 904L stainless steel case. This houses the in-house self-winding caliber 3130 which carries official Swiss chronometer certification – for exceptional precision and reliability.

The Oyster Perpetual name also means that the model is self-winding and has Rolex’s waterproof Oyster case. Don’t get confused though – ‘Oyster Perpetual’ is also used on many other models, such as the Submariner. So the Sub’s full name is: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner, but it is not part of the same range.

Rolex-Oyster-Perpetual-41mm-Stainless-Steel-Turquoise-Blue-Tiffany-Dial
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41mm Stainless Steel Turquoise Blue Tiffany Dial

The latest Rolex Oyster Perpetual range comes in a no-date stainless steel version with a variety of dial colours – 9 currently – in 28mm, 31mm, 34mm, 36mm and 41mm sizes. There is high demand for some new coloured dial Oyster Perpetual, including the Tiffany/Turquoise Blue, Bright Blue, Green and Bright Black.

What about the next most affordable Rolex?

How much is a Rolex Datejust?

Rolex Datejust Slate Diamond Dial 41mm (ref: 126334)
Rolex Datejust Slate Diamond Dial 41mm (ref: 126334)

The next ‘cheapest’ Rolex is the Datejust range, which comes with a smooth or fluted bezel, and wide variety of dial designs and colours. Available in ladies-friendly Datejust 31mm (small), Datejust 36mm (mid-size) and Datejust 41mm (large), all in stainless steel. Popular dial colours include Bright Blue, Azurro Blue, Olive Green and Golden. You also have the option of a simple index dial or Roman numerals.

Expect to pay anywhere from:

  • $7,500 for a 2009 model Rolex Datejust 26 Black Dial Fluted Ref. 179174
  • $7,500 for a pre-owned 2009 model Rolex Datejust 26 Black Dial Fluted Ref. 179174
  • $12,995 for a 2022 Rolex Datejust 41 Blue Index Dial Oyster Bracelet Smooth Bezel Ref. 124300

Of course, these prices we quote are approximate and depend on a number of factors – like the condition of the watch and if it has a box and papers. Prices also change over time due to market forces.


What are the next cheapest Rolex models?

The now discontinued (and underrated) Rolex Air-King and Rolex Explorer are the next most affordable Rolex models. These are both superbly versatile timepieces. that have everything you expect from the Five-Pointed Crown.

Price: Expect to pay anywhere from:

  • $10,500 for a Rolex Air-King 40mm Ref: 116900
  • $12k for a Rolex Explorer Black Dial Stainless Steel Oyster Bracelet Smooth Bezel Ref: 124270

What about the price of our most popular watch, the mighty Sub?

How much does a Rolex Submariner cost?

Rolex Submariner Two Tone Blue Dial 'Bluesy'
Rolex Submariner Two Tone Blue Dial ‘Bluesy’

Got to have a Sub? Alongside the Datejust range Rolex’s iconic dive watch is a perennial best-seller. If you are after the ‘standard’ no-date Submariner expect to pay anywhere from 12k-24k – depending on the condition of the watch and if it has papers and a box. This price range will escalate if you are after a more sought after reference/movement – including anything vintage or a ‘colour’ model. Expect to pay anywhere from:

  • $11,000 for a pre-owned non-ceramic model Rolex Submariner 40mm (ref. 14060)
  • $19,000 for a 2022 model Rolex Submariner No Date Black Dial 41mm (ref: 124060)
  • $22,000 for a 2022 model Rolex Submariner Date Black Dial 41mm (ref: 126610)
  • $24,995 for a 2021 Rolex Submariner Date Green Bezel ‘Kermit’ (ref: 126610LV)


What about other Rolex Professional models?

Rolex Daytona Cosmograph
Rolex Daytona Cosmograph

Sure, Rolex has other highly desirable models in its range – but don’t expect them to come cheap. Here are current prices for some high-demand models in their Professional range:

  • $15,995 for a pre-owned Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 44mm Black Dial Stainless Steel Oyster Bracelet 116660
  • $29,995 for a mint pre-owned 2018 Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi Black Dial Stainless Steel Jubilee 40mm, with box and papers
  • $34,995 for a pre-owned Rolex Yachtmaster II 18k Everose Gold and Stainless Steel 44mm 116681
  • $32,995 for pre-owned Rolex Daytona Two Tone Yellow Gold White Dial 116503
  • $48,995 for a pre-owned Rolex Daytona Stainless Steel White Dial Ceramic Bezel Ref 116500LN

You need to understand why Rolex watches are in demand, because this impacts their price.

Why are Rolex so expensive?

This is an easy one to answer. Rolex manufacture everything that goes into their watches in-house, which allows them to have 100% oversight of quality control. This attention to detail is obvious when you hold a Rolex in your hands, and something that consumers are willing to pay for.

The second aspect is market supply and demand – people vote with their wallets/credit cards/PayPal/bitcoin – and are prepared to pay top dollar to get their hands on a quality timepiece with almost unparalleled brand recognition. Global brand consultancy Interbrand, publisher of the highly influential annual Best Global Brands report – ranked Rolex at number three in their ‘Best Swiss Brands 2016’ review, with Omega 7th and Patek Philippe a distant 15th. And not forgetting why there is this level of demand – people know quality craftmanship when they see it.

rolex-explorer-ii-zaeger
Rolex Explorer II ‘Polar’

The current market value of most professional models are above retail prices as there are waiting lists at official Rolex outlets, and why the secondary market for re-selling unworn versions means some models can sell for more than the official retail price.  According to Rolex they are just struggling to meet demand, though they are estimated to be producing close to a million watches a year – though some models have over a 10 year waitlist (Good luck even getting onto a waitlist in the first place btw).

Just take a look at this 2014 graphic by Ablogtowatch, which tracks the price of a Rolex Submariner no-date over 60 years (black) verses the increase of the same watch adjusted for inflation (red). They found that this Sub should cost US$1,265 today, while the watch actually costs in the region of US$7,500 – when the research was conducted.

Rolex also – cleverly – keeps a tight lid on supply (including spare parts) and there are waiting lists for many Rolex models. Want to jump the queue? Then be prepared to pay more for a Rolex – including pre-owned models – than it’s official listed price.

When it comes to Rolex the fact is you are buying so much more than a watch. According to Forbes, Rolex is one of the top 100 most recognized and most powerful brands in the world, with close to 100% brand recognition.

Rolex is one of the top 100 most recognized and most powerful brands in the world, with close to 100% brand recognition

Forbes

They have a long history of innovation in their field – having registered some 400+ patents – so you are assured of superlative quality, with hand made materials and decades of in-house research and development when you purchase a Rollie.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 'Tiffany' dial boxed
Rolex Oyster Perpetual ‘Tiffany’ dial

At the end of the day wearing a Rolex on your wrist is like saying, ‘I have made it!, or ‘I am successful’, or ‘I have good taste’ – and it also feels good to have such a fine piece of craftsmanship on your wrist. You are also keeping company with some pretty famous faces. Past and present Rolex ambassadors include Roger Federer, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Arnold Palmer, Mark Webber, Sir Edmund Hillary, Martin Scorsese and Placido Domingo to name a few. You get the idea…

The passion of Rollie fans is so strong that various Rolex watches have also generated a whole range of nicknames over the years. None are official, which gives you an idea of the love and awe these watches are held in with fans and collectors.

Looking to buy your first Rolex or add one to your collection? Get in touch and we will try our very best to find the right Rolex for your wrist. With showrooms in Melbourne and Sydney you can also try before you buy. Already have a Rollie? Then explore 7 other luxury watch brands you need to shortlist.

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