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Updated Thurs 12th May 2022 by Craig Gibson

Not sure of the difference between a Rolex ‘Pepsi’, ‘Kermit’ or ‘Hulk’; and have you even heard of a ‘SARU’ or a ‘Smurf’? 

Never fear, our guide is here to educate and prevent any embarrassment. 

The first thing to know is that most of these are not official or designated by Rolex themselves, but have evolved over time from Rollie fans and the collector community. The nicknames are inspired by a variety of factors, including:

Here we are focusing on Rolex models that are for sale now, widely available, and pass through our showrooms regularly – so don’t expect to see a ‘Paul Newman’ or ‘JPS Paul Newman’ listed here 🙂 You can also read our article covering the cheapest Rolex models for sale, if you are looking to get started with an entry level timepiece from the brand.

Rolex watch nicknames: Pepsi, Coke, Root Beer, Kermit, Hulk, James Cameron, Smurf and more with prices

Here they are, all the current, popular Rolex watches with nicknames, kicking off with the ‘Pepsi’.

Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126710BLRO: ‘Pepsi’

Rolex GMT-Master II 'Pepsi'
Rolex GMT-Master II ‘Pepsi’

Perhaps the most iconic, and sought after Rolex alongside the Submariner, the GMT-Master II with its bidirectional rotatable red/blue bezel is known as ‘Pepsi’ – after the famous drinks brand’s colours and logo. ‘Pepsi’ has been in existence since the first Ref. 6542 all the way to the current ceramic Ref. 126710BLRO. Here knowing some French helps, as the ‘BLRO’ in the reference number stands for bleu/rouge, which translates to blue/red. Not to be confused with the black-and-red GMT-Master II or ‘Coca Cola’ (see below).

Pricing: You can expect to pay in the region of $31,000 for a pre-owned Rolex GMT-Master II ‘Pepsi’ in stainless steel with the ‘full house’ original box and papers. It also comes in white gold, and white gold with a meteorite dial, which sell for a lot more.

Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 116710BLNR or 126710BLNR: ‘Batman’, ‘Batgirl’ or ‘Night and Day’

Rolex GMT-Master II ‘Batman’ or ‘Night and Day’

As you can see we have a second GMT-Master II, this one with the nickname: ‘Batman’, after the caped crusader’s dominant colour scheme on the bezel. You may also hear this particular GMT being called a  ‘BLNR’, which is simply its official Rolex reference number: 116710BLNR. Here again the French colour is used, in this case bleu/noir, which is blue/black in English. There is also an updated version of this watch, released in 2019, with a slightly re-designed, slimmer case that comes with a Jubilee bracelet, rather than the original Oyster. This has become the ‘Batgirl’, thanks to a slightly more refined, classy look and feel. You may also hear this GMT being called ‘Night and Day’, referencing the bezel – blue being day, and black the night.

Pricing: You can expect to pay in the region of $25,000 or more for a pre-owned GMT-Master II ‘Batman’.

Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710: ‘Coke’ or ‘Fat Lady’

Rolex GMT-Master II 'Coke' or 'Coca Cola'
Rolex GMT-Master II ‘Coke’ or ‘Coca Cola’

Launched in 1983, the current version of the Rolex GMT-Master II is a Ref. 16710, with the black and red bezel becoming known as ‘Coke’ or ‘Coca-Cola’ – for obvious reasons. If you look carefully you will also see that this version of the GMT comes with a red, triangle-tipped 24-hour hand, which is blue in the ‘Batman’. If you come across the original version was the Ref. 16760, which has since become known as the ‘Fat Lady’, as the case was slightly thicker than the ref that replaced it.

Pricing: You can expect to pay in the region of $18,000 to $24,000 depending on the model and condition.

Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126711CHNR: ‘Root Beer’

The Rolex GMT-Master II 126711CHNR, otherwise known as ‘Root Beer’ – has beautiful chocolate brown accents on the two-tone ceramic bezel. This works very well when you throw in stainless steel, 18-carat Everose gold and a black dial. It also comes in a few different versions, including an Everose gold model. Analyse the reference lettering, and you will see CHNR which some think translates to chocolat/noir – noir meaning black in French, but actually stands for Châtain et Noir, which is chestnut brown and black. Oh – and if you’ve never heard of root beer, it’s a soft drink popular in the US that is actually made from the root of a plant.

Pricing: You can expect to pay in the region of $32,000 or more for a Rolex GMT-Master II 126711CHNR, depending on the model and condition.

Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126755SARU: ‘SARU’

Rolex GMT-Master II 'SARU'
Rolex GMT-Master II ‘SARU’

Another GMT-Master, another nickname. If you haven’t heard of the ‘SARU’ – or the Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II SARU – don’t be that surprised, there aren’t many around. The nickname – ‘SARU’ – refers to the semi-precious stones set in the bezel, namely the ‘SA’pphires and ‘RU’bies, which feature factory set diamonds, sapphires and rubies. Yes, this is not an aftermarket modification, ‘SARU’ is direct from the Rolex factory – as evidenced by its official reference: 126755SARU. Could also have the nickname ‘Bling’…

Pricing: You can expect to pay in the region of…$220,000. And, no – that is not a typo!

Rolex Submariner Ref. 16610LV: ‘Kermit’

Rolex Submariner ‘Kermit’

Just like the GMT-Master line, Rollie’s other bezelled sports watch, versions of the iconic Sub have spawned a bunch of cool nicknames. To kick us off this is the Submariner, Ref. 16610LV, otherwise known to Rollie lovers as the ‘Kermit’. Introduced in 2003 for the Submariner’s 50th birthday, the LV in the reference stands for ‘Lunette Verte’ (green bezel). It also has an aluminium bezel, not the more recent Cerachrom. How else is the ‘Kermit’ different? It has slightly bigger hour markers and the minute hand is a little broader. Earlier models have slightly different shades of green, some more olive as the bezels age.

Pricing: You can expect to pay anywhere from $26,000 to $38,000 for a Submariner, Ref. 16610LV depending on the model. As a discontinued model this model is in high demand, and prices for pre-owned models (with box and papers) are escalating.

Rolex Submariner Ref. 116610LV: ‘Hulk’

Rolex Submariner 'Hulk'
Rolex Submariner ‘Hulk’

Launched in 2010 to replace the ‘Kermit’, Rolex thought fans wanted more green in a Sub so they produced the ‘Hulk’ with a green dial. The other major difference is that the case is slightly heavier and you also get the Cerachrom bezel. This is a scratch-resistant ceramic material that Rolex produces in-house which prevents discolorations that affected earlier bezels.

Pricing: You can expect to pay anywhere from $26,000 to $38,000 for a Submariner ‘Hulk”, and as a discontinued model you can expect prices to go one way.

Rolex Submariner Ref. 116619LB: ‘Smurf’

Rolex Submariner 'Smurf'
Rolex Submariner ‘Smurf’

If you are looking for the kookiest Rolex watch nickname then the ‘Smurf’ is definitely up there. The first white gold Submariner made by Rolex in 2008 had a blue dial (Ref. 116619LB), but the new edition (Ref: 126619LB) has a black dial. But the nickname clearly comes from the bulletproof ‘smurfy blue’ Cerachrom unidirectional bezel. The use of white gold makes this model a little more weightier than a standard sub. Other features to look out for are the ‘maxi Dial’ found on other models, which involve larger luminous markers and wider hands. By now your French should be good enough to figure out that the ‘LB’ in the reference is lunette bleu, which is a blue bezel.

Pricing: You can expect to pay anywhere from $73,995 for a Rolex Submariner Ref: 126619LB ‘Smurf’.

Rolex Submariner 116613LB ‘Bluesy’

Rolex Submariner Ref. 116613LB 'Bluesy'
Rolex Submariner Ref. 116613LB ‘Bluesy’

Any Rolex with blue anywhere on it, be that the dial or bezel, is sure to get some attention. True to form, the Rolex Submariner Ref. 116613LB – here in two-tone stainless steel and 18k yellow gold – or ‘Bluesy’ is in high demand. In fact, alongside certain GMT-II models and other Subs, it is probably in the top 5 ‘most desirable’ Rollies, if such a list officially existed. This model was also updated in 2020, with the Ref. 126613LB, which grew by a single millimetre to 41mm with slight re-designed lugs.

Pricing: You can expect to pay anywhere from $23,995 for a Rolex Submariner Ref. 116613LB Date 40mm Two Tone ‘Bluesy’.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea Ref. 116660: ‘James Cameron’

Rolex Seas-Dweller 'James Cameron'
Rolex Seas-Dweller ‘James Cameron’

The Rolex Sea-Dweller, which is basically the big brother to the one and only Sub, is a seriously tough timepiece, with a depth rating of 1,220 metres (4,000 ft). Compare that to the Sub which is rated to 300 meters (1,000 ft)! It’s why James Cameron’s chose it for his solo trip to the bottom of the Mariana Trench – the deepest point on earth, which was honoured with this special Deepsea version. The key difference is the dial, which subtly grades from a deep blue to black – the colour of Cameron’s submersible. 

Pricing: You can expect to pay in the region of $26,000, depending on condition – and if it has a box and papers.

Rolex Explorer II ‘Polar’

The Rolex Explorer II with a white dial is something of an anomaly as there aren’t many Rolex sports models with a white dial. So if you have a ref. 16550, ref. 16570, or ref. 216570 Explorer II you are the proud owner of a what Rolex collectors and fans call the ‘Polar’ – as in snow white. This also helps to differentiate it from the black dial Explorer II. The name makes sense as this watch is designed for explorers, and some would have conceivably traversed the polar regions which are covered in (white) snow!

Pricing: You can expect to pay in the region of $22,500 for a 2022 Rolex Explorer II 226570 White Dial Stainless Steel 42mm, with box and papers.

Looking for a particular Rolex model? We have an extensive range of pre-owned Rolex watches, all in mint condition and most with box and papers. Want to view a watch? It’s as easy as getting in touch to arrange a private appointment. We have showrooms in Melbourne and Sydney, where we can help you choose the right watch for you.

Last Updated: August 1, 2022 by Craig Gibson

Looking to buy your first Rolex? Then you need to read our Buyer’s Guide which covers all the Rolex models for sale in Australia. This article will help you get an overview of each model with a focus on key features, what makes them so special and last but not least, how much you can expect to pay for a pre-owned Rolex

Which Rolex should I buy?

The first thing to know is that Rolex divides their range into ‘Classic’ and ‘Professional’ models which are generally dress and sport watches. The current range of Classic timepieces are:

A selection of Rolex models

How much does a Rolex watch cost? [2022]

Let’s start by looking at some Rolex prices in Australia in 2022, for new models or pre-owned mint examples you can pay anywhere from:

There are of course lots of models with diamonds or jewels set in the bezel which retail for a lot more than the ‘standard’ model. The same holds true for any model that uses precious metals in their construction – like white gold or yellow gold.

If you are looking at your first Rolex, or wondering what the cheapest Rolex watch for men is, you may like to read our article, How much is the cheapest Rolex watch?, which covers the entry level models from the brand. Depending on the model you can pay anywhere from $7,500 for a pre-owned 2009 Rolex Datejust, or $13,995 for a 1996 model Rolex Explorer II. 

You can pay anywhere from $7,500 for a pre-owned 2009 Rolex Datejust, or $13,995 for a 1996 model Rolex Explorer II

Move up to Rolex Submariners and pre-owned versions will cost you anywhere from $18k (no date) depending on the reference and age, which is the same price bracket for a Rolex Cellini or Rolex Yachtmaster. 

The next price bracket up is for watches like a Rolex GMT Master II, around $26k in stainless steel with a jubilee bracelet, or the much in demand Rolex Submariner ‘Hulk’ in stainless steel with that killer green dial. Dig a little deeper into your wallet and you can spend a lot more on a Rolex Sky Dweller in yellow gold ($54k) or a Rolex Daytona in rose gold with a black index dial ($55k). 

Of course these prices are approximate, and they do and will change over time and according to market forces. As you may know there is strong demand for Rolex timepieces – so don’t be surprised to be quoted a price higher than the list price for a mint, pre-owned version. 

Why are Rolex so special and in-demand?

The first thing you need to know is that Rolex manufactures everything in-house – and when we say everything we mean it. Most other brands source some or all their parts from third party suppliers. A good example of this is the movement – the magic internals that makes a watch tick, where Swiss brand Lemania was once an industry heavyweight who supplied the movement for Omega’s iconic Moonwatch. 

This is reflected in the marketplace, where most models retaining or even increasing in value. The current market value of most professional models are above retail prices – and good luck trying to get onto a waiting list – some are 10 years long – at an official dealer. This also explains why the secondhand or pre-worn market is so healthy, with fans willing to spend more than the list price for many models.

Rolex bezel detail on a Submariner

Rolex is often accused of keeping a tight lid on production, and spare parts, to control prices and keep demand ticking over. So if you are desperate for a particular model, and want to jump the queue then be prepared to pay for it – often more than it’s official listed price.

Current Rolex models for sale in Australia and New Zealand

Let’s get into the current Rolex range on sale in Australia and New Zealand, starting with the Classic range.  

Rolex Classic Range: Buyers Guide

ROLEX OYSTER PERPETUAL

Rolex Oyster Perpetual collection

The Oyster Perpetual is where it all began for Rolex when they manufactured the world’s first waterproof watch way back in 1926 – eat your heart out Casio G-Shock! Along with the Datejust the Oyster is the most affordable watch in the Rolex range. Today the iconic gold crown adorns the uncluttered dial – available in a range of colours, in a corrosion resistant Oystersteel case that houses the in-house self-winding caliber 3130 which carries official Swiss chronometer certification. Available in a wide range of case sizes, from 26mm (ladies) to 39mm.

Reference: 114300

Movement/calibre: 3132, perpetual, mechanical, self-winding

Bracelet: Oyster, flat three-piece links in Oystersteel

Killer feature: Pure Rolex simplicity, and the price

Pricing: You can expect to pay from $10,000+ for a Rolex Oyster Perpetual, depending on the case size, age and condition.

Buy a Rolex Oyster Perpetual if you…want to own a Rolex without pawning a body part!

ROLEX DATEJUST

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust

The Rolex Datejust – or Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust – to give its full name, is the brands entry level timepiece, and makes a perfect introduction to the brand. Like the Oyster Perpetual it is a mainstay that has been around since 1953, and is all about showcasing what Rolex does best – executing a superlative timepiece. You can also get a Datejust encrusted with pearls or jewels – just be prepared to pay a lot for one. In terms of case size, the Datejust is available in 31mm (ladies) all the way up to 41mm. 

Reference: 126234

Movement/calibre: 3235, perpetual, mechanical, self-winding

Bracelet: Oyster, flat three-piece links in Oystersteel

Killer feature: That broad hour hand!

Pricing: Expect to pay anywhere from just over $6k for a Rolex Datejust 31 in stainless steel, to $18k for a Rolex Datejust with a mother of pearl diamond dial, with plenty of models in between these two price points. 

ROLEX DAY-DATE

Rolex Day-Date

Add a day and date to an Oyster Perpetual and you get a Day-Date, simple as that. But Rolex go all out with a range of high-end cases in 18k gold and platinum – and you can also opt for Everose gold with diamonds. In terms of case sizes you have options of 36mm or 40mm, and it also comes with its very own bracelet – the President.

Reference: 228206

Movement/calibre: 3132, perpetual, mechanical, self-winding

Bracelet: President, semi-circular three-piece links

Killer feature: Platinum and diamonds, baby!

Pricing: Day-Date pricing varies a lot, depending on the case size, material and what jewels you want – so anywhere in the region of $9k to $45k+ for pre-owned.

Buy a Rolex Oyster Perpetual if you…want a timeless classic.

ROLEX SKY-DWELLER

Rolex Sky-Dweller

Rolex’s Sky-Dweller is the brand’s most complex watch, boasting dual time zones and an annual calendar so you can also track the passing of the months. It comes in a variety of models – like this chocolate version, as well as in yellow gold and rose gold variants – all in a standard 42mm case. Like any Rolex, prices vary a lot depending on the material of the case – so choose according to your budget. 

Reference: 326933

Movement/calibre: 9001, perpetual, mechanical, self-winding, dual time zones, annual calendar

Bracelet: Oyster, flat three-piece links

Killer feature: Dual time and a calendar

Pricing: Expect a Rolex Sky-Dweller to cost in the region of $15k for a basic model, and a lot more for a yellow gold ($54k)

Buy a Rolex Sky-Dweller if you…are a world traveller.

ROLEX CELLINI

Rolex Cellini

The Cellini is Rolex’s dress watch, with a variety of models including a Moonphase and Dual Timer, but also with simpler dials that, ‘celebrates the eternal elegance of traditional timepieces with a contemporary touch’. Here all the workmanship is contained in a 39mm dial, which are available in a range of precious metals, with a variety of movements depending on the model.

Reference: 50509

Movement/calibre: various with perpetual, mechanical, self-winding

Bracelet: Leather 

Killer feature: That flared crown…

Pricing: Expect a Rolex Cellini with a white dial in Rose Gold to cost in the region of $18k for a basic model, and a lot more for a more complex Moonphase ($30k+).

Buy a Rolex Cellini if you…are all about understated style

Rolex Professional Range: Buyers Guide

If the classic range is not quite right for you then look at the Professional timepieces, but be prepared for a step up in price. These are the current Rolex models for sale in Australia and New Zealand.  

ROLEX EXPLORER 1 and II

Rolex-Explorer-II-white-&-Black-Dial
Rolex Explorer II – white dial and black dial versions

Made famous as the first watch up Everest on the wrist of Sir Edmund Hillary, this has strangely not translated into sales for the Rolex Explorer – like it has for Omega’s now iconic Speedy Moonwatch. It flies under the radar of bigger cousins like the professional series Sub and GMT, and most Explorer fans like it this way. With a smaller case size (42mm), simple design and the distinctive numerals at 3,6 and 9 – understated is perhaps the best description for this underrated watch. The current model is the Rolex Explorer II (Type II), available with a white or black dial (see above) – and featuring a 24 hour display, second time zone, instantaneous date and stop-seconds. It is actually designed with speleologists – or cave explorers – in mind, but most people will likely never see the inside of a cave. If you come across the Explorer I (Type I) expect to drop to a slightly smaller 39mm case. 

Reference: 216570

Movement/calibre: 3187, perpetual, mechanical, self-winding

Bracelet: Oyster, flat three-piece links in Oystersteel

Killer feature: That broad hour hand!

Pricing: Depending on the model, a Rolex Explorer sits just above a Datejust in terms of pricing – anywhere from $10,000 for an unworn or fine condition model. For vintage, start saving now!

Buy a Rolex Explorer if you…like flying under the radar.

ROLEX AIR-KING

Rolex Air-King

The Rolex Air-King is another model that flies – excuse the pun – under the radar. It’s not a hugely popular model, but that is not to say it is not right for you. With a low key mid-size 40 mm case in 904L steel and a distinctive black dial featuring its heritage is an aviators timepiece. Look closer at the simple dial and you will see large 3, 6 and 9 hour numerals – with second marker numerals in between – a feature you will either love or hate. It has also been around since the 1950s, and as a certified Swiss chronometer, it boasts high-precision and has passed the relevant Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) tests.

Reference: 116900

Movement/calibre: 3131, perpetual, mechanical, self-winding with a magnetic shield to protect the movement

Bracelet: Oyster, flat three-piece links in Oystersteel

Killer feature: That green second hand

Pricing: Expect a pre-owned Rolex Air-King to cost in the region of $10k. 

Buy a Rolex Air-King if you…like flying under the radar!

ROLEX MILGAUSS

Rolex Milgauss on an Everest band

This is another Rolex model that you won’t see on many wrists, but that doesn’t mean it is not a special timepiece. The Milgauss is simple, elegance personified in a way only Rolex can pull off, with an electric blue dial, green sapphire crystal – and a distinctive lightning-bolt-shaped seconds hand. The model debuted in the 1950’s with a USP of exceptional resistance to magnetic fields, and this feature continues to this day. At 40mm this is a perfect size watch if larger models are not quite right for your wrist. 

Reference: 116400GV

Movement/calibre: 3131, perpetual, mechanical, self-winding with a magnetic shield to protect the movement

Bracelet: Oyster, flat three-piece links in Oystersteel

Killer feature: That orange lightning-bolt-shaped seconds hand

Pricing: Expect a Rolex Milgauss to cost in the region of $10k or more. 

Buy a Rolex Milgauss if you…want something a little different

ROLEX SUBMARINER

Rolex Submariner ‘Hulk’

What is there left to say about the iconic Sub – or to give its full name: the Oyster Perpetual Rolex Submariner? It comes with a 40 mm in 904L steel with a folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system – for a perfect fit. Other options – at different price points, include date/no date, two tone and a variety of different dial and face colours. This includes the much-in-demand ‘Hulk’, which has a green dial and face, and the ‘Kermit’, which has a black face and green dial.

Reference: 3135 (date); 3130 (no date)

Movement/calibre: Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding 

Bracelet: Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system

Killer feature: Everything!

Pricing: Expect a pre-owned, ‘standard’ no-date Submariner to cost anywhere from $9k to $14k, or $28k for a Rolex Submariner Hulk (green bezel), or $17k for a Rolex Submariner Two Tone Blue Dial.

Buy a Rolex Submariner if you…want to own the most iconic watch on the planet!

ROLEX SEA-DWELLER

Rolex Sea-Dweller

With the Sea-Dweller – or Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea – you are into serious sports watch territory, even more so than the Sub. The Rolex Sea-Dweller, which is basically the big brother to the one and only Sub. With the Sea-Dweller you get a waterproof rating to a depth of 1,220 metres (4,000 ft).

This baby is built to take just about anything – and it shows, as Rolex’s largest watch. Compare that to the Sub which is rated to 300 meters (1,000 ft), and you can see why the Sea-Dweller is a serious explorers timepiece. It’s why filmmaker and explorer James Cameron’s chose it for his solo trip to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, which was honoured with the Deepsea version – also known as the ‘James Cameron’, which has a slightly different dial. It also comes in an 18CT yellow gold version, if that is your thing.  

Reference: 126660

Movement/calibre: Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding 

Bracelet: Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system

Killer feature: The ability to go deep!

Pricing: Expect an unworn Sea-Dweller Deep-Blue (James Cameron) to cost in the region of $24,995.

Buy a Rolex Sea-Dweller if you…want to go really deep

Rolex YACHT-MASTER

A trio of Yacht-Masters

Own a yacht or just want to imagine you do? Then a Rolex Yacht-Master is the next best thing. You have two versions to choose from, the original Yacht -Master could be mistaken for a Sub at a glance, but look closely and you will notice the bezel rotates both ways – bidirectional. The Yacht-Master II features a regatta chronograph with 10 minute countdown timer, and comes in a variety of finishes, including a rather fetching Oystersteel and Everose gold version, which offsets the blue perfectly. 

Rolex Yachtmaster II Stainless Steel and 18k Everose Gold 116681

Reference: 116688

Movement/calibre: Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding, regatta chronograph 

Bracelet: Folding Oysterlock safety clasp

Killer feature: Countdown bezel

Pricing: Expect a pre-owned 2018 Rolex Yacht-Master II with Oystersteel and Everose gold to sell for in the region of $30,500. You will pay less for a Yacht-Master I, in the region of $19,995 for a pre-owned stainless steel with a blue dial and platinum bezel. 

Buy a Rolex Yachtmaster if you…have a super yacht or don’t!

Rolex GMT MASTER II

Rolex GMT Master II ‘Batman’ or ‘Night & Day’

When we get to the Rolex GMT Master II you start to have a watch that competes with the Sub for all the attention. And with the GMT it’s all about the bezel, which comes in a variety of colour combinations nicknamed ‘Pepsi’ (red and blue), ‘Coke’ (red and black) and ‘Batman’ or ‘Night & Day’ (blue and black). Originally developed for pilots, this is a versatile watch you can wear with jeans or a suit and looks awesome with a jubilee bracelet. One of the most popular professional models and a close rival to the Sub for most popular watch – always in high demand. 

Reference: 126710

Movement/calibre: Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding, GMT function 

Bracelet: Jubilee, five-piece links

Killer feature: That bezel, no matter the colour combination

Pricing: Expect a pre-owned Rolex GMT Master II (Two Tone Dial) to cost anywhere from $20,095 with box and papers. The Batman version, pre-owned and with box and papers could cost anywhere from $25,995.  

Buy a Rolex GMT Master II if you…are all  about that bezel!

ROLEX DAYTONA COSMOGRAPH

Rolex Daytona Cosmograph

The fact that Paul Newman’s timepiece sold for an astronomical amount of money means that you are also going to pay a premium for a current model. This is a watch designed for race car driving – the ultimate sports chronograph according to Rolex – but hey, this model will look good no matter what you are doing. It comes in a few different case/bracelet combinations – and they all look stunning, including white gold, Everose gold, yellow gold and Oystersteel. There are also a handful of different dials, and we are partial to the white/panda and black versions. 

Reference: 116509

Movement/calibre: Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding

Bracelet: Oyster, flat three-piece links

Killer feature: That chrono dial!!!

Pricing: Expect a pre-owned Rolex Daytona in stainless steel with a black dial (40mm) to cost anywhere from $26,995, or a Rolex Daytona in rose gold with a black index dial in the region of $55k.

Buy a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona if you…are feeling flush.

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. If you are looking for another brand, why not browse our range of Omega watches – which are more affordable and the same Swiss quality. 

Updated Thurs 14th June 2022 by Craig Gibson

How much is the cheapest Rolex? How much does a Rolex cost? Why are Rolex so expensive?

These are questions we get asked all the time, because – unsurprisingly – Rolex is our most popular brand – and people are crazy for these timepieces.

Why? Let’s take a closer look at the world’s best known watch brand.

How much is the cheapest Rolex watch?

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

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.

But back to the questions.

One of the most frequently asked questions we get about Rolex is around price, but also why they cost so much – relative to other brands of course and quoted here in Aussie dollars.

Why are Rolex so expensive?

This is an easy one to answer. 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’

This is largely why there is currently unprecedented demand for Rolex watches, with many models retaining or even increasing in value. 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 double or even triple the 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).

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 online – including pre-owned models – than it’s official listed price.

How much is the cheapest Rolex watch at 2022 prices?

Rolex Oysterquartz White Dial Black Roman 36mm Stainless Steel 1982 (ref. 17014)
Rolex Oysterquartz White Dial Black Roman 36mm Stainless Steel 1982 (ref. 17014)

Looking for the cheapest Rolex model in Australia?

If you are on a tight budget then you need to look at the entry-level Rolex offerings, which are the Rolex Oyster Perpetual and Rolex Datejust. Let’s take a closer look at these two models:

Rolex Datejust 36mm Blue Motif Dial ref.126200
Rolex Datejust 36mm Blue Motif Dial ref.126200

At 2022 prices in Australia you can expect to pay:

Of course are the prices we quote are approximate, and they do and will change over time according to market forces.

The most affordable Rolex watches are models in the Oyster Perpetual range, which is the brands entry-level model. They come in a no-date stainless steel version with a variety of dial colours – 9 currently – in 34mm, 36mm and 41mm sizes

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. This includes the Rolex Submariner Hulk – green bezel and face – which can fetch in the region of $40k for a mint condition example with box & papers. The same goes for a Rolex Submariner Two Tone Blue Dial which is in the region of $25k for a pre-owned mint example.

What about other Rolex 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.

For a sporty Rolex Yachtmaster Blue Dial expect to pay in the region of $26k new, or if you want a dress watch then a Rolex Cellini White Dial 18k Rose/White Gold is in the region of $21k. Expect to pay in the region of $30k for Rolex Sea-Dweller Deep Sea (James Cameron) or a Rolex GMT Master II – the so-called Batman. Last but not least how about a Rolex Daytona Stainless Steel Black Dial (ceramic bezel) – yours for around $65k.

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.