6 Cheapest Rolex Models | Entry-Level Rolex Watches

Rolex offers a range of watches that make the brand’s excellence accessible to a broader audience. Among these, the Oyster Perpetual, Air-King, and Explorer models stand out for their affordability, rich history, and distinctive characteristics. This article explores these entry-level Rolex options, showcasing how each model embodies Rolex’s commitment to quality and style.

1. Oyster Perpetual – The Quintessential Rolex

The Oyster Perpetual is not just a watch; it’s the cheapest Rolex watch. With prices starting at approximately £4,000, it is the purest expression of Rolex’s fundamental values. This model boasts a waterproof Oyster case, a hallmark of Rolex since 1926, and the self-winding Perpetual rotor, introduced in 1931. The simplicity of its design has made it timeless. It’s available in various sizes, from 26mm to 39mm, catering to different wrist sizes and preferences.

The array of dial colours, including the recently added candy pink, yellow, and green, adds a modern twist to its classic appeal. The Oyster Perpetual is more than an entry-level option; it’s a choice for those who value understated elegance and a watch that can effortlessly transition from casual to formal settings.

💡 Learn more about the Oyster Perpetual here.

2. Air-King – A Tribute to Aviation

The Rolex Air-King is one of the second cheapest Rolex watches. With a starting price of about £5,000, is a tribute to the pioneers of flight and Rolex’s role in the epic story of aviation. Its design pays homage to the 1930s when Rolex watches were used as instruments on the Himalayas’ flights. The modern Air-King features a 40mm case, making a bold statement on the wrist. Its distinctive black dial, large hour markers, and unique green second hand make it instantly recognisable.

The Air-King is more than just a watch; it’s a piece of aviation history. It appeals to those who appreciate a watch with a story, one that speaks of adventure and the daring spirit of pilots who first took to the skies. Its oyster steel material ensures durability, making it suitable for everyday wear while maintaining a connection to its illustrious past.

3. Explorer – The Adventurer’s Choice

The Explorer, starting around £5,500, is the embodiment of adventure and discovery. Inspired by Rolex’s involvement in some of history’s greatest explorations, this entry-level Rolex is built to endure extreme conditions. Its most notable feature is the highly legible black dial with large luminescent hour markers and distinctive 3, 6, and 9 numerals. The Explorer’s design is a balance of ruggedness and elegance, making it suitable for both outdoor adventures and everyday wear.

Its 39mm case ensures comfort and visibility, embodying the spirit of adventurers and explorers worldwide. This watch is not just a tool; it’s a companion for those who push the boundaries and dare to explore the unknown. The Explorer’s rich history and functionality make it an ideal choice for anyone who values a watch that combines a storied past with practical application.

4. Datejust – The Versatile Classic

The Datejust, with prices starting at around £6,000, is the epitome of classic Rolex design. Introduced in 1945, it was the first wristwatch to feature an automatically changing date on the dial, a revolutionary feature at the time. Its timeless aesthetics make it incredibly versatile, and suitable for both formal events and everyday wear.

The Datejust comes in various sizes, ranging from 31mm to 41mm, catering to different preferences. Its iconic Cyclops lens over the date, fluted bezel, and Jubilee or Oyster bracelet are unmistakable features that define its look.

The watch is available in different materials, including Oystersteel, gold, and Rolesor (a combination of Oystersteel and gold), offering a range of styles to choose from. The Datejust isn’t just a watch; it’s a heritage piece that has stood the test of time, appealing to those who appreciate a blend of elegance and innovation.

💡 Learn more about the Datejust here.

5. Submariner – The Diver’s Dream

Starting from approximately £6,500, the Submariner is Rolex’s most famous and frequently imitated dive watch. Introduced in 1953, it was the first watch to be water-resistant up to 100 metres (330 feet), a significant achievement at the time. The Submariner is renowned for its robust and functional design.

Its Oyster case, rotatable Cerachrom bezel with 60-minute graduations, and luminescent hands and markers make it the quintessential diver’s watch. The Submariner isn’t just for professional divers; its sleek design and cultural status have made it a popular choice among a broader audience, including watch enthusiasts and collectors. Its presence in various films has further cemented its status as an icon of style and functionality.

💡 Learn more about the Submariner here.

6. Milgauss – The Scientist’s Companion

The Milgauss, starting around £6,800, is a testament to Rolex’s innovation in overcoming challenges. Introduced in 1956, it was designed for scientists and engineers who required a watch that could withstand magnetic fields up to 1,000 gauss. The watch’s most distinctive feature is its orange lightning bolt-shaped second hand, adding a touch of whimsy to its otherwise professional appearance.

The Milgauss is also notable for its green sapphire crystal, which adds a unique hue to the dial. Its anti-magnetic properties are thanks to a shield inside the Oyster case made of ferromagnetic alloys, protecting the movement. The Milgauss is a perfect blend of Rolex’s commitment to precision and its flair for distinctive design, making it an ideal choice for those who work in environments where electromagnetic fields are present.

⌚️ You might like this guide: Best Starter Watches For Beginner Collectors.

A Step Into Luxury

Owning a Rolex is more than just possessing a timepiece; it’s an investment in a legacy of excellence and precision. The models listed above offer an accessible path into this world, each with its own story and character. Whether it’s the classic elegance of the Datejust or the rugged charm of the Explorer, these entry-level options provide a gateway to the esteemed Rolex family.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest Rolex watch?

The cheapest Rolex watch typically available is the Rolex Oyster Perpetual. The price for a new Oyster Perpetual starts at around £4,000, depending on the model and where you purchase it.

What is the price range for entry-level Rolex watches?

The price for entry-level Rolex watches generally starts from around £4,000 and can go up depending on the model and features. The Oyster Perpetual is the most accessible, while other models like the Submariner or Milgauss are priced higher. Prices may vary based on materials, dial options, and market demand. It’s important to note that Rolex watches are considered an investment, often retaining or increasing in value over time.

Are entry-level Rolex watches a good investment?

Rolex watches, including entry-level models, are renowned for their ability to retain or appreciate. This makes them a good investment choice. Their timeless design, durability, and brand reputation contribute to their lasting value. Keeping the watch in good condition, with original parts and regular servicing, can further enhance its investment potential. However, market trends can vary, so it’s wise to research specific models and their historical performance.

How often does a Rolex need servicing?

Rolex recommends servicing your watch about every 10 years, but this can vary based on the model and individual usage. Regular servicing is crucial to maintain the watch’s accuracy and longevity. It involves thorough cleaning, lubrication, and replacement of worn parts. Neglecting maintenance can lead to decreased performance and potentially higher repair costs in the future, so adhering to this recommendation is advised for optimal care.

Can I customise my entry-level Rolex watch?

While Rolex provides options for customisation through various dials, bezels, and bracelets, extensive after-market modifications are generally discouraged. Customisations like changing dial colours or adding gems can void the warranty and may negatively impact the watch’s value and functionality. For those seeking a personalised touch, choosing from the available options at the point of purchase is the best route to maintain authenticity and value.

Is the water resistance of entry-level Rolex watches reliable?

Rolex is renowned for its reliable water resistance in watches, including entry-level models. The Oyster Perpetual offers water resistance up to 100 metres, making it suitable for swimming and snorkelling, while the Submariner, designed specifically for diving, can withstand depths up to 300 metres. Regular maintenance and seal checks are essential to maintain this water resistance over time, especially for watches frequently used in water.

Do entry-level Rolex watches come with a warranty?

Rolex provides a five-year international warranty for its watches, ensuring coverage against manufacturing defects. This warranty starts from the date of purchase and is valid worldwide, offering buyers peace of mind. It’s important to purchase from authorised dealers to ensure the validity of this warranty. Regular servicing by authorised service centres is recommended to maintain the warranty and ensure the longevity and optimal performance of the watch.

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