Pre-Owned Picks — Five Less Popular Rolex Watches I Would Buy
The struggle is real! Getting a new or used Rolex watch is becoming more difficult by the day. At least, if you want one of the usual suspects. A Rolex Submariner, Daytona, GMT-Master, or even a Datejust is becoming virtually impossible.
But behold! There are still some Rolex models out there that are offered within reason. Especially considered what you get for your hard-earned cash. For this week’s installment of Pre-Owned Picks (in cooperation with Chrono24), I selected 5 less popular Rolex watches (compared to the obvious ones) that I find interesting. Actually, I own or have owned a few of these Rolex models myself.
Five Less Popular Rolexes
“Buy what you like”, is the advice I often give to people. Don’t look at resell or market value, but try to find out which watch just makes you happy when wearing it. Some people then respond that this is a bit of a luxury position, but as soon as you buy an expensive wristwatch, you are already in that position I assume. It does help – especially for your own comfort – that a watch will retain its value a bit, but if your joy solely comes from the profitability or lack of deprecation, this article might not be for you.
In this selection of 5 used Rolex watches, there are a few that I own or have owned myself. The Yacht-Master for example is a watch I had for a long time in my collection. I sold it to fund something else (a Royal Oak 15300), but to this day, I regret selling it. It was a lovely watch, although many Submariner and GMT-Master owning friends tried to convince me otherwise.
Yacht-Master 16622 (€6,970)
I always wondered how come this watch is so much cheaper than a Submariner or GMT-Master. When I purchased mine, back in 2006 I think, I paid around €3,500. Less than what a GMT or Submariner would have cost me. And to me, this watch offered a few things more. Sure, no GMT hand and not a real diver (bi-directional bezel), but the dial is made of massive platinum and so was the bezel. Not only the inlay, but the entire rotating bezel was platinum.
In an office light, the watch didn’t do much for me to be honest, but those early grainy dials come to life in natural daylight. Simply stunning! Now that I am typing this, I am convinced I need one again. This particular model is from 2007, comes with the later style box (and papers), and has a less grainy platinum dial (than the earlier models). Click here for the offer on this Yacht-Master 16622.
Explorer II 16570 (€6,350)
I expressed my feelings about the Rolex Explorer II a while ago (in this article), and still feel it is one of the best kept Genevan secrets. One of my best friends has the white dial version for more than 15 years now, and every time I see it, I think I need to put some effort into buying one as well. A lovely watch, available with a black and a white dial. A low-profile sports Rolex that is very similar to a GMT-Master, but without the rotating bezel. This one dates back to 1997, has the tritium dial, and is offered by a dealer in the US. Click here for the offer on this Explorer II 16570.
Milgauss 116400GV (€6,495)
It took me a long time to warm up to the Milgauss. When it was introduced in 2008 I believe, I covered it here on Fratello as well and discussed the lack of demand. I do believe that demand went up afterward (so I was wrong), but looking at these watches now. It is a lot of bang for the buck, especially compared to some of the asking prices these days for a standard (new) Datejust model. I like the green crystal version best, followed by the white dial model. This particular watch dates back to 2017 and comes with all that needs to be there. Click here for the offer on this Milgauss 116400GV.
OysterQuartz 17013 (€3,500)
One of the coolest quartz watches ever, period! Perhaps only topped by the 9F powered Grand Seiko models, but this one has a beautiful movement as well. And, I had one of these 16-17 years ago. It was my first bi-color Rolex watch (and last one), and I sold it to a relative of mine. He loved it so much, that I couldn’t refuse. Price only went up a bit since then, they seem to be pretty stable. I don’t know what holds people back to buy one of these OysterQuartz models. The movement is so nice, that I think I prefer it over a standard mechanical Sellita or ETA movement if I had the choice. #truth. No box, no papers, but a beautiful 1986 bi-color Oysterquartz Datejust that will make you look cool. Click here for the offer on this OysterQuartz 17013.
Explorer 14270 (€6,300)
Saving the best for last? The 36mm Rolex Explorer is – in my opinion – one of the best of their sports watches. Clean design, beautiful dial, and no date. That’s often a plus for me. This model became later available in 39mm, but I prefer the design ration of the 36mm for sure. My wife has one of these, so I am often confronted with its beauty. Unfortunately (or fortunate for her), the bracelet is sized for her wrists, not mine. This Rolex Explorer dates back to 1999 and comes with a box and papers. Click here for the offer on this Explorer 14270.