Pre-Owned Picks — Rolex Oyster Perpetual Watches With Funky Dials
The Oyster Perpetual is the distillation of the three core criteria for every Rolex: The Oyster case for water resistance, the Perpetually winding rotor and the Chronometer rating for timekeeping. With a solid platform, Rolex can go wild with crazy dials for a more personal touch. For this week’s Pre-Owned Picks, I select some standout OP configurations from Chrono24.
A few weeks back, Rob and I went toe-to-toe over the best beater watch from Rolex and Grand Seiko. The term “beater”, otherwise known as the “go anywhere, do anything” watch, may seem a misnomer for a circa €4,000 luxury object, but in this wild and wacky watch world it isn’t so insane.
The sporty Oyster Perpetual is designed to be tough and dependable with a sprinkle of Rolex cachet. Yet, somehow readers of Fratello voted 62% in favor of the hot young thing. Grand Seiko that is. Not Rob Nudds. What a curious outcome that 62% of you were completely wrong.
Rob Nudds: Normally I don’t interject in other writers’ articles, but I just have to thank you, Ben, for not linking to my Tinder profile, which confirms I am neither young nor hot. I had to check to be sure you hadn’t stitched me up…
Winning you back
What a disturbing image… But back to the watches. Maybe it was the particular grey dial 114300 that I sent into battle that sunk my chances? But I won’t make the same mistake twice. That’s why today I am trying to win you back with some of the funkiest Oyster Perpetuals ever to land on Chrono24.
All watches are pre-owned and picked from Chrono24. Every week we pick a few pre-owned watches from Chrono24, the largest market place for wristwatches in the world — watches that we love ourselves, or think they will be interesting to you. So, to be clear, we picked the watches, Chrono24 only send us the images without their watermark and in a proper resolution.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 116000
One of the consistent complaints against Rolex dials is the extensive lines of text. Rolex seems to love “three-line” dials but they can end up making the dial look like an instruction manual. The 116000 circles around the issue with, “Oyster Perpetual Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” in a radial inner sector. The central sector also adds some flair with a metallic blue concentric pattern. This style is not exactly rare but is different enough to get noticed. Here is an excellent example on Chrono24.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 15010
Analog time-telling is faster than digital. I have never conducted any experiments nor carried out any research on this theory, but hear me out. I can glance at an analog watch dial for a split-second and recall the approximate time. A digital display may give me the exact minutes without any need for approximation, but my brain needs a fraction more time to process this. The ability to relate the position of the hands to the time is why so many watch dials opt to omit numbers for each hour. The Rolex OP 15010 has both markers and Roman numerals in a strange double act. I cannot say for sure, but I bet the designer that chimed in with this idea was wearing a belt and braces. Still, it is worth a look on Chrono24.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 114200
The Explorer by Rolex has not exactly been one with itself in the modern era. Either the case is too big, or the hands are too small. But one thing I keep seeing requested by Explorer fans is a white dial “Polar” version. The 114200 is not an Explorer, nor does it have Mercedes hands. Furthermore, it comes in a 34mm case. But if you happen to be a little snow-blind, the 3, 6, 9 layout could easily provide just the look the fans are asking for. Find it here on Chrono24.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 15200
I will be honest. For my last pick, I was searching high and low on Chrono24 for a watch I saw in a jewelry shop in my neck of the woods. It was a Reference 1501 from the ’60s with a gorgeous red ombré dial just like this one. Alas, I came up short. But in its place, I present the Ref. 15200 with and blue and black two-tone dial and smooth bezel. A rather lovely example that is, unfortunately, missing the box and papers. As with all my picks, please remember to carry out your research. And I will keep hunting for that elusive red ombré.