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Guide to Rolex Watch Models

Everything you need to know about the Rolex catalog

Celine SimonJul 12, 2022

Founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf, Rolex has become the world’s leading luxury watch brand. Made in Switzerland, the brand’s catalog ranges from dress watches like the Datejust to sports watches like the Yacht-Master.

Several Rolex watches were developed in the mid-20th century as tools for specific audiences, such as the Submariner for divers, the GMT-Master for pilots, and the Daytona for racecar drivers. These designs have not only remained largely unchanged over the decades but have also set the standard for what consumers expect certain watches to look like and perform. Modern Rolex watches run on movements made in-house. They’re also certified as chronometers by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).

Pre-owned Rolex watches are highly popular in the secondary market thanks to their iconic designs and historical pedigree, with demand fueled by an active Rolex collecting community. As a result, second-hand Rolex watches can appreciate over time. The brand is noted for making timepieces that generally hold value better than those produced by almost any other watchmaker.

To help you navigate the vast catalog of the Swiss watchmaking giant, we've put together a hand guide to Rolex watches models you can reference any time.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

The Oyster Perpetual is Rolex’s entry-level watch, combining two of the brand’s most important innovations. The first is the waterproof Oyster case that was introduced in 1926. The other is the Perpetual automatic movement that made its debut in 1931.

Together, the Oyster case and the Perpetual movement form the basis of most current production Rolex watches. If you look closely at the dials of many Rolex watches, you’ll spot the “Oyster Perpetual” name. This label simply means these are water-resistant automatic Rolex watches.

However, while many other Rolex models also fall into the larger Oyster Perpetual series due to their case structure and movement type, there are also Oyster Perpetual watches — which are straightforward time-only Rolex watches.

Rolex once made Oyster Perpetual watches in several material options and with various bezel and bracelet styles. But more modern Oyster Perpetual models are exclusively made in stainless steel, feature smooth bezels, and come fitted with three-link Oyster bracelets. However, the collection does offer plenty of case sizes and dial colors.

Oyster Perpetual (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Oyster Perpetual features

  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches
  • Stainless steel case water-resistant to 100 meters
  • Time-only dial
  • Three-link Oyster bracelet
  • Automatic movement
  • Retail price starting at US$5,100

Oyster Perpetual options

  • Sizes: 26mm (discontinued), 28mm, 31mm, 34mm, 36mm, 39mm (discontinued), 41mm
  • Dial colors: White, black, silver, blue, green, pink, red, yellow turquoise, blue, olive, grape, rhodium
Rolex Datejust (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Rolex Datejust

The Datejust is Rolex’s flagship watch model, often regarded as the most emblematic of the brand. The Rolex Datejust combines a water-resistant Oyster case, a Perpetual automatic movement, and a date window at the 3 o’clock position on the dial.

Rolex released the Datejust in 1945 to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary, pairing it with a new bracelet called the Jubilee. In 1957, the Lady-Datejust model joined the lineup as a smaller version made specifically for women. Early in the Datejust’s history, Rolex added a bubble-like magnification lens over the date window, called the Cyclops.

In addition to being one of Rolex’s oldest watch models still in production, the Datejust collection is one of the watchmaker’s most diverse. The Datejust is available in a range of sizes and materials, and the watch can be paired with a variety of bezel styles and dial designs. What’s more, along with the five-link Jubilee bracelet, Rolex eventually expanded the Datejust collection to include other bracelet options like the Oyster bracelet, the President bracelet and leather straps on select models. From simple stainless steel models to lavish gem-set gold variants, the Datejust line offers the most styles of all Rolex watch collections.

Rolex Datejust (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Datejust features

  • Rolex Datejust watches
  • Oyster cases water-resistant to 100 meters
  • Time and date functions
  • Date window at 3 o’clock with a Cyclops date magnification lens
  • Automatic movement

Datejust models and sizes

  • Lady-Datejust: 26mm (discontinued), 28mm
  • Datejust: 31mm, 36mm
  • Datejust II (discontinued): 41mm
  • Datejust 41: 41mm

Datejust options

  • Bezel: Fluted, smooth, or gem-set
  • Bracelet: Jubilee, Oyster, President, leather strap (discontinued)
  • Materials: Stainless steel, gold (white, yellow, rose), two-tone steel/gold, platinum
  • Retail price starting at US$6,500
Rolex Day-Date (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Rolex Day-Date

The Day-Date is Rolex’s most prestigious dress watch, first introduced in 1956. As its name suggests, the Rolex Day-Date includes a pair of calendar windows on the dial to indicate the day of the week and the date of the month. Rolex designed a new bracelet, called the President, for the launch of the Day-Date watch. The name of its iconic bracelet helps explain why the Day-Date is often referred to as the Rolex President or Rolex Presidential watch. Another reason the Day-Date is nicknamed “The President” is because the watch is often worn by some of the world’s most powerful people, including several American presidents.

Rolex Day-Date watches are exclusively made from precious metals such as gold or platinum, and are often embellished with diamonds and other precious gems. The watches are frequently paired with President bracelets but Rolex has also made Day-Date watches available with leather straps, Oyster bracelets and Pearlmaster bracelets.

For the first five decades of production, the Day-Date was only available with a 36mm case size. However, Rolex began offering larger Day-Date President watches starting in the 2000s. Today, Rolex offers the Day-Date with a 36mm or 40mm case.

Rolex Day-Date (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Day-Date features

Day-Date models and sizes

  • Day-Date 36: 36mm
  • Day-Date 40: 40mm
  • Day-Date II (discontinued): 41mm
  • Day-Date Masterpiece (discontinued): 39mm

Day-Date options

  • Bezel: Fluted, smooth, or gem-set
  • Bracelet: President, Oyster (discontinued), Pearlmaster (discontinued), leather strap (discontinued)
  • Materials: Yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, platinum, Tridor (three shades of gold)
  • Retail price starting at US$33,150
Rolex Submariner (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Rolex Submariner

The Rolex Submariner dive watch was released in 1953 to meet the needs of the relatively new sport of SCUBA diving. The Submariner was the world’s first watch that could withstand pressure down to 100 meters. Aside from impressive water resistance, divers could also take advantage of the Submariner’s rotating bezel to keep track of immersion times and the luminous dial permitted legibility underwater.

While the original Submariner featured a time-only dial, Rolex eventually expanded the collection with Submariner Date variants, complete with the Cyclops magnification lens over the date window at 3 o’clock. Today, the Submariner watch is still exclusively made in stainless steel, which is always paired with a black bezel and dial. On the other hand, the Submariner Date collection is more varied with a range of materials and colourways to choose from.

Rolex has continuously enhanced Submariner watches with deeper water resistance, better movements, and improved materials. For example, while vintage Submariners had aluminum bezels and acrylic crystals, modern Submariner watches feature ceramic bezels and sapphire crystals. In 2020, Rolex replaced the once-customary 40mm case size of the Submariner with larger 41mm versions.

Rolex Submariner (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Submariner features and options

  • Rolex Submariner watches
  • Sizes: 40mm (discontinued), 41mm
  • Stainless steel Oyster cases water-resistant to 300 meters
  • Black time-only dials
  • Black unidirectional rotating bezel graduated to 60 minutes in aluminum (discontinued) or ceramic
  • Oyster bracelet
  • Automatic movement
  • Retail price starting at US$8,100

Submariner Date features and options

  • Rolex Submariner Date watches
  • Sizes: 40mm (discontinued), 41mm
  • Materials: Stainless steel, white gold, yellow gold, two-tone steel/yellow gold
  • Oyster cases water-resistant to 300 meters
  • Date window at 3 o’clock with a Cyclops date magnification lens
  • Unidirectional rotating bezel graduated to 60 minutes in aluminum (discontinued) or ceramic
  • Bezel colors: Black, blue, green
  • Oyster bracelet
  • Automatic movement
  • Retail price starting at US$9,150
Rolex Sea-Dweller (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Rolex Sea-Dweller

Introduced in 1967, the Rolex Sea-Dweller diving watch was designed for saturation divers. The Sea-Dweller not only offers deeper water resistance than the Submariner but also comes fitted with a helium escape valve (HEV). The HEV serves to automatically release any molecules that may have settled into the watch from the special gas mix that saturation divers have to breathe in pressurized environments. Allowing helium to escape from the Sea-Dweller prevented it from having its crystal pop off during decompression periods.

Rolex has continuously updated the Sea-Dweller, with enhancements in water resistance, materials, and movements. The Sea-Dweller was briefly discontinued in the late 2000s, only to be brought back in 2014 with modern upgrades including a ceramic bezel.

In 2017, Rolex redesigned the Sea-Dweller with a larger case (43mm compared to the older 40mm versions) and added a Cyclops magnification lens to the crystal. Two years later, the first two-tone Sea-Dweller in steel and yellow gold joined the collection.

Rolex Sea-Dweller (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Sea-Dweller features and options

  • Rolex Sea-Dweller watches
  • Sizes: 43mm, 40mm (discontinued)
  • Materials: Stainless steel, two-tone steel/yellow gold
  • Rotating black bezel graduated to 60 minutes in aluminum (discontinued) or ceramic
  • Oyster cases water-resistant to 1,220 meters
  • Date window at 3 o’clock
  • Crystal with Cyclops or without Cyclops (discontinued)
  • Oyster bracelet
  • Automatic movement
  • Retail price starting at US$11,700
Rolex Deepsea (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Rolex Deepsea

Launched in 2008, the Deepsea Sea-Dweller (or DSSD for short) is Rolex’s most extreme diving watch. Thanks to its patented Ringlock architecture, the Deepsea features a 44mm steel case that is water and pressure-resistant to 3,900 meters deep. The Ringlock design includes a 5.5mm thick sapphire crystal, a nitrogen alloy steel ring inside the mid-case, and a titanium alloy caseback that’s secured to the ring by a screw-down steel ring.

As a dive watch, the Rolex Deepsea includes the essential unidirectional rotating timing bezel — crafted from ceramic — and a highly luminous dial. Although the Deepsea includes a date window on the dial, the crystal above it doesn’t have a Cyclops magnification lens.

In 2014, Rolex presented a special dial option in honour of James Cameron’s historic solo dive 10,908 meters into the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. This D-Blue dial, also known as the James Cameron dial, features a blue to black gradient colourway, and “DEEPSEA” is written in the same green shade as Cameron’s submersible.

Rolex Deepsea (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Deepsea features and options

  • 44mm stainless steel case with titanium alloy caseback, water resistant to 3,900 meters
  • Rotating black ceramic bezel graduated to 60 minutes
  • Date window at 3 o’clock
  • Black or D-Blue dial color
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Oyster bracelet
  • Automatic movement
  • Retail price starting at US$12,600
Rolex Explorer (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Rolex Explorer

The Explorer is one of Rolex’s simplest sports watches, first released in 1953 in honour of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s historic ascent to the top of Mount Everest. Rolex had furnished the expedition with Oyster Perpetual watches and the company used feedback from the crew on how the watches performed in such extreme environments to perfect the Explorer.

The Rolex Explorer has been a mainstay of the company’s catalogue since its inception, with only a handful of design modifications along the way. For example, Rolex has tinkered with the Explorer size, initially offering a 36mm case, then replacing it with a 39mm case, and as of 2021, returning to the original dimensions. Furthermore, the Explorer was only ever available in stainless steel until 2021, when Rolex introduced the first two-tone Explorer watch that combines steel and yellow gold.

A defining characteristic of the Rolex Explorer is its black time-only dial with oversized Arabic numerals at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. Like most modern Rolex watches, the Explorer features an Oyster case water-resistant to 100 meters and runs on an automatic movement.

Rolex Explorer (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Explorer features

  • Oyster cases water-resistant to 100 meters
  • Smooth bezel
  • Time-only black dials with numerals at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock
  • Oyster bracelet
  • Automatic movement

Explorer options

  • Rolex Explorer watches
  • Size: 36mm, 39mm (discontinued)
  • Material: Stainless steel, two-tone steel/gold
  • Retail price starting at US$6,450
Rolex Explorer II (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Rolex Explorer II

Like the Explorer, the Explorer II is also built for adventurers. However, the Explorer II, introduced in 1971, was developed with spelunkers in mind. As such, it offered wearers a way to differentiate between night and day hours while dwelling in dark caves via a luminous arrow-tipped hand that pointed to a 24-hour scale engraved into the bezel.

The arrow-tipped 24-hour hand of the first Rolex Explorer II reference could only serve as an AM/PM indicator because it was synced to the traditional 12-hour hand. However, on future Explorer II models, these two hands were decoupled, which meant that the arrow-tipped hand could now indicate a second time zone. Therefore, since the change, the Explorer II graduated to a GMT watch.

While Rolex had gradually increased the size of the Explorer II throughout the decades — from 38mm to 40mm to 42mm — the watch has only ever been made in stainless steel and fitted with an Oyster bracelet. The maiden Rolex Explorer II model was only available with a black dial but later references offer black or white dials, which are nicknamed “Polar” dials.

Rolex Explorer II (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Explorer II features

  • Rolex Explorer II watches
  • Steel Oyster cases water-resistant to 100 meters
  • Fixed 24-hour engraved bezel
  • Functions: time, date, second time zone indication
  • Crystal with Cyclops magnification lens
  • Oyster bracelet
  • Automatic movement

Explorer II options

  • Size: 38mm (discontinued), 40mm (discontinued), 42mm
  • Dial colors: black, white
  • Retail price: US$8,550
Rolex GMT-Master II (Image courtesy of Rolex)

GMT-Master and GMT-Master II

The GMT-Master is a dual-time watch, which Rolex released in 1954 specifically for commercial airline pilots. Thanks to the GMT-Master’s rotating 24-hour bezel and a pair of hour hands on the dial, pilots could now read reference time (GMT) and local time simultaneously. To set GMT, wearers simply had to rotate the bezel to align the appropriate numeral with the arrow-tipped 24-hour hand on the dial.

A notable design characteristic of the first GMT-Master reference was the half-blue and half-red bezel. This particular colour combination is now known as the “Pepsi” bezel and Rolex eventually added other two-tone colourways such as brown and yellow “Root Beer,” black and red “Coke,” and blue and black “Batman” to the collection. In 2022, Rolex introduced a left-handed GMT-Master II with a green and black bezel — the first ever of the collection.

In the 1980s, Rolex released the GMT-Master II, which looked similar to the original GMT-Master watches but was more mechanically advanced. The biggest difference between the GMT-Master I and II is the way the hour hands perform. On the GMT-Master, the 12-hour and 24-hour hands are synced, which means that the bezel has to be rotated to set the second time zone. Conversely, on the GMT-Master II, the hands are independent, thus the wearer can just move the 24-hour hand (without having to turn the bezel) to set the second time zone. Although the GMT-Master and GMT-Master II watches were produced alongside each other for some time, Rolex eventually dropped the original series in favour of the latter model.

Rolex GMT-Master and GMT-Master II collections offer plenty of variations in materials, bracelet types, bezel colours, and dial styles. Rolex also updated the GMT-Master II line in the mid-2000s to feature ceramic bezels rather than aluminum ones.

Rolex GMT-Master II (Image courtesy of Rolex)

GMT-Master features and options (discontinued)

  • Rolex GMT-Master watches
  • Sizes: 38mm (rare), 40mm
  • Materials: Stainless steel, yellow gold, two-tone steel/yellow gold
  • Dials with synced 12-hour and 24-hour hands, minute hand, seconds hand, date window
  • Crystal with Cyclops date magnification lens
  • Bi-directional 24-hour rotating bezel in Bakelite (rare) or aluminum
  • Bezel colours: blue/red, brown/yellow, brown, black
  • Bracelets: Jubilee, Oyster
  • Automatic movement

GMT-Master II features and options

  • 40mm case size water-resistant to 100 meters
  • Materials: Stainless steel, yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, steel/yellow gold, steel/rose gold
  • Dials with independent 12-hour and 24-hour hands, minute hand, seconds hand, date window
  • Crystal with Cyclops date magnification lens
  • Bi-directional 24-hour rotating bezel in aluminum or ceramic
  • Bezel colours: blue/red, blue/black, black/brown, black/red (discontinued), black (discontinued), brown (discontinued)
  • Bracelets: Jubilee, Oyster
  • Automatic movement
  • Retail price starting at US$9,500
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Cosmograph Daytona

The Cosmograph Daytona, better known as the Daytona, is Rolex’s chronograph model. Introduced in 1963, the watch is inspired by motorsports and takes its name from the famed racing speedway in Florida. Rolex has made three main generations of the Daytona, each defined by the type of movement that powers the watch.

Rolex Daytona chronographs made from the 1960s until the late-1980s were manual-winding models powered by Valjoux-based movements. They feature smaller 38mm cases fitted with a pair of chronograph pushers to control the central chronograph hand on the dial. The metal or aluminum bezels have a tachymeter scale to measure average racing speeds or distances while the dials are home to three subsidiary dials.

During the production of the manual-winding Daytona, Rolex offered the choice of standard dials or so-called “exotic dials,” characterized by Art Deco numerals and stylized hash-marks on the subdials. Daytona exotic dials are now known among collectors as the “Paul Newman” dial because the famous actor wore one. Vintage Rolex Daytona watches — particularly those with Paul Newman dials — are the most collectible (therefore, most expensive) vintage Rolex watches on the market. In 2017, Paul Newman’s very own Daytona “Paul Newman” shattered records for the most expensive Rolex ever sold when it was auctioned for US$17.8 million.

In 1988, Rolex replaced the manual-winding Daytona series with automatic Daytona watches, this time powered by Zenith El Primero-based movements. As a result, models from this particular generation are often referred to as “Zenith” Daytona watches. In addition to the new movement, the watches also received larger 40mm cases and restyled dials and bezels. What’s more, Rolex offered more material and bracelet options within the automatic Daytona range.

In the year 2000, Rolex unveiled a brand new Daytona collection that shared a similar style to the preceding generation but powered by in-house made Rolex movements. The watches retained the same case size but the dial layout was slightly altered to accommodate the new movement (the chronograph hour-counter and the small seconds subdials switched places). In 2011, Rolex introduced the first Daytona with a ceramic bezel. The ceramic bezel was initially available on a rose gold Daytona but the brand eventually made it available across other material options too. Modern Daytona watches, especially stainless steel models with ceramic bezels, are some of the most popular Rolex watches on today’s market.

Rolex Daytona (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Vintage Daytona features and options (discontinued)

  • Four-digit reference number
  • 38mm case in stainless steel or yellow gold
  • Standard dial or “Paul Newman” exotic dial
  • Central chronograph hand and three subsidiary dials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock
  • Tachymeter bezel in metal or black aluminum
  • Oyster bracelet
  • Manual-winding movement

Zenith Daytona features and options (discontinued)

  • Five-digit reference number
  • 40mm case with screw-down pushers and winding crown, water-resistant to 100 meters
  • Material: Stainless steel, yellow gold, white gold, two-tone steel/yellow gold
  • Central chronograph hand and three subsidiary dials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock
  • Metal bezel engraved with tachymeter scale
  • Oyster bracelet or leather strap
  • Automatic Zenith El Primero-based movement

Daytona features and options

  • Rolex Daytona watches
  • Six-digit reference number
  • 40mm case with screw-down pushers and winding crown, water-resistant to 100 meters
  • Material: Stainless steel, yellow gold, two-tone steel/yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, platinum
  • Central chronograph hand and three subsidiary dials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock
  • Tachymeter bezel in metal or ceramic
  • Oyster bracelet, rubber Oysterflex bracelet, or leather strap (discontinued)
  • Automatic in-house made movement
  • Retail price starting at US$13,150
Rolex Air-King (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Rolex Air-King

The Air-King was originally part of a greater collection of Rolex watches called the Air series, which was released post-WWII in honour of pilots that fought in the war. While the other Rolex Air watches were ultimately discontinued, the Air-King continued on. Though Rolex made a few variations such as the Air-King Date and gold Air-King, the vast majority of Air-King watches are stainless steel models with 34mm cases, Oyster bracelets, and straightforward time-only dials. These older Air-King references are some of the most affordable Rolex watches to buy in the pre-owned market.

In 2014, Rolex quietly dropped the Air-King from the collection but revived it just two years later. However, despite sharing the same name, the 2016 Rolex Air-King was markedly different from previous Air-King models. The newer iteration sported a larger 40mm stainless steel case and a dynamic black dial punctuated with both minute and hour markers, in addition to yellow and green accents. In 2022, a new Air-King was released with crown guards on the case and a new generation movement. The current Air-King is one of the very few Rolex watches without available variations and stands as a one-model collection.

Rolex Air-King (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Air-King 34 features and options (discontinued)

  • 34mm steel cases
  • Time-only dials
  • Bezel options: smooth steel, engine-turned steel, fluted white gold
  • Oyster bracelet
  • Automatic movements (majority are not COSC-certified)

Air-King 40

  • Rolex Air-King watches
  • 40mm steel case water resistant to 100 meters
  • Time-only black dial with hour markers at 3, 6, 9 and minute markers for the rest
  • Smooth steel bezel
  • Oyster bracelet
  • Automatic movement
  • Retail price: US$7,400
Rolex Milgauss (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Rolex Milgauss

The Milgauss antimagnetic watch made its debut in 1956, developed for the scientific community. Magnetic fields are detrimental to the timekeeping performance of watch movements. Therefore, to meet the needs of professionals that often found themselves working in high magnetic environments, Rolex designed the Milgauss to withstand 1,000 gauss of magnetism.

Although Rolex made a few different references of the Milgauss watch from the mid-20th century onwards, the brand discontinued the model in the 1980s due to a lack of interest. In an interesting turn of events, these once-unpopular older Milgauss models are now highly collectible and valuable in the vintage watch market.

In 2007, Rolex brought the Milgauss watch back, combining vintage-inspired details like the lightning bolt-shaped seconds hand with modern details such as a larger 40mm steel case. Rolex also introduced some Milgauss watches with green-tinted sapphire crystals, commonly known as “GV” Milgauss watches. Rolex has since stopped making Milgauss watches with clear crystals and only makes them with green ones.

Milgauss features and options

  • Rolex Milgauss watches
  • 40mm stainless steel case, water-resistant to 100 meters
  • Time-only dials with orange lightning-bolt seconds hand
  • Dial colors: black, Z-Blue, white (discontinued)
  • Sapphire crystal: green-tint, clear (discontinued)
  • Smooth bezel
  • Oyster bracelet
  • Automatic movement, antimagnetic to 1,000 gauss
  • Retail price: US$8,300
Rolex Yacht-Master (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Rolex Yacht-Master

The Rolex Yacht-Master is the brand's nautical watch, launched in 1992 and positioned as the ultimate luxury sports watch. The Yacht-Master includes a rotating timing bezel with a 60-minute scale, a date window on the dial, and a 100m water-resistant case. It always includes a precious metal component, either gold or platinum.

The Yacht-Master is Rolex’s most diverse sports watch range, available in a wide assortment of materials and sizes for men and women. The Yacht-Master is the only Rolex collection to offer Rolesium watches, which is the brand’s term for watches that combine stainless steel cases with platinum bezels.

In 2015, the Yacht-Master debuted Rolex’s newest bracelet design, called the Oysterflex. The Rolex Oysterflex bracelet is a black rubber strap that includes an interior metal blade for a sturdier structure — which is why it’s officially referred to as a bracelet and not a strap. In recent years, Rolex has also discontinued smaller sizes and added larger Yacht-Master options.

Yacht-Master features and options

  • Rolex Yacht-Master watches
  • Case sizes: 42mm, 40mm, 37mm, 35mm (discontinued), 29mm (discontinued), water-resistant to 100 meters
  • Case/bezel material: steel/platinum, white gold/ceramic, rose gold/ceramic, steel/rose gold, yellow gold (discontinued), steel/yellow gold (discontinued)
  • Rotating timing bezel with 60-minute scale
  • Date window on the dial at 3 o’clock with Cyclops magnification lens above it
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Bracelet: Oyster or Oysterflex
  • Automatic movement
  • Retail price starting at US$11,250
Rolex Yacht-Master II (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Rolex Yacht-Master II

The Yacht-Master II is Rolex’s regatta chronograph, developed for competitive sailors and launched in 2007. The Rolex Yacht-Master II is one of the brand’s most complex watches, featuring a 1-10 minute countdown function that not only boasts a mechanical memory but can also be synchronized on the fly. This allows the wearer to adjust the watch’s countdown to correspond to the regatta starting sequence. Furthermore, the Yacht-Master II includes a Ring Command bezel, which means turning the bezel controls some of the watch's functions.

Aside from being highly complex and the world’s only chronograph with a mechanical memory, the Yacht-Master II is also one of Rolex’s largest watches, with a 44mm case. Material options are varied but Rolex Yacht-Master II watches are exclusively paired with three-link Oyster bracelets and white dials.

Yacht-Master II features and options

  • Rolex Yacht-Master II watches
  • 44mm case water-resistant to 100 meters
  • Case/bezel materials: steel/blue ceramic, yellow gold/blue ceramic, rose gold and steel/blue ceramic, white gold/platinum
  • Ring Command bezel
  • White dial with center hour and minute hands, running seconds indicator at 6 o’clock, 1-10 minute programmable countdown indicator
  • Oyster bracelet
  • Automatic movement
  • Retail price starts at US$18,750
Rolex Sky-Dweller (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Rolex Sky-Dweller

The Sky-Dweller is not only Rolex’s newest watch collection, released in 2012, but also the brand’s most complex dress watch. The Sky-Dweller is an annual calendar, which means that it only needs a manual adjustment once a year, on March 1st (since February can have either 28 or 29 days). During the rest of the year, an annual calendar watch will continue to correctly indicate the date and month taking into consideration if a month has 30 or 31 days.

The Rolex Sky-Dweller has a 42mm case, available in a variety of metals, and is always topped with a fluted Ring Command bezel. Turning the bezel permits the wearer to choose which function of the watch to set. There are a dozen small windows around the periphery of the dial that serve to indicate the month. And as is customary, the date window sits at 3 o’clock. Finally, the Sky-Dweller is also a dual-time watch, with a second time zone 24-hour indicator placed slightly off-center on the dial.

Sky-Dweller features and options

  • Rolex Sky-Dweller watches
  • 42mm case water-resistant to 100 metres
  • Fluted Ring Command bezel
  • Material options: steel/white gold, steel/yellow gold, yellow gold, rose gold, white gold (discontinued)
  • Bracelet options: Oyster, Oysterflex, leather strap (discontinued)
  • Annual calendar with month and date indication, dual-time watch with secondary time zone displayed via 24-hour ring
  • Automatic movement
  • Retail price starts at US$14,800
Rolex Cellini Moonphase (Image courtesy of Rolex)

Rolex Cellini

Introduced in the 1960s, the Cellini collection was Rolex’s range of dress watches that were not Oyster Perpetual models — which is to say that they did not have waterproof cases and automatic movements. Instead, Cellini watches emphasized creative designs over robustness, and the collection featured all sorts of case shapes (always fashioned from precious metals) and early models ran on hand-wound movements. However, Rolex did eventually add quartz and automatic watches to the Cellini collection. Over the decades, the Cellini collection housed dozens of different models such as the asymmetrical Midas, round Classic, cushion-shaped Danaos, rectangular Prince, and others.

In 2014, Rolex revamped the entire Cellini line by discontinuing all previous versions and introducing a streamlined collection of automatic models that all share similar designs but different functions. The Rolex Cellini line is now home to four different models: Cellini Time, Cellini Date, Cellini Dual Time, and Cellini Moonphase. Modern Cellini watches feature 39mm cases, double bezels with fluting and smooth finishes, and leather straps. While the Time, Date, and Dual Time editions are available in white or rose gold, the Moonphase edition is only offered in rose gold.

Modern Cellini features and options

  • Rolex Cellini watches
  • 39 mm gold case, water-resistant to 50 metres
  • Models: Cellini Time, Cellini Date, Cellini Dual Time, Cellini Moonphase
  • Materials: White gold, rose gold
  • Fluted and smooth double bezels
  • Sapphire crystals
  • Leather straps
  • Automatic movements
  • Retail price starting at US$17,900

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