When it comes to luxury timepieces, few brand names evoke quite the same level of awe and admiration as Rolex. Synonymous with the utmost in quality and renowned for its expert craftsmanship and timeless styles, it’s a brand that many aspire to add to their collection. In fact, for collectors, one just isn’t enough – because why have only one breath-taking watch in your repertoire, when you could have one for each day of the week?
Rolex has been reigning supreme in the world of watches for an entire century now, and is easily one of the most recognised names in the world. If you’re looking to invest in a watch that could become a family heirloom, passed down through the generations for years to come, then look no further – because this brand, just like its exquisite timepieces, is guaranteed to stand the test of time.
Here, we take a look at four of the finest and most iconic models that, years later, still command the same respect they did at the time of their launch.
The classic diving watch to which all others aspire, Rolex’s Submariner has got to be the most iconic model of the entire collection. Created in 1953, it was the first watch to break the 100m depth barrier – a victory for the brand that reaffirmed its lofty position in the quality stakes, if it ever needed it.
The Submariner has come a long way since those days, with the latest model able to be worn in depths of up to 300m. It’s no longer the deepest diving model the brand offers – you’ll need the Sea-Dweller if you want to step things up a notch – but its classic design, despite its technological advances, remains relatively unchanged. Featuring its original unidirectional rotating diving bezel and lume-covered indexes, the classic version comes in steel with a vibrant blue face. The famous Rolex hour hand tops it off, adding an extra dash of style and sophistication, for a timepiece that will last you a lifetime. If you’re going to invest in just one Rolex watch, then make it this one.
The GMT Master II
Designed with pilots in mind during the golden era of transatlantic aviation, the GMT Master II is arguably the most iconic dual time zone watch in the world. The earlier model, the GMT I, allowed the simultaneous tracking of two different time zones, with bezel and 24-hour hand linked directly to the local time – but this new and improved version further upped the ante by allowing the wearer to track three time zones all at once.
In recent years, Rolex has launched new colourways and a modernised model that went down a storm with die-hard Rolex collectors. Models like these don’t stick around long, and remain some of the most difficult to get hold of.
The utmost in glamour and sophistication, Rolex’s iconic Daytona watch is arguably the single most sought-after timepiece in the entire world, with waiting lists difficult enough to get onto in the first place – never mind reach the front of.
This stunning archetypal racing watch has been a key player on the luxury timepiece scene since it was first released back in 1963, and unlike many watches that have their moment in the limelight before fading into the background to make way for the new, the Daytona has only seen its popularity continue to surge.
The Cosmograph Daytona is the latest and most modernised iteration of this classic model, and retains its famous tachymetre bezel, which calculates average speed. Still the only chronograph model in the entire Rolex line-up besides the niche YachtMaster, it features the same trio of chronograph subdials it always has.
Designed for the adrenaline-seeking gentleman, the Explorer is the perfect choice for outdoorsy types who refuse to compromise on style. Built to withstand the elements, the original features a robust 3132 calibre movement, while the Explorer II steps it up a notch with its neon orange 24-hour hand and fixed 24-hour bezel, allowing for time-telling in the dark. Slightly larger than the original 39mm size at 42mm, both are iconic sports timepieces that are well worth the investment for the active and adventurous gentleman.
There is no watch brand that is more worth the investment than Rolex, so if you’re planning to start or grow your collection this year, then look no further than these four iconic models, all of which are guaranteed to stand the test of time.
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