You’ve got questions about Rolex watches, and we’ve got answers. The first is a no-brainer. Are Rolex watches really so different from other brands? Yes, in quite a few ways. Let’s look at some.
Rolex Watches Materials
Rolex uses a much higher grade of steel than most other watch manufacturers, going with low-carbon 905L stainless steel in their timepieces. Most brands, even high-end luxury names, use 316L steel. The grade Rolex uses is tougher, largely due to additions of molybdenum, copper, chromium and nickel, which makes it harder to work with, but turns out a much stronger corrosion-resistant result.
If you’ve ever picked up a gold Rolex you’ve probably been struck by the weight. That’s because Rolex uses solid gold, from cases and bracelets to crowns and a host of other parts. A lot of other brands with names nearly as prestigious as Rolex use gold plating in some or all of their components. Then there’s Rolex’s Everose gold. That pink hue on the signature alloy Rolex introduced in 2005 comes from a unique combination of pure gold with small amounts of platinum and copper, which gives it powers to resist fading for years longer than gold-only watches.
Manufacturing Rolex Watches
Most watch brands outsource at least some of the work, from the smallest of components to complete movements. Not with Rolex. They do everything in-house. That means they make every single tiny gear, spring, and screw. They built their own foundry at their headquarters in Switzerland to smelt gold, steel, and platinum for the ability to handle everything on their own. While some machines are employed, the overwhelming majority of the work is done by the hands of arguably the world’s highest-trained watchmakers.
The Only True Chronographs
Now the word “chronograph” gets thrown around a lot. In general use, the word just means that a timepiece has a stopwatch function. By that definition, a plastic watch you can pick up at the supermarket is a chronograph. For Swiss watchmakers, the word chronograph means so much more. Formed in 1973 to ferret out dubious claims by watchmakers, the Swiss organization Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (or COSC) has strict parameters for certifying chronographs. Very few watches, in fact only 3% of Swiss watches, pass their scrutiny. All Rolex watches are COSC certified, and Rolex is the only brand that can make that 100% true chronometer claim.
Where Should I Buy Rolex Watches?
Back in the early days of the internet, you would have been taking a big chance to buy Rolex online. But we’ve had a public internet for over three decades now and that’s given a lot of sites time to mature and establish their reputations and authority. So you can feel safe buying a Rolex watch from an established website.
When we’re talking about new Rolex watches, things are a bit simpler. Look at the top sites, compare prices and features, and click. Going pre-owned presents some challenges. You have to consider the watch’s condition: mint, worn but well, or the dangerous territory of “fixer-upper.” Do your research, but in all cases best if you have the original paperwork.
If you want to go old-school and walk into a retailer, chances are you’ll pay a higher price. It depends on the store, and the country. You might think Switzerland is the cheapest place to buy them, as Rolexes are made there, but it’s actually one of the most expensive places to pick one up. You’d do better in countries like Japan and Hong Kong, where they’re crazy about watches and the sheer volume of what’s available is high, driving the prices down for both new and used watches. And you will find a lot of pre-owned Rolexes all across Asia.
Which Rolex Models Hold Their Value the Best?
In general, Rolex watches retain their value pretty well, so any model you buy will fetch a decent price upon resale. But a few shine brighter. Mostly due to name recognition. With a history that goes back nearly a century, and the stamp of approval from James Bond, the Rolex Submariner holds its value particularly well. The fact that it’s a dive watch built for durability makes it especially attractive to the resale market. The Rolex Day Date is another model that should bring in a nice price should you decide to sell. It’s got (pun intended) timeless style and elegance that will never go out of fashion. The Yacht-Master and Yacht-Master II are more models that owe their valuation to toughness, waterproof timepieces that were built to last. They’re also bold timepieces with iconic looks that watch aficionados will never tire of.
What Should I Buy for My First Rolex Watch?
Much of that depends on you. How will you wear it? Will it be for work, dress casual occasions, or everyday use? Can you afford one? The prices run from a few thousand to up into the stratosphere. Why do you want one? Is it a status thing or are you truly interested in fine watches? Then consider size. Are you going with a big watch or is your wrist suited for something more subtle? A case diameter of 41mm can be considered the line between oversized and not, and most Rolexes are between 36mm and 41mm, though there are larger. As for the model, well, once you’ve taken an honest look at yourself and what you want, that should be a bit clearer.
With over a century of history, there’s a lot to learn when considering Rolex watches. It can be overwhelming if you want to delve into the details. But there’s true reward in the end. And there are answers to all of your questions.