Professional Rolex user's guide and price list 2020
When Rolex revealed its new for 2020 price list, at the end of 2019, enthusiasts and collectors of the crowned brand all of a sudden divided into two groups. There were those lucky enough to have got their hands on their new Rolex watch before the price increase, and those who were still on the waiting list, eager to pick their new professional Rolex watch anytime soon. The latter paid a 12% price increase on their purchase, occasionally. Globally, hence considering multiple currencies, the Rolex price list has increased, according to our estimates, over 7%, on average, with mark-ups of up to 12% on specific product references, as stated above.
The Rolex price list by collection
The Rolex watch catalog is divided into two major product families: the Oyster Perpetual collection and the Cellini collection. Within the Oyster Perpetual collection, Rolex further splits the group into professional watches and non-professional watches. Today, we'll take a look at products and updated price list of professional Rolex watches. If we sort the new price list by price range, starting from the most accessible to the most expensive one, the professional Rolex catalog can be briefly summarized as follows:
- Rolex Air-King - retail price: 6150 Euro
- Rolex Explorer - entry-level retail price: 6200 Euro
- Rolex Submariner - entry-level retail price: 7550 Euro
- Rolex Milgauss - retail price: 7950 Euro
- Rolex GMT-Master 2 - entry-level retail price: 9150 Euro
- Rolex Yacht-Master - entry-level retail price: 10.750 Euro
- Rolex Sea-Dweller e Rolex Deepsea - entry-level retail price: 11.500 Euro
- Rolex Daytona - entry-level retail price: 12.600 Euro
As you'll notice, in preparing this ranking, we took, for each collection, the cheapest model and prices, where available. Some professional Rolex models come in steel, Rolesor, gold, or even Platinum. In contrast, others, such as the Rolex Explorer and the Rolex Milgauss, are available exclusively with Oystersteel case and bracelet. Here is why we refer to an entry-level price.
Rolex Air-King: the story of the Rolex Air-King
The Rolex Air-King celebrates Rolex's long-standing connection with the world of aviation. The first-ever model dates back to 1958, but it was the year 1933 when the first Oyster watches became aviators' best companions, as that's the case of the Houston expedition, whose crew flew over Mount Everest, and at an altitude of more than 10,000 meters, under severe weather conditions. In 1934, Owen Cathcart-Jones and Ken Waller flew from London to Melbourne, and back, aboard a double-engine De Havilland "Comet," using a Rolex Oyster as an on-board chronometer. The modern Air-King is a tribute to the early days of aviation but to recent times as well. The current Air-King's dial draws inspired by counters that appear on the supersonic Bloodhound SSC vehicle's dashboard.
Product variants and pricing of the Rolex Air-King
The Air-King is available in a single version, in Oystersteel, whose price point is slightly below the Rolex Explorer. The reference 116900 is the cheapest professional Rolex you can buy, priced at 6150 Euros.
After all, the Air-King watch collection has always been the most accessible Rolex collection.
The Rolex Explorer: the story of the Rolex Explorer
As the name suggests, the Explorer celebrates Rolex's link with the world of exploration. Explorers, scientists, speleologists have tested the Rolex Explorer in the harshest possible conditions, like polar freeze or hard heat. From the 1930s onwards, the Oyster watches have been part of the equipment to countless expeditions to the Himalaya, for example. In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, members of a British team led by Sir John Hunt, were the first ever to reach the peak of Mount Everest. In 1955, another British expedition conquered Kangchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world (8,586 meters). More recently, Ed Viesturs, one of the most famous American high-altitude professional climbers, climbed some twenty of the most demanding peaks on the planet, including Mount Everest, seven times, while wrapping an Oyster Perpetual Explorer II around his wrist.
The price list of Rolex Explorer and Rolex Explorer 2
The legacy of the two models introduced in 1955 and 1971 is the only time reference 214270, 39 mm across, featuring a black dial, Arabic numerals, and baton applied indices.
The other option si the reference 216570 sporting a 42mm diameter case, GMT function, and white or black dial.
The reference 214270 costs 6,200 euros, while the reference 216570 costs 7,950 euros.
The Rolex Submariner: the story of the Rolex Submariner
The Rolex Submariner is a true icon of the Swiss brand and one of the most successful timepieces in the history of watchmaking. Although it is, mistakenly, considered the first commercial diving watch, it is no doubt the most coveted and widely appreciated by divers and those who approach the brand, who consider the Submariner their first option when buying a Rolex. It is the legacy of the first-ever waterproof watch in history, the Rolex Oyster, launched in 1926 and tested by Mercedes Gleitze while swimming across the English Channel. The first Rolex Submariner in history dates back to 1953, it was waterproof up to 100 meters, had a steel bracelet with rivets and no date at all. The first Rolex Submariner from 1953 was successfully tested by the French engineer Dimitri Rebikoff. Tirelessly improved and upgraded, it is a brand's pillar. The Rolex 5513 reference, for example, is one of the most sought after; we reviewed one from the early eighties a few months ago.
Variants and prices of the Rolex Submariner
The Rolex 2020 price list starts at 7550 Euros with the Rolex Submariner 114060, also known as Sub No Date. The price rises to 8550 Euros for the reference 116610LN (LN = black bezel, in French) and 8950 Euros for the Hulk reference 116610LV (LV = where LV stands for the green bezel, in French). You can read our in-depth review of the Rolex 114060 if you're looking to discover how it performs.
As we move up, we discover the reference 116613LB and 116613LN in Rolesor, with the case in Oystersteel and yellow gold, priced at 13.500 Euros.
In contrast, the full yellow gold reference 116618LB (LB = blue bezel, in French) cost 34,200 Euros, and, finally, the white gold reference 116619LB costs Euro 36,800.
Unlike the GMT-Master versions, the Rolex Submariner adopts, on the most precious versions, only yellow gold or white gold.
Rolex Milgauss: the story of the Rolex Milgauss
The name Milgauss is a crasis of the words Mille and Gauss, the latter being the measurement unit for magnetic fields. Magnetic fields affect the precision rate of a mechanical watch, that's why Rolex patented a device to help scientists protect their watches while working under intense laboratory magnetic fields. Rolex's technical solution is the addition of a soft iron case around the movement to protect it against the effects of surrounding magnetic fields.
Variants and prices of the Rolex Milgauss
The Rolex Milgauss is available in two product variants or versions: they both feature the reference 116400GV but offer a green or black dial. 2020 listed price is 7,950 Euros.
Rolex GMT-Master 2: the story of the Rolex GMT Master 2
We wrote a lot about the Rolex GMT Master 2 in the last two years and uncovered more than once the story behind this iconic Rolex watch that allows you to display up to three time zones simultaneously. The GMT Master 2 debuted in 1954 as reference 6542 and became familiar with most commercial pilots who used it while flying across different timezones. The original reference featured a rotating bezel with Plexiglas disc, the scale, and colors printed on the backside, and become immediately popular. The reference 6542 was then followed by reference 1675, introduced in 1982, which anticipated the current ones equipped with a Cerachrom ceramic bezel.
Versions, references, and prices of the Rolex GMT Master 2
The GMT Master 2 is available in six versions, all highly sought after and hard to get, especially those in Oystersteel, like the reference 126710BLRO, also known as "Pepsi," and the reference 126710BLNR known as "Batman."
The reference 126710BLNR and the reference 126710BLRO both cost Euro 9250. We reviewed both of these product references.
The upscale version, made in Oystersteel and 18-carat Everose rose gold, is the reference 126711CHNR, which costs Euros 14,200 and is characterized by a black and brown Cerachrom inlay on the bezel.
That's why watch collectors nicknamed it "The Root-Beer."
The three full gold versions are the reference 126715CHNR in Everose rose gold, which costs 36,700 Euros, like the white gold version with a blue dial (which houses the new caliber 3285 since 2019) known as reference 126719BLRO. At Baselworld 2019, Rolex introduced the reference 126719BLRO featuring a meteorite dial. Its price is Euros 38,300.
Rolex Yacht-Master: the story of the Rolex Yacht-Master
The Yacht-Master celebrates Rolex's link with the world of sailing. Oyster Perpetual models have been on many sailors' wrist during their round-the-world endeavors. Sir Francis Chichester, the first man to circle the globe in 1966, had an Oyster on his wrist. These expeditions laid the foundations of the new Yacht-Master. The first Yacht-Master appeared in 1992 with the reference 16628 in 18-carat yellow gold. In 1997, the Rolex Yacht-Master in Rolesium came out; Rolesium is a 1932 Rolex patent that combines stainless steel (for case and crown) and Platinum for the dial and bezel. Reference 16622 is also known as Platinum Yacht-Master.
Versions, references, and prices of the Rolex Yacht-Master
The Yacht-Master collection is quite broad and includes cases of 37, 40, 42, and even 44mm featuring a stunning mechanical complication. Among the only-time models are the Yacht-Masters 37, the Yacht-Master 40, and the Yacht-Master 42.
Rolex Yacht-Master 37
It is available in four variants that we can sort as follows: the Rolesium reference 268622 costs 10750 Euro, the Rolesor reference 268621 costs 12.600 Euro.
The two versions in Everose rose gold are the reference 268655 which costs 22,250 Euros and is also available with a dial decorated with diamonds for 39,350 Euros.
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 and 42.
The 40mm diameter case collection replicates the 37mm wide's base design.
The Rolesium Yacht-Master in Oystersteel and Platinum, reference 126622, is priced at 11,400 Euros, followed by the Rolesor reference 126621 in Oystersteel and Everose rose gold which costs 13,900 Euros.
Finally, the reference 126655 in rose gold with Oysterflex rubber strap and gold clasp costs 26,150 Euros. This version was followed, in 2019, by a white gold version sporting a 42mm large case.
It is reference 26659 and costs 27.650 Euros. Both this one and the 40mm Everose gold variant sport a graduated Cerachrom ceramic disc for the first time. Rolex has defined the Oysterflex version as the "nautical watch" par excellence.
Rolex Yacht-Master 2
It is a Regatta watch, designed by Rolex to allow the measurement of the countdown to the start of a regatta. Not only is this the Yacht-Master complicated par excellence, but it also comes with a bold 44m case, across.
It is available in four versions: the reference 116680 in Oystersteel steel costs 17,900 Euros, the reference 116681 in Oystersteel steel, and Everose rose gold costs 24,350 Euros. Finally, the reference 116688 in yellow gold costs 41,700 Euros, and the 116689 in white gold and Platinum has a price on request.
Rolex Sea-Dweller and Rolex Deepsea: the story of the Rolex Sea-Dweller and Deepsea
Rolex's tradition in crafting professional diving watches dates back to 1960 when Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard piloted the Trieste bathyscaphe down to the deepest spot in the Mariana Trench. Fastened to that bathyscaphe was the Rolex Deep Sea Special, an experimental watch that was the first watch to withstand a depth of 10916 meters while running correctly. James Cameron, aboard the Challenger Deep, replicated that experience in 2012, using the Rolex Deepsea Challenge. The first Rolex Sea-Dweller, the reference 1655, was launched in 1965 and was the first watch to have been ever equipped with a helium escape valve, making, therefore, the Sea-Dweller the first professional watch designed for saturation diving.
Versions, references, and prices of the Rolex Sea-Dweller and Deepsea
There are currently two versions of the Sea-Dweller, the reference 126600 in Oystersteel, which costs 11,500 Euros and the reference 126603 presented at Baselworld 2019, which costs 15,900 Euros.
Rolex then added in 2008 the Rolex Deepsea, capable of surviving at a 3900 meters depth under sea level.
It is currently available in two references, the 126660, which costs 12,050 Euros and the same one but with blue and black dial, called D-Blue, which costs 12,350 Euros.
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona: the story of the Cosmograph Daytona
We have extensively covered the history of the Rolex Daytona in a detailed article I suggest you read. Let me here summarize the most important milestones. The Rolex Cosmograph appeared in 1963, as reference 6239, an evolution of the 6238 known today as Pre-Daytona. Among its pluses, it featured a large bezel and super legible tachymeter scale.
The following model, reference 6240, introduces an innovative feature that is highly appreciated today, which is the screw-tightened chronograph push-buttons, to guarantee water tightness and avoid inadvertent activation of the Chrono pushers.
In 1988, Rolex introduced the first automatic Cosmograph Daytona, showcasing a 40mm large case, and a Zenith El Primero derived caliber, with lowered running frequency. This caliber, the 4030, will be then replaced by in-house Rolex 4130 manufacture caliber with the introduction of reference 116520. In 2012, the Cerachrom ceramic bezel first appeared on the platinum version, reference 116506, and then came the gold variants with a strap too. In 2016, Rolex introduced the highly sought-after option in Oystersteel and ceramic Cerachrom bezel. The latter is by far one of the most wanted Rolex watches, with waiting lists of more than two years, when I'm writing.
Versions, references, and prices of the Cosmograph Daytona
The Daytona reference 116500LN with both black and white dial is among the professional Rolex watches to have undergone the most significant price increase, 9% over the previous price list.
They both cost 12,600 Euros. The price increase for the Oystersteel steel and yellow gold versions, reference 116503, which now cost 16,750 euros, is limited to 6%. These versions are less sought after, while the versions with a gold case and Oysterflex bracelet are not.
The reference 116515LN in Everose gold costs 28,450 Euros, the 116519LN in white gold costs 28,450 Euros; Finally, 27,250 euros is the price to pay for the reference 116518LN in yellow gold.
Finally, let's take a look at the Full Gold Rolex Daytona: the yellow gold version reference 116508, which costs 35,100 Euros. The Daytona reference 11659 in white gold costs 37,300 Euros, while the one in Everose rose gold costs 37,100 Euros and comes as reference 116505.
For additional information please visit Rolex.com
(Photo credit: courtesy of Rolex, Horbiter®'s proprietary)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®