The Types of Rolex Watches

Rolex is a highly regarded purveyor of luxury timepieces, featuring a collection of classic dress and sports watches in a variety of feature sets.  Options range from modest dress watches to bold statement pieces adorned with precious metals and gems. Depending on your style, there is a Rolex watch to suit your wrist.  While the brand’s collection consists primarily of their core models, there are several different variations of those watches to choose from, both at retail and on the pre-owned market.

Dress Watches

The dress watch collection includes a handful of models.  The Oyster Perpetual is one of the brand’s longest series-produced timepieces and boasts an innovative waterproof Oyster case as well as a self-winding movement.  The Rolex Datejust catalog takes the style of the Oyster Perpetual up a notch by including a date mechanism within the movement that switches over at midnight.  A little over a decade after the Datejust debuted in 1945, the brand also released the Day-Date which, as its name suggests, offers both the day spelled out in full on the dial as well as an automatically changing date display.  The catalog also features the Oyster Date which is presented on a slightly smaller 34mm case. In 2012, Rolex added a brand new dress watch to their catalog in the form of the Sky-Dweller, which boasts a larger size and weight and a handful of impressive functions displayed on the dial.

The Cellini also falls within the dress watch category, offering simple and sophisticated cases with beautifully curved lines and clean dials.  Inspired by the works of Italian sculptor and artist Benvenuto Cellini, the line itself is a work of art.

Rolex dress watches are often worn on either a five-piece link Jubilee or three-piece link Oyster bracelet and range in case sizes from 34mm to 42mm in diameter.  Stainless steel, precious metal, or two-tone options are available throughout the dress watch collection, creating a broad range of prices to appeal to any budget.

Sport Watches

Rolex’s collection of sports watches began to take shape in the 1950s with the introduction of such classics as the Submariner, GMT Master, and Explorer.  Each model offers a different professional application and often includes a timing bezel, a dedicated hand on the dial, and a luminous display.

The Rolex Submariner (300m/1,000ft), Sea-Dweller (1,220m/4,000ft), and Deepsea (3,900m/12,800ft) are all dive watches, offering various depth ratings for commercial or deep saturation diving.  The cases are topped with a unidirectional bezel that moves forward only for a safe reading as well as a dial topped with a luminous display and a secure Oyster bracelet. The Yacht-Master offers a similar design as the Submariner but was developed as a sailing watch with a depth rating of up to 100 meters and a bi-directional regatta bezel.  

The catalog also includes the Cosmograph Daytona which was developed as a racing watch and features a sophisticated chronograph movement and a Tachymeter scale.  The Explorer line was developed as a mountaineering watch and offers an incredibly tough waterproof Oyster case and a highly visible dial. Its cousin, the Explorer II, was developed for spelunking and boasts a similar design as its predecessor as well as a 24-hour fixed bezel for tracking day and night hours.  Rolex also offers the GMT Master II pilot’s watch equipped with a 24-hour rotatable bezel and an independent GMT hand for reading up to three time zones simultaneously.

The Air-King and Milgauss are two of the most overlooked models in the brand’s catalog, offering a time-only dial and a smooth bezel.  The Air-King was initially designed as a pilot’s watch and now features a dial topped with a luminous display and striking green accents on modern references.  The Milgauss boasts an innovative casing around the movement, allowing it to withstand immense magnetic fields and making it an ideal choice for those who work in highly magnetic environments, such as scientists, medical professionals, and power plant workers.

Women’s Rolex Watches

Rolex also produces ladies variations of their classic timepieces, offering a more flattering size and weight via smaller cases and sleeker bracelets than the men’s models.  The Rolex Ladies’ collection includes the Lady-Datejust, Ladies Oyster Perpetual, Lady-Date, Pearlmaster, and Ladies Yacht-Master, some of which have been discontinued and are only available on the secondary market.

ConclusionRegardless of who you are or what you’re looking for, Rolex has an option that will fulfil your watch needs. Should you be into diving, fashion, or if you’re on the market for a smaller sized watch there is always a Rolex option for you.