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by Theresa DiMartini July 01, 2020 4 min read

With technology and design in the watch world constantly evolving at a rapid pace, you can’t help but love the feeling of slowing down for a minute just to be enamored and captivated by beautiful vintage timepieces. If you’ve ever walked into an antique shop you know what I’m talking about. Time stands still as you are immediately filled with sights and smells that remind you of your grandma’s cupboard or your grandfather's old cigar box. That sentimental longing and wistful affection for the past makes you pause and reflect on just how far things have come. 

Since the invention of Rolex Watches by the visionary Hans Wilsdorf in the early 1900s, the brand has produced countless beautiful, high-quality and iconic watches. The watches have evolved so much over the past 100 years. Below are 3 iconic and rare vintage watches that will leave you feeling nostalgic for the past and also leave you shocked at their resale value. One we list below recently sold for over $1.57 million dollars!

1.The Rolex Oyster Triple Calendar Chronograph on Bracelet (Reference 6236)

rare vintage rolex watches
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Swoon! This gorgeous and highly complicated watch was manufactured in the late 1950’s - early 1960’s, yet looks like it provides almost as much information to the wearer as my brand new Apple Watch. While many chronograph watches can come off looking busy, this watch displays the information in a balanced and perfectly aesthetic way. The blue arabic numbers on the outer track remind me of the baby-blue faced Stella dial produced a few years later.  This Rolex watch was nick-named the “Jean Claude Killy” after a famous French Olympic Skier by the same name. The Rolex bracelet was available in yellow and pink gold, and also stainless steel. What makes this Rolex watch extra rare is that the Reference 6236 is the last Rolex reference that combines a triple calendar and chronograph complications. I’m obsessed with all day-date Rolexes but this one is just so very special. This particular Rolex sold for a whopping $149,000 USD in 2015 at Christie’s in Geneva, Switzerland. 

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Other equally gorgeous and similar versions of the Rolex Oyster Triple Calendar Chronograph on Bracelet (Reference 6236) , such as the image above have sold for upwards of $350,000 USD in recent years. 

2. Rolex Day-Date with Yellow Lacquered “Stella” Dial (Reference 1803)

rare vintage rolexes

The watch shown above is a very rare Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date with a yellow lacquered “Stella” dial. This is an automatic watch with an 18k gold Rolex watch band made in 1977. This watch sold for $131,250 USD at Christie’s in Dubai in 2019.

A Rolex Day-Date is my absolute favorite type of Rolex watch. Originally unveiled in 1955, Day-Dates are still considered to be one of the company’s most prestigious watches. They’ve been worn by countless celebrities, athletes, and even presidents. But although there are a lot of Day-Dates out there, none compare to the unique beauty of a brightly colored “Stella” dial, which is certainly a fun and light-hearted take on an otherwise serious watch.

Made in the late 1970’s and early 80’s these watches have an iconic and instantly recognizable look. The dial colors are so unique and rare which is what makes these vintage timepieces so highly coveted. We took a deeper look into “Stella” watches here!

rare vintage rolexes
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Dial colors were available in a whole assortment of beautiful shades such as green, turquoise, seafoam green, oxblood, and salmon. What makes Stella dials so special is that the colors were mixed by hand and then applied in multiple layers. This means that no two dial colors were ever quite the same. A variety of different bezels and indices were also available, along with various watch straps and watch bracelets.

rare vintage rolexes
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Above is the “Stella” Day-Date in blue. It’s almost impossible not to be in love with this blue color. It brings back nostalgia of my favorite childhood crayon (if you know, you know), Tiffany jewelry boxes tied up with bows, and also the beautiful blue numbers on the outer ring of the Rolex Oyster Triple Calendar Chronograph (Ref 6236).

3. Rolex Oyster Perpetual (Ref. 6062) with star dial and moon faces. This watch is an 18k gold automatic watch with a triple calendar function and certified chronometer. This Rolex watch sold for a whopping $1,572,500 at Christie’s in New York in 2018.

rolex watch band

According to Christie’s, “many collectors and scholars consider the 6062 the most prestigious Rolex model ever made.” It is one of only two Rolex models to feature a triple calendar, the other being the Reference 8171 ‘Padellone’. These two models were the only watches ever made in series with moon phases, until the introduction of the Cellini Reference 50535 in 2017. You might be shocked that this Rolex watch is yet another Day-Date (can you tell they’re my favorite?). This watch appears to be on a leather watch strap, but other versions can be found on steel and gold watch bracelets. Those Rolex watches with a ‘Star Dial’, also known as ‘Stelline’ (shown above), are particularly scarce. This particular rare vintage watch (Reference 6062) in yellow gold, was nicknamed the ‘Dark Star’ and became the talk of the watch world when it sold at Christie’s in 2018 for $1.57 million dollars. 

So there you have it: 3 rare, vintage Rolex watches that you now can add to your collective knowledge of everything watch related! If you’re lucky enough to have any of these (or these) in your collection, we envy you! Of course if you just have some “regular” ole Rolexes, Panerais or Tudors like we do, you can always head on over to Everest Bands for all of your aftermarket Rolex rubber strap and Rolex leather strap options! We even have some fun Nato straps to help enhance your watch wearing experience. Preserving your Rolex, Tudor, or Panerai bracelet with an Everest Band may help increase the chances that the watch you’re wearing right now might end up like some of these beautiful and highly valuable vintage timepieces in the future! Head over to Everestbands.com to pick yours out today to start preserving the integrity of your watch immediately.

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Theresa DiMartini
Theresa DiMartini



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