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The Everest Journal

by Li Wang August 04, 2021 2 min read

Everyone who wants a Rolex steel sport watch may be having a hard time holding out any longer. Are there possible grey market deals that will satisfy that itch? Anecdotally, a recent visit to the new Rolex boutique in the Meatpacking District of New York City showed a small sampling on non-bejeweled 36mm Datejusts available in the case. It might be possible to get a classic Datejust at retail immediately or with a shorter wait than, say, a new Submariner.

Photo by HQ Milton

A five-digit Explorer I is selling for $6,450 on HQ Milton at the moment. The 14720 for 1999 is a solid purchase as it features lumed numerals at 3, 6 and 9 and, of course, comes in the classic 36mm case size. Rock solid movement and in this particular case the Oyster bracelet is in excellent condition. It’s a fantastic all-arounder and in my opinion is just as satisfying as the new version which is selling on the secondhand market at around $12K, so nearly double what HQ Milton is selling the five-digit version for. Hodinkee penned a piece discussing the merits of the 14720.

Photo by HQ Milton

An unpolished and unique Datejust 16233 also is available on HQ Milton for $6,050. This offering is two-tone and features a black Roman pyramid dial, giving the watch an interesting look to the dial. The entire combination is hot. The gold Roman numerals really distinguishes it from the pack.

Photo by David SW

If you have been searching for a Milgauss, David SW has a black dial 116400 available for $9,785. Retail is $8,300, so this markup isn’t insane if you are looking for that particular look in a modern Rolex package. Rumors of the Milgauss being discontinued or changed may be another reason to pick one up now before the prices increase any further. The esthetic is divisive for sure, but for its fans, the Milgauss is the ultimate in a wilder design from the conservative brand.

Photo by Bob's Watches

One of the best deals in vintage Rolex is the Oyster Date 6694. At 34mm with a manual-wind movement, it’s definitely a model for a very particular type of watch collector. Bob’s Watches has one for $3,395, which may be the easiest entry into vintage Rolex. If the words acrylic crystal and tritium dial excite you, this Rolex from the 1980s will definitely be an excellent conversation-starter watch.

Photo by Bob's Watches

A black dial Datejust with a smooth bezel and Oyster bracelet could easily be a watch lover’s one watch that he or she wears all the time. The sportier look (as opposed to fluted bezel and Jubilee bracelet) give this version more versatility. Bob’s Watches has a 16200 for $5,795 and offers a movement and feature spec that can match newer models. I, for one, love the older style rattly bracelets because of how comfortable they are.

So here are some suggestions. Have fun with the hunt. Chime in on the comments if you see any reasonable deals on your favorite Rolex watches.

If you need a great watch roll to store your collection, check out ours here.

Li Wang
Li Wang


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