Getting into a vintage gold Rolex may be a bargain… in Rolex terms

Getting into a vintage gold Rolex may be a bargain… in Rolex terms

If you browse online listings for Rolex watches as I am often found doing. It helps me unwind and you never know when you have to spring into action if your perfect model shows up. For many of us, the hunt can be more exciting than the acquisition. While hunting, I noticed the prices for yellow gold Rolex watches weren't as high as I expected them to be. 

Photo by Bob's Watches

I mean with steel Daytonas going for over $30K, $16k or under for a gold Rolex seems reasonable. I realize that is still a large amount of money, but I saw a 1972 yellow-gold Day-Date on a strap for $8,750. Granted it's an old watch without a bracelet, but it might be a better buy than some other watches in that price range. It really depends on your collection.

Hodinkee writer Jack Forster was recently gifted a yellow-gold Day-Date from founder Ben Clymer in honor of Forster’s 1000th story milestone. He wrote about his experience receiving his grail:

I know, I know. A gold Day-Date is kind of absurd. It's just so much. I guess it says something about me that the fact that it has appeared in films as the watch of a cold-blooded, ruthless criminal mastermind (Keyser Soze in The Usual Suspects) and on the wrists of countless mid-level caporegimes of certain fraternal businessmen's associations, was part of the attraction. But the heart has its reasons whereof reason knows nothing: I still wanted one..”

We feel Forster’s sentiments about this watch and the power of an all-gold Rolex. Yes, it is too much, but don’t we all crave a bit of excess? The good news is that these watches appear to be relatively common and listed with regularity on the top vintage sites. Personally, I think owning one on a strap is very cool too if you want to express that vintage esthetic even more outwardly.

Photo by HQ Milton

I imagine wearing a gold Rolex would be a watch lover’s dream. If I’m being honest, I wouldn’t mind being perceived as a baller of some sort, and a gold Day-Date is a pretty noticeable timepiece. But being a baller to me doesn’t necessarily mean you are wealthy. Like Forster, some people earn their baller status through hard work and achievements beyond their bank account.

The Day-Date happens to be a popular watch with NBA players, so it may be statement watches of all statement watches. After all, many non-watch people know what a Royal Oak or Nautilus is. I may have convinced myself to sell my entire collection for a yellow-gold Day-Date. I’ll make sure I have a G-Shock left in the stable for those times I don’t want to be spotted wearing gold of any kind.

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