For this installment of Hidden Gems – our biweekly series highlighting value in the preowned Rolex market – we have a short-run Sea-Dweller, a vintage-inspired Oyster Perpetual, and a one-of-twelve Daytona. With a little help from our friends at Bezel, we’ll provide you with active listings for each model: authenticity guaranteed. Let’s jump right in.
Rolex Sea-Dweller “4000” Ref. 116600-0003
Image Source: analogshift.com
Produced for just 3 years (2014-2017), the Sea-Dweller “4000” is a modern classic. The 4000-foot deep-diver incorporates much of the charm found in its 5-digit predecessors while offering some modern creature comforts found in today’s iteration. Like Sea-Dwellers of old, the SD4000 comes in at just 40mm. This versatile size fits far more wrists than the modern 43mm version. Unlike older examples, however, the SD4000 features a virtually-scratchproof Cerachrom (ceramic) bezel insert. Furthermore, its clasp features Glidelock: Rolex’s beloved toolless microadjustment system. You won’t find this on any other 40mm Sea-Dweller, and once you’ve tried Glidelock, it’s hard to live without it.
At the time of publishing, there are 15 examples of the Rolex Sea-Dweller 116600 available on Bezel, with the lowest price falling just below $12,000. Since its 2017 discontinuation, the Sea-Dweller 4000 has traded above retail, but rest assured, this is the lowest the watch has traded for in almost three years. If you’re looking for a certified-authentic example at no additional cost, look no further than Bezel.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 Ref. 126000-0005
Image Source: chronohunter.com
In 2020, Rolex released a colorful collection of Oyster Perpetuals. Among these colors is a dark green unlike any dial that Rolex has ever made. The lacquered finish is similar to the Stella dials of the 1970s and ‘80s, but such a finish has never been paired with such a dark hue of green. Available in 31mm, 36mm, and 41mm, there’s plenty of optionality when it comes to sizing. For my money (and wrist), 36mm is perfect for a vivid colorful dial: not too big, but still plenty legible. Inside this OP is Rolex’s automatic caliber 3230, featuring 70 hours of power reserve, an antimagnetic hairspring, and Rolex’s Chronergy escapement: a hyper-efficient regulator that’s among the most significant advancements in modern watchmaking history.
As of today, there are eight examples of the green Oyster Perpetual 36 available on Bezel, most of which are unworn. The lowest price falls just below $10,000. While this watch is still in Rolex’s active catalog, you’d have to wait for an unknown period of time before getting “the call” from an authorized dealer. If you want this watch within 3-5 business days with a certificate of authenticity to boot, Bezel is your best bet.
Rolex Daytona Ref. 16528 “Chairman”
Last but not least, I’d like to include a watch unlike anything we’ve ever featured on Hidden Gems. While I’ve talked ad nauseum about “Zenith” Rolex Daytonas – those with five-digit reference numbers and modified Zenith El Primero movements – I haven’t discussed the ref. 16528 Daytona “Chairman”. This blue-dialed 18k gold beauty was made for select Rolex senior management in 1991. Rolex’s dial manufacturer at the time, Singer, made very few of these blue sunray dials, making it near-impossible to convert any other yellow gold Zenith Daytona to a “Chairman” (a common practice with Paul Newmans, “Big Reds”, etc.). Furthermore, only 12 examples of this watch are known to exist, making it one of the most collectible Daytonas, and in turn, watches, on the market. Despite its rarity and striking color/material configuration, the “Chairman” tends to get lost in the shuffle of desirable Daytonas: a true hidden gem.
Keeping in mind that there are only 12 examples known in the world, just one is available on Bezel. The asking price is just south of $450,000, but is open to offers. Looking at prior “Chairman” listings, this is an appropriate ask in today’s market. While the watch falls under a different tax bracket than most Hidden Gems picks, it’s one of the rarest Rolexes of all time, and is somehow seldom talked about.
Bezel is the top marketplace for authenticated luxury watches. While they offer a vast collection of Rolex models, from which we feature our favorites here, Bezel lists watches from over 90 brands and counting. Each and every watch sold on Bezel goes through expert in-house authentication: an invaluable resource in the secondhand watch market. You also have access to a private client advisor from the Bezel concierge team: yet another expert who can answer your questions along the way. If you’re looking for a better way to buy and sell watches, be sure to install the Bezel app, or simply visit them at getbezel.com