Non-core Rolex models may be the way to go right now

Non-core Rolex models may be the way to go right now

On a recent episode of Hodinkee Radio, host James Stacey described his affinity with the white dial Explorer II as being drawn to a model that is just outside of the core collection of Rolex sport models such as the Submariner, GMT-Master and Daytona. Right now, with the inflated pricing on the secondhand market, it’s better to focus your target on a Rolex model that isn’t as popular as some of the core models, but nevertheless has equal or even more appeal. Admittedly, I love the classics, but it is nice to have something that is just a little bit off from the traditional look. Comedian Ronnie Chieng describes his entire collection as watches with a little extra over the conventional piece. For example, he chose the First Omega in Space version of the Speedmaster over the Professional, the standard Moonwatch.

Photo by Watch Review Blog

So when you are looking at the secondhand Rolex market you can see that models that are somewhat less desirable by the collecting community can be thousands of dollars less. For example, the black dial Milgauss as opposed to the blue dial version with the green tinted sapphire, sells for a lot closer to the retail price of $8,300. If you see a Datejust with a Roman or Arabic dial or other configuration that isn’t the classic stick markers, there is potentially a lower asking price. The champagne dial Oyster Perpetual in 34mm is selling for a lot closer to the suggested retail price than other dial colors and case sizes. 

We’re not advocating settling for a watch that isn’t your heart’s desire, but what we are suggesting is to open your eyes to possibilities that weren’t originally in your line of sight.

Photo by Time + Tide Watches

A five-digit white dial Explorer II can still be had in great condition for under $10K, which in the current marketplace, is one of the better buys for anyone looking for a classic that isn’t as common as a Submariner. Although Stacey mentioned he did get his several years ago and probably what was 50 percent less than today’s prices, we still feel that it’s one of the better options out there for a standout Rolex watch.

Photo by Crown and Caliber

But if you do look at less sought after models such as the Turn-O-Graph, you can get a good deal. If you’ve ever wanted the classic simplicity of a Datejust but yearned for a timing bezel, the Turn-O-Graph has you covered. The red seconds hand and roulette date wheel add cool details and they can be found in great condition for under $8K. We also found a six-digit Datejust with a silver tuxedo dial for just over $7K.

So keep hunting and maybe you’ll find your dream Rolex with some odd characteristics that help you stand out in a good way.

Shop straps for your Datejust here.

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