Watch enthusiasts love the hypothetical idea of owning just one watch. There are plenty of terms surrounding this notion: the “one watch collection”, the “exit watch”, or as The Time Teller calls it, the “one watch watch collection watch”. It’s definitely a fun thought exercise: if I could only wear a single watch for the rest of my life, what would it be? To make a tough decision even tougher, let’s narrow it down to one brand: Rolex. I asked the Everest team what their one and only Rolex would be and why. Anything goes – modern or vintage. Let’s take a look at everyone’s picks.
Skyler - Rolex GMT-Master II 16710 “Coke”
Image Source: lunaroyster.com
If I were to choose one Rolex as my only watch, I’d choose a Tudor. Jokes aside (but not really), I’d go with a mid-late ‘90s GMT-Master II 16710 with the black and red “Coke” bezel. The GMT-Master II just feels right as my everyday watch. I don’t need crazy water resistance, I never end up using chronographs, and I like having that second time zone at a glance. Why wouldn’t I just choose the newest GMT-Master II? While I appreciate the modern Super Case design, I don’t like it on my wrist; I much prefer the downsized look of pre-2007 Rolex sports models. Additionally, the 16710 used tritium lume until about 1997, meaning I’d get a relatively modern watch with plenty of patina potential (say that three times fast). If I really wanted to get nerdy, I would swap out the bracelet for that of a mid-2000’s model to get those solid end links.
Theresa - Rolex Daytona 116595RBOW “Rainbow”
Image Source: monochrome-watches.com
If we really are saying any Rolex, then the Rainbow Daytona in rose gold would be my one and only watch. It's crazy, it's bold, it's gorgeous, it's certainly not boring, and it's a conversation piece. I am a person who likes nice things, but also someone with a busy and active lifestyle: I buy nice things to actually wear them and use them. Scratches do not bother me as they add character and commemorate the journey! That being said, if money were no object, I'd rock the 116595RBOW to the grocery store, I'd garden with it on, and to be honest, it would pair just as well with black leggings as it would black tie. It's confident, unapologetic, bold, happy, and fun. It is simply joy-inducing and we all need more joy in our lives. Life is short, so why not go big or go home?
Celine - Rolex Lady-Datejust 79163 Rolesor
If I could only have one Rolex watch for the rest of my life, it would be the one I have now: a two-tone Lady-Datejust ref. 79163. With its smooth yellow gold bezel, petite 26mm steel Oyster case, silver tapestry dial, and Rolesor Jubilee bracelet, this is by no means a cool or trendy Rolex watch. In fact, I affectionately call her my “old lady watch”. I adore it not only because it suits my style (I like small watches and I mix my jewelry metals) but more importantly, it has enormous sentimental value.
My late parents met in Manila in the 1970s and, when they decided to get married, they moved from my mom’s home country to Switzerland: my dad’s home country. Mom would always tell me how she saved up her first few paychecks in Geneva to buy herself a nice Swiss watch. She was debating buying a Rolex, but she settled on a Girard-Perregaux instead. However, she ended up regretting that decision and always said to me when I was growing up, “I should have bought the Rolex, those watches always go up in value!”. Fast forward a couple of decades, my dad bought my mom a Rolex for their wedding anniversary. She was elated and never took it off. Every time I wear my mom’s Rolex, I think of my parents -- and that to me, is priceless.
Michael - Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR “Batman”
Image Source: ocwatchguy.com
I have to say, the Rolex GMT Master II 116710BLNR “Batman” (blue and black ceramic bezel) could be my sole Rolex. One summer afternoon, I was lucky enough to get this watch in a Lucerne, Switzerland Bucherer boutique with my son Luca. To be honest, I didn’t want to go into the store in the first place. My son however did, expecting that asking for any watch and getting it would be quite easy. Surprisingly, the sales person said that she may have one in the back. A few minutes later, she returned with the watch. I promised him during the bracelet sizing that this Rolex would be his one day. Now, whenever he comes to my office where the watch stays he asks to “see his Rolex.” It is our special connection, and I truly think the watch is gorgeous.
K. Wells - Rolex Daytona 126500LN
Image Source: monochrome-watches.com
If I were to own only one Rolex (ridiculous waitlists aside) it would be the Daytona - white dial. At 40mm, it is an ideal size for a chronograph and I love the contrast between that bright white dial and the black bezel and chrono subdials. I think it also achieves the "dressy" sports watch vibe that really gets my attention. It’s one of those designs that looks great in jeans and a t-shirt and even better in a dress. It's such a great gender-neutral watch: something I could give to my son later in his life (like much, much later, after I have enjoyed every moment with it). It would definitely have to be put on a strap immediately because of those scratch-magnet high-polish center links, but overall, I think it's a great one-Rolex watch.
George - Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLRO “Pepsi”
Image Source: watchfinder.com
The Rolex 126710BLRO holds a special place as my hypothetical one and only Rolex. It started as my wedding watch, and as the years have passed, I've developed a deep appreciation for its remarkable comfort and its exceptional functionality. Whether it’s everyday wear or travel, the “Pepsi” GMT is the perfect companion.