Undervalued Rolex Picks in April 2024: Hidden Gems

Undervalued Rolex Picks in April 2024: Hidden Gems

For this installment of Hidden Gems our bimonthly series highlighting undervalued picks from the preowned Rolex market – we have an Explorer doppelgänger, a 5-digit Day-Date, and a historically significant Rolex diver under $10k. Fully-authenticated listings for each watch are included courtesy of Hidden Gems’ sponsor, Bezel. More on Bezel and their in-house authentication after this week’s preowned picks.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 Silver Arabic Dial (Ref. 116000)

Much to our dismay, Rolex did not release a white-dial ‘Polar’ Explorer at Watches and Wonders this year. If you had your fingers crossed for this model, you might now be looking for existing alternatives. The Rolex Air-King white/arabic dial ref. 114200 comes to mind (a watch that we’ve featured on this series) but has a smaller diameter of 34mm. If you want the Explorer’s traditional 36mm sizing, you’ll have to look elsewhere. While it’s no ‘Polar’ Explorer, the Oyster Perpetual 36 Silver Arabic is about as close as you can get without going back 70 years.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Currently listed on Bezel for $6,500

The Oyster Perpetual is the simplest example of Rolex’s cornerstones: the waterproof ‘Oyster’ case and the self-winding ‘Perpetual’ movement. This generation features the caliber 3130, a modern Rolex movement with all the modern fixings: Superlative Chronometer time standards (-2/+2 sec per day), Rolex’s paramagnetic Parachrom hairspring, and a full balance bridge (housing a free sprung balance). The white arabic numerals at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock are identical to those on the Explorer, but have a distinct look against this watch’s silver sunray finish. This present example looks to be in great condition and can be had for $6,500.

Rolex Day-Date 36 Black Diamond-Set Dial (Ref. 18038)

Moving on from the modestly-styled Oyster Perpetual, we have a yellow gold Day-Date on a President bracelet with a black diamond-set dial. With its fluted gold bezel and polished center links, this Day-Date strays from the OP’s simplicity but introduces even more iconic design elements.

Rolex Day-Date

Currently listed on Bezel for $18,000

This is a watch that you either connect with or you don’t. Regardless, you can appreciate what it represents from Rolex. The Day-Date is in many ways Rolex’s flagship model. It’s one of, if not the most globally-recognized silhouettes in watchmaking, and naturally, it’s made by the world’s most iconic watchmaker. I’d consider this reference 18038 to represent the golden era of the Rolex Day-Date. It features a quickset date (not day) function and a sapphire crystal: the two modern creature comforts I’d look for in a vintage Day-Date or Datejust. Additionally, this watch is just 36mm in diameter. This is the size by which the Day-Date was designed, and in my opinion, is perfectly proportioned. Its yellow gold, diamond-set configuration is decidedly loud, but is tempered by a glossy black dial. The slightly-yellowed patina on both the day and date wheels offers charm that you won’t find in a modern Day-Date. This watch embodies everything there is to love about the Rolex Day-Date for a fraction of the cost of its modern counterpart. The present example can be had for just $18,000 on Bezel.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea Black Dial (Ref. 116660)

This year at Watches and Wonders, Rolex granted the Deepsea independence, removing it from the Sea-Dweller family. This was an unexpected move from the Crown, one that immediately made me consider the value of ‘Sea-Dweller’-signed Deepseas going forward. Obviously, that value timeline is a long one and you shouldn’t base a watch purchase on financial upside unless it’s your job. That said, Deepsea Sea-Dwellers are officially a thing of the past, and if you’re a watch nerd like me, that adds to the appeal.

Rolex Deepsea

Currently listed on Bezel for $9,450

Aside from the little-known four-digit ‘DEEPSEA’-signed Rolexes from the 1950s, the 116660 is the first Rolex Deepsea reference. Upon its 2008 launch, the Deepsea Sea-Dweller 116660 had the highest water resistance rating of any serially-produced watch. It was later popularized by James Cameron’s record-setting descent to the bottom of the Mariana Trench (of course accompanied by the watch). 

Accolades aside, the 116660 is simply the most wearable Deepsea. Don’t get me wrong – this is still a very large watch at 44mm across and 17.7mm thick. However, this inaugural reference featured a significantly-tapered Oyster bracelet that measured 21mm at the lugs and about 17mm at the clasp. This is in stark contrast to the modern Deepsea’s 22-20mm taper. Some say that the 116660’s bracelet is in fact too small for such a large watch, but I’d argue that it adds a lot of everyday-wear appeal. While I may not have the wrist for it, you just might. Right now, this icon can be had for less than $10,000 on Bezel: thousands less than its original retail price.


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

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