There are many reasons to buy a Rolex watch. Maybe you’re celebrating a milestone in your life, or you’re in the market for a nice timepiece that will hold its value well. Or, perhaps, you want to exude a certain level of class or achievement through the timepiece on your wrist. Whatever your reasons, we’re here to help you pick the perfect Rolex in 2023.
Rolex has released several exciting watches over the past several years, including a surprising left-hand GMT Master II fitted with a black and green ceramic bezel, the first 41mm Oyster Perpetual, and even a new variation of the green Submariner. Although the Rolex catalog only includes 16 models, hundreds of variations are available between them, and that only includes current production models. On the secondary market, the options are endless. We’ve narrowed it down for you with our top 16 picks for the best Rolex watches for menfor sale this year.
Table of Contents:
- Rolex GMT Master II 126710BLRO – “Pepsi”
- Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 116660 – “James Cameron”
- Rolex Daytona 116500LN
- Rolex Milgauss 116400GV
- Rolex Submariner 126610LN
- Rolex Submariner 116610LV – “Hulk”
- Rolex Submariner 16610
- Rolex Explorer 124270
- Rolex Explorer II 226570 – “Polar”
- Rolex Air King 116900
- Rolex Yacht Master 40 126622
- Rolex Yacht Master II 116680
- Rolex Day-Date 40 228239
- Rolex Day-Date 228238
- Rolex Datejust 36 126200
- Rolex Datejust 41 126333
- Rolex Datejust 16233
- Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 124300
- Rolex Sky-Dweller 326238
Rolex GMT Master II 126710BLRO – “Pepsi”
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One of the most iconic luxury watches ever produced is the Rolex GMT Master II, outfitted with a two-tone red and blue bezel insert. It has been in production in some form or another since the 1950s, making it a luxury icon and a fixture of watch boxes around the world. The GMT Master II was initially developed for use by pilots but is now the watch of choice of stylish globetrotters and general horology enthusiasts of all walks of life. Reference 126710BLRO is one of the most exciting editions of the Rolex Pepsi in recent years because it pairs a lustrous red and blue ceramic – aka “Cerachrom” – bezel with an Oystersteel finish and either an Oyster or a Jubilee bracelet.
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 116660 – “James Cameron”
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In 2012, James Cameron made history when he ventured to the Mariana Trench. Along for the ride were a Rolex prototype called the Deepsea Challenge and the Deepsea ref. 116660, which can be seen on his wrist as he emerges from his submersible. In a first for the brand, Rolex released a special edition of the Deepsea ref. 116660 that accompanied Cameron, complete with a unique “D-Blue” dial that mimics how light travels through the water when returning to the surface from deep saturation dives. The James Cameron Rolex remains in production today via ref. 136660. However, ref. 116660 is special because it was the first to feature the unique blue gradient dial.
Rolex Daytona 116500LN
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The first Rolex Daytona to feature a ceramic bezel was reference 116500. For nearly a decade now, the collection has remained mostly unchanged, featuring either a black or white dial, an Oystersteel finish, a black ceramic Tachymeter bezel, and the caliber 4130 Perpetual movement. It also happens to be one of the most sought-after watches on the secondary market. You will get noticed if you wear the Rolex ceramic bezel Daytona ref. 116500 on your wrist.
Rolex Milgauss 116400GV
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The Milgauss is an anti-magnetic watch with an innovative soft iron Faraday cage surrounding the movement. While most Rolex sports models feature a rotatable bezel and additional mechanisms on the dial, the Milgauss opts for a less is more aesthetic with a smooth bezel, three-link bracelet, and time-only dial. Reference 116400 features a striking orange lightning bolt seconds hand to mirror the original 1950s model. It remains in production with either a vibrant Z-Blue or black dial and a green “Glace Verte” sapphire crystal that almost appears to glow.
Rolex Submariner 126610LN
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While there are currently several design sets to choose from, the Submariner, in its most iconic form, features a stainless steel finish, black dial, and matching black bezel, similar to the watch famously worn by James Bond and the first Submariner from the 1950s. It’s classy and easy to dress up or down. It’s easy to see why so many luxury watch enthusiasts adore the stainless steel Submariner. Reference 126610LN is the new Submariner Date featuring the larger 41mm case and next-generation caliber 3235 Perpetual movement. You aren’t alone if you aren’t able to buy one at retail because this watch is in very high demand. Check out our inventory to find the reference 126610LN for a competitive pre-owned price.
Rolex Submariner 116610LV – “Hulk”
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The Rolex Hulk hails from the second generation of green Submariners, following the Kermit ref. 16610LV. It was recently discontinued to make way for the current-production green Sub ref. 126610LV, which has also picked up its own charming monikers: the Cermit and Starbucks. With its green dial and matching green ceramic bezel, reference 116610LV is the only all-green Submariner in the Rolex collection. Its unique design set and newly-acquired status as a discontinued Rolex make the Hulk even more collectible, which is why it’s easily one of the best men’s Rolex models in 2022.
Rolex Submariner 16610
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The Submariner is one of Rolex’s most recognizable and popular watches. Originally designed with deep-sea divers in mind, the Submariner is strong and highly capable, featuring an Oyster case for maximum water resistance up to 300 meters. The stainless steel Rolex Submariner reference 16610 the best Rolex watch, features a handsome black dial with luminous hour markers that are easily visible in low light or unfavorable conditions. Production for this particular Submariner model lasted until 2010, when Rolex discontinued it and released an updated generation of its iconic diver’s watch that features significantly thicker lugs, broader hands, larger hour markers, and a Cerachrom ceramic bezel. Now that the Rolex Submariner 16610 has been discontinued for over a decade, there are many collectors who are interested in the model because if offers a distinctly different aesthetic from the modern Submariner watches that Rolex produces today, while still benefiting from modern features such as a scratch resistant sapphire crystal, unidirectional timing bezel, and rock-solid Caliber 3135 movement.
Rolex Explorer 124270
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Rolex released a new version of their mountaineer’s tool watch in 2021, sizing it back down to 36mm and making a few tweaks to the text on the dial. It also features Rolex’s current no date movement caliber 3230, complete with a Chronergy escapement, high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, a Parachrom blue hairspring, and a 70-hour power reserve. It is elegant in its simplicity. If you’re in the market for a smaller tool watch that isn’t overly complicated, the new model Explorer 124270 is a top choice.
Rolex Explorer II 226570 – “Polar”
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The Polar Dial Explorer II is a cult favorite among Rolex enthusiasts, distinguished by a striking white dial and contrasting black trim on the hour markers and hands. It has remained a dial color option for the Explorer II since coming to market in the 1980s and is very collectible because it is so unique. Reference 226570 is the current iteration of the Polar Dial Explorer that came to market in 2021, just in time to celebrate the collection’s 50th anniversary. It boasts the Explorer II’s newest caliber 3285 movement, the same 42mm diameter as its predecessor, a fixed 24-hour bezel, and 904L-grade Oystersteel.
Rolex Air King 116900
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The Rolex Air King took on a dramatically new look in 2016 when ref. 116900 joined the brand’s catalog. While previous editions were more similar to a classic dress watch, such as the Oyster Perpetual or Datejust, ref. 116900 undoubtedly belongs in the sports watch category. It features a larger 40mm case and a unique dial inspired by the controls created by Rolex for the Bloodhound supersonic car with similar Arabic hour markers and a bright green Rolex logo. This edition of the Air King was recently discontinued to make way for ref. 126900. 2022 is a great time to add one to your watch box.
Rolex Yacht Master 40 126622
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If you’ve always wanted to own a platinum Rolex but don’t have the budget for a solid platinum watch, the Rolesium Yacht-Master is your next best bet. It pairs Rolex’s proprietary 904L-grade Oystersteel with a matching 950 platinum bezel in a stunning sand-blasted finish. With reference 126622, you will get Rolex’s exciting newer caliber 3235 Perpetual movement and either a vibrant blue dial decorated with red accents or a slate dial with icy blue accents.
Rolex Yacht Master II 116680
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The Rolex Yacht-Master II is one of the brand’s most impressive sports watches, both in form and function. The elegant regatta chronograph features the caliber 4161 Perpetual movement with self-winding, a Flyback function, and a programmable regatta countdown. It’s everything you need to cross the race start line at precisely the right time, all packaged in a sophisticated stainless steel case. The nautical design set of the Rolex 116680 draws more than just sailors and yachters. At 44mm in diameter and equipped with a classy blue ceramic bezel and white dial, it’s the perfect statement piece for ocean and land adventures alike.
Rolex Day-Date 40 228239
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The Day-Date 40 is modern without forsaking its roots as a classically elegant luxury watch. While the iconic Rolex President’s watch initially featured a 36mm case, reference 228239 is a bit more fashion-forward in 40mm. It features versatile 18k white gold, a glittering fluted bezel, and the Day-Date collection’s signature three-link President bracelet and dual aperture dial. It also features several dial color options, from subtle white or silver to flashier blue or diamond-encrusted meteorite. If you have the budget to invest in a solid gold Rolex, the timeless white gold Day-Date 40 is the watch we would buy.
Rolex Day-Date 228238
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As Rolex’s flagship line of watches, the Day-Date collection is exclusively crafted from either solid 18 karat gold or 950 platinum. It is a truly iconic timepiece that is instantly recognizable all around the world, and it is universally synonymous with success and exclusivity. Since the Rolex Day-Date first appeared in 1956, its core design has remained largely unchanged. Rolex currently offers a larger 40mm version of the Day-Date in addition to the classic 36mm sized model, and when it comes to the hottest Rolex President watch on the market right now, it is easily the Day-Date 40 reference 228238. Crafted entirely from solid 18k yellow gold, the Rolex Day-Date 228238 is the current-production version of the larger sized yellow gold Day-Date watch, and it features a 40mm case, fluted bezel, and the brand’s iconic President bracelet. The Rolex Day-Date President is a consistent favorite among professional athletes and celebrities, and you can frequently spot the 18k yellow gold Rolex Day-Date 228238 on their wrists in their personal lives.
Rolex Datejust 36 126200
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There are currently 16 style variations of the Oystersteel Datejust 36 ref. 126200 in the Rolex catalog. Those include 5-link Jubilee or 3-link Oyster bracelets and your choice of solid, palm motif, or fluted motif dials. Needless to say, if this versatile all-steel Datejust is on your radar of watches to buy, it’s easy to find one to suit your lifestyle. What’s great about the Datejust is that it will never go out of style, it’s perfect for just about any occasion, and it holds its value, even in stainless steel, because it belongs to the exclusive Rolex brand.
Rolex Datejust 41 126333
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When the Datejust came to market in 1945, it featured a 36mm case, which remained the standard for decades until 2009, when the first 41mm Datejust made its debut. Ref. 126333 hails from the Datejust 41 collection, featuring the fan favorite two-tone finish dubbed by Rolex as “Yellow Rolesor,” which many will contest is easy to dress up or down. If you add just one Rolex to your collection, the Datejust 41 ref. 126333 is the perfect go anywhere, do anything luxury watch. Several design set options are available to you, including Oyster or Jubilee bracelets, diamond-set or traditional index hour markers, and solid or motif dials.
Rolex Datejust 16233
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Originally released in the late 1980s, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust reference 16223 represents the first two-tone Datejust 36 watch to ever feature a sapphire crystal. Additionally, the Datejust 16233 is the best mens Rolex Watch, also the last 36mm model to offer the collection’s classic case finishing and proportions before Rolex updated the Datejust to feature thicker lugs with a completely polished finish. Less shiny than its six-digit successor, the Rolex Datejust 16233 has been experiencing a surge in popularity recently, due to the fact that it offers classic styling paired with modern worry-free amenities, such as a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and the reliable Caliber 3135 movement.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 124300
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For the first time in Oyster Perpetual history, the collection is available in 41mm. It’s a refreshing take on the classic Oyster Perpetual that also just so happens to be available in a few unique dial color options, including bright blue, green, or silver adorned with yellow gold-trimmed luminous baton hour markers and hands. It’s also worth noting that the Oyster Perpetual 124300 is only produced in stainless steel, making it a very attractive option. Of course, it’s also singularly reliable with the next-generation caliber 3230 Perpetual movement. With its contemporary size and weight and bold, fashion-forward dial colors, the 41mm OP is a must-have for 2022.
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326238
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Our list wouldn’t be complete without at least one Rolex on the sporty Oysterflex bracelet. Rolex recently added the unique rubber bracelet option to the Sky-Dweller collection, which was previously only available on a metal or leather bracelet. Aside from looking cool, this edition of the Sky-Dweller also boasts one of the most complicated movements in the entire Rolex portfolio, the caliber 9001. It features several convenient functions, such as a date mechanism, a second time zone, and an annual calendar – all controlled by the innovative ring command bezel. Reference 326238 is fashionable in Rolex’s 18k yellow gold, a classic and timeless option praised by many collectors.
The Crown just unveiled its 2023 lineup of new watches. Find coverage of all the best new releases from Watches & Wonders here. It's Christmas morning for watch collectors. Rolex just announced its calendar of new releases for 2023 on the first day of the industry's biggest trade show, Watches & Wonders.What Rolex will be discontinued 2023? ›
Discontinued Rolex Models in 2023 - Rolex Datejust 41 with a Meteorite Dial. Rolex announced the discontinuation of the Datejust model with a mother-of-pearl dial. Interestingly, ONLY in the 41mm line. This fact has left watch enthusiasts curious about the reasons behind this decision and its implications on the market ...Which Rolex is most desirable? ›
The most commonly sought-after Rolex watches include Rolex Daytona, GMT-Master(II), Submariner, and Sea-Dweller. The Yacht-Master is also a very popular sports watch, but not like the Submariner.Which Rolex model holds most value? ›
Of all these top models, which Rolex holds its value the best? Many experts agree that the Submariner 16610 takes top marks in this category. And, despite the fact that gold prices often increase, the steel Submariner seems to be the most popular simply because of its timeless appearance and its durable reliability.