Best Rolex watches for women: The key styles that will never date (2023)

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When it comes to watches, none is more iconic than the Rolex. It’s a mark of both style and status - just two of the many reasons why the best Rolex watches for women have become such covetable and collectible items.

For over a century, Rolex have been crafting watches for achievers and explorers. Timepieces that have enhanced and supported their journey's across the globe, so buying a Rolex is a big deal. While a number of Rolex watches are built for performance, they are often reserved for marking milestone occasions like a promotion, birthday or anniversary, there are few luxury items that hold such widespread appeal.If you’re looking to invest in one of the best watches for women, plumping for one of the best Rolex watches is a savvy move. Whether you’re opting for a Lady-Datejust or an Oyster Perpetual, Rolexes are the perfect kind of investment buy. Incredibly wearable, they're also likely to hold or increase their value over time. While you might only slip on your best designer heels for special occasions or carry your best designer bags with particular outfits, a Rolex can be worn any time or place and will instantly elevate any look. A Rolex will remain a stylish and reliable part of your capsule wardrobe for years to come.

“Wearing a Rolex adds a heightened level of luxury to any outfit – it speaks for itself,” explains celebrity stylist and private shopper Rachael Perry. “It’s a standalone piece, so you don’t need to worry too much about matching your Rolex to your other jewelry. They look great with precious stones (such as diamonds) and mixed metals. For example, you can still wear a gold Rolex with white gold or platinum jewelry, and a steel Rolex with gold jewelry.”

If you've looked at how to sell clothes online you'll know that the best Gucci bags and best Chanel bags have great resale potential and the same is true for women's Rolexes - particularly because they're so hard to get hold of in the first place. Not all styles will dramatically increase in price in the way rarer watches will, but nearly all will hold their value, making some of the Rolexes for investment a great purchase.It is not a stretch to say that Rolex changed the face of women’s jewelry. Pre-Rolex, even the best jewelry brands only designed pieces for women with aesthetics in mind. Watches and bracelets were always dainty and delicate, instead of built to be functional and durable. Rolex wanted to change that, giving women a watch they could rely on, without compromising on appearance.

Best Rolex watches for women

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Best Rolex watches for women: The key styles that will never date (1)

(Image credit: Rolex)

1. Lady-Datejust

Best for all ages


Price: From approx $6,500 / £5,400

Reasons to buy


Huge range of styles, dials, and metals


Recognizable design


Great for everyday

Reasons to avoid


Unlikely to significantly increase in value

A smaller take on the iconic Datejust style, the classic Lady-Datejust was designed to provide its female wearers with a better fit. It's considered a timeless and feminine style and is one of the most varied lines in the collection, available in a broad range of styles, dials and metals - although the mother of pearl, diamond set dial above is our personal favorite. Shoppers can choose from the Oyster, President, or Jubilee bracelets, as well as light, colored, dark, gem-set or diamond-paved dials. The options you choose are of course reflected in the price, which range from approximately $6,500 / £5,400 to price on request iterations. Functions include minutes and second hands, instant date settings and stop-seconds. The Lady-Datejust is self-winding via a perpetual rotor, with a power reserve of around 55 hours.

Best Rolex watches for women: The key styles that will never date (2)

(Image credit: Rolex)

2. Oyster Perpetual 28

Best for accessible price point


Reasons to buy


Iconic Oyster bracelet




Accessible price point

Reasons to avoid


Not rare enough for collectors

If you’re after a watch that perfectly summarises Rolexes' history, the Oyster Perpetual is a wise choice. Not only is it the heir to the first Rolex waterproof watch case, but the word perpetual also makes a big nod to the self-winding mechanism which made the brand its name. Combining form and function in a sleek package, the designs remain waterproof today. The Oyster Perpetual 28 is the smallest in the Oyster Perpetual range, with the 28 referring to the 28mm face. Key features include the iconic flat, three-link Oyster bracelet, crafted from robust steel, with a choice of colored faces. As far as Rolexes go, the Oyster Perpetual is a more affordable option, with prices starting around $5,500 / £4,200.

Best Rolex watches for women: The key styles that will never date (3)

(Image credit: Rolex)

3. Oyster Perpetual 31

Best for a Rolex for evening wear


Price: From approx $5,500 / £4,300

Reasons to buy


Accessible price point


Elegant design


Different sizes available

Reasons to avoid


Fewer finishes available

If the Oyster 28 has piqued your interest but not quite hit the mark, consider the slightly larger Oyster Perpetual 31. It has a very similar dial configuration to the 36 and 41, and is available with a range of faces.Ideal for evening wear, this is the timepiece to slip on for life's special moments.

"The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust is the epitome of a classic and elegant timepiece,” says Lisa Broun, Senior Watch Buyer at the Watches of Switzerland Group. “It consolidated all the major innovations Rolex had contributed to the modern wristwatch and was the first self-winding waterproof chronometer wristwatch to display the date in a window at 3 o’clock.”

Sleek but durable, the oyster-steel is highly resistant to corrosion, creating a piece that can be passed on and cherished for years to come.

“Available in a variety of different sizes with a large selection of dials in different colors, finishes and materials, the Oyster Perpetual Datejust combines elegance with precision, grace with resistance and beauty with performance. It remains a major draw for clients and at we try to create an experience as memorable as the collection itself.”

Best Rolex watches for women: The key styles that will never date (4)

(Image credit: Rolex)

4. Day-Date 36

Best for collectors


Price : From approx $37,000 / £29,550

Reasons to buy


Historic style


Crafted from luxurious materials


Investment piece

Reasons to avoid


High price point

A watch steeped in brand history, the Rolex Day-Date was the first to display the day of the week in full when launched in 1956. This is a watch that implies status, and is available only in 18-carat gold or 950 platinum. Super high-end, the quality, craftsmanship and expensive materials used is of course, reflected in the much higher price bracket, particularly when compared to pieces such as the Oyster Perpetual 31. Prices obtained from Rolex start at around $38,000 / £29,550, with the majority of the styles listed as price on request.

The 36mm dial is available in light, colored, dark, gem-set or diamond-paved option, encased in either yellow, pink and white golds, or platinum.As you can imagine, this really is a standout style and idea for wearing with evening wear or for a special occasion. This luxurious and exclusive timepiece is one that is likely to hold its value.

Best Rolex watches for women: The key styles that will never date (5)

(Image credit: Rolex)

5. Yacht-Master 37

Best for performance


Price: From approx $10,800 / £9,250

Reasons to buy


Available with a non-metal strap


Built for waterproof performance


Timeless but modern feel

Reasons to avoid


Not as formal

The Yacht-Master 37 is a watch built for performance. It is both extremely hard-wearing and waterproof, making it a smart choice for keen sailors or anyone with a love of watersports, or who enjoys life on the open seas. The chronograph feature allows you to use it as both a display watch and stopwatch, for those who like to keep track a more detailed log.

The colorways of the Yacht-Master 37 are more limited than other lines, sticking to a sophisticated palette of silver, pink gold and black. Unlike other collections, which only offer metal straps, there is the Oysterflex bracelet option, which bends and moves with the wearer, offering a sporty and less formal alternative - ideal for how to style loafers for women, just add your fave Breton top for the full nautical look - great for adding polish to those smart casual outfit ideas.

Best Rolex watches for women: The key styles that will never date (6)

(Image credit: Rolex)

6. Datejust 31

Best for availability


Price: From approx $8,300 / £6,300

Reasons to buy


Tends to be readily available to buy


Distinctive design


Embellished designs available

Reasons to avoid


May not increase in price

Another of the best Rolex watches for women which takes its name from its most distinctive feature, the Datejust was the first self-winding wristwatch to display the date in a window close to 3 o’clock on the dial. One of the brand's most iconic and instantly recognizable designs, the watch has aesthetically changed as little as possible over time, retaining its core features.

There is a choice of Jubilee, Oyster or President bracelets, but the five-link Jubilee is steeped in history, having been specially designed for the 1945 launch of the Oyster Perpetual Datejust. The dials can be light, colored, dark, or gem-set.

Best Rolex watches for women: The key styles that will never date (7)

(Image credit: Rolex)

7. Datejust 36

Best for unisex design


Price: From approx $7,000 / £5,545

Reasons to buy


Statement, unisex design


Good choice of design options

Reasons to avoid


May not increase in price

4mm may sound small, but when it comes to watches it is not an insignificant detail. Some may find that the Datejust 31 doesn’t offer the impact they’re looking for, which is when the Datejust 36 becomes a brilliant option. At this size, the watch is unisex, with features both male and female Rolex wearers will love. Compared to the Datejust 31, the dials are almost identical, with the namesake display date in place of 3 o’clock. Again, the breadth of options is impressive, this time with a choice between the Oyster or Jubilee bracelets, as well as light, colored, dark or gem-set dials.

Brief history of Rolex watches

How do you become the world’s most iconic watch brand? For Rolex, it all started in 1905, when Hans Wildorf founded a company in London that would go on to create the first waterproof watch to be worn on the wrist, calling it the Oyster. The movements and mechanics in the original Rolexes were manufactured by a Swiss factory in Bienne, before the brand moved to Geveva (a city famous for watchmaking) in 1920.

Between 1926 and 1935, the Rolex was seriously put through its paces, establishing itself as a brand for the adventurous. The Rolex Oyster crossed the channel in 1927 to prove its waterproof capabilities, before being worn by a crew on an expedition to fly over Everest. A Rolex was also worn by driver Sir Malcom Campbell as he broke the world speed record nine times by 1935.

The thing that really set Rolex apart from the crowd and its competitors? In 1931 the brand both invented, and subsequently patented, a self-winding mechanism with a free rotor. It was based on a principle that was later adopted by the entirety of watchmaking, changing the industry forever.

Over the succeeding years, Rolex continued to build a name for itself as a watch brand that did so much more than tell the time. Rolexes were not only worn by adventurers, but their popularity soared with the rise of intercontinental travel, as the need to keep track of the time over multiple zones increased. Rolex quickly came to be associated with excellence, whether that was through achievements, wealth or status.

Key launch dates for the most iconic Rolex watches include:

  • 1945: The Datejust
  • 1953: The Explorer
  • 1953: The Submariner
  • 1955: The GMT-Master
  • 1956: The Oyster Perpetual Milgauss
  • 1957: The Lady-Datejust
  • 1960: The Deep Sea Special
  • 1963: The Cosmograph Daytona
  • 1967: The Sea-Dweller
  • 1971: The Oyster Perpetual Explorer II
  • 1978: The Sea-Dweller 4000
  • 1992: The Pearlmaster
  • 1992: The Yacht-Master
  • 2007: Yacht-Master II
  • 2012: The Sky-Dweller
  • 2014: The new Cellini collection
  • 2017: Cellini Moonphase

How to shop for a Rolex

Shopping for a Rolex is not always quite as straightforward as buying other luxury items and while you can get a Burberry trench coat online, that isn't the case for Rolex watches. Shopping in-store is not without its quirks too, with low stock levels, there are long waiting lists to consider.

Fake Rolex watches are rife, so for complete peace of mind it is important to buy in-store through an official, approved Rolex jeweler. This way your Rolex will not only come with full authentication but a five-year guarantee. It also affords you the opportunity to try on different designs, to see which you prefer. You can have the strap or links adjusted with ease too, for the best possible fit. Not to mention the experience in-store is a special one. The sales staff in Rolex are notoriously knowledgeable, turning the process of purchasing one of the best Rolexes for women into something to treasure.

If the Rolex you’re hoping to buy is a popular style, you may have to join a waiting list (which can start from around six months long to a three year period for some styles . Production is small for such an iconic brand, with only four factories in the world. Styles like the Rolex Datejust tend to be more readily available, whereas the Sports models are more difficult to get hold of. Building a relationship with an authorized dealer and having a purchase history with the brand will help you to rise higher up the waiting list. Hence why so many watch fans and enthusiasts have built up a collection of Rolexes over a long period of time.

As you would expect, there is a huge market for vintage and pre-loved Rolexes. If you’re buying second-hand, choose a trusted watch dealer and do your research first. You’re parting with a lot of money, so don’t want to end up disappointed.

Do women's Rolex watches hold their value?

In short, yes. In the same way that a men's Rolex watch retains its value, or for rarer designs, the value can increase, the same is said for the women's versions from the high-end brand. In addition to this, Rolex increased the prices of its watches by around 4% at the start of 2022, which suggests that future price hikes can be expected. Invest in one of the most timeless and best Rolex watches for women now and in the future, it could be worth more than you paid for it.


What are the hardest Rolex models to get? ›

Hardest Rolex models to get
  • Rolex Daytona 116500LN. ...
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual 126000 & 124300 ”Tiffany” dial. ...
  • Rolex Daytona 116506 platinum. ...
  • Rolex Submariner in steel. ...
  • Rolex Daytona 116508 green dial. ...
  • Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLRO. ...
  • Rolex GMT-Master II 126719BLRO meteorite dial and blue dial. ...
  • Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934.
Feb 24, 2023

What is the best size Rolex for a woman? ›

Rolex has discontinued the 24 and 26mm size, but the 28mm and 31mm sizes are still available today. Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches also come in larger sizes that give a stylish oversized look on a woman's wrist. Their sizes can go as big as 39mm (discontinued) and 41mm, but most ladies prefer the 34mm and 36mm sizes.

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 does not lose value? ›

In the vintage Rolex market, a well kept and rare Submariner or GMT reference is worth a tremendous amount compared to how much it was sold for at retail price. A worn in unserviced Datejust might not be as desired as a pristine vintage model from the same year in great condition.

Which Rolex model is the easiest to get? ›

The full gold models that are (relatively) easy to get are:
  • Submariner 126618LB.
  • Submariner 126618lN.
  • Rolex Yacht-Master 2 in yellow or white gold.
  • Sky-Dweller in full gold - due to the high price of this watch, it is a model that only speaks to a relatively small audience.
Feb 24, 2023

What Rolex do Navy Seals wear? ›

The symbolism of the Rolex Submariner on one of the most historic Special Operations missions is profound. Watch culture is strong in the Naval Special Warfare community and Chesney's Navy SEAL predecessors wore similar watches– both Rolex and Tudor Submariners as they operated in Vietnam 40 years prior.

What is considered a poor man's Rolex? ›

Back in the days, Tudor solely used off-the-shelf movements with Rolex parts. This gave the Tudor watches the label “poor man's Rolex”.

Do all Rolex hold value? ›

The short answer is yes, a Rolex is often worth that initial investment. Whether your watch will increase in value after purchase depends on the model you chose and the market, but most Rolex watches maintain a high resale value compared to other brands.

Can a woman wear a 36mm Rolex? ›

The 36mm Rolex Datejust is the original size and the most popular one of them all, today worn by both men and women. For men, the 36mm sizing is perfectly understated and classic. For women, it provides a larger, chunkier appearance that's trendy yet timeless thanks to the Datejust's universal appeal.

Should I wear my Rolex tight or loose? ›

Rolex recommends you have it loose enough to move it slightly on the wrist but tight enough that it can't be spun around or even brought completely off center. At the end of the day, the decision is yours. There will be wear on a bracelet no matter what.

Do women's Rolex retain value? ›

Do Women's Rolex Hold Their Value? When it comes to luxury items, women's Rolex watches can retain their value just like the models intended for men. Moreover, the price difference between newer models of male and female variants is also negligible.

What is the cheapest genuine Rolex model? ›

What's the cheapest Rolex? Prices can vary, but generally speaking the cheapest Rolex watch is the Rolex Oyster Perpetual, which has a starting price of around $5,000 if you're buying new, but can sometimes be found for cheaper if you don't mind buying a used model on the pre-owned market.

Which Rolex models are cheapest? ›

What is the best and cheapest Rolex you can get? Any Air-King, Datejust, or Explorer on our list are fantastic choices if you're looking for a cheap Rolex watch. Still, a popular opinion among many Rolex enthusiasts is that the Air-King is the best affordable Rolex.

Does wearing a Rolex devalue it? ›

If you buy a Rolex watch as an investment you have to consider if you want to wear it. Obviously, any wear and tear diminishes the value. The box and papers of the watch, should be also kept in good condition. Another consideration is how and where to sell your investment Rolex.

What will Rolex discontinue in 2023? ›

Not much of a surprise here, but Rolex has bid farewell to the Cellini collection in 2023. The last remaining model of the Cellini collection was the Moonpase ref. 50535, which has now been discontinued in 2023.

What is the waitlist for Rolex 2023? ›

So, the Rolex Daytona waitlist 2023 is likely to be at least 5 years if you're able to buy a Rolex Daytona. We've seen Covid pass through, World Cups end and start, markets rise and fall almost simultaneously and all within the time it takes to get your hands on a Rolex Daytona. It rests within good reason.

What is the rarest model of Rolex? ›

The Rolex Bao Dai: sold for $5.1 million (May 2017)

Based on the Rolex reference 6062, this watch was initially sold to the last emperor of the Nguyen dynasty in Vietnam in 1954. At the time, this was the most expensive model in Rolex's collection. The gold case and black dial were the rarest configurations available.

What is the poor mans Rolex? ›

Back in the days, Tudor solely used off-the-shelf movements with Rolex parts. This gave the Tudor watches the label “poor man's Rolex”.

Which Rolex are rare? ›

Discover two of the most sought after Rolex sport models: the Submariner 16610LV and the Daytona 116520. The Submariner offers a high water resistance while the Daytona easily times events using the chronograph.

Is there a Rolex waiting list? ›

To buy a Rolex Daytona, the waitlist is often suggested to be 5 or 10 years long. The harsh reality is that unless you have a large spending history with your Authorised Rolex dealer you're unlikely to ever be offered a Rolex Daytona.

What is Rolex the cheapest model? ›

What is the best and cheapest Rolex you can get? Any Air-King, Datejust, or Explorer on our list are fantastic choices if you're looking for a cheap Rolex watch. Still, a popular opinion among many Rolex enthusiasts is that the Air-King is the best affordable Rolex.

What is the cheapest Rolex watch ever made? ›

The most affordable Rolex watches are models in the Oyster Perpetual range, which is the brands entry-level model. The original Oyster was first released in 1926 and was the first mass produced water-resistant (100m) and dustproof watch with a 904L stainless steel case.

What Rolex did Navy Seals wear? ›

The symbolism of the Rolex Submariner on one of the most historic Special Operations missions is profound. Watch culture is strong in the Naval Special Warfare community and Chesney's Navy SEAL predecessors wore similar watches– both Rolex and Tudor Submariners as they operated in Vietnam 40 years prior.

What is the lower brand of Rolex? ›

Since its creation, the Tudor brand has always intended to be a more affordable alternative to Rolex. Consequently, there has historically been a significant difference in the watches produced by these two brands – a direct result of Tudor's lower price point.

What is a Rolex Ghost? ›

The "Ghost Dial" Datejust's are one of the most sought-after dial variants in the 16XX series of Rolex Datejusts. The grey dial with white text has received the nickname "Ghost Dial" as the white text printed on the dial in certain light blends into the medium grey finish.

What is the most popular color of Rolex dials? ›

The classic black and white dials are perhaps the most iconic of all Rolex dials. These timeless designs have been around since the early days of Rolex watches, and they remain popular today.

Can you walk in and buy a Rolex? ›

Walk into any authorized Rolex dealer, and you're going to see a lot of Datejusts, Day-Dates, Oyster Perpetuals, perhaps a Milgaus, maybe an Air-King, and usually a fresh batch of Cellini dress watches in a wide range of sizes and colors.


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