The Most Popular Rolex Watches On Wristcheck
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The Most Popular Rolex Watches On Wristcheck

By Nick Kenyon
26 Jan 2024
6 min read

A titan in the watchmaking world, Rolex is the largest watchmaking brand globally and is one of the most coveted for good reason. Explore the most popular Rolex watches available on Wristcheck

It’s uncontroversial to say that most watch-related memes aren’t particularly thought-provoking, but there’s one graphic you might spot in your IG Explore with the potential to elicit a smile. A quick Google of “Rolex Curve” should bring up a bell curve showing the relationship many have with Rolex over time, with a watch-collecting rookie on the left, a passionate enthusiast in the popular middle, and a wise old collector on the right. 

The rookie and the wizened expert on the skinny flanks of the bell curve both love Rolex, while the stressed-looking enthusiast in the middle is obsessed with haute horology brands (think Patek Philippe or Vacheron Constantin). What tends to happen with most watch collectors is exactly this — they start by loving Rolex, slowly explore everything watchmaking has to offer, and eventually return to the reliable quality of the Big Crown.

It isn’t by mistake that so many of the world’s most experienced and knowledgeable watch collectors and horological scholars love Rolex so much. The collector at the beginning of their journey might be influenced by the glamor and wealth projected by Rolex, but the expert who understands the brand intimately knows there’s so much to appreciate below the surface, from history and design to technological innovation and manufacturing.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most popular Rolex watches you can add to your collection today.

Rolex Submariner

One of the few true icons in the realm of watches, the Rolex Submariner boasts immediate recognition owing to its sturdy case design, readable dial, rotating 60-minute bezel, and robust bracelet. The most widely available Submariner features a black dial and black ceramic bezel, with a steel case and bracelet construction, however, Rolex has also produced several other references. These include examples in blue or green, as well as certain models hewn from yellow or white gold (and even two-tone with steel).

ROLEX Submariner Date Stainless Steel Black Dial
Rolex Submariner Date Stainless Steel Black Dial

Rolex Daytona

Without exaggeration, the Rolex Daytona is one of the most coveted watches in the world today and is almost impossible to buy if you were to simply walk into a dealership. The history of the collection can be traced back to motorsports timing (named after the famed Daytona International Speedway), and unusually when compared to many other watchmakers, the Rolex Daytona is the only chronograph produced by the brand today. While the stainless steel references with either black or white dials are most popular, the Daytona is also crafted in several different precious metals including gold (yellow, white and rose) and platinum, with many different dial and strap variations leaving the factory each year.

Rolex Daytona Stainless Steel Black Dial
Rolex Daytona Stainless Steel Black Dial

Rolex Datejust

The Rolex Datejust is almost certainly the best-selling watch ever produced by the Genevan watchmaker, and today remains one of the most recognizable watch designs in the game. Its classic appeal is elevated by its tremendous variability, which translates to dozens of different expressions distinguished by case size, metal, bracelet style, dial color, and beyond. What doesn’t change from reference to reference, however, is its magnifying bubble-equipped date window at 3 o'clock, its ever-reliable timekeeping, and its robust 100m of water resistance.

Rolex Datejust 41 Stainless Steel Jubilee Silver Dial
Rolex Datejust 41 Stainless Steel Jubilee Silver Dial

Rolex GMT Master-II

Initially designed and produced for Pan American Airlines pilots, the Rolex GMT Master-II is the ideal timepiece for frequent flyers thanks to simultaneously displaying two different time zones with the help of a 24-hour hand. This distinctive Rolex collection can generally be spotted across the room on someone’s wrist thanks to its dual-color ceramic bezel, which has been produced in combinations including the iconic red and blue, green and black, blue and black, and others.

Rolex GMT-Master II "Pepsi" Jubilee
Rolex GMT-Master II "Pepsi" Jubilee

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

One might hesitate to describe a four or five-figure watch as entry-level, however, as far as where many begin their Rolex collecting journey, the Oyster Perpetual is one of the brand’s most straightforward timepieces. Over the decades the Oyster Perpetual has been produced in a range of different sizes and materials, but today the collection is exclusively crafted in steel across five different sizes (28mm, 31mm, 34mm, 36mm, and 41mm). The most sought-after references within the Oyster Perpetual line-up are those with vibrantly colored dials, featuring shades such as candy pink, green, turquoise blue, and the patterned “celebrations motif” dial.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 Stainless Steel Green Dial
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 Stainless Steel Green Dial

Rolex DayDate

The Rolex DayDate is often referred to as the "Presidential" watch, due to its synonymous with success, wealth, and power. Exclusively crafted in precious metals including gold and platinum, the Rolex DayDate has also been created with a range of different dial colors, gem and diamond settings, and even dials made from hard stone, wood, or meteorite. Arriving with apertures that respectively communicate the day and date of the week, if there was one watch that projected, “I’ve made it,” it would be the DayDate from Rolex. 

Day-Date 40 Yellow Gold Champagne Dial
Rolex Day-Date 40 Yellow Gold Champagne Dial

Rolex Explorer

The Rolex Explorer and Rolex Explorer II pay homage to the enduring pioneering spirit that Rolex has displayed for the best part of the last century, designed to endure conditions that range from the sweltering to the freezing. Both crafted in stainless steel with reliable water resistance, the Explorer (and its two-timezone tracking sibling in the Explorer II) remains one of the most sturdy time-only watches on the market today.

Rolex Explorer II Stainless Steel Black Dial
Rolex Explorer II Stainless Steel Black Dial

Rolex Yacht-Master

As their names suggest, the Rolex Yacht-Master and Yacht-Master II are designed as sailing watches and enjoy a touch more elevation than the somewhat similar Submariner collection. Across the different references within Yacht-Master collections, there is almost always a touch of precious metal (or titanium most recently), strong water resistance, and a strap or bracelet in metal or rubber. Where the Yacht-Master and Yacht-Master II differ is in their timekeeping mechanisms, with the time and date Yacht-Master surpassed in complexity by the Yacht-Master II which features a countdown timer complication designed specifically for yacht racing.

Rolex Yacht Master II Rose Gold & Stainless Steel White Dial
Rolex Yacht Master II Rose Gold & Stainless Steel White Dial

Rolex Air King

Historically linked to the wrists of RAF pilots in the Battle of Britain, the Rolex Air King most recently offered a nod to the land speed record-pushing Bloodhound SSC vehicle, for which Rolex manufactured a set of dashboard clocks. Just as the pilots of the 1940s needed high-performance tools, so too did the driver of the Bloodhound SSC, which is why the latest Air King fuses form and function with a 40mm steel case that enjoys recently upgraded crown guards.

Rolex Air-King 40 Stainless Steel Black Dial
Rolex Air-King 40 Stainless Steel Black Dial

Rolex Sky-Dweller

Last, but certainly not least, the Sky-Dweller stands tall in the Rolex catalog as the most complicated timepiece currently offered by the brand. It boasts an annual calendar function, indicating both the date and month, coupled with the convenience of tracking a second time zone — meaning its intricate mechanism requires resetting only once a year at the end of February. Available in a number of different stainless steel or precious metal cases, the Sky-Dweller is on the larger side at 42mm but brings with it a presence on the wrist that is truly unmatched.

Rolex Sky-Dweller Yellow Gold Champagne Dial.png
Rolex Sky-Dweller Yellow Gold Champagne Dial

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