Six Perfect Rolex Picks for Your Budget

When you consider affordable watch models, you may think a brand like Rolex is out of reach. Their sports models regularly fetch ten thousand dollars and above. Yet, even a powerhouse manufacturer like Rolex makes more attainable options, particularly if you’re looking to buy pre-owned. You may have to work up to your grail model like a GMT or a Daytona. However, if you want to add a Rolex to your collection, there are still a number of great options available at a reasonable price point. Here, we’ve rounded up six of our favorite affordable Rolex models under $6,000 from our inventory.

The Oyster Perpetual

Of all the offerings in the Rolex catalog, the Oyster Perpetual is one of the most affordable entry-level options. Its revolutionary patented system made it the first water resistant watch to hit the market back in 1926. Still, its straightforward and timeless design continues to be a favorite among fans of the brand. This no-frills, time-only model isn’t just a staple of the brand’s catalog. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for an attainable Rolex.

The Air-King

The Air-King has a long, storied history with an impressive 70 years of continuous production. In fact, one of the most notable iterations is the 5500 series. Throughout its 37-year run, the design of the 5500 remained largely unchanged. Similar to the Oyster Perpetual, the Air-King’s simple, time-only design is sleek and classic. The success of this particular reference is a testament to the investment you’re making with a Rolex. The Air-King is not just an affordable offering from the brand. Its value holds up for years to come.

The Datejust

The Datejust debuted a number of the now-iconic features that have become synonymous with the Rolex brand. It was the first model to feature a Jubilee bracelet and a Cyclops lens over the date window. Additionally, it first launched in 1945 to commemorate the brand’s 40th anniversary. Now, it has become one of the most popular models in the catalog. The Datejust is another excellent example of a reasonably priced option from the Rolex brand.

The Explorer

affordable rolex - Rolex Explorer I

The Explorer earned its name in 1953. That year, it became one of the first watches to reach the peak of Mount Everest. It features a streamlined design with a highly legible dial you can rely on wherever your adventures take you. However, this purpose-built design doesn’t come at a cost that will break the bank. The Explorer is proof that you can get a robust tool watch at an attainable price point.

The Date

Several decades after the initial launch of the time-only Oyster Perpetual, Rolex upgraded the design. With the addition of a date window, the Date was born with the popular Reference 1500. This classic sports watch is perfect for everyday wear and maintains the understated charm of the original. However, it’s versatile enough to wear from the office to a baseball game. With a reasonable price point, it’s hard not to love the Oyster Perpetual Date.

The Datejust Turn-O-Graph

Rolex Datejust - affordable rolex

Similar to the Date, the Turn-O-Graph is a variation of the classic Datejust. Rolex introduced the Turn-O-Graph version about a decade after the original Datejust debuted. As a result, the model gets its name from its rotating bezel. At the time of its release, it was the first serially produced model to showcase this feature. Though Rolex officially retired the Turn-O-Graph collection in 2011, it continues to be an affordable option in the pre-owned market.

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