Considered one of the top brands for luxury watches in the world, Rolex has long been a brand linked with the rich and famous – worn on the wrists of James Bond, A-list celebrities, and all the best action heroes in the movies and beyond.
And it’s not just the fashion statement market that swoons over the latest Rolex. Rolex watches have also become somewhat of an investment purchase in recent years, with the popular brand a main player in the preloved auction market. But let’s be honest for a minute. Not everyone can afford the latest model – and sometimes the extra features and luxury materials push the cost a little outside of the standard designer budget.
With that said, what are the most affordable Rolex watches on the men’s market in 2022?
Why is Rolex so popular on the luxury watch market?
Each Rolex watch is designed with activity and adventure in mind – but that doesn’t stop every model from also ticking the boxes of prestige, elegance, and timeless style. Because of this, each Rolex watch boasts its own unique selling points, made using the highest level of craftsmanship and only the best materials.
The quality also means that the value of Rolex watches tends to increase with time – which is why they are such a prominent and popular investment for those who would look to sell their Rolex watch in time.
Why are some Rolex models more affordable than others?
On the whole, the most expensive Rolex watches on the men’s market are those which have been designed and developed with sport and activity in mind – as these require additional features which render them waterproof or suitable for intense and high-energy activity.
This means that the cheaper or more affordable Rolex watches tend to be the non-sports models – or indeed the women’s models (though this isn’t relevant for this blog!)
Other factors which can make certain models more expensive than others include size, materials, features and functions, and of course the demand for a specific model at a specific time. Higher demand tends to drive the price upwards.
The most affordable men’s Rolex watches in 2022
The following section introduces some of the most affordable watches from the Rolex collection in 2022, considering their value on both the brand new and the resale market, what makes them more affordable, and what kind of buyer would benefit from each.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual
This Rolex makes it onto the list of most affordable models because it is, for all intents and purposes, just a watch. Despite still presenting the same elegant and high-end aesthetic, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual has no additional features or functions, and this means that when pitted against the feature-heavy sports models and other watches, its simplicity offers it a lower price tag.
As this is the simplest and one of the most popular models of Rolex in the watch-lover market, it boasts a number of different variations – with the more modern pieces commanding a higher price tag. A men’s Rolex Oyster Perpetual at a 34mm size will cost you around £2,000 or more – new.
Often considered the most recognisable of all the Rolex models, the Rolex Datejust is timeless in its aesthetic and was created as the first self-winding watch which also displayed the date on the watch face – giving it its name as the Datejust.
The Datejust is waterproof but beyond this and its ability to self-wind and present the date, it is fairly simple and lowkey to use – which again is why it is typically a more affordable watch when compared with some of the high-tech sports models. It is worth noting that because of its status as a well-recognised and coveted Rolex, the Datejust is a great option for someone looking to invest in a Rolex.
Rolex Air-King (older models)
This is an interesting one because the newer Air-King models are considered professional watches and so command a high price tag, while the older pieces combine their vintage status with a lower price which makes them a more affordable purchase.
With great quality, a chunky aesthetic, and a stylish and elegant design, the vintage Air-King watches are classic Rolexes and with a versatile finish, making them suitable for both men and women.
The original diver’s watch, the Submariner combines its more affordable price tag with the simple fact that its popularity makes it one of the most highly coveted and valuable assets on the luxury designer watch market. First launched in 1953, the Submariner was designed to demonstrate a breakthrough in the technical mastery of waterproofing, however, it was fast left behind in terms of its technical limitation and so the original Submariner falls into our affordable category.
With elegance, class, and the ability to tell the time accurately underwater, this model of Rolex is attractive and can be worn underwater, with a suit, at a formal event, or as part of your everyday ensemble. The versatility of this watch gives it its high value.
Should I look at the preloved market for a Rolex?
If it’s affordability you’re looking for, the luxury preloved marketplace is one of the best places to go when looking for a Rolex or designer accessory. Combining the expertise of a professional valuation with the quality assured by the most reputable companies and businesses, when you shop on the preloved market you can uncover Rolex watches which have been kept in pristine condition but are still available at a more affordable price than those available brand new.
Are Rolex watches a good investment?
The high demand for preloved Rolex watches on the preloved market means that, as an investment, you can’t go wrong with a Rolex.
Provided you ensure that you keep all of the relevant authentication paperwork in good condition and receive a formal valuation of your Rolex from a reputable company before selling, an investment Rolex is a sure-fire way to keep your money safely wrapped up in a high-value luxury item.
For more advice and information on Rolex watches as investment pieces, and to discover your next Rolex timepiece, visit our website or store.