A Rolex isn’t just a fashionable watch or something to show off. It’s a milestone of your success and a reward for the hard work you’ve put in for years.
Every time you look down at your wrist you can be proud of what you accomplished in life that lead to this moment.
Rolex is a brand that many gentlemen aspire to attain and this dream is much more achievable than you might think.
Today we will be focusing on the best Rolex watches under the 10k, 5k and 3k range so many budgets are taken into consideration. First, let’s get into a bit of history on this legendary brand.
Best Rolex Watches Under 10k
Two men named Alfred Davis and Hans Wilsdorf founded the company Wilsdorf and Davis, which would later become in Rolex in 1095.
They focused on importing high-quality Swiss movements to England and inserting them into other watch cases. These watches would then primarily be sold to jewelers that would place their own names on the dial.
3 years later in 1908, Hans registered Rolex as a trademark and opened an office in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The actual company name Rolex wasn’t registered until November 15th, 1915.
The name was chosen because it’s short, easy to remember, easy to pronounce in many languages, and comes from the French phrase horlogerie exquise or “exquisite clockwork”.
As of 2017, it should be no surprise the brand has a value north of $8 billion.
Over the years they have released collections for deep sea diving, mountain climbing, caving, and aviation but you’ll seldom find yourself wearing them in those scenarios. They go amazing with a nice pair of dress shoes, as well.
Instead nowadays you’d wear your Rolex at work, meetings, networking events and while you’re out. Now, lets get into the meat and potatoes and why you’re here.
Best Rolex Under 10k
Rolex Submariner Date Black Dial
Alright, it may be just shy of 10k, but it’s still technically under so it had to be mentioned.
The Oyster Perpetual Submariner or just Submariner for short was first revealed in 1954. It is widely considered one of the most classic diving watches that has more than held its reputation over time. It features:
- A durable stainless steel case and oyster bracelet.
- Uni-directional rotating bezel.
- A sleek black dial with hands and hour markers.
- Minute markers around the rim.
- Analog display and automatic movement.
- Luminescent hands and hour markers for better visibility.
- Calendar display.
- Scratch resistant sapphire crystal window.
- a 40mm case diameter.
- Water resistance up to 300 meters or 1000 feet.
A used Rolex Submariner is a great option if you want to save a bit of money. They are often just as good as if they were brand new, and will last a lifetime with proper care.
Is The Rolex Submariner A Dress Watch?
The Rolex Submariner is not technically a dress watch. Dress watches are characterized by a simple face with a leather band or metal bracelet.
The Submariner is a dive watch — hence the moving bezel to record underwater depth.
While it is a beautiful luxury watch, it should be worn more casually. Avoid wearing a Submariner with a suit, as that’s reserved for James Bond.
What To Wear With Rolex Submariner’s
I’d recommend wearing Submariner’s with casual and business casual outfits at most.
These watches were intended to be used while diving in the ocean, although you’ll probably be keeping it dry nowadays.
With that being said, sport it in the summer with loafers, chino shorts, and a tucked in dress shirt.
During the cool months, you can wear a Submariner with dress boots, jeans, and a sweater.
Rolex GMT Master II
Released in 1954 along with the Submariner, the Oyster Perpetual Date GMT Master was designed in collaboration with Pan American Airways. It was issued to pilots and navigators on long-term flights with the GMT Master II being released in the early 80s. Features include:
- Self-winding automatic movement.
- Black and red ceramic bezel with black dial.
- Stainless steel case and Oyster bracelet with folding buckle.
What to Wear With Rolex GMT Master
Similar to the Submariner, the GMT Master is also considered a dive watch. It’s best you style it with casual and business casual looks because of this. Try rocking one with a pair of high-end dress shoes like Allen Edmonds, jeans, and a sports jacket.
Known as the Oyster Perpetual Date or just Rolex Date for short. This is one of the simpler-looking Rolex models but that is what makes it so timeless and versatile.
It has a stainless steel case and an Oyster bracelet with an engine-turned bezel. The deep blue dial is accompanied by silver-tone hands and stick hour markers with minute markers on the rim.
On the 3 o’clock position you have your date display and the watch features automatic movement. Don’t worry about wear-and-tear either because the sapphire crystal window is scratch-resistant.
What to Wear With Rolex Date?
The Rolex Date is classy and simple, making it ideal for formal outfits and events.
You can wear a Rolex Date with a suit, but ensure that it matches other accents on your outfit.
The Date can also be worn with oxfords, wool trousers, and a tucked-in dress shirt as work attire.
One of the newer models was released by Rolex in 1997. It was originally launched in 1992 but was reworked to be in the color “Rolesium”, a term they patented which meant a platinum and stainless steel construction. It features:
- Automatic movement.
- Scratch resistant sapphire crystal window.
- Date calendar.
- Platinum dial with luminated markers.
- Bi-directional rotatable platinum bezel.
- 35mm stainless steel case.
Is the Yachtmaster a Good Watch?
The Yachtmaster has incredible looks that will turn heads and is built like a tank. The date function and racing features found on newer models also make this watch very useful.
It will last for decades with care, and is — without debate — an amazing watch.
Best Rolex Under 5000
After the Rolex Date came the Datejust, released in 1945. At that time it was the first watch to feature an automatically changing date.
It boasts a smooth stainless steel bezel and Oyster bracelet with a silver stick dial. Many notable men like Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton Winston Churchill had the Datejust in their collections.
What to Wear With a Rolex Datejust?
The Datejust, just like the Date model, is a classic dress watch. You should pair this with a well-tailored suit, crisp dress shirt, and cap toe oxfords.
The more formal, the better. Save your Datejust for those special moments you share with friends and family where you need to dress up.
Rolex Datejust with Leather Band
A 36mm yellow gold and stainless steel Datejust. The brown leather strap contrasts beautifully with the gold and silver for a perfect balance. It features a black dial, gold markers, automatic movement, and quick date setting.
Two Tone Rolex Datejust
36mm Datejust with an 18k yellow gold and stainless steel construction. The blue dial creates a very nice contrast that will jump off your wrist and catch your attention. It features stick hour markers, a date calendar, and a crystal window.
Best Rolex Under 3000
Rolex Datejust with Blue Leather Band
A silver dial accompanies a rich blue leather band for a muted appearance. For under $3,000 it doesn’t get much better than this. The Datejust is a timeless wristwatch you’ll find incorporates into many outfits and occasions in your life.
Are Rolex Watches Worth It?
You’ll be spending at least a couple of thousand on a Rolex watch. This raises the question, are they worth it?
If you’re going to spend that kind of money, you want to get a good deal.
Here are a few things that make Rolex watches so great.
Rolex Resell Value And As An Investment
Unlike most watches that lose value, Rolex holds its value more than any other luxury good. Look at this graph from A Blog to Watch depicting how much a Submariner has risen in price since its release.
While a watch isn’t the go-to investment for many, it can definitely yield a great ROI in the future.
If you decide to purchase a Rolex, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’ll probably get your money back and more. You can enjoy your watch for years to come before letting go of it. At worse, you break even.
There are so many groups, websites, and fans of Rolex that you will have no trouble selling your Rolex if you wish to one day.
You want a watch that lasts.
Rolex uses some of the highest quality materials to ensure a long lifespan and performance.
One of the first materials that make them stand out is 904L stainless steel. This is a specially durable stainless steel that is much stronger and long-lasting. It definitely contributes to Rolex having a reputation of being tough.
18ct gold is used for many of their timepieces, as well. It has a captivating appearance and creates an eye-catching luster. It’s used to make both bracelets and watchcases alike. Rolex offers yellow, white, and Everose gold.
Perhaps the rarest material of all, Rolex uses 950 platinum. It is also combined with ruthenium for a robust build and legendary shine. Having a platinum-built watch is the ultimate form of prestige.
Rolex doesn’t just use any form of ceramic for their watches. They use their revolutionary and patented Cerachrom. It ensures lasting great looks and function, even in the harshest weather conditions. It’s almost impossible to scratch and invincible to ultraviolet rays.
Using a PVD process, numerals are coated with a layer of gold or platinum. Diamond polishing finishes it off for an insanely beautiful appearance. No wonder people stare at your wrist when you wear one.
According to a study done by Interbrand, Rolex is the third most recognized Swiss brand. Not just out of watch brands, any brands!
Everyone and their mom know what a Rolex is.
It has a reputation for being expensive and very luxurious.
When you have one on your wrist, you’ll feel so much more confident.
People ask questions, some will stare, and others will envy you. Having a Rolex on makes you look more professional and successful.
Frequently Asking Question
Are Rolex Watches Automatic?
Yes, some of Rolex’s watches are automatic. However, some models feature quartz and self-winding movements.
This gives you a variety of choices based on your budget and personal taste.
Are Rolex Watches Solid Gold?
Yes. Rolex is actually the only watch company that manufactures its own gold.
They exclusively use 18-karat gold, which is much more durable and aesthetic.
Are Rolex Watches Waterproof?
All Rolex models are made to be waterproof, but only to a certain water pressure level. There are also watches they create which are water-resistant — not to get mixed up with being waterproof.
Are Rolex Watches Handmade?
Rolex watches are not 100% handmade but are given large amounts of attention and hands-on care during the production process.
The watches are tested in extreme temperatures, various positions, and only are sold if they pass these styles of tests.
Machines, of course, make up a bulk of the watches being manufactured, but they still have extremely high-quality control.
Rolex watches are a great investment for any man that wants to show off his milestone of success. You’ve worked hard and deserve it.
You don’t have to splurge and get a brand new Rolex either. Certified pre-owned models are fantastic choices since they are more affordable.