Cheapest, Most Affordable Rolex Watches (Updated 2021)
The words cheap and Rolex definitely don’t belong in one sentence. However, there are some Rolex models that are more affordable than others.
They have their most well known watches like the Submariner or the GMT, which you may well have to sign up and wait for, but they also have their entry level models that you can aspire to buy because they are a little bit cheaper than those more sought after watches.
In this post I will show you which are the cheapest Rolex watches in 2020 (although they all cost upwards of 5000).
Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Starting with the lowest priced watch, the Oyster Perpetual is elegance personified.
It has Rolex written all over it with the raised hour markers and fine minute train around the edge of the stunning blue dial (you can get dial in various colors).
The Rolex logo is, as always, located at 12 o’clock and the model name is clearly visible at 6 o’clock.
The case, bezel and band are all Oystersteel, specifically developed by Rolex. It is 904L steel which was developed for aerospace and designed to resist corrosion.
The movement is one of Rolex’s own, the 3132 has shock absorption and is extremely accurate for an automatic (self-winding) movement. It has even passed the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) tests so you know it will run like a Swiss watch, literally.
Rolex Air King
Originally designed for use by airmen back in the 1930s, the Air King has made a recent comeback in the Rolex range and you can see why.
This is one of the few sporty Rolex’s in my opinion, with large Arabic numerals around the dial, with even larger ones at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock making it far easier to read at a glance, something pilots back in the day needed. It’s all black face and strong contrasting numbering and lettering give it a very modern feel. As do the larger more prominent hands, and the slight tough of color in the green second hand and yellow/green Rolex logo.
In terms of specifications it is very similar to the Oyster Perpetual above with a 3132 movement, Oystersteel all around and 100m water resistance to top it off.
It is slightly larger in size, with a 1mm larger case diameter.
Rolex Explorer II
First released in 1971, the Rolex Explorer II brings the dive watch look of the Submariner to a more affordable level. But it does not stop there.
This is the first watch in this series to feature a date window, with Rolex’s renowned cyclops window giving up to 2.5x magnification. And, this watch in particular has a dedicated 24 hour hand, seen in red, that marches to it’s own beat at half the pace of the standard 12 hour hand. This is matched by the 24 hour markers on the bezel, to help you keep time no matter where you are.
The dial is also quite unique with it’s submariner style hour markers that are raised and 18 carat gold to prevent tarnishing. The background is also a stylish creamy white with the Explorer branding in red to match the 24 hour hand.
The movement is a Rolex 3187 providing all the features you need on this watch, and the usual 48 hours power reserve for the automatic movement. Of course, Rolex always allows you to self-wind, in either direction, another handy feature a lot of lesser watches ignore.
There is nothing quite like a watch with a story, and the Milgauss definitely does not disappoint on that front. Originally, and first developed by Rolex to help engineers working in strong magnetic environments, the modern version of the Milgauss can still withstand 1000 gauss (‘mil gauss’ in French), which is quite an accomplishment for a watch made almost entirely of metal.
This is a watch for those who want something that stands out. It has a striking electric blue dial, lightening-bolt second hand and green sapphire crystal that you will rarely find on any other watch.
The hour markers are more classic Rolex bars, well lumed with their proprietary Chromalight lume. The minute markers run in a matching red train around the bezel with Arabic numerals every 10 minutes.
Rolex Datejust II
The Datejust is a classic looking Rolex that will truly stand the test of time. This watch marks a step up in price because of the 18 karat gold blended steel, called White Rolesor and trademarked by Rolex.
The stunning blue dial will catch the eyes of passers by and the easy to read date window with cyclops lens are a masterpiece of Rolex for decades.
The 3235 Rolex movement is classic in it’s design and reliability, being certified by the Swiss Chronometer Institut.
The bezel also marks a little design flair by Rolex with it’s clear Datejust design with fluting and it is also entirely out of 18k white gold. The inner case and band are Oystersteel.
So there you have it. Five of the cheapest and most affordable Rolex watches on the market in 2018.
Sure, they might be on the bottom of the price range for Rolexs, but they are certainly not cheap by any means. And they are all still iconic and more ways than I can possibly count.