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Find Out the Vintage Rolex Catalogue for 2022

January 27th, 2022

The word ‘vintage’ holds different meanings for different individuals. For some, it could be antique, and for others, it might remind them of the old, outdated record player. So, there’s no fixed definition of the word ‘Vintage’. However, if you still want a concrete answer, anything at least over 25 to 30 years old can be considered an ‘antique = vintage’.

Vintage Rolex Catalogue For 2022

In the watch world, the vintage catalogue holds great value. A Rolex from the 90s that is no longer in production also qualifies to be a Vintage Rolex, and you can sell Rolex at an exceedingly high value. Now you know the path is grey.

What is a Vintage Rolex?

Once and for all, we‘ve decided to pen down our definition of a Vintage Rolex. Any Rolex timepiece made before 1979 can be a Vintage watch.

What determines the value of a vintage Rolex?

The value of a vintage timepiece depends on its market demand at a given time. Rolex, as you know, manufactures a limited quantity of watches; hence, their demand is comparatively more than others.

The vintage watch market is booming, and the demand for the valuable Vintage Rolex watch pieces is super high! This means you are most likely to receive a lump sum amount if you intend to sell your Rolex at the moment.

Is a Vintage Rolex a Good Investment?

Vintage Rolex timepieces, in particular, are in high demand today, and this scenario is something that is most unlikely to change in the coming years. This brings us to our question. Yes! Vintage Rolex watches are a solid investment, but there are a few things that you should consider if you need an appreciation in value.

Start by investing in a model that will grow. Other reasons to invest in a Vintage Rolex model are:

  • Good Return

As long as you are ready to bid your time, investing in a vintage Rolex will fetch you a pretty good return. Even when the economic climate fluctuates, a vintage Rolex will serve as a worthy investment.

  • Stock Shortage

Rolex is well-known for its imbalanced demand and supply chain. The stock scarcity in the new watch market drives the collectors to the Vintage section. So, there’s always a high demand in the secondary market for vintage timepieces.

  • Personal Purchase

When you purchase a vintage Rolex, it’s like you buy a part of history. In a world that values new technology so much, owning a vintage Rolex timepiece gives you a surreal pleasure.

Which Vintage Rolex models are most popular?

The values for the vintage Rolex models are up, and some of the most sought-after models are:

  • Daytona
  • Submariner
  • Explorer II
  • GMT-Master
  • Datejust

Before we jump to the specific References, there’s something more we want you to know. The Rolex watch collectors seek vintage pieces with well-aged Patina.

FYI: Patina is the process of natural ageing of a watch’s hour markers, bezel, hands, and dial.

Unlike most things where wear and tear is bad, it’s better when a Rolex has a consistent Patina. But that’s not the only thing that makes a vintage Rolex valuable. Additionally, you have to consider the condition of the timepiece for seeking the best return.

Top 5 Vintage Rolex Investment Options for 2022

Vintage Rolex GMT-MASTER Ref. 1675

The GMT-Master was released in 1959 to help pilots keep track of multiple time zones simultaneously. The iconic collection was in production till 1980, which is one of the many reasons why the watches are so collectable. The GMT-Master 1675 is loved because they are available in multiple variations within the same Reference. Rolex has always modified and upgraded Ref.1675 to set the bar higher for others.

For example, the GMT-Master 1675 was the first to have crown guards, and Rolex freely experimented with the shape of the crown guards. The early models and the most coveted ones came with pointed crown guards, followed by the rounded ones. Other specifications include:

  • Small GMT hand vs. Large GMT hand
  • Glossy vs. Matte Dials
  • Non-Hacking vs. Hacking Seconds Calibres

As a top luxury watch brand, Rolex is all about innovation and style, and the GMT-Master 1675 is an iconic representation of the same.

Vintage Rolex Submariner Ref. 1680

When talking about the most iconic Rolex model, you’d instantly think about the Submariner. Making its debut in the late 1960s and running until the late 1970s, the Submariner Ref. 1680 is not the first Submariner but the first Sub with a Cyclops magnifying lens and a date window.

During the initial years, Rolex experimented with the dial designs. The Submariner 1680 came with ‘SUBMARINER’ written in red on the matte black dial. 1680 being the most desirable version, is often referred to as the ‘Red Submariner’.

Over its six years, Rolex introduced several dial variations, but the ‘Red Sub’ Ref.1608 remained the most iconic of all!

Vintage Rolex Daytona, Paul Newman Ref. 6239

Rolex’s Paul Newman Daytona timepieces are widely famous as the most coveted vintage Rolex watches. If you look at the recent auction, you’ll be blown away by the price it sold for. The Daytona Ref. 6239 was the first Cosmograph Daytona launched in 1963. Who could tell that the manual-wind vintage chronograph is what would lead to becoming the most famous luxury chronograph of all time!

Combine it with the Paul Newman signed dial that officially marks it as the ‘exotic’ dial if that’s not enough. Ref.6239 has contrasting sub-dials with the tachymeter etched on the bezel.

The watch has been cherished by all, specifically by the actor himself, which readily contributes to its exceeding popularity in the watch collecting circle.

Vintage Rolex Explorer II Ref. 1655

Made most specifically for the adventurers, the Rolex Explorer II Ref. 1655 was the first Explorer II made, and its design stands alone amidst the subsequent models of the same collection. The adventurers, who spent a lot of time in the caves, needed a watch indicating the Night/Day easily.

The Explorer II Ref. 1655 has a large, orange-coloured 24-hour hand pointing to a fixed 24-hour bezel. It works as a PM/AM indicator when checking the hour of the day isn’t an option. The following versions of the Explorer II do not showcase this feature, making it even more unique.

During its run from 1971 to 1985, the Ref. 1655 went through a couple of changes, including:

  • 4 Bezel Variants
  • 5 Dial Changes
  • 2 Different Seconds Hands

You’ll be surprised to know that the features which once made the Ref. 1655 most undesirable (prominent 24-hour hand & unusual dial) are the ones that make the model so valuable amongst the vintage watch collectors now.

Vintage Rolex Datejust Ref. 1601

If you’re someone who is just entering the world of vintage Rolex watches, then the Reference 1601 would be ideal. Classic, easily recognisable, and prestigious are the few terms that signify the Datejust collection and the Ref. 1601 is one of the most elegant models in the vintage landscape.

Launched in 1967, the Datejust Ref.1601 continues to appeal to all for its timeless design with a steel Oyster case, Jubilee bracelet, and a white-gold fluted bezel.

Combine this with a classic silver dial with a sunburst finish, and you can get hold of one of Rolex’s most desirable vintage models. The Ref. 1601 is also available with a dial what many collectors refer to as the ‘Pie Pan’.

It is a watch that has not only proven its reliability and sturdiness but also secures a lump sum value in the secondary market.

Do you have any of the models noted above and want to sell Rolex to a reputed watch buyer? Well, ensure that your Rolex ticks the following characteristics:

  • Original Parts: The Vintage watch collectors are most keen on original parts. If your Rolex has its original dial, bezel, and movement, then the value of your vintage Rolex will subsequently increase.
  • ‘Wanted’ Defects: As said, unlike the regular wear & tear that negatively impacts the value of a typical Rolex, having slight defects on your vintage timepiece can drive the value!
  • Overall Condition: A watch worn for years is bound to have marks and scratches. However, having broken hands, water damage on or inside, damage on the dial markers or crystals can negatively influence the value. But in most cases, a vintage Rolex in all conditions is collectable!
  • Tropical Dial: Gone are the days when the sun-faded or orange-coloured dials of the vintage timepieces were undesirable. Each Rolex dial is unique, and the Tropical dials produced before the 80s are considered Vintage Rolex watch pieces, which are pretty expensive.
  • Original Box & Papers: Retaining your Rolex’s original box and papers will add more value to your vintage timepiece when you sell Rolex watch.


So, here’s what you can do! You can either invest in a couple of new Submariners and Daytonas and wait for the year 2052 to reap a worthwhile value, or invest in any of the above listed Vintage pieces and then sell your Rolex at an even higher value. The choice is yours.

Meantime, if you intend to sell Rolex in London, get in touch with any reliable watch buyer to get a fair and competitive price. Start by filling in the online form to get a FREE accurate valuation today!

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