List of Most Expensive Rolex in the World
Without a doubt, Rolex is the world’s most valuable luxury watch brand. This Swiss manufacturer is well known for bringing iconic models that are a true status symbol. For example, wearing a vintage Submariner or a contemporary Rolex day-date reveals a lot about the person as to who he is and what he has accomplished in his life. So, what makes Rolex so special?
The exclusivity of Rolex lies in the rarity of its materials, quality of its designs, and, its unimpeachable process of production that assures precise and brilliant performances. All these principles play a significant role in making Rolex the most sought-after brand. While there are also other watch manufacturers such as Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe that are equally brilliant at crafting signature watches, Rolex, however, is admired for its rich and diverse history of leadership and novelty in watchmaking. This is the reason most of the notable personalities from the worlds of cinema, business, politics, and sports. Some of the popular Rolex owners are Paul Newman, Elle Macpherson, Steve McQueen, John F Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Che Guevara, Victoria Beckham, and Winston Churchill.
If you are looking to explore the world of Rolex watches and understand what role each of their models plays into the brand, here, you will be looking at some of the most expensive Rolex watches of 2019. While some of these most expensive Rolex models are historical masterpieces that are rare or comes with the fame of their previous owners, then there are others which are contemporary timepieces that are available currently. The price range of these machines varies from $13,337 to $17.8 million.
List of 15 Most Expensive Rolex Watches in 2019
Here is the list of top 15 most expensive Rolex watches in the world in 2019 that you can buy currently. Below is the quick list of the most expensive Rolex of 2019 that you can buy at present. To know about them in detail, refer to the information provided below.
- Submariner Date from $13,337 (2019)
- Sky-Dweller Oystersteel from 14,275 (2019)
- Cosmograph Daytona from $16,780 (2019)
- Datejust from $17,000 (2019)
- Rolex Day-Date from $34,500 (2019)
- Rolex Pearlmaster collection from $87,000 (2019)
- Steve McQueen’s Rolex Submariner (1967) $234,000 (2009)
- Rolex Platinum Diamond Pearlmaster $277,850 (March 2011)
- James Bond Rolex Submariner (1972) $365,000 (November 2015)
- Rolex GMT Master II Ice $485,350 (August 2014)
- Eric Clapton’s Rolex “Oyster Albino” Cosmograph Daytona $1.4 million (May 2015)
- Anti-magnetique Reference 4113 (1942) $2.5 million (May 2016)
- Rolex Bao Dai $5.1 million (May 2017)
- Rolex Daytona Reference 626 Unicorn (1971) $5.9 million (May 2018)
- Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona $17.8 million (October 2017)
The list starts with the least expensive Rolex watches. These contemporary models can be purchased from the authorized Rolex stores currently. As you will go down in the list, you will find exclusive historical models that go on sale only through private auctions. Some of them were even the properties of celebrities and influential people or crafted with unique materials.
Rolex Submariner Date: price starts from $13,337 (2019)
Our list starts with this classic Rolex Submariner Date model. The Submariner was first launched in 1953. At that time, it was the first wristwatch that divers could take to a depth of 100 Meters which is approximately 330 Feet. The watch gained popularity by the original James Bond movies. At present, the Rolex Submariner is one of the most popular models of Rolex. Today, the prices for Rolex Submariner models start from $13,337 and vary according to the material you choose. The Submariner models are available in White Gold, Stainless Steel, and Yellow Gold.
Sky-Dweller Oystersteel and yellow gold: price starts from $14,275 (2019)
Rolex Sky-Dweller models are rare to see around. This self-winding watch was originally crafted for pilots and frequent travelers to help them keep track of 2 time zones simultaneously on the dial. One can easily set the local time on the main dial with traditional hour, second and minute hands. A smaller dial on the watch can be used to keep track of a second-time zone. The additional dial comes with a 24 hours display to allow the wearer to distinguish night-time from day-time. The prices for the Rolex Sky-Dweller models start from $14,275. The watch is available in Rose Gold, Yellow Gold and White gold.
Cosmograph Daytona: price starts from $16,780 (2019)
This brilliant Rolex Daytona dial was first introduced in 1963 to celebrate the world of professional race car driving. The model gained popularity among movie stars and the public widely. The dial of Cosmograph Daytona has become a symbol that is celebrated and imitated by other watch brands. The two small pushers on the right side of the watch allow the wearer to enable the chronograph function. The pushers are capable of surviving waterproofness up to 330 feet (100 Meters).
Rolex Datejust: price starts from $17,000 (2019)
Introduced firstly in 1945, the stylish Rolex Datejust was designed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the company. Since then, it has become a predominant watch for businessmen and businesswomen around the world. The watch can be worn both as a business professional outfit or business casual. The watch comes with an extensive selection of dials, materials, bracelets and with the option to incorporate precious stones on the dial.
The Datejust is available in different sizes varying from 31mm to 34mm, 36mm, and 41mm. Also, there is a special 28mm Lady-Datejust available. The watch is available in Rose Gold, White Gold, Yellow Gold and Stainless Steel.
Rolex Day-Date: price starts from $34,500 (2019)
The Rolex Day-Date is undoubtedly the paramount of a status symbol as it is among the most expensive Rolex watches at present and was worn by numerous leaders and heads of state throughout the world. The Day-Date was first introduced in 1956 as the first self-winding chronometer and waterproof wristwatch to offer a calendar with a day display along with the date. Also, it was the first watch to come with a jubilee Rolex bracelet that makes wearing it on the wrist extremely comfortable.
The 2019 model of Day-Date comes with the calibre 3255 movement that offers brilliant performance and reliability which is absolutely suitable to wear with a suit or formal dresses. The price for this exceptional watch starts from $34,500 and it is available in 36mm and 40mm dial and has options in Rose Gold, White Gold, Yellow Gold, and, Platinum.
Rolex Pearlmaster collection: price starts from $87,000 (2019)
The most expensive Rolex that you can buy today is the Rolex Pearlmaster. While the price for this timepiece starts from $87,000, however, it mainly depends on the market price of the diamonds when purchasing it. The watch is available in 34mm and 39mm cases and it is exclusively available in Rose Gold, White Gold, and Yellow Gold.
If you look at this watch, you will find it to be a high-end customized version of the Rolex Datejust, encrusted with precisely carved diamonds and precious gems. The company developed a high-end technique in order to align the position, orientation, and height of each stone on the dial. Available in three bracelet options, out of which two include gemstones on the bracelet themselves, the watch is waterproof up to 330 feet (100 meters) and comes with a 48 hours power reserve.
NOTE: The watches that you find from hereinbelow are the unique pieces that were sold through a public and private auction. While you might be able to buy one of these watches provided they come in the market again, however, at the moment they are not up for sale.
Steve McQueen’s Rolex Submariner (1967): Sold for $234,000 (2009)
Steve McQueen’s 1967 Rolex Submariner is the first in our list to be sold for a high price at a 2009 auction. The auction was organized by Antiquorum where the watch was sold at $234,000, the highest price ever paid for a vintage Rolex at that time. Although the watch was a classic Rolex Submariner from 1967. what made it fetch such a huge price is the fact that it was once owned by Steve McQueen.
Rolex Platinum Diamond Pearlmaster Sold for $277,850 in March 2011
This Rolex Platinum Diamond Pearlmaster is based on the Day-Date collection and not on the Datejust model. The limited-edition Rolex is made from meteorite diamond and has 42 diamonds on its custom bezel. The 39mm dial watch was first introduced in 2011 for a price of $277,850.
James Bond’s 1972 Rolex Submariner: sold for $365,000 in November 2015
Another Submariner in our most expensive Rolex watches ever sold is the original watch worn by Sir Roger Moore while portraying the role of James Bond in Live and Let Die (1973). In 2015, the watch was sold at a Phillips auction in Geneva for $365,000. For the film, the watch was modified a bit. Its bezel was modified to look like a circular saw. This was done in order to create a scene in the movie where James Bond cut a rope. The magnetic field of the watch was also used to unzip the dress of Miss Caruso played by Madeline Smith. Most importantly, the James Bond Submariner watch was modified so heavily that it doesn’t tell time anymore. Well, the back of the watch was signed by Roger Moore.
Rolex GMT Master II Ice: sold for $485,350 (August 2014)
If the diamond on Pearlmaster didn’t look enough to you, then you should take a look at the Rolex GMT Master II Ice. The watch is entirely encrusted in precious stones and made using white gold. The dial has an appealing wave pattern of gold and diamonds. It was sold for $485,350 in 2014. Apart from this, the case hasn’t been modified. All the same features and performance are there that the modern Rolex GMT II delivers, including 50-hours of power reserve and a waterproof case up to 330 feet (100 meters).
Eric Clapton’s Rolex “Oyster Albino” Cosmograph Daytona Sold for $1.4 Million in May 2015
Eric Clapton’s Daytona, termed the Rolex “Oyster Albino” Cosmograph was sold not once but twice for a significant amount during its public auction. The first time it was sold in 2003 in New York where the watch was purchased for $505,000 Sotheby’s auction. Then, 12 years later, in May 2015, Eric Clapton’s Daytona was sold again for three times its previous price at $1.4 million at a Phillips auction in Geneva.
Apart from its famous first owner, the Rolex “Oyster Albino” Daytona is notable as only four pieces are available with the dial in a single color. Generally, you will find the Daytona dial having two colors to make the chronograph contrasting with the rest of the dial.
Antimagnetique Reference 4113 from 1942 was Sold for $2.5 million in May 2016
The Antimagnetique Reference 4113 from 1942 is the oldest Rolex in this list, sold for almost $2.5 million during a Phillips’ auction in Geneva (2016). Initially, the watch was produced as a gift to celebrate the victory of a racing team. It comes with an extraordinarily large case of 44 mm. In fact, it is the largest case ever built by Rolex. It is said that there are only 12 examples of the 4113 models that exist today. In 2013, this model was sold for $1.16 million at Christie’s.
The Rolex Bao Dai: sold for $5.1 million (May 2017)
Undeniably, the Rolex Bao Dai is one of the most instantly recognizable models from the brand. This watch was based on the Rolex reference 6062. In 1954, it was sold to the Nguyen dynasty’s last emperor in Vietnam. At that time, the Rolex Bao Dai was the most expensive model in Rolex’s collection. The black dial and gold case were the rarest setups available. According to Hodinkee, there were only three models produced ever. Out of those three, only this piece is the one having diamond markers on the even hours.
The Rolex Bao Dai was sold for more than $5.1 million at a Phillips auction in Geneva in 2017. In 2002, the Nguyen family first sold the watch for $235,000, the highest price ever paid for a Rolex at that time.
The 1971 Rolex Daytona Reference 626 Unicorn: sold for $5.9 million (May 2018)
What makes this 1970 Rolex Daytona fetch a price of $5.9 million in 2018 is its rarity and uniqueness. While the majority of Rolex Daytona designed at that time were in stainless steel, the Reference 6265 is the only model which was made available in 18-karat white gold, thus, it got the name “Unicorn”. Before it was announced in 2013 that the famous Rolex collector john Goldberger had acquired the watch, only a few people were aware of it.
Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona: sold for $17.8 million (October 2017)
Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona is the most expensive Rolex ever sold in the world, easily beating the record set by a 1943 Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph which was sold for $11 million in 2016. While the opening bid for Paul Newman’s Daytona begun at $1 million, however, it was immediately raised to $10 million by the first bidder, shocking the entire auction room at Phillips. Then, there were only two bidders who fought for the watch and finally settling its price at $17.8 million.
Well, this particular Rolex Daytona is neither a rare model nor made with precious materials. So, why was it sold for such a huge price that it became the world’s most expensive Rolex? Well, the story behind it is that this watch was given to Paul Newman by his wife, Joanne Woodward, while he was playing in the popular movie “Winning”.
So, these are some of the world’s most expensive Rolex watches. What do you have to say about our list? Let us know your views in the comment box.