Chrono Hunters Top Rolex Watches For Investment In 2024: The Essential Guide
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Chrono Hunters Top Rolex Watches For Investment In 2024: The Essential Guide

Chrono Hunter's Top Rolex Watches For Investment In 2024: The Essential Guide


Since their inception in 1905, Rolex has been laying down the law on what constitutes quality, heritage, precision and sublime watches. As such, models like the Rolex Daytona and The GMT-Master II have the capability of not only holding their value but surpassing their original retail value, making them excellent investments. Take for example the Rolex Daytona 116503 which retails for £16,400 but sells on the secondary market for £18,754 (at the time of writing). Or the GMT-Master II 126713GRNR which retails for £9,450 but sells on the secondary market for £19,364 - at the time of writing.

As the economy begins to bounce back following the uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic, many people are looking for new investment opportunities. It should come as no surprise that tangible assets, such as luxury timepieces, make for great investments. Watches tend to increase in value, or at least hold their value, even during times of recession, and with inflation on the rise, now is a great time to purchase a Rolex watch as an investment. In this article, we’re going to focus on the best Rolex to invest in for a variety of different budgets and tastes, and how you can use Chrono Hunter to find your ideal timepiece.

In this article, we’re going to focus on the best Rolex to invest in for a variety of different budgets and tastes, and how you can use Chrono Hunter to find your ideal timepiece.


Why Choose A Rolex Watch As An Investment?


The most highly sought-after watch brands continue to enjoy consistent growth. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, mainstays of the luxury timepiece world like Rolex have continued to rise in value - proof that you can rely on an established brand for a healthy return on investment.

As you might expect, certain Rolex models perform better on the secondary market than others. While the condition of a watch undoubtedly affects price, certain models command a higher price tag for a variety of reasons.

While there’s no hard and fast answer regarding the question of the best Rolex to invest in, models which sell out quickly on the release date, those which are discontinued, limited-edition runs, or simple classics that are consistently in demand tend to make for the best investments. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best Rolex models to invest in throughout 2024 and beyond:


Rolex Perpetual 1908 Ref. 52508 


Sadly, Rolex terminated the beautiful Cellini collection from its portfolio at this year's Watches and Wonders 2023.

Rolex Perpetual 1908 - Source - Rolex

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While we can appreciate why a few of you horophiles may be feeling a little downtrodden, we can assure you that it has been replaced with a stunning model! The Rolex Perpetual 1908 imbues the vintage dress watch style majestically and cleverly plays it along with high quality technological upgrades.


The Details


To be precise, this Rolex watch is 39mm and crafted out of yellow gold. It's the ideal size for a dress watch as it's not too cumbersome on the wrist, plus, it's elevated to luxury watch status due to this admired precious metal. Did we mention that yellow gold watches are on trend in 2024? This makes this timepiece a definite one for investment. 

The dial is kept minimalist for a good reason. By using an unconventional indices pattern of both Arabic numerals at 12, 3 and 9 o'clock with batons for the rest, they are all yellow gold, standing out superbly against the crisp cream dial. The dial's face also links back to the Oyster Perpetual watch of 1931 which utilised such a design. Talk about bridging the gap over time!

Now, it would be a sin if we didn't mention how Rolex utilises colour in this watch. By keeping the dial white, the rest of the watch is done in yellow gold, allowing the alligator brown strap to contrast well and add a dressed down aspect to the glorious luxury refinery of this piece. The Superlative Chronometer movement, the calibre 7140 is extremely desired and brand new to Rolex’s portfolio. Selfwinding, the movement has 5 patents filed to its name, symbolising the level of new technology inside of the watch. 

Take for example the use of a silicon Syloxi hairspring or the Chronergy escapement which boasts a strong immunity against magnetism. Not satisfied? How about the Paraflex shock absorbers which expertly support the oscillator and escape wheel from the traumas of life?


Why Should I Invest?


Without a doubt, this Rolex watch is beautifully crafted inside and out. From the domed sapphire and fluted bezel, it lends a nod to the original Rolex Oyster but is still firmly planted in the present with an attractive Côtes de Genève finish on the Superlative Chronometer movement. It is built using yellow gold which is extremely popular right now given the brand’s releases at Watches and Wonders 2023. This offers smart investors new horological blood for their Rolex collections. 

Slender yet powerful, the watch is perfect for the dressy moments in your life. You can wear this bad boy with the smartest shirt you own, or buy it for your safe as a potential investment piece! You can buy a Rolex 1908 at retail in 2023 for £18,500 - at the time of writing. 


Rolex Daytona “John Mayer” Edition


John Mayer is one hell of an influence on the watch world. Ever since his chat with a watch blog on their ‘Talking Watches’ show, you could instantly predict that all the watches he casually referenced as being key to his collection would instantly boom in value.


116508 - Source - Petite Geneve Petrovic

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And they most certainly did. In fact, The Rolex Daytona John Mayer edition as it is now dutifully known exploded in popularity and as such, sales skyrocketed. But what exactly makes this so popular?


The Details


Originally released in 2016 at Baselworld, it was buddied up alongside the stainless steel Cerachrom bezel Daytona, a watch which was instantly incredibly popular. 

The green dialled Rolex Daytona is the spitting image of its predecessors. Operating with three subdials and a tachymeter on the bezel, the watch retains its sporty aesthetic as the number one watch for those on the race track. The indices are yellow gold rimmed, which matches the yellow gold case superbly. Not only do the indices stand out superbly against the British Racing green dial, they are coated with Chromalight ensuring first rate visibility on and off the track. 

Luxury abounds with this Rolex watch due to the regal colour scheme of the yellow gold and green. It takes the Kermit and The Hulk editions and teaches them a timekeeping lesson on how to make green en vogue. Listen up timelords, this is not just a collectors piece for a safe investment.

Inside is the highly functional Calibre 4130 which is reserved solely for the Rolex Daytona. Working between a variation of +2/-2 seconds per day, the movement reaches an impressive 72 hours when not worn and runs at a pacey 4Hz. 


Why Should I Invest?


Don't get us wrong. We were very sad when the Rolex Daytona John Mayer was discontinued. However, if you thought the watch was popular when John Mayer endorsed it, you can expect to be pleasantly surprised again! Since the watch was so in demand, they are now guaranteed to become vastly more popular due to their discontinuation. 

Well, don’t we all want a chunk no matter how small of Rolex's history, especially parts that relate to celebrities. I mean we could harp on about the legendary Explorer which made it to the top of Everest in 1953 (Oh hang on a second we are coming to that!) As such, with supply now at zero and demand vastly increasing thanks to the discontinued John Mayer, now is the best time to get your hands on this…if you can. Strike while the watch is hot, Timelords!

You can no longer buy a Rolex Daytona John Mayer at retail in 2023. Although secondary values command a value of around £60,285 at the time of writing. 


Rolex Explorer II Ref 1655


You may know this watch as the ‘Steve Mcqueen’. In fact, you’d be misled into thinking he actually wore one.


The Explorer II Ref 1655 - Source - The Watch Club

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It was an advertising campaign by Rolex in the 1970’s which prompted the watch to be associated with the Easy Rider star when in reality, he was much more interested in his Rolex Submariner. Nonetheless, The Rolex Explorer II 1655 also has its timekeeping fingers in the world of Hollywood. Worn by clientele like Jason Statham and Orlando Bloom, the Rolex Explorer is exceptionally well received and is certainly built for the silver screen!


The Details


Measuring 40mm, this stainless steel watch is crafted for the adventure-seekers among us, specifically, those who enjoy the dank atmosphere of caves or a countryside trek. It was made for those in the dark due to its bezel which enjoys a 24 hour scale as well as a neon orange arrow shaped 24-hour hand, used as a GMT function. This allows the user to be able to read the dial in both 12 hour and 24 hour times, allowing them to determine whether it was AM or PM when they were underground for such long hours. 

The dial is coated with tritium lume on the indices and the orange 24 hour hand. This ensures that in all conditions, the watch is clear and accessible to the user. This edition ran until the mid-1980’s and as such, the Explorer is given a matte dial. While it's not the most aesthetically pleasing as other effects such as a sunray dial, we think it suits the purpose of being one of the most perfect outdoorsy timepieces.  

COSC certified, it is powered by the durable 1575 calibre. The watch is ideal for those thrill seekers as it has a date function, 24 hour bezel and corresponding hand, plus a 100 metre depth rating…just in case you want to take a dip or rock out with a Jack Daniels on that sun lounger. 


Why Should I Invest


The 1655 ran for 15 years before its demise in 1985. Throughout this period, it was actually rather unsuccessful, despite its Hollywood endorsements by Steve Mcqueen. However, that doesn't always mean that the watch is forever dead. Its disliked elements have now become its most discerning feature. The bulbous orange 24 hour hand and the matte dial is celebrated amongst collectors and enthusiasts, making the reference 1655 extremely popular as a vintage model. Need we regurgitate the old turtle and hare analogy?

You cannot buy a Rolex Explorer II Ref 1655 at retail in 2023 anymore due to its discontinuation but valued on the secondary market for around £21,535 - at the time of writing. 


Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710


Everyone and their aunty knows the Rolex GMT due to its aviation inspired influence. Originally it was made for pilots who worked on board PAN-AM airlines due to the various time zones that they would travel through.  


GMT-Master II - Source - The Watch Lounge

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This wasn’t just a timekeeping revolution but a trans-continental spike as more and more people could take to the skies…and travel greater distances. The watch is applicable to airlines due to its hour hand which can be independently set. What this means is that there’s an extra hand which shows the 24 hour time as well as another hand which is related to the standard 12 hour time. This is perfect for those travelling time zones as it means the local time and away time can be measured simultaneously. 


The Details 


The model has been given variations throughout its reign from 1989 to 2007. From using tritium, Luminova then Super-Luminova, the watch has experienced a few variations throughout its run. It has even been witness to three different bezel types like the ‘Pepsi’ with blue and red, the ‘Coke’ with a black and red bezel and the jet black bezel edition named ‘Bart Simpson’ due to the crown looking like Bart Simpson's hair. 

For those who love talking about bezels, this edition of the GMT-Master II utilises an aluminium bezel and is the last one of the collection to use it. Rolex swiftly moved to ceramic after. The watch is powered by the calibre 3185. Beating at a steady 28,800VpH, the calibre competently runs the hacking seconds function as well as standard hours and minutes. 

The GMT-Master II upgrades the GMT-Master by adding an extra timezone function instead of just the two. The centre hour hand as well as the 24 hour hand operate independently meaning you can measure three time zones instead of the two time zones on GMT-Master models. 


Why Should I Invest?


The watches have a few vintage elements such as tritium lume, aluminium bezel and the well revered “Pepsi” bezel. However, the vintage appeal is something that is a growing allure to collectors looking for a solid investment, especially when they have such a timeless design. Since it has been discontinued, its supply is limited on the secondary market but its demand is extremely popular due to its vintage aesthetics, allowing it to be a prime candidate for investment. 

The aluminium bezel and drilled holes in the lugs allow the watch to be customised, through changing the bezel or the strap. While we understand if you wanted to keep everything the same in order to preserve the watches originality, we know there are some time peeps who can't resist tampering with their models. Not to worry, it should still be a sound investment!

You cannot buy a Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710 at retail in 2023 anymore due to it being discontinued. 


Rolex Milgauss


With a history going as far back as 1956, The Milgauss was a phenomenal piece of engineering that expanded the innovation of watches being involved in science.


Rolex Milgauss - Source - Edinburgh Watch Company 

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This is predominantly due to the 1000 gauss rating the watch achieved upon its inception. At the time, this was an incredible feat and was one that bolstered Milgauss' position as the watch for the science community. Everyone surely knows in the watch game that magnetism is a death sentence for technology. Especially as it renders them inaccurate. Through the genius use of a Faraday cage, the watch competently wards off magnetism enough for it to be used in places where there are high levels of it. 


The Details 


The Rolex Milgauss is crafted in two beautiful editions. One is offered with a cyan tinged sapphire crystal as well as a navy dial that alters in colour when hit with rays of light. Alternatively, you could buy a Rolex Milgauss with a black dial and green crystal. In this case, it allows the orange lightning bolt second hand to be centre stage. 

On both editions, the bezel is polished and gives a superb shine, as well as the bracelet. The dial is fairly simple in its design, referring only to general hours and minutes. This means that the small features like the orange lightning bolt, seconds hand and block indices stand out further, allowing for maximum legibility. 

The Calibre 3131 has 100 metres of water resistance and is COSC certified, not to mention it has the distinct honour of being the first watch to reach 1000 gauss. 


Why Should I Invest?


The Rolex Milgauss is certainly worth the investment. It has been discontinued at Watches and Wonders 2023 meaning its prime time for collectors to start getting the models as they will no doubt become more and more desirable as they are no longer in supply. Its unique orange lightning bolt, seconds hand as well as its tinged crystal makes the watch like no other. For us this is more of a Marmite kinda watch. However, if you love a piece which is a guaranteed talking point, you’ve almost hit the jackpot of investment pieces!

You can no longer buy a Rolex Milgauss at retail in 2023 anymore as it has been discontinued.


Rolex Submariner Ref 16610


This would be the worst Rolex investment list for 2024 if we didn't feature the iconic Rolex Submariner 16610. 


Submariner 16610 - Source - The Watch Club

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With an incredible lifetime from 1988 to 2010, this edition of the Rolex Submariner represents an era of The Submariner that has waved goodbye into the sunset. It's the last Submariner Date edition to have an aluminium bezel insert and it experienced first hand the change from tritium to Super-Luminova. 

Needless to say, if you landed on a model with tritium lume and the accompanying aluminium insert in 2023, you have landed on a watch that's worth any collector's interest. 

While you can no longer buy a Rolex Submariner 16610 at retail in 2023, it sells on the secondary market for around £8,168 at the time of writing. What a chance to get your hands on an old school Rolex for under £10,000


Rolex President Day-Date 118238


Yellow gold watches are becoming increasing popular in 2024 so it may be best to land yourself one with some vintage charm. 


President Day-Date - Source - Swiss Watch Expo

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First touching Rolex aficionado's hearts in 2000, the model is very slim at 36mm and crafted from 18K yellow gold on the case, bracelet and bezel. It's lavish to look at as it blends a cream dial with beautiful gold indices and hands. With only a cyclops eye and date aperture to break such a serene dial, the watch is propelled into the realms of luxury watchmaking. 

This doesn't mean it's weak either as it's built around the lauded Oyster case design. There’s a reason why incredible celebrities like Rhianna, Adam Levine and Jennifer Aniston all wore variations of the 36mm Rolex President in 2023!

You can no longer buy a Rolex President Day-Date 118238 at retail in 2023 as it was discontinued in 2009. You can buy it on the secondary market for around £20,600 - at the time of writing. 


Rolex Sea-Dweller 16600


The Sea-Dweller has been one of Rolex’s most reliable models since its release in 1967. The 16600 was released 11 years later in 1978 and brought with a tremendous feat of 4000 feet. Feel like going for a dip in the sea? Keep your watch on if you like! Its helium escape valve entitles it to brilliant depth as it takes the pressure of helium off the watch


Sea-Dweller - Source - Watches of Wales

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At 40mm, the watch isn't an oversized behemoth on the wrist and it utilises great Rolex features like the highly durable Oystersteel bracelet and iconic build. The watch had a run of 20 years meaning it is very rare to get your hands on. This means it's incredibly valuable and definitely worth your time if you are looking to invest in 2024!

You can no longer buy a Rolex Sea-Dweller 16600 at retail in 2023 due to it being discontinued. You can however buy it on the secondary market for around £8,200 at the time of writing. 


Rolex Yacht-Master 268622


The Rolex Yacht-Master 268822 is the odd one out from the Rolex Yacht Master collection. 

Crafted at a modern sizing of 37mm, ideal for the slimmer wrist, the model is crafted using Rolesium on the bezel. Rolesium is the brand’s own combination of 950 platinum and 904L steel on the case and bracelet. The colouring is unique to Rolex and as such, it boosts its rarity, especially since it isn't commonly used. 

The watch is crafted using the Caliber 2236 calibre which is chronometer certified and offers 100m of water resistance. The dial is crafted from rhodium which is similarly uncommon in the horological world and is given a phenomenal sunburst finish to let light shine beautifully on it. Without a doubt, the Rolex Yacht-Master 268822 is one of the rarer Rolex’s on the market due to its construction and unique design. As such, we feel this could be another winner if you are looking for a possible investment piece. 

You can buy a Rolex Yacht-Master 268622 at retail in 2023 for £9,700 at the time of writing. Since the secondary value of it is around £9,700 too, now's the time to invest while prices are low!


Rolex Daytona Steel 116500LN


The Rolex Daytona - as made famous by esteemed racing driver, actor and entrepreneur Paul Newman - has been a mainstay in the Rolex catalogue for nearly six decades. With a cursory glance, it’s easy to understand why: the Daytona is stylish, durable and an icon in the world of luxury watches.

The Rolex Daytona Steel 116500LN - which has white and black dial options, is hugely sought after. Classic materials, contemporary design and engineering prowess (it features a tachymeter on the bezel) combine to deliver arguably the greatest racing watch of all time.

However, you don’t need to have a need for speed to enjoy the Rolex Daytona. It pairs well with both casual and formal attire, which means it not only makes for a good investment - it will also look and feel great on the wrist.

However, the popularity of the 116500LN has led to a severe shortage in the secondary market. Waiting lists are closed across official suppliers, which means many are turning to the pre-owned markets which tend to be less costly.

Through official channels, the Rolex Daytona 116500LN costs £10,500. At current market value, it’s not unusual to see this model hitting close to the £30,000 mark. Steel models like the 116500LN tend to command a higher price tag in terms of market price to retail price due to the high demand, it’s worth noting that if you can’t find yourself this exact model, any Daytona is a good investment as they tend to perform well over time.                                                                

 Rolex Daytona Steel                                                     


Rolex GMT Master II 126715CHNR


Perhaps overlooked upon its initial release, 2024 could be the time to shine for the rose gold Rolex GMT Master II 126715CHNR. This can be attributed in part to a rise in the popularity of rose gold - both among watch collectors and in the jewellery/fashion world in general.

This model - known as the “Root Beer” on account of its bezel - is perhaps the most luxurious take on the GMT Master II thus far. It tends to hold its value, with secondary market prices well above RRP. As the demand for rose gold watches continues to rise, we can expect the resale price of the Rolex GMT Master II 126715CHNR to continue to do the same.

This model makes for a great investment because there’s still time to find it at a great price via resellers. As its popularity continues to increase, the likelihood of finding a bargain “Root Beer” GMT Master II will become slim, making now the right time to invest.                                                                                

Rolex GMT Master II


Rolex Explorer 39mm 214270 


As mentioned earlier, models which are discontinued or subject to major design changes tend to hold more provenance among watch collectors. As such, the Rolex Explorer 39mm 214270 is something of an anomaly. Previous versions of the watch - which was initially developed to support Sir Edmund Hilary on his 1953 Everest expedition - measured in at 36mm.

This version - first released in 2010 - featured a case size of 39mm. Rolex has reverted back to the 36mm design in 2021, which marks the 214270 out as something of an anomaly. This will no doubt be of interest to future watch collectors, thereby making it a great investment in 2024 and beyond.                                                                                   

Rolex Explorer


Rolex Oyster Perpetual 124300


Oyster bracelet versions of the Perpetual are universally thought of as classics that embody the origins of Rolex. The 124300 model was released in September 2020 to universal acclaim and has since been incredibly difficult to find on account of its popularity.

With a single glance, it’s easy to understand why. This is classic Rolex craftsmanship and design, albeit at a reasonable price tag. Direct from the manufacturer, you can expect to pay just £4,700 to own this distinctive yet timeless design. The secondary markets, however, are a different story altogether.

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual 124300 with turquoise dial routinely commands up to £14,000 at resale value. For those lucky enough to have secured an original at RRP, this represents a return on investment of nearly 198 percent.


Rolex Oyster Perpetual


Rolex GMT Master II 126710BLNR


The 126710BLNR is a 2019 update to the classic Rolex ‘Batman’ watch. Since its release, it has gone on to be one of the world’s most sought-after luxury timepieces. As a classic steel sports model, the ‘Batman’ appeals to Rolex fans of all ages. Horology fans can expect to join waiting lists of several years before purchasing this iteration of the Rolex GMT Master II, which replaces the earlier 116710BLR model. As a result, there is a noticeable difference between its RRP and current market value.

Perhaps the main reason why this watch is so highly in-demand is that Rolex doesn’t release many at a time. Those looking to buy direct from the manufacturer can expect to join a painfully high waiting list. This generally turns the most enthusiastic of collectors towards the secondary market.

It’s easy to see why so many consider the 126710BLNR as the best Rolex to invest in. At the beginning of 2020, collectors could have expected to pay approximately £12-13,000 on the secondary market. If you want to discover the selling performance of how much you can sell your Rolex Batman (or Batgirl) through Chrono Hunter, check out some of the latest fiscal figures in our brand new series - Marketwatch 


Rolex GMT Master II




There we have it, Timelords. Rolex has a strong portfolio of watches which can easily be considered strong investment pieces in 2024. From the vintage style of The Rolex GMT-Master II 1655 to the luxury designs of the Rolex Daytona John Mayer Edition, there’s a Rolex for everyone looking to take that first investment plunge. 

Of course, every Rolex watch could easily be considered to be an investment piece. Truth be told you will never lose money on a timepiece from this Swiss powerhouse in comparison to say other brands which don’t hold value. Take for example Breitling or Omega which will lose value between 40-50% from the point of purchase. Ouch.

The Rolex Submariner remains the iconic dive watch of many collectors which is essentially the blueprint of sports watches. We could also look at the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36mm which gloriously throws colour out from the dial in the form of a jigsaw design. After all, colour is coming back into fashion!

Simply put, Rolex always has and always will be potential investment pieces for enthusiasts and hungry horophiles looking to buy a Rolex. Even when they look like duds such as the original Rolex Daytona, they always come back full circle as valuable pieces. What can we say? Rolex competently plays the short and the long game with consummate ease! 

Due to pressing time constraints, we could have mentioned our other top Rolex watches for investment in 2024 like The Rolex Submariner Hulk which had a short running span of 10 years, or how about the Rolex Air-King or Rolex Datejust 1601 with its famed acrylic crystal, dual stainless steel and yellow gold colouring. But the top and bottom of it is this watch peeps. Whether buying a Rolex for investment or pulling the horological trigger on that prized heirloom, Chrono Hunter certainly has deep grained expertise that can assist in the purchase or sale of any Rolex watch.



Feeling a desire to own a piece of timekeeping history? Want to buy a Rolex GMT-Master II or a Rolex Explorer II in 2024? Then it’s time to contact Chrono Hunter and find out more. Feel free to contact us here and check out our phenomenal reviews on Trustpilot to see why so many people regard us as their number one choice when they want to buy a watch or sell a watch. With our established network of luxury watch retailers, your transaction is in the safest and most secure hands. Download our app today to receive multiple offers in hours if not minutes and save money the smart way.


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Further Reading: 

The Ultimate Watch Collection For Under £60,000

Goodbye To "John Mayer" And The Meteorite Dial: All 2023 Rolex Watches Discontinued


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