The Rolex Walkthrough: A Breakdown of Current Models
U.S. Coins

The Rolex Walkthrough: A Breakdown of Current Models


The Rolex Walkthrough: A Breakdown of Current Models

In 1905 a visionary 24 year old watch maker Hans Wilsdorf dreamed of a precision time piece worn on the wrist. The concept of a portable time piece had been around since the development of the spring driven movement a few centuries prior. But at the turn of the twentieth century, pocket watches were the rage and most wrist watches were just versions of these with leather straps attached. Wilsdorf dream flourished and the Rolex brand was born being incorporated in 1908. Wilsdorf went on to invent the world’s first self-winding water proof wristwatch using a perpetual rotor. The brand has been on the cutting edge of horology since and the brand name Rolex remains synonymous with precision and quality today. While other luxury brands exist, none carry the history and prestige over a wide range of models like Rolex. And this fact is not lost on us.  At U.S. Coins and Jewelry we’ve been active traders of Rolex watches for decades. Our luxury watch department specializes in Rolex and offer free appraisals, and unconditional guarantees on any watch in the store. So whether you’re buying or selling think of us first, we promise to not let you down. Want to learn more? Following is a brief synopsis of the models currently offered by Rolex. We hope you enjoy it. And as always, we welcome questions and comments at [email protected], 713-464-6868 or by stopping in to speak with one of our qualified staff.

Oyster Perpetual

While all Rolex brand watches feature a version of the Oyster chronometer certified perpetual movement, the name is used to describe the classic Rolex model without day or date complications.  The model is available in various case sizes for any wrist. These include - 41mm, 36mm, 34mm, 31mm and 28mm and they offer a fit that appeals to both men and women of all ages. The latest releases feature multiple dial colors and endears this luxury watch to a wide range of ages and clientele. The watch is made in Rolex’s unique Oystersteel, a high grade 916L stainless, polished to a sumptuous shine. They are fitted with the Oyster bracelet created by Rolex in the 1930’s, but would wear excellent with leather or alligator straps. With the variety of color and sizes, these are great entry level luxury watches that are assured to hold the test of time.


The Datejust is a classic Rolex and their longest running model. It was created in 1945 to celebrate their 40th anniversary and continues in production with almost identical configurations. It debuted with a new five link bracelet – the Jubilee. It features the trademark cyclops lens that magnifies the date complication 2.5 times for easy reading. Today the watch comes with a variety of options. It is available both new and used in a wide range of sizes from 28mm to 41mm.  The newest models feature fluted, polished or gemstone bezels. But vintage models come with a variety of bezel options including the Turn-O-Graph and Engine-Turn. The new OEM dials feature roman numerals or classic bars at the hours, but the older versions also feature alternating numerals and diamond dates. The cases can be platinum, Oystersteel, yellow gold or two tone with gold or Everose.  Because of the longevity of this model the variations of style and color are virtually limitless with one constant – quality. This classic design has been a favorite of individuals from Dwight Eisenhower to Martin Luther King.


Rolex introduced the Day-Date version of their Oyster Perpetual line in 1956 and it was the first wristwatch to feature a non-abbreviated day of the week display, another milestone in the horological innovations Rolex prides itself in. The movement has set industry standard since inception, and in 2015 they upgraded the movement with the 3255 which holds 14 patents. Featuring the unique Chronenergy escapement, Rolex takes efficiency to a new level. The modern Day Date Oyster Perpetual will last 70 hours when fully wound, enabling the user to leave the watch over the weekend, returning it to their wrist without losing a beat. As with the Datejust counterpart, the longevity of the model offers the Rolex enthusiast a wide range of choices. The epitome of style and luxury the Day-Date Rolex has been seen on the wrists of the modern rich and famous including Warren Buffet, Jennifer Anniston, and Jay-Z.


When Sir Edmund Hillary became the first mountain climber to summit Mount Everest, on his wrist was a Rolex.  Earlier in 1953, the company gave both he and his partner prototype Oyster Perpetual watches to test on their journey. Rolex took their findings and three months after the fateful trip introduced the world to the Explorer. The newest Rolex was designed to withstand the extremes and three quarters of a century later the Rolex Explorer is a cut above other sport watches. While languishing in the shadows of the more popular OP styles, the Explorer has slowly become more and more in demand.  The watch is known for its heavy lume and large numerals at 3, 6 and 9 design to facilitate easy viewing in poor lighting conditions. Originally only available in 36mm size, the model was expanded to include the Explorer II in 1970. The newer version features a larger case size, a date complication and 24 hour display. It stays true to the Explorer motif with shock resistant movement, heavy lume, and a hardy water resistant case. Available in vintage or brand new, the Explorer is a more cost effective and versatile Rolex making a great first choice for new buyers or an exciting find for the collector. Regardless of version, the Explorers are the perfect watch for the adventurer looking for understated classic styling and robust ruggedness whether climbing mountains or the corporate ladder.


Originally developed in the 1930’s the Air King was part of a complete line of watches honoring the pilots of the British Royal Airforce. The older vintage models are smaller in diameter running 34 mm making them a great Rolex for the discerning female wrist. While smaller, the vintage versions don’t stray much in appearance from their cousin OP and offering both class and style with a touch of machismo. The modern redux of this aviator features a legible dial with large 3, 6 and 9 markers with the sixty second indicators in between these East, West and Southern markers. The modern cases are a larger 40mm Oystersteel and come with the Oyster bracelet. They do wear excellent with leather, silicon or nato straps. A great watch that fits any outfit from business suit to bathing suit.


One of Rolex’s newer models, the Sky-Dweller was designed for the frequent global traveler. It debuted in 2012 and is one of their more innovative models with intricate complications that add ease of use and functionality. The style and precision is accentuated with the ability to display time simultaneously across two different time zones, and the annual calendar tracks both month and days automatically adjusting for the difference between 30 and 31 day months. The patented Ring Command System allows the user to quickly make adjustments across the various features through an interaction between the rotating bezel and crown. Using the bezel position, the feature can be easily adjusted in either direction with the crown that has just one setting. With the combination of functionality, usability, and a 72 hour power reserve, the Sky-Dweller is the ultimate time piece for the world traveler offering performance, style, and precision.


Rolex dive watches are a cornerstone in their product line. In the mid-sixties, Rolex added this watch as an upgrade to the popular Submariner. The Sea-Dweller is a professional grade diver and can withstand pressure up to 1200 meters deep. And the Sea-Dweller Deep Sea can go to an astounding 3900 meters. Both feature a helium escape value to accommodate the saturation diver. The watch was offered in stainless only until recently when, in 2019, Rolex added a two tone model. This watch is big across the face and at 44mm and is one of the largest in the Rolex catalog. With the ultimate in dive performance and undeniable style the Sea-Dweller is coveted by both deep water aficionados and pool side Rolex enthusiast alike.  


The Submariner debuted in 1953 and immediately became THE dive watch. As one of Rolex’s most iconic designs, the Submariner is arguably the most identifiable Rolex model. The case size has grown over the years and crown guards were added early on, but the overall look has changed very little from its original format. Classic styling and unbeatable quality there is no question why this model has become the standard for dive watches. The latest models feature the third generation Triplock screw down crown for added waterproofness. The knurled edges of the bezel allow for ease of use while diving. The sixty minute marking on the bezel insert clearly marked with lume pip at zero provides easy reading in dark waters. Originally outfitted with an aluminum bezel insert, Rolex patented a corrosion resistant ceramic one in 2005 calling it Cerechrom. This allowed for a range of colors to be used on the insert. While the original black dial is the epitome of dive style, the watch is now available with a number of bezel and dial colors with or without the date and cyclops. The cases are usually in stainless but are available in yellow gold. And the watches can be paired with silicon, stainless, yellow gold or two tone bracelets. They say “imitation is the highest flattery” and the Sub is the most copied watch in the world. Homages to the watch are plentiful, but none have the combination of style, quality, and performance that the Rolex Submariner offers.


Introduced in 1955, the GMT Master was targeted to the growing international traveler. With the rotating twenty-four hour bezel and additional hand, the GMT Master offers the wearer the ability to track three time zones. This functionality combined with color variations maintains the popularity of this classic timepiece.  The original Plexi-glass bezel insert (now Cerechrom) has given the GMT Master and Master II the iconic colors that have made the watch a standout since its inception. The various color combinations garnered pop culture nicknames such as Pepsi, Batman, Hulk, and the Everose Root Beer. These Rolex versions are coveted by collectors and enthusiasts alike for their unique colorful style and as place holders in the historical horological timeline. As one of the most sought after Rolex models the GMT-Master and Master II is one of the best stores of value in the Rolex catalog. None in the Rolex line is a better representation of their commitment to luxury, style, and quality while still offering exceptional functionality and durability the brand is known for. 


The Yacht-Master and Yacht-Master II have been the luxury time piece for well-heeled sailors since 1992. Rolex’s love for water sports is not lost in the YM made with 100 meter deep water resistance and highly corrosion resistant cases. The early models have bidirectional rotating bezel. The recent models feature the Saros system which through a combination of bezel and crown movements the user can easily adjust the date and time complications.  One of the lures of the YM is the availability of the watch in a range of sizes providing a case to fit any wrist. Add to this the myriad of dials and cases made in stainless, yellow or rose gold the possibilities are virtually endless. The YM embodies the Rolex commitment to sailing, and the YM-II provides the regatta chronograph for the precision necessary to the yachting professional.  So, whether you’re on the water for competition or play, the Yacht-Master line is the ultimate luxury water sport watch for men and women alike. There is no question why Rolex refers to this line as THE nautical watch.

Cosmograph Daytona

This iconic Rolex series is one of the most sought after in both vintage and new condition.  The wait time at an Authorized dealer is literally years. Introduced in 1963 the watch was originally called the Cosmograph. The inscription Daytona was added the following year. Specifically designed for race car drivers the watch was an immediate hit. The easy to read dial has three chronograph complications and a tachymeter bezel. Engineered for the professional driver the watch was made famous by Paul Newman, who wore his both at the race track and on the red carpet. One of the most sought after models, the Daytona has unbeatable style and functionality. It is simply an amazing time piece whether at the track in Daytona FL or stuck in traffic on I-10.


The term gauss refers to the strength of magnetic field a watch can withstand without suffering ill effects. The Rolex Milgauss was design for the scientific community in 1956 to withstand 1000 gauss. It was the first watch of its kind and combines unparalleled aesthetics with scientific ingenuity. Lesser watch movements can easily become magnetized causing them to run abnormally.  The Milgauss is specially built with a specialized movement that is resistant to magnetic fields. This classic model features either black, white, or Z-blue dials and are recognizable as Milgauss from the stylish lightning bolt second hand signifying the special qualities. A favorite of engineers and technicians working in highly magnetic condition the Milgauss combines sporty aesthetics with Rolex quality functionality to provide the penultimate wrist watch for the science minded professional. 


The Cellini collection is Rolex’s homage to classic watches and the heritage of watch makers. The clean lines and luxurious finishes harken to the perfections of Italian design paired with the precision of Swiss watch makers to create a timepiece that offers incredible style and luxury. The cases are available with the full quiver of material, and the dials have light, dark, or colored options. The watch only comes with black or brown leather straps prepared with Rolex intensive attention to detail. The models come with no complications, a small date dial inset or the spectacular moon-phase complication. Each is produced with the best of Rolex know-how and its high standards of perfection. Rolex product materials say it the best, “The lines of the Cellini models are sober and refined, the materials noble, the finishings luxurious: every detail respects the codes of the art of watchmaking.”


So whether you’re looking for the luxury and style of the 18ct gold Day-Date Oyster Perpetual, the ruggedness of the Explorer or the deep sea capabilities of the GMT-Master, Rolex has the perfect time-piece for you. Each and every watch is a work of horological art with over 100 years of experience in every movement, complication, and bracelet. Rolex has been the symbol of quality for generations and their commitment to quality is second to none. At U.S. Coins and Jewelry we strive to mimic this sentiment with our own high standards of service and quality. And when it comes to Rolex, we simply won’t be beat. Whether or not you choose from our wide selection available or ask us to seek out a specific model we remain your best choice for new and used Rolex watches. Decades of experience and daily market activity has enabled us to develop a wide reaching network of dealers and collectors. Put that to work for you and give us the opportunity to buy, sell, or trade you your next Rolex wristwatch.

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