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10 Most Classic Rolex Designs of All Time

10 Most Classic Rolex Designs of All Time

used rolex

When searching for the classic Rolex designs it might become quite overwhelming due to the wide range of designs Rolex has procured throughout the years. Becoming knowledgeable about these designs, whether modern or classic, can prove to be a challenge. And the last thing a consumer wants to deal with is making such a large purchase with little to no real knowledge of a product. Especially a product as prestigious as the Rolex watch. 

The ten Rolex designs mentioned below will go over the ten most classic designs of all time, with detailed descriptions about what truly makes these watches so authentically classic.


The first classic Rolex design to cover is the 1959 Vintage GMT Master Model with the Bakelite bezel. This is one of the first “master” models ever made by Rolex and has become widely known as the “Pepsi Bezel” due to its red and blue accent colors. The two colors were included in this design to provide easy differentiation between daytime and nighttime hours. The color red signifies daytime hours, and the color blue signifies nighttime hours. This model was created to allow for the reading of a second time zone which is the purpose of the additional 24 hour hand on the dial. This particular model was quite popular with pilots during the 60’s, and is now considered a vintage classic and collectible used Rolex watch, with the model number 6542.


Rolex watches are known to appreciate in value over the years, however, this particular model has maintained its popularity throughout the last twenty years with no signs of stopping. This model is known to be purchased by consumers and collectors and typically placed in a safe, not usually worn. They are jokingly nicknamed “safe queens” due to their steadily increasing value as each year goes by. This classic model is the stainless steel Rolex Daytona. With chronograph functions, an engraved bezel, and a tri compax format subdials, seeking a trusted watch salesman to confirm this watch is infact a classic Daytona model is advised. Unfortunately, this particular model has been known to have the most passable counterfeit duplicates floating around. 


The Rolex brand as a whole, is known to make timeless luxury watches across the board. However, the iconic used Rolex Submariner Date is highly sought after and also built and sold since the 1950’s. Collectors and watch connoisseurs find the ceramic bezel insert and brushed center links give this timeless classic a pristine and smooth look and feel. The Rolex Submariner has water resistance capabilities of a whopping 300 meters.


Also known as the GMT-Master II with model number 126710BLNR, the Rolex Batman has a large following due to a few reasons. This model has the first ever revealed black and blue bezel and also includes both GMT and date complications. Although it sits at 40mm the way the used Rolex Batman was built to include a supercase can be visually very striking and appear as larger a 42mm watch.


This classic luxury timepiece is extremely sought after and is commonly referenced to as the Rolex “Hulk”. This striking watch is referred to as the Hulk for two main reason, the commanding sunburst green dial and green bezel insert. With 300 meters of water resistant capabilities and a date complication, this style also comes with a micro adjustment strap to easily adjust throughout the day if needed. 


The Rolex Stainless Steel Sky-Dweller released in 2012 has quickly become one of the most sought after timepieces by used Rolex. While the interface may look to have a simplistic style, its fully functional annual calendar is what gives the Sky-Dweller its notoriety. This design has a rotating bezel that is easily gripped to switch from setting to setting that only requires one movement. 


When reviewing the Rolex Explorer, its perfect symmetry and extremely sleek and subtle aesthetic comes to mind. This timepiece is widely loved by consumers who prefer a more understated watch that still brings the wow factor. The dial and handsets are built using 18k white gold. With models built before 1998, they will include tridium in the hand dials, which is a radioactive isotope that creates a luminescence to be able to glow in the dark. 


Another aviation watch created and built by Rolex, is the Rolex Air-King. This watch was not received well when first revealed however, the cult following has now grown exponentially. The Air-King comes with a very distinguishable element, which is the corporate “Rolex” green accents from the branding to the seconds hand. Subtle yet eye-catching, there is only one thing that can elevate the wow factor of this watch. That is the glow in the dark luminescence that is very different from the used Rolex Explorer. 


Might as well be known as the official classic used Rolex watch. Known to be effortlessly elegant, this watch can be used as a dress watch or really for any occasion. The blue dial is one element that makes this watch such a classic timepiece. This watch is considered to be on the slimmer side with a satin finish. Exuding traditional elegance due to its domed bezel, this piece is understated by eye-catching.


Named after its ability to change dates “just” before midnight, this luxury watch is also known to be highly iconic globally. While also quite subtle and understated, there is a strong following for this watch due to its lack of gaudiness. This timepiece is one of the first if not the first chronometer rating ever.

This concludes the ten most classically considered used Rolex designs of all time that simply exude excellence and quality. These are timepieces that will last the test of time in more ways than one, with elements, capabilities, and accents that truly blow anyone who comes near a luxury timepiece away.


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