These days, there are fewer and fewer distinctions remaining between what makes a watch exclusively appropriate for a male or female audience. Granted, this shift is only moving one way fast (more women are wearing watches that would have previously been categorized as men’s watches by their diameters alone), but individual expression has never been more varied and accepted on a mass scale. Additionally, certain Rolex watches for men like the Submariner and Cartier Tank are so universally loved that they have become true industry icons, rather than watches specifically targeted at members of a specific gender.
For men, being able to access the realm of women’s watches is far less important simply because the male segment of the market is so enormous in comparison. Rolex is one such brand that still caters to a predominantly male audience (with only a handful of female models available). But the appeal of The Crown knows no gender. Anyone should be able to wear a Rolex if they do so desire, but which are the top “men’s” models that women should consider if nothing in the ladies’ range floats their boat? Well, here are my top five:
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Rolex Day-Date 36 ref. 118238 (Diamond Dial)
This is a classic, comfortable, traditionally-sized Rolex that comes to life in full gold on the President bracelet. The 18k yellow gold construction and champagne dial make for a classic and timeless combination, although diamond hour markers may not be for everyone. The Rolex Day-Date 36 is available with a wide variety of different dial, bezel, and bracelet combinations, virtually guaranteeing that there will be a model that appeals to every style and preference. Whichever configuration you go for, the timeless size and sheer quality of execution look great on both male and female wrists.
Rolex Milgauss ref. 116400GV (Z-Blue Dial)
Color is the name of the game here. The Rolex Milgauss, often with its funky green sapphire crystal, has always been a bit of a chromatic outlier, happy to mix a brightly-colored seconds hand with mismatched hour markers. However, the real leap into the radical came with the debut of Rolex Milgauss 116400GV Z-Blue, which brought an electric-blue sun-ray dial to the party. This ice cool contender is one of just two Milgauss references that remain in the current collection for 2019 (along with the classic black dial). I know plenty of women who choose this model for its under-the-radar cool – basically, it’s a Rolex that isn’t too much of Rolex (if you know what I mean). It’s understated and as humble as the Scientific profession for which it was created. A great choice for the serious female fan.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 ref. 116000 (Red Grape Dial)
Another 36mm reference perfectly straddles the divide between men’s and women’s watches, but the red grape dial opens up a whole new color palette that not many watches give access to. Not only is the 36mm size more versatile (and gender-neutral), but the red grape color looks a heck of a lot better in small doses (the 39mm dial seems to go on forever in this color). It’s another awesome halfway house and one that simultaneously goes with nothing and everything in your wardrobe. And considering that it is very much at the affordable end of the Rolex spectrum, it is a great way to get bucketloads of character on your wrist for not much dime.
Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. 326935 (Everose Gold)
The biggest of the bunch – a 42mm Sky-Dweller with a full Everose gold case and Oyster bracelet may not seem the most obvious choice. But believe it or not, I see this piece being better suited to a woman than a man. An enticing chocolate sun-ray dial creates a comfortable ensemble when paired with the warm case and bracelet material, while the fluted bezel gives this piece the kind of jewelry-like luster often sought after (without going over the top with diamonds).
Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 126711CHNR (Root Beer)
Sticking with a 40mm case and rolling with one of the most popular models in the Rolex collection again, the GMT-Master II could hardly have failed to make an appearance on this list. However, the most talking about Rolex family doesn’t offer up its favorite son (reference ????) for the fifth slot on my list. Instead, I’ve plumped for my personal choice, and the model I believe will win out as the true classic in the end. The Everose Rolesor (two-tone Oystersteel and 18k Everose gold) “Root Beer” GMT-Master II is an absolute peach, with a warm black/brown Cerachrom ceramic bezel coordinating perfectly with the use of the rose gold in the case and professional bracelet. This one has the presence and cool currency of the “Pepsi” but in a flavor that screams individuality. Being bi-color never hurts when it comes to ladies’ watches as it opens up a few more possibilities when it comes to complementary jewelry.