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What Does a $50,000 Rolex Look Like?

February 25, 2019

BY Paul Altieri


One of the many appealing things about Rolex is that the brand offers multiple price points, ranging from (relatively) affordable to sky-high. While prices for certain vintage Rolex watches can often reach into the six – and even seven-figure range, the vast majority of new Rolex watches cost anywhere between $5K and $50K. These prices are dependent on several factors, but most notably on materials and functions. If you’ve ever wondered what a $50,000 Rolex watch looks like, keep reading for some gorgeous examples.

$50,000 Rolex

These days, literally any Rolex Daytona with a Paul Newman dial sells for exponentially more than $50,000.

Yellow Gold Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. 326938

$50,000 Rolex

Craft entirely from solid 18k gold, the Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. 326938 is one of the pricier watches in Rolex’s current catalog.

It’s big, it’s solid yellow gold, it’s complicated, and it retails for just over $46,000 ($48,850 if you choose the Everose version). If you haven’t already, meet the 18k yellow gold Sky-Dweller ref. 326938. Not only is the Sky-Dweller Rolex’s youngest collection, having made its debut in 2012, but it is also the brand’s version of an annual calendar watch. In fact, the Caliber 9001 is one of the most complex movements made by Rolex.

If you look at the dial housed within the 42mm case, you’ll see the center hands for local time, an off-center 24-hour disk for a secondary time zone, a date window, and a month indicator. Since there are 12 hours on a watch and 12 months in the year, Rolex cleverly added small windows next to the hour makers that switch from white to red depending on the month. Plus, this being an annual calendar watch, the Sky-Dweller only requires a manual adjustment once a year – when February transitions to March.


White Gold and Platinum Rolex Yacht-Master II ref. 116689

$50,000 Rolex

Although the Rolex Yacht-Master II was designed specifically for professional regattas, the solid white gold and platinum ref. 116689 is an outright luxury timepiece.

It is not just the dressy Rolex watches that have hefty price tags. Take the ultra-sporty Yacht-Master II ref. 116689 for instance, which retails for over $48,000. With its robust 44mm case in 18k white gold, matching white gold bracelet, and platinum Ring Command bezel, this is a substantial, $50,000 Rolex sports watch with quite a bit of wrist-presence.

Similar to the Sky-Dweller, the Yacht-Master II is a young collection (since 2007) and it has an impressive complication. Thanks to the in-house Caliber 4161, the Yacht-Master II has an adjustable countdown function that can be programmed anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes. The countdown is both a flyback (which means you can reset the chronograph back to 0 while it’s running with a single push of a button) and it has a mechanical memory (which means that when the timer is reset, it will go back to the number you originally selected).


Platinum Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. 228206

$50,000 Rolex

Although the watch pictured in this photo is a ref. 218206 Day-Date II, almost any solid platinum Rolex President will set you back more than $50,000.

As the brand’s signature status watch, the Day-Date “President” models have always been some of the most expensive in Rolex’s catalog. And if you go for the larger Day-Date 40 option in full platinum, you’ve got a Rolex that retails for well over $60,000.

Clearly stated in the name of the watch, the dial of the Rolex Day-Date indicates the day of the week and the date of the month via a pair of calendar windows. But this is no ordinary dial, but rather, a special ice-blue dial – a color reserved exclusively for platinum Rolex watches. That way, this Rolex President will be immediately recognized as a platinum model and not mistaken for another less expensive metal like white gold.

From dressy to sporty, a $50,000 budget taps into a wide range of Rolex watches. Whether you go for a solid gold number, a plush platinum piece, or maybe even a rare vintage variant in stainless steel, a $50,000 Rolex comes in many different forms and functions.



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