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Watch Review

An Affordable Rolex: The Oyster Perpetual

Paul Altieri

Although no Rolex can actually be considered “cheap” there are some watches that are significantly more affordable than others. Prices range dramatically depending on the materials used in construction and the different features and complications of the movement. However, for those not looking to spend a small fortune on their next timepiece, Rolex still offers a variety of watches at a more accessible price point. Meet the Rolex Oyster Perpetual – the brand’s entry point into luxury watch ownership.

Affordable Rolex
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39mm with a dark rhodium dial.

Oyster Perpetual

Nearly every watch Rolex now manufactures has the words “Oyster Perpetual” printed on the dial to denote that the watch is self-winding, and that crown and case-back screw down for water resistance. With that in mind, one line of watches is actually called the Oyster Perpetual, and it represents Rolex’s entry-level watches.

Affordable Rolex
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual ref. 114200

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual is a stainless steel, time-only watch on an Oyster-style Bracelet. While it lacks any specific features or complications that make it especially suited to one type of sport or environment, the Oyster Perpetual is a minimalist timepiece – perfectly executed – that embraces the core principles of the Rolex brand.

5 Sizes of the OP

Rolex currently manufactures the OP in five different sizes, ranging from 26 mm to 39 mm in diameter. The 26 mm and 31 mm sizes are powered by Rolex’s caliber 2235 movement, while the 39 mm version receives the caliber 3132, and the 34 mm and 36 mm sizes get fitted with caliber 3130 movements in order to occupy their larger case sizes. While the size of these Oyster Perpetual watches varies, they are self-winding movements which are COSC rated chronometers that uphold the standards of accuracy and reliability.

Affordable Rolexv
The Oyster Perpetual is the perfect watch from Rolex to pick up

Although the Oyster Perpetual is available in more sizes than any other line of Rolex watches, it completely lacks any options for different bezels, bracelets, and metal combinations. As a watch that embraces a minimalist feature set and occupies an entry-level position within the Rolex lineup, the options of precious metals or premium features would be somewhat of a departure from the core elements of the Oyster Perpetual.

The Simple & Affordable Rolex Oyster

Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual is a straightforward and well-built watch, intended to be highly versatile with a timeless design. It has all the hallmarks of a Rolex such as a meticulously finished case and dial, a rock-solid in-house movement, and the iconic Oyster bracelet. This is a watch that does not call attention to itself, and one that prefers to modestly exist among a variety of other high-end, luxury timepieces.

By no means is the Oyster Perpetual the most complicated or exclusive of Rolex’s offerings. On the contrary, it actually occupies the opposite end of the spectrum, as one of the most simple and affordable line of watches that Rolex manufacturers. With absolutely no extraneous features and a case diameter available for every wrist size. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual line is everything that defines a Rolex, presented in a classic and highly accessible package.

Paul Altieri
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