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  • 100% Certified Authentic

    Bob's Watches
    100% Certified Authentic

    At Bob's Watches, your trust is very important to us. We believe that buying a pre-owned Rolex watch online should be simple, honest, and straightforward. To that end, we guarantee that every Rolex watch on our site is 100% authentic, comprised entirely of Rolex parts. Our mission is to be the leading trusted online source for selling and buying authentic pre-owned Rolex watches. We stand behind this authenticity guarantee with a full money back refund on any watch not found to be completely genuine.

100% Certified Authentic

Bob's Watches
100% Certified Authentic

At Bob's Watches, your trust is very important to us. We believe that buying a pre-owned Rolex watch online should be simple, honest, and straightforward. To that end, we guarantee that every Rolex watch on our site is 100% authentic, comprised entirely of Rolex parts. Our mission is to be the leading trusted online source for selling and buying authentic pre-owned Rolex watches. We stand behind this authenticity guarantee with a full money back refund on any watch not found to be completely genuine.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

When the Oyster Perpetual made its debut in 1931, it combined the brand's two most important technologies: a waterproof case and a self-winding movement. Since then, it has become one of the brand's most beloved watches, praised for its simple, refined elegance. 2020 update: the suggested retail price starts at $4,850 for the smallest model and increases with size. Shop our entire selection of certified pre-owned models by visiting our used Rolex watches page.

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Rolex Oyster Perpetual
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Rolex Oyster Perpetual 1008
Rare Quadrant Dial
Suede Strap, Circa 1966

Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Ref. 116000, Random Serial
Rolex Box & Warranty

Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Ref 6548, Index Dial
Oyster Rivet, Circa 1965

Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Ref. 116000, Unpolished
Silver Dial, Random Serial

Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Ref. 1002, Shantung Dial
Oval Link Jubilee, Circa 1977

Vintage Rolex OP 4919
Bubbleback "Ovettone" Case
Bullseye Dial, Circa 1947

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 6107
Engine-Turned Bezel, 34MM
Rolex Box, Circa 1963

Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Ref. 116000, Domino's Link
Stainless Steel, Random Serial

Oyster Perpetual 1007
Engine Turned Bezel, 34MM
Rolex Box, Circa 1966

Vintage Rolex Oyster 6426
Smooth Bezel, Leather Strap
Black Index Dial, Circa 1967

Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Ref 6636, White Dial
Smooth Bezel, Circa 1958

Rolex Vintage Oyster 6082
White Arabic Dial
Monobloc Case, Circa 1962

Rolex Oyster Precision 6423
Stainless Steel, Arrowhead Hands
Silver Index Dial, Circa 1954

Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Ref 1003, Oyster Rivet Bracelet
Silver Index Dial, Circa 1963

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 6564
Amazing Original Patina Dial
Stainless Steel, Circa 1959

Oyster Perpetual 1002
Silver Dial, Jubilee Band
Stainless Steel, Circa 1971


Recently Sold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Watches

Vintage Rolex Oyster 3116
Gold Oyster, Arabic Dial
Chronometer, Circa 1938

Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Champagne Arabic Dial
Leather Band, Circa 1954

Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Ref. 114300, 39MM
Rolex Box & Warranty (2017)

Rolex Oyster Precision
Ref. 6426, Linen Dial
Rolex Box, Circa 1972

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this page contains information about:

Rolex Oyster Perpetual History         Prices for the Oyster Perpetual        Key Features        Evolution of Models        Questions

About Rolex Oyster Perpetual Watches

The Oyster Perpetual is the entry-level collection of watches in the Rolex catalog. Available in a number of different case sizes and produced in a variety of different materials throughout its history, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual is a straightforward time-only model and represents the core design characteristics that define all modern Rolex watches.

The Oyster Perpetual is the backbone to Rolex's huge portfolio of luxury wristwatches. The development of the brand's first waterproof case in 1926 marked a pivotal role in the history of watchmaking. The company set benchmarks during this period, refining their expertise in two fields – manufacturing a sealed case for improved water resistance and later, an automatic winding rotor.

Rolex focussed on creating a wristwatch that bridged the gap between sporty and elegant. Its versatile aesthetics enabled it to be worn in the office, for travel and for leisure. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual model is a simple looking timepiece with a staple layout – a three handed dial design with central seconds hand. Its classic approach to watchmaking underscores the brands ability to strip a watch back to its basics while still retaining its strong wrist presence and a desirable style that make it perfect for every occasion.

Watches for both men and women can be found in the Oyster Perpetual range, as well as a number of unisex models that can be enjoyed by both. The 26mm - 31mm models are perfectly sized for a lady’s elegant wrist, while the broader 34mm - 36mm Oyster Perpetuals fit nicely on a gentleman’s arm. The parred down and streamlined design of the Oyster Perpetual has become a desirable look for Rolex collectors. The company dedicated a proportion of focus to the aesthetics of the watch, applying more attention to detail on the performance of its inner workings over anything else.

History of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Rolex founder, Hans Wilsdorf always believed that a wristwatch could be as indispensable and as reliable as a pocket watch. One of the key elements in convincing the public was improving the water resistance of a wristwatch, which up until that point had been something that manufacturers had been able to reliably achieve. His revolutionary invention - the Rolex Oyster Case - came about in 1926 and included a screwed down caseback, winding crown, and bezel to create a hermetically sealed environment for a reliable, high performance movement.

rolex oyster perpetual

The Waterproof Rolex Oyster Case

The watch took its name from the mollusk which, just like the watch itself, protects the inside of the shell from water, creating a dry habitat. Demonstrating the performance and capability of this newly developed watch the model secured to the wrist of English swimmer Mercedes Gleitze, who became the first English woman to swim the English Channel. She wore the watch for around 15 hours in cold water while she completed her record-breaking mission. The watch was found to be performing beautifully after the swim, cementing Rolex’s reputation for creating a waterproof wristwatch made from the highest quality materials and a reliable in-house movement. 

Rolex became the first watch manufacturer to create a waterproof wristwatch in 1926. The famous Oyster case design features a patented system that screwed the bezel, the winding crown and the caseback to fit onto a solid steel, gold or platinum middle case. It remains one of the most recognizable and most popular wristwatches in the entire history of luxury watchmaking, and its basic design serves as the foundation for countless modern waters from a wide variety of brands.

With the exception of certain vintage models, most watches in the Rolex Oyster Perpetual collection are equipped with the Twinlock Crown system, which features two separate sealed gaskets zones to prevent water from leaking into the case. This system helps provide these watches a 100-meter water resistance rating, despite not being specifically designed for underwater use.

The Self-Winding Rolex Perpetual Movement

Just five years after pioneering the revolutionary waterproof Oyster case, Rolex developed a rotor-based self-winding mechanism for the Oyster model, which pre-dates the self-winding Rolex Oyster Perpetual models. The technological advancement was made up of an oscillating weight (rotor) that would rotate with the natural motion of the wearer's arm, winding the mainspring in the process.

The invention of the automatic-winding rotor helped solve a problem for Wildorf who believed that a watch with waterproof qualities was not merely enough if the crown still needed to be constantly unscrewed to wind the mechanism of the watch. Automatic winding movements marked an important breakthrough in the evolution of waterproof watches since it meant that the wearer no longer had to unscrew the crown to wind the watch manually on a daily basis, which increases the amount of wear and tear on the gaskets that help to keep water out.

A simple yet robust in-house made movement powers on relentlessly at the heart of every watch. Despite its basic design, the watch has stood the test of time and Rolex's younger generation of movements now fitted with the patented "paramagnetic" blue Parachrom hairspring (as well as the manufacturer's own Paraflex shock absorbers) equals the quality and reliability of other more complicated movements created by Rolex.

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Name

The "Oyster Perpetual" name is referenced in a number of other models, including the likes of the Daytona, GMT-Master, and the Submariner: however those actually just named the 'Rolex Oyster Perpetual' relate to the simplest of the company's design – the no-frills version that has served as the foundation of virtually every watch that Rolex has ever put forward.

All of Rolex's legendary purpose-built sport and tool watches are built upon the foundation of the original Oyster Perpetual model, and before the very first Rolex sports watch - the Explorer - was first introduced, it was Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches that were being used in some of the most demanding conditions on this planet. A Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch was worn by Sir Malcolm Campbell while breaking land speed records in the iconic Bluebell in 1935; and Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay wore Oyster Perpetual watches on the first ever summit of Mount Everest in 1953. 

How much is a Rolex Oyster Perpetual?

Oyster Perpetual Price

All modern Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches are crafted from 904L stainless steel (known as Oystersteel); however the cost of a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch depends on its size. Prices for Oyster Perpetual watches start our at $4,850 for the smallest 26mm version, and go up to $5,700 for the largest model with a 39mm case diameter.

Model Retail Price Second-Hand Price Size Materials
Ref. 176200
from $2,995 26mm Stainless Steel
Ref. 177200
from $3,895
Stainless Steel
Ref. 114200
from $4,195
Stainless Steel
Ref. 116000
from $4,295
Stainless Steel
Ref. 114300
from $5,495
Stainless Steel

Rolex Oyster perpetual price information

In more recent years, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual has been a collection of exclusively stainless steel models, which all feature smooth bezels, and matching steel Oyster bracelets. However, Rolex previously offered the Oyster Perpetual in both two-tone and solid gold variations, along with the options of fluted bezels and Jubilee bracelets. In most instances, it will be the modern Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches that will be accompanied by the highest price tags, but solid gold models and rare or collectable vintage references can both sometimes cost significantly more than many brand-new Oyster Perpetual watches.

Among the current-production Rolex Oyster Perpetual models, the price is typically correlated with the case size of the watch. Generally speaking, the least expensive models will be the smallest 26mm versions, while the most expensive are the largest models with 39mm cases. This price trend also holds true for used Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches on the secondary market; however a slight discount can often be found compared to retail, when shopping for a pre-owned Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch.

How Much is a Rolex Oyster Perpetual?

  • Retail prices for Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches start out at $4,850 for the smallest 26mm version in stainless steel and increase from there, depending on case size. The Oyster Perpetual lineup is the least expensive Rolex collection and consists of time-only watches (no date displays) that are available in a variety of different sizes. The price of a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch generally increases with its case size; however, solid gold vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches are the most expensive due to their use of premium materials.

Buying a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Watch

When considering purchasing a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch, decide firstly on whether you want to invest your money in a new model or aim for something higher with a pre-owned model. While the Oyster Perpetual in its simplest form will provide you with a daily companion and a straightforward three-handed design, models like the modern Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller will allow you to travel with a sophisticated timepiece that combines the fundamental elements of the iconic Oyster case with technical features for keeping on track of a busy business trip schedule.

As with all Rolex watches, new or pre-owned, it is always important to ensure you are purchasing from a reputable dealer. We offer the industry's best selection of pre-owned Rolex watches, all our Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches are assessed, serviced, and authenticated by our team of in-house experts. 

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Movements & Features

Due to their different size cases, modern Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches run on different movement. However, despite a handful of different calibers, they all offer virtually identical functionality. Additionally, despite their different sizes and slight variations in their construction, they are all guaranteed to the exact same 'Superlative Chronometer' standards of +/-2 seconds per day of timekeeping accuracy. 

The 39mm  Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 is powered by the in-house Cal. 3132 movement, which it shares with the current 39mm Rolex Explorer, and is the only size variant to feature Rolex's Paraflex shock protection system (all the smaller models feature movements fitted with the previous style of shock absorbers).

Both the 36mm and 34mm models (the Oyster Perpetual 36 and Oyster Perpetual 34, respectively) are powered by the same Cal. 3130. Similarly, both of the two smallest models - the 26mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual 26 and the 31mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual 31 - are powered by the Cal. 2231. Despite their different sizes, all of the different modern Rolex Oyster Perpetual movements promise the same timekeeping accuracy, and like all Rolex calibers, they are singularly reliable.

rolex oyster perpetual

Oyster Perpetual Watch Models

Technically speaking, all of the modern Rolex watches outside the Cellini collection are Oyster Perpetual models, even though the vast majority of them fall outside the actual 'Oyster Perpetual' collection. With that in mind, Rolex offers a number of models that offer all the hallmark traits of the iconic Oyster Perpetual watch and a similar overall aesthetic, but with the added functionality of a date display.

Rolex Oystrer Perpetual Datejust

In 1945 Rolex created the first ever self-winding wristwatch with a date indicator. The Datejust featured a date aperture nestled underneath a cyclops lens and a special Jubilee bracelet in celebration of its unique design. The exclusive bracelet featured a 5-link design made from stainless steel, white gold, yellow gold or Everose - the gold designs of which were and still are crafted in-house at Rolex’s foundry where all their own gold is produced.

The Datejust is a perfect companion for the wrist if you’re looking for an everyday Rolex watch. Combined with a robust case construction, a practical and well-proportioned dial and a date feature, it can pair well with both professional attire and a casual outfit. The case sizes vary from a lady's 28mm to a men’s 41mm. Watches developed from white gold, yellow gold or Everose are more luxurious, and their dials feature distinct characteristics like the Roman numeral hour markers and a fluted bezel.

Today, the Datejust is available on an Oyster bracelet with 3-link design and some lady’s versions have been adorned with mother of pearl dials and diamond-set bezels. Rolesor models made from stainless steel and gold are a classic option for many whereas the dials of the models from this iconic collection vary from chocolate, black, white, silver, rhodium, blue, pink, or champagne.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date

Several US presidents have sported the Day-Date watch, which became the first waterproof wristwatch to display the day and date fully written out on the dial at the time of its release in 1956. The watch was named the Rolex President but is also worn by many actors and celebrities.

The Day-Date watch is only available in 18k gold or platinum and comes complete on the President Bracelet formed from an elegant three-piece link design made exclusively for the Day-Date line. The dials of the Day-Date include green, blue, silver, ice blue, orange, black and brown as well as mother of pearl dials adorned in diamond detailing, and a choice between a fluted bezel or the more recent glossy domed bezel. Additionally there are many other rare dial variants, such as the 'stella dials' that feature brightly colored lacquered surfaces. 


As one of Rolex's longest-produced and most iconic models, the Oyster Perpetual always seems to be on-trend. It’s sophisticated, reliable, and versatile. The Oyster Perpetual collection is also remarkably diverse, offering a handful of case sizes, metal options, and dial colors. Currently trending is the modern stainless steel collection. Oystersteel is Rolex’s own blend of 904L stainless steel and it is forged entirely in-house, offering superior corrosion resistance.

Most popular among collectors in-the-know is the current generation stainless steel Oyster Perpetual, which is sold under references 114200 (34mm), 116000 (36mm), and 114300 (39mm). They feature COSC-rated self-winding movements with sapphire crystals over the dial, and a water-resistance rating of 330 feet. The collection also includes ladies and mid-size options in the form of references 176200 (26mm) and 177200 (31mm). For those looking to get top dollar on their timepiece, be sure to visit our sell Rolex watch page.

Common Rolex Oyster Perpetual Questions

What is a Rolex Oyster Perpetual?

  • The Rolex Oyster Perpetual is the brand's entry-level line of luxury watches. All Rolex watches from the Oyster Perpetual collection will be three-hand, time-only models, with self-winding automatic movements. Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches are available in a number of different sizes, however all modern models are crafted from stainless steel and fitted with sapphire crystals.


  • In Rolex terminology, the word “Oyster” means that the caseback screws down for water resistance, and the word “Perpetual” means that the movement is self-winding. Today, nearly all Rolex watches are technically considered Oyster Perpetual models; however, Rolex’s entry-level watch collection is actually just called the Oyster Perpetual as an expression of these two defining Rolex technologies.

How TO Tell if A Rolex Oyster Perpetual is real

  • There are a number of ways to tell whether or not a Rolex Oyster Perpetual is real; however, what to look for when verifying the authenticity of an Oyster Perpetual watch will differ from one generation to the next. Check out our 'How to Spot a Fake Rolex' guide on our resource center. Counterfeiters are getting better and better each day and copying Rolex’s designs, and sometimes the only way to truly confirm that a Rolex Oyster Perpetual is genuine is to open it up and inspect it with high-powered magnification.

Do Rolex Oyster Perpetual WATCHES Tick?

  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches are powered by mechanical movements, rather than quartz movements, which means that they do not "tick" once every second like most watches. In reality, an Oyster Perpetual watch still ticks, but it ticks multiple times per second, which means that the seconds hand appears to glide smoothly around the dial, rather than jumping forward once every second like with standard quartz movement.


  • Regardless of the age or specific model, all Oyster Perpetual watches are powered by self-winding movements, which means that Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches do not have batteries. Automatic movements are powered by the natural motion of your arm, and they are comprised of many tiny interworking metal pieces. Therefore they do not run on electricity and consequently do not require batteries.


  • The winding crowns on Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches screw down to their cases to create a seal that keeps out both moisture and dust. To change the time on a Rolex Oyster Perpetual, you must first unscrew the winding crown from the case, before pulling out to the time-setting position. Rotate the crown to move the hands forwards or backwards, then push it back in and screw it down to finish setting the time.

rolex oyster perpetual

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Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, or any other brand listed. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. Rolex Datejust, Rolex Day Date President, Submariner, Presidential, Explorer, Sea Dweller, Super President, GMT Master, GMT, YachtMaster, Prince, Milgauss, MasterPiece, Air King, Cosmograph Daytona, and PearlMaster, etc are all registered trademarks of the Rolex Corporation. All brands including Brequet, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin, Breitling and Omega, etc are trademarks of their respective owners.