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.
We carry a wide selection of Men's used Rolex watches that can satisfy almost any budget or style. Just click on a model to see availability and pricing. All of our pre-owned Rolex watches have been cleaned and polished to restore them back to like-new condition. We carry one of the best selections of previously owned Rolex watches like the Men's used Submariner, the Pre-owned Rolex Daytona, and the Rolex Yachtmaster. You can also view our collection of Ladies Rolex watches as well.
When Hans Wilsdorf founded the company that would become Rolex in 1905, he could hardly have imagined that it would become not just the most widely-known name in the industry, but also one of the most influential and recognizable brands in the world. Today, the Rolex name is frequently cited as a benchmark of trust and luxury, ad consistently featuring in official lists of the world's most valuable brands.
While Rolex makes watches for men and women, it is the former department that stands out as genuinely game-changing. Many of the classic men's Rolexes have become blueprints for success. The brand has created many of the traditions we now take for granted (and imagine to have existed long before the brand that birthed them into the world).
The Rolex men's catalog is replete with icons: the Submariner, the Explorer, and Explorer II, the GMT Master and the GMT Master II, the Datejust, the Day-Date, and the Daytona, for example. Were any company to have conceived just one of these industry cornerstones, it would have been enough to build an empire upon. That Rolex has designed all of these classics is almost beyond belief.
But the products themselves are not the only reason for Rolex’s widespread success, especially among male customers. While an excellent product will create satisfaction and loyalty, it is the brand, or, at least, the idea of what that brand represents that is responsible for snaring an initial sale. This is where Rolex excels beyond all other brands within the watchmaking history. Its reputation precedes it and its products and is capable of generating a rush of interest that no other watchmaking brand has, realistically, come close to replicating.
For many luxury watchmakers, the hope is to convince customers to buy one of their products. Typically, they would do this by pitching them as superlative timekeepers, archetypes of functional and timeless design, or luxury items that boost their wearer's status; for Rolex, the very idea of the brand is enough to sell the product. It is so powerful that, on occasion, the product has been known not to matter.
So what is it that makes the Rolex brand so appealing to men? The names of the brand's most famous and enduring watch designs provide a clue. The Submariner conjures thoughts of a brave and bold adventurer working beneath the waves, uncovering the secrets of the deep and battling untold terrors found on the ocean floor. The Explorer recalls pioneering mountaineers and daring men willing to risk everything in the name of discovery. For those that adore air travel and being the master of their own life's path, the GMT Master collections provide a link to that lifestyle. Racecar enthusiasts, petrol heads, speed demons all go after the Daytona, named after a famous race track and made immeasurably famous by the wrist of Paul Newman. For the avid professional that takes his effects as seriously as he does his job, the Datejust. And for the aspiring (or serving) commander in chief, the presidential Day-Date.
Power. Wealth. Heroism. The Rolex brand is built on pillars of traditional masculinity. And while many things in the world have changed since the brand's foundation and will continue to change forevermore, it is hard to imagine a world where romanticized notions cease to be relevant to aspirational men looking to own and wear the very best.
Rolex was founded in 1905 in London, England, by Hans Wilsdorf, a young German businessman. Initially, the company (which would be renamed Rolex in 1908) was called Wilsdorf & Davis (having been founded with a partner) and dealt with the distribution of wristwatches in Great Britain and throughout the British Empire.
Although it may seem strange to us now, the wristwatch had yet to gain widespread acceptance, especially for men. In those days, wristwatches were primarily worn by women, while men tended to prefer pocket watches. Wilsdorf's vision and belief that the popularity of the wristwatch would grow set Wilsdorf & Davis, and, later, Rolex on the right path.
But without innovation and excellence, that path may never have been trodden. Wilsdorf knew this and moved to formalize his arrangement with one of his manufacturing suppliers. He regarded Maison Aegler in Bienne as the very best of his suppliers and the only one capable of producing components that matched the level of refinement he believed was necessary to put wristwatches on the map. He was right. The Aegler manufacture eventually became what is now known as the Manufacture des Montres Rolex SA.
In 1910, an Aegler-made Rolex became the first wristwatch to receive a certificate proving chronometric performance. The Official Watch Rating Centre issued this certification in Bienne. Later, in 1914 another model was deemed a “Class A” timekeeper by the renowned Kew Observatory in England. Before this award, no wristwatch had ever earned such a title. In fact, such an honor had only ever been bestowed upon marine chronometers.
Wilsdorf's success in proving the wristwatch's potential accuracy was an integral step in convincing the buying public that this method of timekeeping had a future and deserved a place on men's wrists. Following his achievements in this field, Wilsdorf realized that the next challenge would be making a watch tough enough to stand up to the daily rigors of life.
After assessing the common weak spots of pocket and wristwatches that had gone before, Wilsdorf decided that water resistance and dust proofing were essential for his products to gain traction. The next decade of experimentation would prove crucial to the Rolex story and the history of the entire industry.
In 1926, Rolex debuted a revolutionary case design. The Oyster case (which still exists in an updated form today) provided 100 meters of water resistance and was entirely impervious to dust. The Oyster case theory is simply a sandwich design with three main threaded (screw-in) levels. The case back, case middle, and bezel all screw together, clamping the watch’s crystal in place. Originally, the now-iconic fluting seen on many popular Rolex models (most famously the Datejust) served a practical purpose. It provided the necessary grip to screw the bezel in place and hold the whole assembly together.
Nowadays, thanks to vast improvements in gasket technology and synthetic sapphire manufacturing techniques, the bezel of the Oyster case does not perform the same practical function. However, many Rolex watches retain the recognizable fluting that carried the brand throughout its most trailblazing era.
Wilsdorf was now close to creating the watches he had always dreamed of, but there was yet one more step in his plan left. He averred that the movements in Rolex watches should all be self-winding. Up until this point, the calibers used by Rolex had been manual-winding movements. Wilsdorf was concerned that unscrewing the crown every day to wind the watch was too high a risk and that having an automatic, or “perpetual” rotor weight would prevent the watch from being potentially compromised by water or dust.
The first Oyster Perpetual debuted in 1931, kicking off the decade in which the Rolex brand began to take shape. It was during this next period that the Rolex Crown (or coronet) logo emerged. It started to feature on dials during the 1930s before also taking over the winding crown during the 1950s.
But it would be the tumultuous decade of the 1940s that would kick off an unprecedented period of design spanning eighteen years between 1945 and 1963. The first indisputable classic to emerge in this golden age of wristwatch design was the Rolex Datejust, debuting in 1945.
As the world's first automatic winding wrist-bound chronometer with a date window on the dial, the Rolex Datejust quickly became a bestseller. It has remained in the collection ever since, with hundreds of variations over the years. For many, the Rolex Datejust (often in yellow gold or bicolor) is the epitome of luxury. It is an item that transcended the brand and industry to become a recognizable status symbol to even laymen.
Eleven years later, the model that would become known for its association with several presidents, the Rolex Day-Date, hit the market. The addition of the day in an arching window situated between 11 and 1 o'clock was an instant hit. The design has remained mostly unchanged. Despite falling out of favor throughout certain periods, the Day-Date is now a strong chapter of the Rolex catalog.
But before its more complicated sibling joined the Datejust, Rolex released the two watches for which it is perhaps best known today. In 1953 and 1955, respectively, the Rolex Submariner and Rolex GMT Master were released.
The "Sub", with its countless variations, became the benchmark for all dive watches that followed. You will hear collectors use the term “homage” to describe a watch clearly inspired by another’s design. The term is perhaps used no more frequently than it is in regards to the Rolex Submariner.
The GMT Master collection was replaced by the GMT Master II in the early eighties. While the functionality of the successor was improved, the looks remained very similar. It is this watch with a red and blue “Pepsi” bezel that has dominated headlines since the release of an updated version on a jubilee bracelet back in 2018. It has come to define Rolex’s modern era and is the current poster child for luxury excess. This particular generation of the Rolex GMT Master II is so popular, reference 126710BLRO often trades for double its intended retail price.
Prior to that update, the Rolex Daytona (perhaps the most famous chronograph in the world) was released in 1963 and the Explorer II made headlines upon its debut in 1971. Rolex would release another new family in 1992 (the Yacht-Master) before updating it 15 years later with the somewhat esoteric Yacht-Master II.
In 2008, the Rolex Deepsea hit the market, adding a new dimension to the established Sea-Dweller line. Following that, the Datejust II - a larger, more modern take on the 1945 original — emerged a year later to little fanfare. The last major family release for Rolex was the 2012 Sky-Dweller, which has started to find more fans as the appreciation of its complex movement grows.
There is a tremendous amount of Submariner references to choose from, but the one that sticks out as the quintessential diver is the 1680. By this point in the model’s evolution, the Sub had adopted the mid-size crown, protected by the classic crown guards that were absent on the earliest models. Here we have all the benefits of vintage Submariners (such as slimmer, drilled lugs, creamy tritium lume, and the lighter, more flexible bracelets) with tons of modern aesthetic appeal. Some 1680s feature a single line of red text (known as “Red Subs”) on the dial. These models have a real pop, a great character, and are sure to appeal to dive watch fanatics whether they generally prefer modern or vintage pieces.
For many, the bicolor Datejusts of the early 1980s offer the perfect balance between classical style and technical performance. In this era, sapphire crystal was yet to be used as the standard in Rolex watches, so you get a nice warmth from a Plexiglass lens.
There are many different dial configurations available under reference 16013, with perhaps the most enduring the champagne sunburst with baton markers and an open minute track. But, for fans of Roman numerals, such options exist. With plenty of this reference on the market for a reasonable amount of money, a Rolex Datejust reference 16013 for men is a great place to start a collection.
The Rolex GMT Master 1675 is a nice balance between the old and new. Over its run, there were occasional (minor) aesthetic tweaks, but perhaps the most exciting thing about GMT Masters of this era is the massive difference in the way they age.
Modern, colorfast ceramics, paints with improved UV resistance, and Super-LumiNova (as opposed to the formerly used tritium or radium) will not age in the same, characterful way vintage pieces have done. As such, it is possible to find red and blue “Pepsi” bezels that began life identically colored now having faded to grey, pink, purple, pale or dark blue, light or deep red, and many other shades and hues in between. Coupling this unique aging with the patination of the lume and dial (and the wear-and-tear of the housing and bracelet) and you have something that only time and use could birth. If owning that kind of personal history appeals to you, then the 1675 GMT Master is a great choice.
Simply put, division breeds obsession. Dials that split opinion often find themselves winding up on the right side of history (or, at least, the history anyone bothers recording). Controversial aesthetics are a bonus when it comes to watch design. Often, these designs do not sell well upon release — not well enough to justify their long-term inclusion in the catalog, at least. Occasionally, tastes catch up with the trends that hit the market a shade too soon. When that happens, hold onto your hats — prices have been known to skyrocket.
The Rolex Explorer II 1655 is one of the most desirable vintage Rolexes in the world. Its complex dial and high functionality make it a favorite of collectors, and while you’re unlikely to find one for sale without a stay on a waiting list and a whole lot of luck, the beautiful balance of this 40mm classic on the wrist will make that all worthwhile.
Rolex watches for men are known for pushing boundaries in terms of technical performance and aesthetic conventions. Many of the industry’s archetypes first emerged within the walls of Rolex, birthed under the watchful eye of Hans Wilsdorf. Thankfully, Wilsdorf lived to see the golden age of fifties design that brought us the Explorer, the Submariner, the GMT Master, the Day-Date, and the Milgauss.
Rolex has a habit of creating iconic silhouettes. The Submariner’s case (and later that of the Sea-Dweller and Deepsea models) became famous for the addition of crown guards to the original design. These crown guards have changed in shape and size over the years but are now a key component of the brand’s identity, popping up on other professional models such as the GMT Master II.
But as similar as the Submariner and GMT Master II may be in that respect, the most immediately evident trait they share is surely their colorful bezel inserts. While these were once made from anodized aluminum (and, quite famously, before that of Bakelite), they are now rendered from high-tech ceramic capable of withstanding environmental conditions far better than its predecessors.
The hands of these famous professional models, too, have taken on a life of their own. The early days say several styles cycled through before the professional Rolex watches for men settled on the “Mercedes” handset as standard. This style — which is rather unusual when you think about it — has been copied endlessly by brands hoping to evoke an association with Rolex.
And Rolex has not stopped developing and improving its technology. In recent years, vast improvements have been made to the bracelets with more advanced finishing techniques and evermore accurate machining resulting in a better fit and finish than before. And that’s not all! Rolex has upgraded the application of its Super-LumiNova and dubbed the result Chromalight, which is one of the brightest and longest-lasting luminous compounds on the market today.
1926 — Oyster Case
1931 — Oyster Perpetual
1945 — Datejust
1953 — Explorer
1953 — Submariner
1955 — GMT-Master
1956 — Day-Date
1956 — Milgauss
1960 — Deep Sea Special
1963 — Daytona
1967 — Sea-Dweller
1971 — Rolex Explorer II
1982 — GMT-Master II
1992 — Yacht-Master
2007 — Yacht-Master II
2008 — Deepsea
2009 — Datejust II
2012 — Sky-Dweller
Ever since Mercedes Gleitz attempted to swim the English Channel with a Rolex Oyster dangling from her neck, the brand many refer to as “the Crown” has never been far from celebrity endorsement. While other brands refer to these cultural icons as ambassadors, Rolex prefers the term “testimonee” and has put a great deal of effort into building established relationships with these Rolex-wearing luminaries in varying fields. Also, it is not uncommon to see entirely unaffiliated stars sporting very special Rolexes (with two of the most recognizable featuring at the end of this list).
The eight-time Wimbledon champion and 20-time Grand Slam victor is regarded by many as the greatest tennis player ever to walk the Earth. Records aside, Federer’s brilliance has always been defined by his grace on and off the court. While other players (including longtime rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal) may catch him in the Grand Slam stakes, they will never be able to hold a candle to his poise and elegance. Federer and Rolex have forever seemed like a perfect match, and it seems a relationship destined to continue long after the Swiss Maestro hangs up his racket for good.
As one of the world’s most renowned and celebrated film directors, you could be forgiven for imagining James Cameron would spend his free time basking in the glory of his many masterpieces, awards, and accolades. Instead, however, Cameron prefers adventure. His deep-sea dives are legendary, and his commitment to exploring the Mariana Trench remarkable.
Perhaps the most famous Rolex testimonee is one of the most unwitting. Unlike many of the brand’s “official” supporters, Newman didn’t even buy the watch that came to be associated with his name himself. Instead, his wife purchased him a widely unpopular Daytona reference. After the watch was seen on Newman’s wrist, its legend began to grow. Decades later, its unusual aesthetic is now regarded as trailblazing.
The lead singer of American rock band Maroon 5 may not be the first Rolex customer that jumps to mind. Still, Levine made headlines around the world during the halftime show of Super Bowl LIII by rocking the Rainbow Rolex Daytona reference 116595RBOW in Everose gold. That particular reference is seen by many as the very definition of luxury extravagance. On a world-famous rockstar’s wrist, it looks right at home.
Truth be told, it is hard to go wrong. The name on the dial says it all. It is wise to get an idea of what size watches you generally prefer wearing and, if possible, try on some new and old Rolexes before pulling the trigger. Really, the choice comes down to aesthetic preference. Many people choose to go after a “birth year” Rolex when making their first purchase from the Crown. This can add a bit of emotional significance to the watch, especially if you are purchasing it to celebrate a milestone birthday.
One piece of advice that you will hear collectors offer freely is to buy the very best you can afford. There is no substitute for the condition. At Bob’s Watches, we pride ourselves in sourcing and selling only the very best examples of Rolex’s output over the past 115 years. That means you can be sure you’ll end up with a fine-looking vintage timepiece on your wrist that will offer years of satisfaction.
Rolex watches are known to hold their value as effectively as (and usually better than) most other watch brands. There is a considerable demand for Rolex-made products and a significant shortage of supply for newer pieces. While this does make vintage or pre-loved pieces more expensive than you would expect second-hand models from other brands to be, it looks likely that those prices will remain high for the foreseeable future. For that to change, Rolex would have to alter its supply strategy and flood the market with new pieces available at retail price.
Currently, however, Rolex enjoys a huge credibility boost by the increasing value of its pre-owned models, which makes any such action contrary to reputational gains.
Offloading unwanted Rolex watches through legitimate and secure channels has never been easier. In fact, we at Bob’s Watches would be happy to help. The vast majority of our stock is bought directly from Rolex owners. As one of the leading online marketplaces specializing in Rolex, our prices are fair and continuously adjusted to the market rate. You can check out the average value of specific references by following this link. Every sale is different. Each transaction is predicated on the condition of the watch and whether or not it comes with its box and or papers.
Rolex is one of the most valuable brands in the world and its watches have been cherished by many for 100 years. If you're looking to buy a used men's Rolex you have made the right decision. A Rolex is considered by a number of people as one of the best made watches you can purchase. It is more than just a timepiece. It stands for luxury, quality, style, style, and grace.
Want to see more watches? Be sure to visit our Men's Rolex page to browse both used and new/unworn selections.
For those looking to sell a Rolex be sure to visit our Sell Rolex page to get a fast quote. The process is fast and easy.