The Crown Beautiful Iconic Rolex Models

For most people who want to invest in a decent watch, there is no doubt that the brand they will choose first. It’s child’s play: Rolex. The crowned king of luxury watches has ruled for almost a century (next year they celebrate the great age of 100 years) and today is one of the most famous names in the world.

However, if you are new to watches, it doesn’t mean much to just say Rolex. It’s like saying Lamborghini to someone who is not interested in cars; you may know the name, but do you understand the differences between an Aventador, Huracan or Miura? Damn it, they do.

So, if you have just received your first Bonus and you need your first Rolex, Ape has teamed up with the second-hand watch specialist Watchfinder & Co. to present the five models that you should consider. We only cover the ones you can get right now, so no Vintage Paul Newmans or simple red plonks here. This is a minefield that we will not enter.


The classic diving watch that everyone else aspires to. Well, it’s a bit far-fetched; modern diving watches owe almost as much to Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms, but the Submariner is still the most copied diver ever built. Launched in 1953, it was the first watch to cross the 100-meter depth mark and, in many ways, the watch that made Rolex the brand it is today.

The modern Submariner can now reach 300 m–if you want deeper, you will have to opt for the Sea Dweller-but it is otherwise relatively unchanged. It still has the unidirectional rotating bezel, the large indexes covered with luminescent material and the famous Rolex hour hand.

As tempting as the choice of gold is, every Rolex sports piece must be made of steel (or at least bimetallic)-the recent green Version of it (model 116610 LV, affectionately called “Hulk” by collectors) is an incredibly beautiful watch.

GMT Master II

The GMT Master, the first and most iconic watch with two time zones, was designed for pilots of the golden age of Transatlantic Aviation. In the original version, they could follow two time zones with bezel and 24-hour hands directly linked to the local time of 12 o’clock. However, the GMT Master II allowed you to independently set the 24-hour hand and essentially follow three time zones.

Today, the watch is iconic enough to have Nicknames for its different rotating day/night bezel. There is the black and red “Cola”, the black and sapphire “Batman” and the most famous the sapphire and red “Pepsi Cola” (photo above). Last year, Rolex revived the latter in a slightly modernized form, and if you are wondering if it was successful, now try to get a new one. You would have better luck if you get the rose Gold “Root Beer” (above) or this year’s Batman. Fortunately, on the second-hand market, you can buy iconic models like this, which allows you to join a very select group of collectors.


First launched in 1963, the Daytona is not only the archetypal racing watch, it also remains the most sought-after watch in the world. Seriously, the waiting lists for the new Daytonas are incredible for the gold versions, impossible for the steel. We owe a lot to the inimitable Paul Newman, but the one who sends the Daytona into the stratosphere of the Stilkon is not one of them.

The Cosmograph Daytona is a modern interpretation of Vintage models, but does not change much to the formula, but only to the materials. It retains the famous tachymetric bezel for calculating the average speed – although slightly wider than the Vintage models-and the immediately recognizable Trio of chronograph sub-dials. The Daytona is still the only Chronograph manufactured by Rolex, outside the Yacht-Master niche, and is the pride of most of the collections in which it is found.

In matter you were wondering, Paul Newman’s famous version stands out for its dial which has contrasting sub-dials, usually black on white or white on black. You know, on the unlikely occasion, you see that one becomes inexpensive. You won’t do it. But the second-hand market still offers truly stunning versions that are very likely to retain their value forever.


As the name suggests, this watch is Rolex’s mountaineer watch. It’s about as simple as a watch you can get, which means it’s simply built to survive. In fact, the basic version of the Explorer has three hands, three digits and a caliber 3132 that can handle more than any watch should pass.

However, we prefer the Explorer II with its bright orange 24-hour hand and its fixed 24-hour bezel. It is designed to allow adventurers to determine the Time of Day in a cave, which is a terrible thought. It is also slightly larger at 42 mm than The Explorer at 39 mm. even if they are reduced to watchmaking basics, both watches are iconic sports watches – which, as you may have guessed, can be said of all Rolex sports watches.


The Day-Date is the only Rolex watch to be as famous as its professional collection. She is defined by the type of men she has worn in the past, including some renowned American presidents such as Lyndon B. Johnson and JFK. In fact, the Day-Date was so popular among the ruling elite that its popular nickname is the Rolex “President”.

It is probably the most diverse watch in the Rolex range, with three different bezel variants and a host of matching dials. The classic is the complete yellow gold dial, the matter and the presidential bracelet – with a fluted bezel. If you want to have pure Prestige on your wrist, this is the watch you need. But don’t neglect the platinum version with ice sapphire dial if you are looking for a refined touch of color.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *