Popular Vintage Rolex Watches And Where To Find Them

Vintage Rolex with Leather band


Rolex is a name that is synonymous with luxury and quality. The company has been making some of the finest watches in the world for over a century, and their timepieces are prized by collectors and enthusiasts alike. While Rolex makes plenty of modern watches that are highly coveted, there is something special about their vintage models. These watches have a unique charm and style that set them apart from anything else on the market.

The term “vintage” is often used fairly loosely regarding watches. Generally, a vintage watch can be defined as any model at least 20 years old. However, some collectors consider anything that is at least 10 years old to be vintage. For our purposes, we will use the 20-year mark as the cutoff point.

If you’re interested in purchasing a vintage Rolex, there are a few things you should know. In this blog, we’ll cover what are some of the classic vintage Rolex models, how to buy them, if they are a good investment, and where to find them.


You’ve seen the word Perpetual Oyster on vintage Rolex watches and newer models alike, but what does it mean?  The word “perpetual” refers to the self-winding mechanism that Rolex developed in 1931. This was a major breakthrough in watchmaking, as it meant that the watches could be powered by the movement of the wearer’s body instead of needing to be wound manually. The “Oyster” part of the name comes from the fact that these watches were some of the first to be water-resistant.

The idea of a water-resistant watch was truly groundbreaking at the time and Rolex’s Oyster models were some of the first to hit the market. These watches were designed for people who lived an active lifestyle and needed a watch that could withstand being submerged in water.

The vintage Rolex Oyster models are some of the most popular amongst collectors. These watches are well-made, stylish, and have a timeless appeal.


A classic Oyster model is the vintage Rolex Pepsi GMT. Made in the 1950s, this watch was designed for airline pilots who needed to be able to keep track of multiple time zones.

The GMT function on this watch allows the wearer to set a second-time zone using the rotating bezel. This is a handy feature for anyone who travels frequently or needs to stay in touch with loved ones in different time zones.

This watch’s “Pepsi” nickname comes from its distinctive red and blue color scheme. These colors are also known as “racing stripes” and were commonly used on race cars in the 1950s. The GMT was one of the first Rolex watches to feature this now-iconic color scheme.

The Vintage Rolex Pepsi GMT was first sold in stores for around $200. Today, these watches typically sell for around $20,000. A popular vintage Rolex watch, these pre-owned men’s Rolex don’t last very long on shelves. Their popularity over the years has made them one of the most desirable used watches on the market.


The Rolex Submariner is one of the most iconic dive watches of all time and has been featured in many movies and television shows over the years. The first Submariner was released in 1953 and was designed to be used by professional divers. It is water-resistant up to depths of 660 feet (200 meters) and features a rotating bezel that allows divers to keep track of their dive time.

Over the years, the Submariner has been updated with new features and design tweaks, but its essential look has remained largely unchanged. This watch is truly a timeless classic that looks just as good today as it did when it was first released over 60 years ago.

Pre-Owned 1977 Vintage Rolex Submariner Date Watch Stainless Steel Black Dial With Black Bezel With Oyster Band Model 1680 face view


Some of the oldest and most desirable vintage Rolex watches are from the 1940s. These watches are often referred to as “bubblebacks” because of their distinctive round case shape.

Bubbleback watches were some of the first Rolex models to feature the brand’s now-famous crown logo. These watches were also some of the first to be powered by automatic movements, making them very collectible today.

If you’re interested in purchasing a vintage Rolex watch, it’s important to do your research ahead of time. These watches can be quite expensive, so you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a good deal. There are many reputable dealers out there who specialize in selling vintage Rolex watches, so be sure to shop around before making your purchase.



The simple answer is yes. In fact, we’ve dedicated an entire blog to answering the age-old question of whether Rolex watches are a good investment. Over the past 20 years, Rolex values have increased significantly, with some models seeing values increase by over 1000%.

While there’s no guarantee that your vintage Rolex will increase in value, it is definitely a wise investment. Not only will you get to enjoy wearing a beautiful and well-made watch, but you’ll also have peace of mind knowing that your watch is likely to go up in value over time. Please note that taking care of your vintage Rolex watch is important. For every scuff, crack or other damage left on the watch, the value decreases. It can also decrease if vital parts are changed from the original watch.


If you’re interested in purchasing a vintage Rolex watch, it’s important to do your research ahead of time. These watches can be quite expensive, so you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a good deal. There are many second-hand dealers out there who claim to specialize in selling vintage Rolex watches, so be sure to shop around to ensure you are getting a fair deal before making your purchase.

With over 35 years in the industry, Arnold Jewelers is proud to sell the largest selection of pre-owned vintage Rolex watches. We are the most trusted Tampa Jewelry Store, but don’t just take our word for it! Read our reviews online!

We sell and buy pre-owned vintage Rolex watches at fair market values. Come check us out in-store or online!

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