“I’m ready to buy a Rolex!” After years of being a fan, you’re ready to join the club of Rolex owners. But deciding to buy a Rolex is only the first step. Now you need to decide: which Rolex model should you choose? 

The various Rolex models have significant differences, to make sure there is a model for everyone regardless of their tastes or preferences.  Here are some of the most popular Rolex models, as determined by online research and sales volumes.  

Rolex Models: Submariner 

Rolex Model - Submariner

If Rolex is the King, this is its crown.  The Submariner is the quintessential Rolex model, worn by celebrities around the globe.  Despite its prestige and value, the Submariner at its core is a tool watch.  Wearing a Rolex Submariner suits the famous around the globe but can also be pulled off by the average man, due to its simple elegance and rugged durability. 

The modern Submariner’s 300 meters of water resistance is sufficient for casual divers and many professional divers as well.  The collection includes many color combinations which are given nicknames as the GMT-Masters are (we’ll revisit the GMT’s shortly).  The most collectible color combinations are the black/steel combination, green variations (you may know them as Hulk, Starbucks, and Kermit), and the two-tone blue.  Learn more about the Submariner in our recent post here.

Rolex Models: Sea-Dweller 

Rolex Model - Sea-Dweller

For the serious professional divers and sailors, Rolex came through with what you could describe as an upgraded Submariner – the Sea-Dweller.  The Sea-Dweller shares several visual specs with the Submariner but the entire timepiece has been engineered to withstand the depths.   

The timepieces in the collection feature a helium release valve for deeper dives without affecting the watch’s timekeeping capabilities.  Modern-day Sea-Dweller models tend to include a larger case size than the average 40mm or 41mm Rolex.  The most popular of them are no different, with the 126600 (50th Anniversary) landing at 43mm and the 116660, 126660, and 136660 (James Cameron special editions) leaving their mark at 44mm.   

Rolex Models: Sky-Dweller 

Rolex Model

If the Sea-Dweller is the ultimate Rolex for sailor or divers, the Sky-Dweller would be the ultimate Rolex for pilots and businessmen who rack up frequent flyer miles.  Although the collection is only 11 years old, the timepieces in it have gained popularity since their inception in 2012.  The collection was first available only in precious metals, but mostly-steel models have been released since then to bring down the entry point and increase the demand. 

The Sky-Dweller is a complicated watch, boasting a GMT, annual calendar, and Rolex’s Ring Command Bezel.  Despite the complexities, the timepiece manages to still maintain a sleek look and keep its wearer ready to pilot a plane or attend a dinner party at a moment’s notice.  As mentioned above, the entry-level Sky-Dwellers are the most popular in the collection due to their accessibility; the most popular model is a blue dial beauty, the 326934. 

Rolex Models: GMT-Master II 

Rolex Model - GMT Master

Speaking of pilots, Rolex holds street credibility for being the first company to sell a GMT timepiece.  The original GMT collection was revised in the early 1980s and was rebranded as the GMT-Master II.  This collection shares some nuanced similarities with the Submariner collection – especially in the layout of the dial and the overall bezel design.   

The GMT-Master watches are affectionately nicknamed as are the Submariner models.  Thus, the most popular models are the “Pepsi” (red and blue bezel, ref. 126710BLRO and 126719BLRO), and the “Batman / Batgirl” (black and blue bezel, ref. 126710BLNR and 116710BLNR). 

Rolex Models: Daytona 

Rolex Model - Daytona

In all the above models, you will not see any mention of chronographs.  While Rolex is a master of timepiece technology, they do not produce many chronographs as adding subdials can start to crowd the dial.  That being said, if you have your heart set on a chronograph then Rolex has a popular watch with your name on it.  That timepiece will hail from the Daytona collection. 

Sporty and precise, the Daytona utilizes subdials in a clear way to be your timekeeping partner.  Daytona was designed with precision in mind; the three subdials included on the Daytona were sized and placed in a way to be visually-appealing.  The dials are close to one another but do not touch; preventing the appearance of being crowded.  The most popular Daytona is the 116500LN in the white dial / black subdial combination (affectionately nicknamed the “panda”).  The rare “John Mayer” 116508 and various iterations of the Everose gold 116595RBOW are also highly collectible. 

When you’re ready to start searching for your perfect Rolex, I recommend you start your journey here:

Joma Shop

The Luxury Closet

Good luck with your search and with picking the right Rolex model for you!


Heads-up: this page may include affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. That being said, I only recommend companies I have personally vetted and believe in.

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