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3 Best Vintage Rolex Watches that Won’t Break the Bank

January 4th, 2021
sell my Rolex datejust watch

The vintage market for Rolex watches has been blooming in recent years and last year saw an unexpected upsurge despite the impact of COVID-19. Interestingly, rare and also the most common vintage sports watches are now fetching five-figure price levels.

However, not every vintage Rolex watch carries astronomical levels of resale value. But there are a few vintage Rolex models that serve as excellent entry points. Let’s here explore three of the excellent and popular vintage Rolex references that will not break your bank.

Nonetheless, if you want to ascertain your vintage Rolex worth, fill up our online form today and get a free accurate quote. Sell your vintage Rolex watch to The Luxury Hut and get the best possible price. Certain gold variants and rare dial models can fetch you a premium.

1. Rolex Air-King Reference 5500

In 1958, Rolex produced the Air-King series as a subtle, durable entry-level watch. Without a date mechanism, the Air-King is among the most affordable Rolex timepieces. Whether vintage or contemporary, these watches offer some of the best value for money.

  • The Rolex Air-King 5500 comes with a stainless steel case of 34mm and acrylic crystal.
  • However, while the brand produced this watch as a more affordable edition, the movement powering the Reference 5500 was not COSC-certified.
  • The timepiece housed either the Rolex’s in-house Calibre 1530 or 1520 movement.

The Rolex Air-King flaunts minimalist features and a classic styling instead of flashy design, heavy-text dials and added functions. Many collectors relish the series’ simple, reliable design with a perpetual movement and a water-resistant Oyster case.

Moreover, the Rolex Air-King is available in various dial colours and two bracelet options – a dressy Jubilee or a sporty Oyster bracelet. The Air-King Reference 5500 enjoyed an astoundingly 37-year long production run. Eventually, the Reference 5500 model exists in the market today in decent numbers.

2. Rolex Datejust Reference 1601

The Rolex Datejust 1601 was in production throughout the 1960s and 1970s. However, the unique vintage feel and appearance make the Reference 1601 a prototypical Datejust. The watch features a 36mm case size, fluted bezel and acrylic crystal with Cyclops lens above the date display.

  • Rolex unleashed the Datejust Reference 1601 in Rolesor or solid gold version for men.
  • However, you will find this vintage Datejust housing either Calibre 1575 or 1565 movement depending on the production year.
  • Nonetheless, the Reference 1601 is instantly recognised for its pie-pan dial.

Rolex also offered this ‘pie-pan’ dial style to the Day-Date models from the same period. The fact is that this dial design is symbolic of an earlier era in the history of Rolex, and it offers a vintage aesthetic to the Reference 1601.

3. Rolex Oyster Perpetual Reference 1002

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual 1002 watch houses a time-only movement and flaunts a 43mm case and smooth bezel. Moreover, the dial displays the “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” text. Well, Rolex produced the Reference 1002 in the 1950s and 1960s.

  • The watch features an old-style case, bracelet and acrylic crystal over the dial.
  • However, in the early years of production, the Oyster Perpetual Reference 1002 housed the Calibre 1560 movement, beating at 18,000bph.
  • But the Calibre 1570 movement replaced this movement in the mid-1960s.
  • While the Calibre 1560 offers a 42-hour power reserve, the Calibre 1570 offers power reserve up to 48-hour.
  • Additionally, Rolex also fitted the Calibre 1570 with a feature of hacking seconds. With this feature, wearers can pull out the crown to stop the seconds-hand.

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual 1002 is available in different metal and dial options. For example, there are yellow gold, stainless steel and bi-tone models. Among the different dial colours available, champagne and silver-tone dials are the most common in the second hand market.

Are you looking to sell vintage Rolex watches? Call on 0207 242 9160 to get an instant valuation over the phone or fill up our form. The Luxury Hut can provide you with the best possible price for your vintage Rolex based on its model, condition, age, current market price and other essential features.

Explore More:

The Vintage Rolex Submariner 1680

8 Vintage Rolex Models that Can Fetch a Premium in Pre-owned Market

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