What is the Best Entry Level Rolex?

7 min readOct 7, 2020

For many people, a Rolex is a sign of higher status. This makes attaining a Rolex watch a dream for many people. Of course, you can’t just live a fantasy all your life. It’s no secret that Rolex watches are the most expensive ones on the list, but acquiring one can become a reality if you consider your choices according to your affordability.

Whether you are a luxury watch fanatic or not, we suggest you look into some of Rolex’s accessible models. No single model is fundamentally better than any other traditional model, and there’s a standard version for each one of you. It’s worth a lifetime investment and lasts for generations after generations.

Let us also have a brief intro as to why Rolex watches are so expensive, and if achieving it would be just a brand name or a sage choice.


Many of us know of Rolex as a renowned brand since childhood. In fact, even our parents knew about it as kids. Nonetheless, Rolex watches, regardless of the model or version, remain timeless.

Rolex watches are expensive for two main reasons: due to their over 500 exclusive internal parts and Rolex’s use of high-quality solutions and materials. It has never compromised on its materials, movements, and durability that make it unrealistically exorbitant.

Rolex is a combination of fairly simple and basic movements with the date change, sturdy alloys with aesthetic bracelets and clasps, rotating and engraved bezels, and numerous dial variations. Its classic and traditional catalog with the crown mark makes it a passion for watch enthusiasts.

What makes them stand out:

  • When it comes to accuracy and durability, Rolex has unparalleled movements. The movement is a significant component of the brand. They produce in-house laboriously competent specific automatic mechanical movements while most of the other watch brands outsource their movements
  • When it comes to raw materials, Rolex has exceptionally high standards. At present, Rolex uses its own rust-resistant and shinier Oystersteel 904L, stainless steel, than many premium brands that utilize more concentrated 316L steel
  • These certified Swiss chronometers are tested for 15 days of tolerance and movement accuracy under various environments and conditions, including temperature and air pressure

With these undaunted characteristics, Rolex stands out from many other brands in watches and is a must-have luxury accessory even if you are a beginner to Rolex shopping. If you are confused as to which model to buy, we have listed some of their entry-level watches below.


If you want a long-lasting, classic, all-purpose watch, Rolex Oyster perpetual is one of them. This watch revamped the Rolex industry. It is one of the classiest choices. You can wear this watch on every occasion, with various outfits, and for numerous activities without being flamboyant but still charming.

To start with, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 is a good point. It came around in 2015 and features a perfect design. Whether you are in official attire or a polo shirt, this elegantly designed watch goes immaculately with both. It is also well proportioned in size of 39 mm for almost any forearm and is not too conspicuous. A new Oyster Perpetual would be worth $5000 to 6000, but a pre-loved modern Oyster Perpetual can be cheaper.

With slightly curving lugs and a broad bezel, the famous Date just was the lord of the hand types, the indexes as well as the case. Little blue blocks along the timescale add an interesting touch, mixing the colored anthracite with the sunburst dial to produce a new, streamlined and unique color mix.

The crystal does not have a non-reflective surface and is thus not necessarily suitable for viewing. The glow on the hands and indexes at 3, 6, and 9 makes the orientation of the darkness smoother. The date display is not visible, and hence its absence guarantees a smooth dial, although some could deter the purchasing of this type. If you are one of them, Rolex sells the Date just models in 36 mm and 41 mm, each with a lens magnification above the date panel at a considerably higher cost.

Salient features of the Oyster Perpetual include:

  • The Oyster Perpetual was a descendant of the Rolex Oyster, the first waterproof watch in the world, in 1926. Being 100 meters of water resistance, it is best suited for daily use
  • An easy to read, broad, lightweight dial.
  • Rolex 3130 is the predecessor with Parachorm balance spring and Paraflex shock absorption.
  • Caliber 3132 focused on the well-known date view of Caliber 3135 within the Submariner and the Date just.
  • Key features include unfluted bezel and gold hour of 18 ct markers.


The brand has a long history in aviation dating from the 1930s. This was the golden age of the aviation era. As untimely adventurers go to new places and sail the globe, an accurate chronometer was important for its performance. Hans Wilsdorf, the Rolex creator, introduced a special range of watches in 1945. The Rolex Date made a grand debut the very same year.

British RAF pilots appreciated the chronometer, and when the war ended, Rolex created the Air-King. The watch was a tribute to RAF pilots who served in the Battle of Britain.

However, Rolex stopped the production of Air-King in 2014 with the Oyster Perpetual as the steel sporting entry-level watch for the brand. The exile did not extend much, and Rolex’s Air-King returned after two years with a fresh look and more alluring ideas.

The recent Rolex Air-King Reference 116900

Rolex Air-King Ref 116900 is the most valued watch of the decade. It was quite a unique watch compared to former models. It is the cheapest from any of the new models, starting at approximately $5000. Let us look into some of its salient features.

  • New generation self-winding mechanical movements manufactured and developed by Rolex itself
  • Distinctive dial with more modern Arabic numerals and the boldest design to date
  • Waterproof for up to 100 meters
  • At 12, the inverted triangle reminds the Rolex Explorer implementation.
  • Style features bold green accents, the theme of “Air-King” in the same 1950s retro font as the original along with the cartoon-like crown color

The Air-King is definitely not a real tool watch. And its history isn’t as interesting as many versions. Around the same time, though, you won’t have to buy double retail right now. It looks desirable, in a peculiar, retro fashion, un-Rolex. It’s ideal for people who want to stand out from the crowd!


Rolex Datejust debuted in 1945 as the first portable waterproof wristwatch with timekeeping accuracy. Rolex has introduced advancements for bracelets, including a date display in a window at 3:00 am, where the date automatically shifts at midnight. The intermediate wheels in motion tightened the spring mechanism to advance the date disc to accomplish this function. This immediate ‘just-in-time’ date shift is why it is aptly called Datejust!

Originally, Rolex designed the Datejust to celebrate the brand’s 40th anniversary. Of course, Rolex copyrighted the date that Cyclops identified with this upscale watch, which unifies the multiple variations of this exemplary sequence.

The Datejust is a lovely watch. It is for great times and casual gatherings as well. Rolex lacks over-the-top applications, so you can comfortably wear the Datejust whether you have dressed up or down. Entry-level buyers can search for antique Datejust Rolexes from the 60s and 70s, including 1600 and 1601, partly for affordability and partly because the Datejust is a classic, eternal watch.

They have been pursued and developed extensively, so the availability is abundant. They typically cost between three thousand to four thousand dollars with a few variations.

Qualities of Vintage Datejust Include:

  • Variety of references: infinite style range, bezels, dials, measurements, cloth, and bracelets
  • The featured date window at 3'O clock under the Cyclops lens and a fluted bezel features the style highlights
  • The Datejust 1600 and 1601 have a 1570 caliber. Rolex started using this caliber in the 70s, but it is completely trustworthy, making this model a licensed watch

For formal settings, you can wear a Datejust with a leather band. It is also available in a suede strap, which looks superb!

  • Up to 100 meters water-resistant
  • A dial with matching hand colors, an hour-piece in the theme of Mercedes, and vibrant markings
  • The 5513 vintage has a 1520 caliber, and the new 11460 is 3130, the Submariner is 3135
  • Rotatable 60-minute bezel with a Cerachrom ceramic insert that’s scratchproof

Which Rolex is right for you is entirely your own decision and choice. It all depends on availability and affordability. But whatever model you go for, rest assured that Rolex is the best choice for entry-level purchasers.




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