Rolex is bigger than watchmaking. Even if you know nothing about watches, you know that a Rolex stands synonymous for high-end timepieces. The brand is so connected to the image of success, that when thinking about what they would do with their riches,  most people picture a Rolex on their wrist.

While a Rolex is certain, which one isn’t. With a lineup stacked with icons, it isn’t the easiest choice either. To determine which Rolex is the king of the crowns though, we took to our community and asked for your favourite models!

Before we delve into the results though, it’s time for some honourable mentions which composed the majority of the Other Section. These are, in no particular order, the Air-King, the Milgauss, the Datejust, the Day-Date, the Skydweller, and the Cellini Prince.

 

 

In sixth place, we find the Yacht-Master, pictured above on the wrist of Brad Pitt. Although it doesn’t get that much spotlight, it offers for many a colourful alternative to the submariner. Similar in function, it goes more under the radar than its iconic brother and offers a wide range of different sizes and colour variations.

 

 

Next up in fifth place is the Explorer. Many consider it the purest watches of the Rolex current lineup. With no unnecessary fluff, this time-only classic has stood the test of time to make up an essential piece of the Rolex collection. Here we see Tom Hanks wearing his Explorer.

 

 

In fourth place, we find the Sea-Dweller, in this picture on the wrist of Tiger Woods. Known as the big-daddy among the Rolex watches, this watch is anything but quiet. The purest representation of form follows function, this watch has only one job, and that is to be tough. While too loud for some, this classic dive watch has gained a following for its uncompromising attitude.

 

 

Moving into the top three, the watches we find aren’t particularly surprising, but their order may be. Third place goes to the GMT-Master. Since 1954 this has to be one of, if not the coolest watch Rolex made. With the colourful bezel, and originally made for Pan-Am pilots, this watch was always to be found on the wrists of trendsetters, as above on the wrist of Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I.

 

 

Second place goes to, rather surprisingly the Rolex Submariner, pictured above on the wrist of Al Pacino. Without a doubt the most famous watch Rolex ever made, and despite Omega’s efforts, it will always be remembered as the James Bond watch. While in the dive watch segment second to none, on our list it will have to satisfy itself with the silver medal.

 

 

And the first place goes to …. the Rolex Daytona. Ironically the Daytona was rather unpopular on release. Thanks to strategic marketing, however, it managed to elevate itself to become the Rolex to own both in the vintage and in the retail market, where one regularly encounters 2-year waiting lists. Pictured above on the wrist of the man who will for ever be synonymous with the Daytona for watch-lover, Paul Newman himself!

 

 

Expert Contributors

We were lucky enough to get the insights of some industry professionals on what their favourite models were and why. Here are some of their replies!

 

Tim Stracke

Tim’s favourite model is the Milgauss. Why?

“Because it was a present for my 40th birthday from my wife and my friends!”

Tim is Co-CEO and Founder at Chrono 24.

 

Berry Harleman

Berry’s favourite model is the Milgauss ref 1019. Why?

“A very simple and clean model. The red arrow is very cool and I like the story about the scientists.”

Berry is a watch auctioneer at Catawiki.

 

Christian Dannemann

Christian’s favourite model is the 15200. Why?

“3135 movement, and the right size for my small wrist!”

Christian runs a great blog at watchguy.co.uk, where he posts about his work in servicing / fixing watches.

 

Tene Sommer

Tene’s favourite model is the Cosmograph Daytona Platinum. Why?

“I love the style of this model and the silvery whiteness of this watch. My favorite part is the ice blue dial. Even though it was designed for professional racing drivers, I find it very elegant – suitable even for a princess!”

tenesommer.com is another great blog, relating to lifetstyle, beauty, fashion, health & more. Check it out!

 

Nate Borgelt

Nate’s favourite model is the 5100. Why?

“This isn’t just a quartz watch, this is the culmination of almost a decade of R&D which also incorporated many firsts for the company (hacking and quickset among them) in a design that is bold but indisputably Rolex. For a company that (rightfully) is known for their sport watches this piece for me solidifies Rolex’s place in horological history and always being on the forefront, which many people do not realize that they still do today. The 5100 does, however, have tight competition from the 16550 cream and the 14k 6241…”

Nate is International Senior Specialist at Sotheby’s. He also has an Instagram page which a lot of our readers will love – we encourage you to follow nb.horology on Instagram!

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