08.07.2021 - Rolex

Rolex: Vintage Or Modern Watches?

Buying a luxury watch can be a challenging and often head banging experience. You’ve spent hours trailing through hundreds of online retailers, looking at various models and brands and all you can show for your efforts is a pair of bloodshot eyes and a confused look on your face. A particularly common dilemma when searching for that perfect watch is deciding whether you should go for a vintage-looking discontinued timepiece, or a current model with more contemporary appeal.

If you are now in this predicament then read on because this article is for you. We’ve decided to share some guidance, using Rolex watches as the example brand, which will hopefully help you make that all-important decision…vintage or modern? 

Credit: Time and Tide

The first question you need to ask yourself is “what am I going to use the watch for?” If the answer is ‘for wearing everyday’ (or activities related to the functions of the watch), then you must consider elements like could the watch withstand the wear? Would it be easy to repair if any damage is sustained? And most importantly, would it look good! But if you’re looking for a piece to add to a collection for safekeeping, then the biggest concern should be, is it a wise investment?

Servicing and repairs 

In 2016 Rolex conveniently extended their warranty policy from two years to five years. Now this is great news for those of you who may be interested in purchasing a new watch (2017 plus), because you have the piece of mind knowing that if anything was to go wrong (excluding any damage that results from an accident or mishandling) you are covered.

The downside for vintage watch lovers is that repairing your precious timepiece could take more time and may be a bit more of a challenge. Many parts used in vintage watches are no longer manufactured, and so although there may still be a few parts out there, you’ll have to hunt down a specialist and pay a fair amount of money for the service.  

Credit: FashionBeans

Everyday wear

New Submariner, GMT-Master II and Daytona models feature modern updates like the Cerachrom ceramic bezel. The new bezel is far more resistant to scratching and cracking than the outdated aluminium insert, but there are pros and cons with both. The vintage bezel features a matte finish, making the insert’s colour and white numbers stand out, where as the ceramic bezel is shinier and reflective of light making it difficult to read the submersion time clearly.

Aesthetically speaking, aluminium bezels are far more pleasing to look at, but ceramic bezels are more hard-wearing. So once again, it all boils down to how you plan to use the watch.

Credit: Time and Tide, and Watch Centre

Investment purposes

When it comes to investing your money sensibly, a luxury watch is a wise asset to consider. Lavish watches, especially a Rolex, are capable of holding their value and increasing in worth. The vintage Rolex Daytona ref. 6241 is a perfect example of a timepiece that has experienced major long-term success. Just to give you some rough figures, in 1969 the model retailed for around $210 (excluding tax), and now, the exact model is selling at auction for anything from around $100,000 to $17,500,000!

Although these figures may sound quite attractive, you’ve got to remember that vintage watches are not the cheapest pieces to buy, but regardless, the value is still likely to hold or increase. One thing to keep in mind is that newer watches, especially Rolex steel sport watches, are already showing signs that they will become a lucrative investment, and you won’t have to dig as deep into your wallet to afford them. So it wouldn’t hurt to jump on the bandwagon and invest in either a vintage or a new piece (steel in particular). It’s a win, win either way!

Credit: Bob’s Watches and Monochrome


Whether a watch is stylish or not, really depends on personal taste and opinion. However, in my opinion, it is FACT that vintage watches ooze character and class. With each and every worn feature there is a hidden story. New watches on the other hand may not have the distinctive qualities of a vintage, but are clean, current and pretty pleasing on the eye too!

Credit: Time and Tide

So to put it short, vintage watches may not be best for everyday wear, but they are a great investment. New watches on the other hand feature modern materials like a ceramic bezel, which makes them perfect for withstanding knocks and bumps whilst out and about (and they aren’t a bad investment either!)

For more information on investing in watches click here. If this article has helped and you’re ready to make that all important decision, browse through our selection of vintage and new Rolex models here.