Rolex, the most valuable luxury watch brand in the world holds a special position in the very high-end ultra luxury watch market. Rolex models have become a true status symbol due to their rich history of innovation and popularity with the elites.
They have been several Rolex watch models created distinctively from the rest which are normally made for general production in higher quantities often in stainless steel.
As with our definition in the article Ultra luxury vs High end brands, the below models fit the criteria of Ultra luxury i.e. High use of gems and precious stones, very low production quantities, impeccable handmade craftsmanship and typically above >$50,000.
Retail vs Auction
In this article we focus on watches sold at retail i.e. from an official authorised retailer of the brand. Its worth noting that more expensive vintage Rolexs have been sold at Auction like the Paul Newman Rolex Daytona 6239 for $17.8m in 2017
It is also interesting to understand that some of these watches arent even listed on the website! For those listed on the website its is marked as "Price available on request" . What does this mean? Speaking to collectors who have purchased these special pieces, Rolex and the authorised dealer want to vet anyone that wants to buy these watches. Questions like your spend history, your Rolex collection history will be requested in your application to purchase!
List of most expensive watches
See below our compilation of most expensive watches
Rolex GMT Master Ice Ref. 116769TBR
The GMT-Master Ice can be crowned as Rolex’s most expensive watch ever made, although no longer available to purchase at retail we had to include in the list due to the price. It has 18 Carats of white gold and hundreds of 30 carats of diamonds. It was introduced in 2007 and has since run out of production. The last retail price known for this model was around $480k. See here for watches in the GMT Master collection
Rolex Platinum Diamond Pearlmaster 39 Ref. 86409RBR
Released in 2016 this is another addition to the 39mm collection, completely covered in diamonds, including the dial and the whole of the bracelet. The last retail price known for this model was around $200k. See here for watches in the Pearlmaster collection
Rolex Day-Date 40 Ref. 228396TBR-0021
The Day-Date 40 Platinum Baguette / Paved Baguette was initially reelased in 2017. This GEM- SETTING model features a diamond-paved dial with 8 baguette-cut diamonds and 2 baguette-cut sapphires at 6 and 9 o'clock. The last retail price known for this model was around $141k. See here for watches in the Day-Date 40 collection
Rolex Day-Date 36 Ref. 128349RBR-0012
Released in 2019 the GEM-SETTING features 10 baguette-cut, rainbow-coloured sapphires. The last retail price known for this model was around $125k.See here for watches in the Day-Date 36 collection
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116588TBR
Nicknamed by Rolex fans as "the eye of the tiger" due to the dial design. It was release in 2019 and has a bezel set with 36 trapeze-cut diamonds while the dial is diamond pave with this interesting structure of yellow gold, the Arabic numerals at 3,6 and 9 oclock (’15’, ’30’ and ’45’) are tastefully crafted of yellow gold. All the hour markers, except the Rolex crown logo at 12 o’clock, are diamond-set as well.. The last retail price known for this model was around $100k. See here for watches in the Daytona collection
Rolex Daytona Rainbow Everose 116595RBOW
The Rolex "Rainbow" Daytona is one of the few GEM- SET Rolex watches to attain cult status with the demand from collectors increadibly high. Release iin 2018 the watch is made of Everose, (Rolex's version of pink gold ), Pink Gold Crystal sub-dials, 36 baguette-set sapphires in the bezel, 56 diamonds set into the lugs and case, and colored sapphire indexes. The last retail price known for this model was around $96k. Due to the diffculty to source perfectly calibrated sapphires with the right color to create the rainbow effect on the bezel, only a handful of these pieces are produced each year by Rolex. See here for watches in the Daytona collection
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