The Most Collectable Vintage Rolex Watches of All Time

Sell Vintage Rolex Watches

Rolex watches remain timeless and stable in value over the years. Some models even increase in value depending on several factors.

However, there are some vintage Rolex watches that have stimulated the industry in recent years. Few models have been even sold at famous auction houses like Christie’s at record-breaking prices.

So let’s delve into some of these vintage models from Rolex that are worthy of the ‘holy grail’ status.

Rolex Daytona Reference 6263

vintage Rolex Daytona Reference 6263

The Rolex Daytona is an icon in the vintage watch world and a mainstay of the Rolex collection. Rolex introduced the Reference 6263 in 1969, available in yellow gold or steel.

The watch stands out from its predecessors because of its wide array of technical upgrades and a sportier design. The brand has offered the timepiece in many variations, thereby enticing collectors over the years.

Rolex Submariner Reference 5513

vintage Rolex Submariner Reference 5513

Another cornerstone of Rolex, the Submariner, enjoys a cult status. One of the most iconic models of this collection is Reference 5513. Rolex produced the watch for more than 25years. Interestingly, many collectors consider the Reference 5513 as the archetype of all modern diving and sports watches.

However, its prolonged production span manifests that this timepiece is a piece of history. The earliest Submariner Reference 5513 was the most expensive model that enjoyed a production run until the 1960s. What characterises the model is its high-gloss, gilded dials.

Rolex modified the watch offering a matte dial in the 1970s. After ten years, the watchmaker released the last generation that featured indexes with white gold border and a contemporary-styled high-gloss dial.

Also Read: Is A Vintage Rolex A Good Investment?

Rolex GMT-Master 6542

vintage Rolex GMT-Master 6542

The largest airline in the world in 1954, Pam Am, commissioned a timepiece that helped pilots track the time of two different time zones simultaneously. With this in mind, Rolex created the GMT-Master featuring a 24-hour bezel and a GMT hand that revolves every 24-hour.

However, the most sought-after GMT-Master watch is the vintage Reference 6542. Rolex equipped the model with a Bakelite 24-hour graduated bezel. The watchmaker chose Bakelite because of its high legibility and low reflectivity.

Interestingly, the Bakelite bezel is fragile, and thus, it is tough to find out iterations of Reference 6542 in excellent working condition. Thus, you should not be surprised to see a GMT-Master 6542 Bakelite Bezel sell for nearly £72,575 at auction.

Rolex Sea-Dweller COMEX Reference 1665

vintage Rolex Sea-Dweller COMEX Reference 1665

Rolex designed the Sea-Dweller as a sturdy and durable wristwatch to combat the incredible water pressure at great depths. Following the Submariner’s success, the brand developed the watch to rectify one significant Submariner’s shortcoming.

The fact is that the Submariner’s crystal would pop out many times in decompression chambers at extreme depths and exposed to a prolonged time. Thus, Rolex furnished the Sea-Dweller with a unique helium escape valve on the case’s side that characterises the lineup today.

Thus, the first Sea-Dweller debuted as the Reference 1665. However, Rolex made several versions of it over time, including a COMEX model – a professional diving agency of Marseilles. So this reference can only ensure to increase in value.

Christie’s auction house sold this Reference 1665 for about £97,740 in 2017.

Rolex Day-Date Reference 1803

vintage Rolex Day-Date Reference 1803

One of Rolex’s most prestigious timepieces, the Day-Date debuted in 1955. Rolex offered the watch in different materials and with several dial choices, making it a watch of choice for many celebrities, sportspeople and Presidents.

However, the most sought-after versions include the ones with vibrantly coloured Stella dials and hard-stone dials. Rolex released the Reference 1803 in 1959 and is recognised as the most successful and enduring Day-Date model.

Want to sell your vintage Rolex watch for the best possible price? Fill up our simple online form for an instant free valuation. Or call on 0207 242 9160. The Luxury Hut buys all vintage Rolex watches for an accurate and competitive price in the market.

Vintage Rolex Daytona 6265 “Big Red” Silver Dial

vintage rolex daytona big red

In the vintage Rolex watch world, the Rolex Daytona is a champion of its own. However, the scenario was initially entirely different when now-vintage Daytona was introduced.

The Daytona chronographs were not famous at all among the collectors.

vintage rolex daytona big red

However, vintage Rolex Daytona models have today became holy grail among watch enthusiasts, commanding astronomical prices.

And one of the most coveted vintage Daytona watches is the reference 6265, nicknamed as the “Big Red”.

Today, we will take a look at spotlighting features of the vintage Rolex Daytona reference 6265 “Big Red”.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona: The Origination

Since the 1930s, Rolex had been already manufacturing chronograph timepieces. However, in 1963, the brand introduced a chronograph model, offering a particular name to it for the first time.

The new chronograph reference 6239 was dubbed the “Cosmograph”.

However, what more interesting is that the reference was not yet a Daytona.

  • In 1964, Rolex added the name “Daytona” with the term “Cosmograph” on the watch dial.
  • However, the term “Daytona” highlighted the brand’s collaboration with the Daytona Speedway in Florida.

Today, the watch is yet officially known as the Cosmograph Daytona, but it is more commonly referred to as the “Rolex Daytona”.

Moreover, the vintage Rolex Daytona reference 6239 watch features 38mm case diameter and two pump pushers.

The two pump pushers are fitted on the case for activating the dial’s chronograph function.

However, Rolex produced yellow gold and stainless steel versions of the reference 6239.

All the iterations feature a metal tachymeter scale.

The Unique Dials

The Rolex Daytona flaunted some signature design detailing like contrasting dial registers.

However, the three subsidiary dials in different colour tone increased the legibility of the main dial.

Additionally, some Daytona models also feature the exclusive “exotic dials”.

While the famous actor and racecar driver Paul Newman wore a Daytona with the exotic dial, they are now popularly known as “Paul Newman” dials.

However, some spotlighting features of Daytona Paul Newman dials include –

  • A stepped-minute track in a contrasting hue
  • Stylised sub-dials featuring Art Deco numerals along with square tips
  • Running seconds-counter consisting of digits 15/30/45/60 rather than only 20/40/60.

The Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” watch is one of the most expensive and coveted vintage models today.

The Vintage Rolex Daytona: Evolution

In the mid-1960s, Rolex introduced the Daytona reference 6240, also often known as a prototype or transitional reference.

However, the watch flaunted the screw-down chronograph pushers instead of the pump-style pushers.

The screw-down pushers eventually refined the water-resistant capacity of the Rolex Daytona.

Thus, the Rolex Daytona reference 6240 watch was the ever first Daytona to feature the label “Oyster” on the dial.

Following the ref. 6240, Rolex unveiled the Daytona reference 6262 and the Daytona reference 6264 in the late 1960s.

  • While the reference 6262 featured a metal bezel, the reference 6264 came with a black plexiglass bezel.
  • However, Rolex equipped both the Daytona watches with pump chronograph pushers.
  • But the manufacturer offered an upgraded movement to power them.
  • The movement was a manual-wound Calibre but with a higher frequency rate of 21,600beats/hr.

Finally, Rolex released the last versions of the manual Daytona in the early 1970s.

It included the Rolex Daytona 6263 reference with black bezel and our today’s highlight Daytona reference 6265 with the metal bezel.

The Rolex Daytona “Big Red” Silver Dial Reference 6265

Rolex released the vintage Rolex Daytona “Big Red” ref. 6265 in stainless steel and silver dial in 1979.

The watch comes with a 38mm case and tachymeter bezel.

Moreover, Rolex fitted the timepiece with screw-down chronograph pushers, testifying that it was an “Oyster” water-resistant version.

Early iterations of the Rolex Daytona reference 6265 featured a Twinlock screw-down winding crown.

However, Rolex equipped the later editions with a larger Triplock screw-down winding crown.

Now:

Among the different dial designs of this specific reference, the Daytona 6265 comes with the coveted “Big Red” dial.

  • However, the dial is named after the red oversized Daytona label that arches over the sub-dial at 6 o’clock position.
  • What makes this Daytona more attractive is the Panda-style dial on a silver background.
  • Moreover, the dial is accentuated with an applied Rolex crown and applied-baton hour markers.
  • Rolex also developed a black dial version of the Daytona “Big Red”.
  • But the Rolex Daytona “Big Red” with Panda dial looks ideally more appealing.

The vintage Rolex Daytona 6265 “Big Red” features luminous tritium plots and the engraving “T SWISS T” below 6 o’clock.

However, Rolex fitted the steel Daytona “Big Red” with an Oyster steel bracelet, featuring solid links and a 19mm lug width.

The Rolex Daytona “Big Red” Ref. 6265 is highly desirable among the collectors, and it is becoming harder to acquire in the second hand market.

Thus, if you are looking to sell vintage Rolex Daytona “Big Red”, it is likely to command a premium from potential Rolex watch buyers.

Want to sell your vintage Rolex watch in London?

When it comes to selling vintage Rolex watches in London, professional vintage Rolex watch buyers at The Luxury Hut are the one to trust.

We specialise in buying all vintage Rolex watch models for competitive prices. With years of experience and knowledge of the vintage watch market, we determine an accurate value of any Rolex vintage model that customers want to sell.

Simply, fill up our online form with details of your vintage watch and get a free competitive quote.

Or call on 0207 242 9160 for an instant appraisal over the phone or to book an appointment at our Hatton Garden office in London. Sell your vintage Rolex watch to us and get paid within minutes.