How to Buy Your First Rolex – A Gentleman’s Buying Guide


Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette
in our series on Rolex watches. Today, we discuss how to buy your first Rolex. A Rolex is often the first product men want
to buy if they hit a certain milestone, they want to reward themselves for something
they did really well. Regardless of your opinions on Rolex,
there’s probably no one out there who would argue that a good watch collection must
not contain a Rolex watch. Rolex has been a cornerstone of the
entry-level watch market for decades. It has a sterling reputation for robust
reliable watches that if you picked the right model in stainless steel, it will have
a really good value increase or at least, it can maintain the value. On top of that,
their models are consistent, there are ever so slight changes throughout the
years and decades and because of that, it’s a classic timeless timepiece that
you can wear for years and decades to come.
So why should you buy a Rolex and what are maybe reasons not to buy one? If
you’re at that point, please check out this video about whether it’s worth it to
buy a Rolex or not and reasons why I would not buy a Rolex personally myself. A lot
of people who are interested in buying a Rolex are not necessarily watch
aficionados, they’ve just heard of it and they’re just ready to take that plunge
and get a nice watch. That being said, the whole watch culture can be quite
intimidating because there’s so much information around it and sometimes, it
can feel unwelcoming because people argue so passionately about things that
they want and like but also dislike. Now if you leave all that behind for a
moment, always keep in mind that a Rolex is first and foremost for you, the wearer.
It’s not like a car that you typically share. Yes! You can hand it down to your
son and you can adjust it but most of the time, people don’t just share watches,
they just wear them. In this day and age, it’s less of a timepiece but more of an
accessory that you have to wear and like and that’s all there
to it. So let’s take you through some steps that make sure that you end up
with s Rolex that you will love and want to wear for years to come.
First, before you start shopping for a Rolex, ask yourself these three questions:
one, is a Rolex a good fit for my personal style and how will I wear it? So
in detail, that means do you really like the style of Rolex or
it’s just a name you’re attracted to? How often do you want to wear this watch? Is
your style more dressy or more casua? All of the watches that made Rolex popular
and famous are sports watches or professional watches, not really dress
watches. Because of that, they’re not really made to be worn with suits and
formal outfits. That being said, in this day and age, a lot of people wear their
stainless steel GMT Masters, Submariners, or Datejust with suits and they feel just
fine. The second question to ask is: Can I afford a Rolex? Honestly, it’s not a good
idea to just put it on a credit card where you don’t have to pay interest, just save
up some money, put some money aside and use that to buy it. The third and maybe
the hardest question you should ask yourself is: Am i buying this Rolex watch
for the right reasons? So that means are you buying it for yourself or for others?
Do you just want it because it’s a status symbol or because you truly like the look?
Are you really going to wear this watch frequently? Because at the end of the day, you
should only buy something that you get a lot of wear out of because that way, the
cost per wear is really low. Once you’ve honestly answered all those questions,
you can move on to the next step and decide, do I want a new Rolex or a
vintage Rolex? A new Rolex is pretty straightforward; you pay full price, you
get your authentic product, you get the boxes, the papers, and everything there is.
Buying a new Rolex will give you peace of mind but you’ll also pay a good chunk
of money for it. Now maybe you are like me and you like vintage things, you like
the patina of the leather strap, or just a slightly different look that a watch
gets that has been worn for many years, in that case, a Rolex vintage watch
could be something for you. Vintage is defined
as being at least 20 or 30 years old versus antique which means it is a
hundred years or older. While for many years, the vintage Rolex section was not
super popular in recent years with the increase in retail prices and the
interest in watches has spiked an interest in vintage Rolex
watches and because of that, the prices have also increased. The third category
is pre-owned Rolex watches which are watches that are less than 20 years old.
Overall, this is probably the most cost-effective price segment because the
vintage watches sometimes go up in price because it’s specific model is rare or
sought-after. Pre-owned Rolexes, on the other hand, have probably the best value
ratio between wear and discount. Of course, as I mentioned before, pre-owned
and vintage Rolexes may be counterfeit watches or have counterfeit parts so
keep that in mind. And the third step, it’s time to choose your
watch details. I would start with a size of the case because size definitely
matters in a watch. We believe that the size should always be proportional, just
like anything else in classic menswear. So if you have a slim wrist, you need a
smaller watch. If you have a big wrist, you need a bigger watch. Overall though, I think
there’s a tendency to get bigger and bigger watches so even if you have a
bigger wrist, I would argue to stay clear of the oversized watches above 41
millimeter case size because they also get thicker and wider and it just looks
very chunky and not elegant at all. Most men interested in a Rolex will fall
between the 36 mm and 41 mm case size. If you have really
small or slim wrists, a 34 mm size may be right for you.
Again, if you have a big wrist, 41 is the max I would suggest you go with. If you are
not sure what size watch is right for you, keep in mind that the watch should cover
about two-thirds of your wrist and to learn more about watch sizes for your
wrist check out the guide on our website here. Now, if you have a slim wrist, some
models like the Submariner which only come 40 mm may not
be the best choice for you. Next up, it’s time to choose the right material and
band. For Rolex, I strongly suggest you go with stainless steel watch case and band
bracelet simply because that is in line with the sporty character of the watch but
also because that’s the most sought-after product and it retains the
value the most. Now that being said, if for some reason,
you like the two-tone look of stainless steel and gold, go for it. In that case, I
suggest you maybe try the vintage market because gold is a lot more expensive so
the retail price is higher but because they are less desirable, the vintage
prices are below the stainless steel. If you want to get a Rolex Daytona in gold
or platinum, go for it. It’s likely not going to be a bad investment, however, for
other models, history shows that stainless steel is the best value
proposition and to learn more about it check out our Is it worth it video rolex
watches here. Once we’ve chosen the material and the band, it’s time to look
at the bezel and the dial. It’s your first nice timepiece or your first Rolex, we
suggest to stay clear of flashy colors or bold things simply because it makes
your watch less versatile and it would mean that you would wear it less often.
Of course, if you’re an artist or if you love color and it’s part of your
personality, by all means, go for it. The old adage is light with light meaning
choose a light face for daytime and a dark face for the evenings. Now I would
argue that it’s easier to wear a light face in the evening than it is to wear a
dark face during the day. That being said, it’s just a rule of thumb and at
the end of the day, you can choose what you want. For example, a Submariner just
have as a dark face and it will still look good if that’s the style you want and
you go for it. However, if you want a light face, watches like the new Submariner or a GMT Master II are not really an option because they don’t have
a light face in stainless steel. Which brings us to point number four,
choosing the right model of Rolex. When you’re just starting out, you may not be aware
of all the different watch models that Rolex is offering and frankly, there’s
quite a few. If it’s your first Rolex and you want the classic sports watch, I
recommend you pick between a GMT Master, a Datejust, a Submariner, a Daytona, and
maybe a Sea-dweller for value. There’s also things like the Explorer, for
example, or the Milgauss, they’re all cool watches but they’re not as prone to
retain their value, as well. Of course, if that’s what you like and it suits your
personality, go for it. No matter if you buy the current model
Datejust or Submariner, or GMT Master, they will look very similar to ones that are
twenty or thirty years old or even older. So that’s a great thing about the Rolex,
no matter how old they are, they change very little in the way they look and
feel. The Datejust is probably the best option if you want to wear a sports
watch to the office with your suit. If you like the look at the Datejust but
you don’t like that Cyclops magnifying glass over the date, go with the Oyster
Perpetual, it’s often not recommended because it’s so simplistic
but I believe that makes it a really great choice, just clean simple lines,
very classic look. It won’t win you any awards for
uniqueness but it’s a good basic starter. If you like a bigger watch, the Explorer
or Explorer 2 with the case style of 42 mm may be the right choice,
they’re also sportier. It also has a cool history because it was issued by
Rolex after Sir Edmund Hillary summited Mount Everest in the 50s. The Rolex
Daytona or Cosmograph Daytona is a full-on chronograph. Ironically, early in
the days, it was not a very popular watch and these days, it’s the most expensive
one in the lineup. Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona was auctioned off at $17.75. Personally, I think that Daytona in
steel with a white face is not as sporty as it might seem and it could be a cool
option if you’re interested in that model. If you like sporty watches, check
out the Submariner, the GMT Master 2, the Yacht Master or the Sea-dweller, all
good options. If you don’t want those as your first option, they may be a good
second option after you’ve got that more basic watch covered. Personally, I’d argue
that they’re all a little big and bold for a first watch but of course, that’s
just me. If your taste is bolder then go for it.
Which brings me to the next point, do your research, check out things but don’t
go overboard. Watch research can be tough, there are very strong opinions about very little
minute details but at the end of the day, it’s about you. If you’re someone who
researches excessively, then by all means, go ahead.
After all, you’re spending a lot of money on this timepiece but keep in mind, it’s
very easy to fall into a Rolex choice online watch hole. Now, the good thing
about that is if you read a lot and you still come up with one model and choice
consistently then it’s probably the right watch for you. Also keep in mind,
even though a particular model may not retain its value as well as others, if
you love the watch, you can never go wrong. At the end of day, do your research,
don’t go overboard, and don’t let others make the final decision of the watch you
will wear. And the next step, I suggest you actually go to a store. There’s
pretty much an authorized Rolex dealer in every city. Go there, try different
watches on, figure out what your favorite is, and then leave. Do not buy anything on
the spot, just leave and go home, wait a few weeks, maybe a month, maybe two months,
and if you still want that watch, that’s a good indicator that it’s the right
watch and that you’ve made your decision. And the final step, once you’re certain what
model you want in what size and what color combination, it’s time to buy from
a reputable dealer. You can buy Rolexes at online auctions and because there’s
so many, you can really find them everywhere. There’s a lot of aftermarket
dials and bezels and you can decide if you want something that is a hundred
percent authentic and if so, you should probably go with a new watch or if
you’re okay with something that just has the
look of it and is a Rolex even though one part may be aftermarket. Of course,
you can also find certified Rolexes or you can buy vintage Rolexes from trusted
online places such as Theo and Harris or Bob’s Watches. I would advise you to stay
clear of eBay, other forms of auctions where they sell vintage watches where
you can’t examine things or any kind of small-scale dealer. You want to deal with
a volume dealer in Rolex who has a reputation on the line who wants to
continue their business and selling Rolex. Otherwise, you just may end up with
a fake because it’s very likely and if you’re new to this, you may not even spot
it and think you’ve got the real deal. That being said, good luck purchasing
your Rolex and keep in mind that studies have shown that men who buy one Rolex
are statistically very likely to buy a second one or a maybe a third one. In
today’s video I am wearing a Rolex GMT Master with a blue and red dial and have
dark face in stainless steel I also chose cufflinks in Lapiz Lazuli with
sterling silver and a carnelian in sterling so because they’re red and blue
so it works well is consistent with my watch my jacket is a double-breasted
petrol blue fresco jacket that is part of a suit here I’m wearing it with a
pair of dark brown and white seersuckers and a woven leather pair of
penny loafers it’s a very summery combination because of that I added a
white shirt with a knit tie in a mottled gray which is from Fort Belvedere and
you can find it in our shop here just like the white Italian linen pocket
squares with hand-stitched or embroidered little dots which works well
with my outfit it picks up the white of the shirt as well as the blue the GMT
master and my cuff link

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84 thoughts on “How to Buy Your First Rolex – A Gentleman’s Buying Guide

  1. I'm 15 and I have been working a lot towards buying a vintage premium watch and the moment I have money saved up, you post this.

    Gut Gemacht Herr Schneider 👍

  2. Gents Gazette is so good I'm watching a video of theirs about something that ill never be able to afford in school! Lol

  3. I never enjoyed Rolex watches, but for the wrong reason. I tend to dislike brands whose names end in "x", I don't know why. I play the drums and I never liked a brand called Mapex for this same reason. In watch world I prefer brands as Tissot and Tag Heuer.

  4. Are there any high end watches that only tell the time? I don't want a calendar, I don't want my blood pressure, I just want a watch that tells me what time it is today.

  5. I mean you just made a video to say your not into Rolex; talk of what you know, let watches channels cover this topic.

  6. I had to walked all over Zurich visiting multiple Rolex & watch shops to finally find that specific Rolex model that I really like

  7. How to buy your rolex
    First you will have to struggle
    And more struggle
    And more hardwork
    And face failures
    And be a depressed bi*ch
    Then make sure you are successfull and have alot of money
    Then go buy one

  8. I guess that Raphael made all these Rolex videos at the same day,the proof is he was wearing the same things in all Rolex vids.

  9. I love how in our timezone your videos come up just after dinner 😂 what better way to relax after having dinner than watching a new GG video?

  10. how people admire this Rolex divers watch, it is not dressy enough, I prefer Rolex dress watches or better Omega Aqua Terra sporty but dressy

  11. I’ll give some advice here –

    If buying second hand, try and buy with box and papers (check the serial numbers match the Rolex case for authenticity, etc)
    Buying a Rolex with a date cyclops is always a good idea
    You can look up on Rolex’s website official dealerships.
    Buy from trusted independent jewellery shops, support them when you can as they’ve built a reputation.
    If possible, if buying second hand, buy a watch that’s been serviced. A Rolex service in the UK is approx £500, so factor this into your overall price.

    This is all coming from a Rolex owner.

  12. Excuse my pedanticness… but I’d reckon you ment “Must contain” rather that “must not contain”… my apologies… but that aside!
    I LOVE your videos Sven and Co! 😊❤️

  13. Here's my Humbly Golden Opinion on Watch Sizes:

    Dress: 32 – 35mm

    Casual: 36-38mm

    Watches bigger than 38mm should be shipped to Sumo Wrestlers such as Rosie O'Donnell, Roseanne Barr, Kathy Bates & Kathy Linney

  14. Hi Raphael, Thank you for not pushing $10 chinese watches sold by US companies for $200. I'm confident they have offered you money to do so.

  15. Would black Oxford's look good on tan pants with a plaid black and darker plaid coat with a brown vest and a white shirt with a newsboy cap that matches the coat????

  16. I am 27 and there are 3 mile stones that are coming up, that I want to reward myself with a Rolex Datejust from 1991 for:

    1) I am about to buy my first real estate object.
    2) I am going to switch from patrol police to the investigation bureau in the coming years.
    3) When I turn 30.

    🙏

  17. You are paying too much attention to watches that don't even go well with the style that is promoted by the Gentleman's Gazette…

  18. If you want a pre-owned certified and appraised Rolex or any Swiss brand, Id suggest an independant dealer and the best place is Munich Germany best selection, most dealers best quality and prices in the world. And you have a vacation story to go with it. What brought Rolex into popularity in the US were alot of US soldiers stationed there bought one while there.

  19. Most people who have no interest in the Milgauss have never had their mechanical watch movement become magnetized. It destroys the timekeeping of the watch and is not easily fixed.

  20. Completely agree with your remarks regarding the optimum watch size. For me the sweet spot is between 36mm and 40mm. Looking to purchase the Rolex Explorer 39mm, which will nicely complement my Datejust 36mm.

  21. Very informative, good video. Like your outfit today as always very classy, your dbl breasted jacket reminded me of Hugo Jacomet from Sartorial talks.

  22. I’m a sucker for clear case backs. I know it’s gimmicky and probably makes a watch a little less dressy, but I love looking at the inner workings of an automatic or mechanical watch – no matter the brand. Rolex doesn’t make ‘em like that 😿

  23. Yeah he’s right don’t buy that rainbow Daytona because you don’t wanna double or triple or quadruple your investment

  24. Sven, if possible, I would request a series of reviews on fragrances. I am curious to know what you think of the new portrait line up from Penhaligon’s. Thank you.

  25. Basically no Rolex is gonna win awards for uniqueness, but all told getting something like a vintage Air King at 34mm would be pretty unique and would be quite classy on a leather strap. The steel sports are of course basically impossible to get as a first Rolex without paying a huge markup or having an uncle who's a dealer or something…

  26. Whenever I want a new Rolex, I just have my manservant take a break from cleaning my Rolls with a toothbrush and ostrich tears to go get it for me.

  27. There are only two Rolex' i'd consider: The golden Daydate in the small diameter with the president bracelet and a vintage Rolex Prince. The cellini is also a nice watch, but there are so many dress watches out there, which I find more beautiful and even come at a lower price point.

  28. little upps at 14:10 watch with a blue/red dial. Actually its called bezel insert, the dial is black. otherwise nice guide.

  29. This video shows you know little to nothing about the current Rolex market. If they Rolex you want is in stock buy it that day as it could take a year or more to find it again especaly if it is a stainless steel professional model.

  30. You made a video on why you shouldnt buy a rolex and everything you said was WRONG… you are a click bait channel with trash content

  31. There are some many wrong statements and Oberflächlichkeiten in this video, I’ll just say: Stick to your guns. Oder: Schuster, bleib bei deinen Leisten.

  32. Step one: aquire enough money to buy a car or send your child to college.

    Step two: instead of those things, buy a watch.

    I sure am glad that, though I'm comfortable financially, I'll never feel the need to have anything other than my trusty Timex Waterbury, $89.99 on sale.

  33. Oookay here's the deal I noticed how you matched your cufflinks to the "Pepsi" bezel of the watch, and honestly that is just ridiculous. Bad form, sir.

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