Rolex is a byword for prestige and prosperity all over the world. They come at a high price but for a good reason. The quality and luxury of a Rolex timepiece simply can't be matched, and anyone who owns one would tell you they are definitely worth the cost.
But how much are some people willing to pay to get their hands on the rarest and most precious Rolex pieces?
Let's take a look at the 15 most expensive Rolexes that have ever been created and find out with help from Ask Genie.
Why are Rolex Watches the Creme De La Creme?
Although there may be other challengers to the throne when it comes to prestige watches, there is still nothing that compares to a Rolex watch on your wrist when it comes to sheer class.
Rolex is the most valuable luxury watch brand on earth, and the name is instantly synonymous with quality, innovation, and status.
As you probably know, Rolex watches have also graced the wrists of the most famous people in the world throughout history.
Names like Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Marlon Brando, David Beckham, Paul Newman, and Cristiano Ronaldo are just some examples of the illustrious list of celebrities that have worn a Rolex timepiece.
The 15 Most Expensive Rolex Watches
We're going to do this in reverse order to save the best 'till last and keep you excited. So, buckle up, and let's take a ride through our list of the 15 most expensive Rolexes on earth.
15) Rolex GMT Master II
Starting us off is the Rolex GMT Master II. This model rose to fame in the 1950s and 60s when it was popular amongst astronauts, pilots, and celebrities.
Its consistency and reliability mean that it remains a popular choice today, and the current models have a rose gold case, 40mm diameter, and are manufactured using 18k yellow gold and Oyster Steel.
The 2021 edition with the model number 126755SARU is reportedly worth $173,999, which means it takes 15th place on our list.
14) The Steve McQueen 1967 Rolex Submariner
The 14th most expensive Rolex watch is the iconic 1967 Rolex Submariner, formerly owned by none other than Steve McQueen. At an auction in 2009, this classic piece sold for $234,000, which is a testament to the star's legendary status in Hollywood.
The piece itself is not actually that unique and has the well-known Submariner features of a luminescent dial, stainless steel strap, and date display. The high value is primarily due to the fame of its former owner.
13) Rolex Platinum Diamond Pearlmaster
This limited edition piece from Rolex's Day-Date collection just sneaks in at 13th place. Its rarity is enhanced with incredible exuberance by the 42 diamonds that adorn its bezel. It features Arabic numeral markers and two stunning diamonds at the 9 and 6 o'clock positions.
Launched in 2011, if this timepiece takes your fancy, it'll set you back a cool $277,850.
12) 1972 James Bond's Rolex Submariner
12th on our list of the most expensive Rolex watches is a piece worn by 007 himself, Sir Roger Moore, in 1973's 'Live and Let Die'. This famous Submariner has a reference number of 5513 and was sold at the prestigious Phillips Auction House in 2015 for $365,000.
The notoriety of this watch is due to several factors, such as the fact it has 'Roger Moore 007' engraved on the back of the case. It was also modified for the movie, and its bezel spins like a buzzsaw.
11) 1977 Rolex Sea-Dweller
The Rolex Sea-Dweller, with the reference 1665, was manufactured in 1977 for His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, the Sultan of Oman. The piece was specially customized for the Sultan by Rolex and features a golden Khanjar engraved at the 6 o'clock position.
The golden Khanjar makes this one of the rarest Rolex watches, which is why it fetched $414,000 at auction. It has been kept in immaculate condition and looks no different than when it was lovingly crafted.
10) Dr. Rajendra's Rolex
This exquisite piece was made for a truly historic moment and was gifted to India's first President, Dr Rajendra Prasad, in 1950 to mark the country's first Republic Day.
The watch is actually a Rolex Oyster Perpetual model, but instead of being crafted using the typical stainless steel associated with the model, this piece is made with 18k gold.
However, the watch has been involved in some controversy in the past and was actually stolen from Prasad and then re-emerged in a Sotheby's auction house.
9) Rolex GMT Master II Ice
The ninth most expensive Rolex watch is the GMT Master II Ice which was released in 2007 with a hefty retail price of $485,350. This beautiful piece was once worn by Cristiano Ronaldo and has an 18k white gold Oyster case.
8) Rolex 'Stelline' Gold
The number eight spot in our list of the most expensive Rolex watches is where the prices really start to shoot up. The Rolex Stelline Gold, with a reference of 6062, made $895,000 at auction in 2015.
It features a signature Jubilee Rolex bracelet and is made with yellow gold and stainless steel.
Stelline is Italian for 'small star', and the nickname is fitting given its fairly astronomical price.
7) 1967 Jack Nicklaus Rolex Day-Date
Price: $1.220 million
Ok, no more messing around. It's about time that we break the million mark.
The Jack Nicklaus Rolex Day-Date ref. 1803 has a value of $1.220 million and was the first watch that the legendary golfer ever owned.
Made with an 18k yellow gold case and a classic President bracelet, this timepiece was groundbreaking when it was first released in 1956. The date and display are spelled out on the dial, which was the first time this had ever been done on a watch.
6) Eric Clapton's Cosmograph Daytona
Price: $1.4 million
Made in 1971, the Rolex Oyster Albino Cosmograph Daytona was sold for $1.4 million at an auction in Geneva. It was originally owned by rock 'n' roll legend Eric Clapton and is the only example of a model in this line that doesn't have black subsidiary dials.
5) Marlon Brando's Rolex GMT-Master
Price: $1.92 million
Worn by Marlon Brando during the filming of one of the most famous films ever made, Apocalypse Now, the 1972 Rolex GMT Master ref. 1675 went for $1.92 million in 2019.
Although its appearance is fairly simple, with a black rubber strap, this piece has several unique details, such as luminous hour hands and markers that have developed a golden hue as the watch has gracefully aged.
4) 1942 Rolex Antimagnetique
Price: $2.5 million
The classic 1942 Rolex Antimagnetique used to be awarded to victorious race teams and drivers and has become an even more desirable possession as time has passed. Its case has a distinguished satin finish and pink-gold baton, and Arabic hour markers.
Although it was initially sold at auction in 2013 for $1.16 million, just four years later, it was sold again, this time for $2.5 million. Largely due to its vintage and historical nature, the value of this piece will most likely only continue to rise over the years.
3) Rolex Bao Dai
Price: $5.1 million
In 1952, the last ever Emperor of Vietnam, Nguyen Phuc Vinh Thuy, requested the most precious and rare Rolex watch ever to have been made at the time. The amazing result was the Rolex Bao Dai featuring a black dial with diamond markers and a yellow gold Oyster case.
At the Phillips Auction House in 2017, this breathtaking piece was sold for $5.1 million. It is known to have been kept in perfect condition by the Emperor's family, which is one of the reasons it fetched such a hefty sum at auction.
2) Rolex 'The Unicorn' Oyster Cosmograph
Price: $5.9 million
The number two spot on our list of the most expensive Rolex watches goes to the Rolex 'The Unicorn' Oyster Cosmograph ref. 6265, which brought in $5.9 million when it went up for sale in 2018.
Unlike most of the watches in the Rolex Cosmograph line, 'The Unicorn' is made with precious white metals rather than yellow gold or stainless steel.
The bracelet is made from dense, white gold and features silver graphics and an 18k gold hallmark. When it comes to uniqueness and style, there are very few other pieces that can compete with 'The Unicorn'.
1) Paul Newman's Rolex Daytona
Price: $17.8 million
Here we go.
The most expensive Rolex watch ever made.
The Paul Newman Daytona ref. 6239 sold for an incredible $17.8 million in 2017 and is one of the most famous watches in the world.
The world-renowned actor wore it in many of his most well-known movies, and the back of the case is engraved with the words 'Drive Carefully Me', a loving message from his wife.
The piece's namesake is not the sole reason for its tremendous value, as it also has many rare details and features. It has 18,000 beats-per-hour movements, a 300 units-per-hour stainless steel bezel, and three sub-dials featuring block markers.
The piece was already revered in the watch-collecting community, but after its massive auction price became a news story, the watch is now known around the globe.
We think you'd agree that this piece is truly worthy of the top spot.
What are the most popular Rolex watches?
The ten most popular Rolexes in the world are the Submariner, the Daytona, the Datejust, the Oyster Perpetual, the Yacht-Master, the Air-King, the Day-Date, the Sea-Dweller, the Explorer, and the Milgauss.
How long is the waiting list for a Rolex watch?
Currently, the waiting list if you want to buy a Rolex directly from the manufacturer is between 2 and 4 years. This is due to a combination of a current lack of inventory and the brand's immense popularity.
Are Rolex Daytona's rare?
The Daytona has some of the longest waiting times of any luxury watch. This is because of its huge popularity and the fact that it was not sought-after when it was first released, meaning Rolex originally only produced a small number of them.
How often do Rolexes need to be serviced?
Rolex recommends that you have your watch serviced at least once every ten years at a Rolex Service Center or Official Rolex Retailer. This is to maintain the waterproofness and accuracy of your watch.
Purchase a Rolex Watch with Help from Spin Genie
When it comes to the prices people are willing to pay for the rarest Rolex watches in the world, the sky truly is the limit. From Sultans to Emperors and legendary film stars, the illustrious list of owners of these precious timepieces is pretty extraordinary.
So, do you have a favorite on this list? And how much would you be willing to pay to get your hands on one of these unique and stunning watches?
Win big on Spin Genie, and you could see yourself on the waiting list for your very own Rolex watch.