Rolex sport watch

Rolex Explorer & Explorer II

Rolex Sport Watches Ultimate Guide Polar Explorer II 216750 White Dial explorer watch

Rolex introduced the Explorer in 1953 to celebrate Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s successful climb to the peak of Mount Everest. The Explorer was marketed as an adventurer’s tool watch and is characterized by a three-hand dial, a case that is waterproof up to 100 meters, and a self-winding movement. A few decades later, in 1971, the Explorer II was released and featured a slightly different design with a fixed 24-hour bezel and a dedicated 24-hour hand on the dial. The Explorer II was developed for keeping time while in dark environments and is spelunker’s tool watch at heart.

Both models are manufactured solely from stainless steel. The current generations of both the Explorer and Explorer II utilize improved Oystersteel (904L stainless steel) and are powered by self-winding Perpetual movements fitted with Rolex’s Paraflex shock absorbers.

Rolex Submariner

Ultimate Guide Rolex Sport Watches No-Date Submariner 114060 Ceramic dive watch

One of the most recognizable sports watches in the Rolex catalog is the Submariner diver’s watch. Developed in 1953, the Submariner was one of the first dive watches ever created and was the first timepiece produced by Rolex to offer water-resistance up to 100 meters. The Submariner paved the way for the dive watch market as we know it today, and virtually all modern dive watches were in some way influenced by the Rolex Submariner. Since coming to market, the collection has grown to include both date and no-date variations, along with several metal options, such as stainless steel, two-tone steel and gold, 18k yellow gold, and white gold.

The Submariner is waterproof up to 300m (1,000 feet) and utilizes a unidirectional rotating elapsed time bezel. Recent years have seen a handful of important upgrades to the line, such as the addition of a Cerachrom ceramic bezel insert, a larger “Maxi” display on the dial, and a case with thicker lugs and larger crown guards.

Rolex GMT-Master & GMT-Master II

Rolex Sport Watches Ultimate Guide GMT-Master II 126710 BLRO Ceramic Pepsi Bezel travel watch

The GMT-Master was first introduced in 1955. The first model featured a 24-hour hand on the dial and a bi-directional bezel to help professional pilots read two time zones at once.  A few decades after making its debut, the collection evolved, and the GMT-Master II was released, bringing with it a redesigned movement with an independent 24-hour hand as well as the ability to read three time zones simultaneously. The modern collection famously offers bi-color Cerachrom ceramic bezel inserts, either a five-link Jubilee or a three-link Oyster bracelet, and the option of stainless steel, two-tone steel and gold, rose gold, or white gold. The latest generation of Rolex GMT-Master II watches is powered by the Cal. 3285 movement, featuring Rolex’s proprietary Chronergy escapement and an increased 70-hour power reserve.

Rolex Daytona

Complete Guide Rolex Sport Watches Ceramic Daytona 116500 LN drivers watch

The Daytona has been a fixture among the world of motorsports since the early 1960s and was developed as a means to track race times. While it was introduced in 1963, Rolex had already been producing chronograph watches for several years before the Daytona’s official debut. The Rolex Daytona is equipped with a chronograph movement is available in a wide range of metal finishes and dial colors. The current generation features an in-house movement with a vertical clutch and a tachymeter bezel crafted from either solid gold or Rolex’s proprietary Cerachrom ceramic material.

Rolex Yacht-Master & Yacht-Master II

Rolex Sport Watches Complete Guide Yacht-Master II 116680 sailors watch

Rolex initially developed the Yacht-Master collection as an elevated edition of the brand’s classic sports watch. The lugs are more dramatically shaped, and the bezel is always presented in either precious metal or ceramic. The first edition was introduced in 1992 and included a three-hand dial and a bi-directional 60-minute bezel. First introduced in 2007, the Yacht-Master II is a recent addition to the Rolex catalog and includes a Ring-Command bezel and a movement with highly complex functions. Both editions were initially manufactured in only solid 18k yellow gold but eventually expanded to include a wide variety of different metal options. Today, both models include water-resistance up to 100 meters and feature bezels constructed from either Rolex’ proprietary Cerachrom ceramic material or solid 18k gold or 950 platinum.

Rolex Sea-Dweller And Deepsea

Best Guide Rolex Sport Watches Deepsea Sea-Dweller 126660 D-Blue Dial divers watch

Rolex’s collection of deep-sea saturation diving watches takes the design of the Submariner one step further by including an innovative Helium Escape Valve. This feature allows trapped helium molecules to purge during decompression while keeping the structure of the watch intact. The Rolex Sea-Dweller was introduced in 1967, with the current model offering waterproofness up to 1,220 meters and available in either all-steel or two-tone steel and gold finishes. The Deepsea Sea-Dweller was introduced in 2008 and includes a different case design that is rated waterproof up to 3,900 meters and is only available in stainless steel. The latest generations of both watches are fitted with scratch-resistant sapphire crystals and Cerachrom ceramic bezel inserts.

Rolex Milgauss

Rolex Sport Watches Best Ultimate Guide Milgauss 116400 GV Z-Blue Dial scientist watch

The Rolex Milgauss caters to scientists who work in proximity to strong magnetic fields. While the Oyster case on the Submariner and Sea-Dweller focus on offering substantial waterproofness, the Milgauss is designed with a soft iron Faraday cage and paramagnetic components to protect the movement from magnetic forces up to 1,000 gauss. The model was first introduced in 1956 and has only ever been offered in stainless steel. The current variation was launched in 2007 after the line was briefly discontinued and includes a bright orange lightning bolt seconds hand and a green-tinted “Glace Verte” Sapphire crystal.

Rolex Air-King

Best Ultimate Guide Rolex Sport Watches Air-King 116900 pilot watch

Equal parts dress watch and tool watch, the original Rolex Air-King included a self-winding Perpetual movement, a modest case size, and simple time-only functionality. The collection was developed in the 1940s to honor the pilots of the British Royal Air Force, who chose to wear their personally-purchased Oyster Perpetual watches over their standard military-issued timepieces. It later made its formal debut in the 1950s as an affordable, entry-level offering with a durable and versatile 34mm Oyster case. The Air-King collection has since transformed rather dramatically to feature a larger 40mm antimagnetic case and movement borrowed from the Milgauss and a sportier dial adorned with bright yellow and green accents.

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING FROM ONLINE WATCH STORES

There are a few different types of watch stores that you can buy a watch from online. They may be brick and mortar stores with an online presence, a website-based shop, or a dealer selling through auction sites. Regardless of the situation, here are some things to think about.

SERVICE

If you’re spending your hard-earned cash on an expensive timepiece from an online retailer, service is an important consideration. Not all online shops offer watch inspection and repair services.

However, watches from these stores tend to cost less than from a full-service shop. You need to weigh out whether saving money on a watch is worth finding your own service shop.https://5885cffb18ad69cf990c4c512d4cc39d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

It’s always good to have a vintage watch serviced by a certified watchmaker, so look to reputable shops that can explain the service history of a piece. They’ll also be able to maintain new watches, should you ever need it.

WARRANTY

If you’re purchasing a gray market watch, chances are the manufacturer won’t recognize the warranty. It’s not because the watch isn’t authentic. It’s because you purchased it outside of its intended distribution chain.

If that’s the case, buy the watch from a reputable gray market dealer that does offer some type of warranty on their pieces. This way you’re not hung out to try if something should go wrong.

These warranties are often limited to movements and defects, however. You’ll have to find a repair shop or pay out of pocket to send it to the manufacturer if you cause the damage.

AUTHENTICITY

There are a lot of bad deals online. Authenticity applies to not only the watch, but also the deal you’re entering into. You want to be sure it’s a good deal on the watch that you want.

Obviously, it should be an authentic timepiece, but it should also arrive at your home or office in the condition you’re expecting. If there are scratches, if it’s damaged, or the deal doesn’t include the box, you need to know and pay accordingly.

If you’re paying authentic prices for a watch in new condition with box and tags, you should expect it to arrive that way.https://5885cffb18ad69cf990c4c512d4cc39d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

THE BEST PLACES TO BUY WATCHES ONLINE

These are a few online watch sources that you can trust. Whether you’re looking for entry-level, luxury, or vintage watches, you’ll be able to find it and sleep easy knowing you made a solid deal.

1. AMAZON

One of the best places to buy a watch online is also one of the best places to buy anything online. Amazon has thousands of watches listed in their inventory, and shipping is generally very fast.

amazon watches

You can buy entry-level watches like Seiko and Citizen divers, as well as luxury timepieces from Omega, Tudor, and Rolex. There are tons of watches of all types on Amazon.

The benefit of buying a watch from Amazon is the incredible customer service. If you’re unhappy with your purchase, you can send it back to Amazon for a full refund in most cases.

On top of that, manufacturers will warranty watches purchased from certified dealers selling through Amazon’s marketplace.

2. JOMASHOP

If you’re looking to save a little money (or a lot, in some cases), Jomashop is a great first stop on your watch-shopping journey. Jomashop is the premier gray market dealer and sells watches at incredible prices.

Jomashop
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The online store carries both pre-owned and new watches, and they’re often listed for less than half of the suggested retail price.

Since Jomashop isn’t an authorized dealer, they try to reduce the risk involved in buying an expensive timepiece on the gray market. They include a warranty for every watch they sell, covering the watch from 1 to 5 years, with some exceptions.

The best part of shopping at Jomashop is the company’s excellent reputation and buying power. That means you’ll get an excellent price on a 100% guaranteed authentic timepiece.

3. CROWN AND CALIBER

If you’re a budding enthusiast, there are few shops better suited for watch shopping. Crown and Caliber’s website is very easy to navigate, dividing their inventory into practical categories. You can see their entire inventory of racing watches, divers, or military watches with one click.

crown and caliber
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Inventory can then narrow down further by price, size, and even material. You can also shop by brand, choosing from industry favorites like A. Lange & Sohne, Omega, Rolex, JLC, and Zenith.

You can even search by reference number if you know what you’re looking for. Prices range (depending on inventory) from a few hundred dollars to more than $60,000.

Crown and Caliber also offers a lot of helpful resources like the Unwound Blog, how to videos, and information on watch sizing and the anatomy of a watch.

Some of the watches in their inventory are still under manufacturer warranty, but for those that aren’t, Crown and Caliber covers them against mechanical and workmanship defects for up to one year.

4. THEO AND HARRIS

For watch shoppers looking for the perfect vintage piece, checking out Theo and Harris is a solid first move. Their inventory constantly changes, but they carry some of the best vintage watches from companies like Omega, Tudor, Rolex, Zenith, and Panerai.

Theo and Harris

They provide as much information as possible about each piece, including the era and dimensions, as well as the condition. You can even enter into a payment plan with Theo and Harris if you’d like, making it an attractive option for newer collectors looking for their first vintage piece.

Each watch comes with documentation ensuring that you’re purchasing an authentic piece, and they’re also covered by a one year warranty. The warranty is against mechanical issues—any damage inflicted after the sale will be your responsibility to pay for.

Service is provided through Theo and Harris’ in-house watchmaker so you’ll know where your watch is at all times.

5. EBAY

For the widest variety of watches available online, you can’t beat eBay. Watch collectors can get lost for hours at a time, perusing tons of rare and exotic pieces.

eBay
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Bids tend to jump by a large margin in the last hours of the auction, however. But if you’re watching the right auction, you could see some tremendous savings on a treasured timepiece. It’s all about knowing what you’re looking for and what you’re looking at.

This also leads to some of the risks involved in watch shopping on eBay. Watches can be some of the most expensive items listed on eBay, and the industry does attract some shady business. Make sure that you check a seller’s ratings and reputation before you purchase.

A few unhappy customers is normal, but complaints about fakes or “Frankenwatches” (watches pieced together with spare parts) should be enough to steer you toward another listing.

6. WATCHBOX

Watchbox is a pre-owned watch dealer that specializes in luxury timepieces. Not only does Watchbox have several brick and mortar locations, but their online shop is also well-stocked for an excellent shopping experience.

Watchbox
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They own their entire inventory as well, which allows them to give each piece the service it deserves, bring them back up to snuff. After purchase, Watchbox covers its watches for up to two years with its Global Warranty.

While they have an outstanding selection of Rolexes, you can also find watches from Patek, Panerai, Grand Seiko, as well as some entry-level timepieces.

7. LONG ISLAND WATCH

If you’re an enthusiast, you’ve undoubtedly seen some of the social content from Mark, the owner of Long Island Watch. Long Island Watch specializes in some of the less well-known brands such as Sea-Gull and Red Star but also carries the popular and faithful brands like Seiko and Citizen.

Long Island Watch

They sell new watches with boxes and papers, and they’re covered under manufacturer warranties. They ship worldwide and provide a 100% money-back guarantee on authenticity.

They even offer their own line of custom watches built on some popular platforms like the SKX and SRP. If you’re in the sub $3000 market, check out Long Island Watch’s online shop.

8. DELRAY WATCH

When it comes to knowledge and service, shopping at Delray Watch is the way to go. This Florida-based dealer has an online shop full of new and pre-owned luxury watches that most enthusiasts will drool over.

Delray Watch

You’ll find a huge selection of watches from watch titans like Blancpain, Hublot, Longines, and Breitling.

One of the owners, Federico Iossa, hosts an incredibly informative YouTube channel called “Federico Talks Watches,” where he not only explains watches and trends but also how the watch industry works.

Delray’s service is also top-notch. They employ full-time watchmakers with experience working with Vacheron Constantin, Breguet, and other very high-end watch brands. If you buy a watch from Delray, you can be sure they’ll stand behind their product.

9. HODINKEE

Hodinkee established itself as a hub of information for the watch collecting world before branching out into online sales. Now, it’s one of the most trusted online retailers for brands like G-SHOCK, Montblanc, Oris, and NOMOS Glashütte, among many others.

Hodinkee

Manufacturer warranties cover all the new watches that sell through Hodinkee’s online shop. Hodinkee also offers free shipping and returns. Vintage watches sold through the online shop are in less supply, however, and they don’t offer in-house service.

10. BOB’S WATCHES

If it’s a specific Rolex you’re after, Bob’s Watches probably has it. Bob’s is an online luxury pre-owned watch retailer. The company offers a great selection of not just Rolexes, but also Tudor, Omega, and Breitling watches, among many others.

Bob's watches

Prices range from timepieces of a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands, depending on their inventory. While Bob’s does have a physical location, the majority of their sales are through the company’s website.

Bob’s Watches takes customer service very seriously. If you buy a watch from the Bob’s Watches online shop, you can reach out to them with any concerns and sort things out.

11. WATCHMAXX

One of the nice things about WatchMaxx is that they don’t pretend to be something they’re not. As a gray market retailer, they offer incredible prices on some very expensive wristwatches.

WatchMaxx

However, they acknowledge that they aren’t an authorized dealer for any of the pieces they sell. They do offer a 100% guarantee on authenticity, and they warranty their sales for up to two years.

The warranty covers issues like manufacturing defects, movement failures, and battery replacements. The downside is that you’ll void the warranty if you take your watch anywhere else for service within the two-year time frame.

WatchMaxx’s inventory does change often. However, they’re sure to carry brands like Tissot, Breitling, IWC, Citizen, Rolex, Hamilton, and Patek Philippe. They also carry fashion watches from brands like Gucci, Michael Kors, Burberry, should those be your taste.

12. THE TIME TELLER SHOP

The Time Teller Shop is a small online retailer specializing in rare and vintage watches in all price ranges. The inventory fluctuates constantly, but you can find some excellent deals on some very fun pieces.

The Time Teller Shop

The owner, Jory Goodman, runs “The Time Teller” YouTube channel, through which his personality, opinions, and passion for watches really shine.

All of the watches in The Time Teller Shop are “T3 Certified.” That means they’re hand-selected by Jory, and then inspected and serviced by a certified watchmaker. At that point, The Time Teller Shop T3 Certified warranty covers the timepiece for up to one year.

Between Jory’s very public social media presence and the T3 Certified Warranty, you’ll know that you made a solid deal with a reputable retailer.

13. CHRONO24

For a truly worry-free luxury watch shopping experience, Chrono24’s Buyer Protection program has it all figured out. Chrono24 doesn’t directly sell, certify, or warranty any of the watches listed on the site, but they do protect buyers from getting taken advantage of.

Chrono24

When you find a watch you like from Chrono24, you can choose to buy it through the site’s payment processing system for a secure transaction.

If you choose to use Chrono24’s payment processing, your money is deposited into an escrow account. It remains in the account until you have the watch in your hands and approve of the transaction.

You can also finalize the deal with the private seller, though there is more risk involved. It’s also worth noting that you can find a watch from an authorized dealer on Chrono24, in which case it will come with a warranty.

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