The Best Rolex Sports Watches for Everyday Use

The 1950s and 1960s were milestone decades for Rolex as this was the era that the company released a slew of sport and tool watches. The term “tool watch” is used to describe timepieces that serve specific purposes beyond telling the time, which these mid-century Rolex watches certainly did. There was the Explorer for adventurers, […] The post The Best Rolex Sports Watches for Everyday Use appeared first on Bob's Watches.

The Best Rolex Sports Watches for Everyday Use

The 1950s and 1960s were milestone decades for Rolex as this was the era that the company released a slew of sport and tool watches. The term “tool watch” is used to describe timepieces that serve specific purposes beyond telling the time, which these mid-century Rolex watches certainly did. There was the Explorer for adventurers, the Submariner for divers, the GMT-Master for pilots, and the Daytona for racers (among others). These days, we typically refer to these timepiece types as sports watches since they’re no longer worn primarily for their original functionality but more so for their sporty style, solid quality, and renowned luxury.

Remarkably, all the Rolex tool watches introduced in the fifties and sixties have not only remained in the brand’s catalog but are also some of the most sought-after models on the market. Whether or not you scale mountains, dive deep into the ocean, or fly planes, here are some of the best Rolex sports watches for everyday use. While we’re definitely not against wearing vintage watches on the regular, we’ve selected modern references (defined as those with six-digit reference numbers) to ensure that they can withstand daily wear and tear.

Rolex Explorer

Explorer Key Features:

– Case Size: 36mm or 39mm

– Materials: Stainless steel or steel and yellow gold

– Bezel: Smooth metal bezel

– Dial: Black time-only dial with numerals at 3, 6, and 9

– Bracelet: Oyster bracelet

– Water Resistance: 100 meters

– Modern References: 114270, 214270, 124270, 124273

Click here to learn more about the evolution of the Rolex Explorer.

Launched in 1953 to commemorate the scaling of Mount Everest, the Explorer may be Rolex’s simplest sports watch but its enduring style has become an absolute favorite among watch fans all around the globe. In fact, the Explorer’s minimalist and straightforward design is what makes it a great watch to wear every day; it’s easy to dress up or down and can seamlessly go from work to play and day to night.

The Rolex Explorer’s defining design traits include a black dial with oversized Arabic numerals at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, a smooth metal bezel without any markings, and a three-link Oyster bracelet. Depending on the reference, the Rolex Explorer is available with either a 36mm or a 39mm case. Furthermore, while the Explorer was initially exclusively a stainless steel Rolex sports watch, in 2021, a two-tone version joined the lineup in an appealing combination of stainless steel and 18k yellow gold.

Rolex Submariner

 Best Rolex Sports Watches Submariner 116610LN

Submariner Key Features:

– Case Size: 40mm or 41mm

– Materials: Stainless steel, steel and yellow gold, yellow gold, or white gold

– Bezel: Unidirectional Cerachrom bezel, 0-60 minutes

– Dial: Time-only or time and date dial

– Bracelet: Oyster bracelet

– Water Resistance: 300 meters

– Modern References: 114060, 116610, 116613, 116618, 116619, 124060, 126610, 126613, 126618, 126619

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Submariner.

In 1953, Rolex introduced what would become its most famous sports watch of all time – the Submariner. Even if you aren’t very familiar with Rolex watches, you have probably laid your eyes upon the Submariner at some point. The Rolex Submariner’s roots as a diving watch make it perfect for daily wear as the Triplock waterproof crown creates a seal that is more than water-resistant to stand up to any aquatic activities you might find yourself doing. Plus, the Cerachrom (Rolex’s proprietary ceramic alloy) bezel is both scratch and fade resistant.

The collection is also incredibly versatile, which makes it easy to find a Submariner to suit your everyday life. The famous dive watch is not only available in an assortment of materials – ranging from all steel to all gold to part steel/part gold – but offered with various dial and bezel colors too. There’s classic black, vibrant green, and rich blue. Plus, there’s the choice between a time-only Submariner and a Submariner Date, not to mention the option between the now-discontinued 40mm variants and the current 41mm models.

Rolex GMT-Master II

 Best Rolex Sports Watches GMT-Master II Pepsi 126710BLRO

GMT-Master II Key Features:

– Case Size: 40mm

– Materials: Stainless steel, steel and yellow gold, steel and Everose gold, yellow gold, white gold, or Everose gold

– Bezel: Bidirectional Cerachrom bezel, 24 hours

– Dial: Local time, reference time, date

– Bracelet: Oyster or Jubilee bracelet

– Water Resistance: 100 meters

– Modern References: 116710, 116713, 116718, 116719, 126710, 126711, 126715, 126719

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex GMT-Master II.

This iconic Rolex pilot’s watch made its debut in 1955, specifically for the Pan Am Airlines crew, and has since evolved to offer an independent GMT hand on the dial. This update came in the 1980s – when the watch became known as the GMT-Master II – and the change allowed the wearer to read up to three time zones. This feature alone makes the Rolex GMT-Master II a suitable, everyday companion for any globe-trotting collector.

The GMT-Master II lineup also includes a variety of feature sets that range from modest stainless steel and trendy two-tone to all-gold options for occasions that call for a dressier wristwatch. Additionally, the variety of the Cerachrom bezel colorways, which includes the classic blue and red “Pepsi,” the sleek blue and black “Batman,” the retro revival “Root Beer,” and the monochromatic black (now discontinued), is enough to match just about any style. Finally, some references even offer the choice between the sporty 3-link Oyster bracelet and dressy 5-link Jubilee.

Rolex Milgauss

 Best Rolex Sports Watches Milgauss 116400GV

Milgauss Key Features:

– Case Size: 40mm

– Materials: Stainless steel

– Bezel: Smooth steel bezel

– Dial: Time only

– Crystal: Colorless sapphire or green-tinted sapphire

– Bracelet: Oyster bracelet

– Water Resistance: 100 meters

– Modern Reference: 116400

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Milgauss.

For an everyday Rolex sports watch with plenty of character, there’s the Milgauss antimagnetic watch. Released in 1956 and designed for the scientific community, the Rolex Milgauss promised to maintain its timekeeping accuracy in magnetic fields up to 1,000 gauss – a feature that’s especially relevant today given the prevalence of high-tech products that can magnetize our watches.

While the watch underwent several design updates during its history and was even dropped from the catalog in the late-1980s, the modern Rolex Milgauss watches have found their stride. Rolex only makes the Milgauss in stainless steel, from the 40mm case to the three-link Oyster bracelet, and furnishes each piece with a quirky lightning-bolt seconds hand in bright orange that alludes to the watch’s substantial antimagnetic capabilities. Another unexpected feature of the Milgauss is the green-tinted sapphire crystal that sits above the dial. While Rolex used to offer modern Milgauss watches without the green sapphire crystal, all current-production references are now made to include it and it has become one of the modern collection’s signature features.

Rolex Daytona

 Best Rolex Sports Watches Daytona 116500LN

Daytona Key Features:

– Case Size: 40mm

– Materials: Stainless steel, steel and yellow gold, yellow gold, white gold, platinum

– Bezel: Metal or Cerachrom, tachymeter scale

– Dial: Time, center chronograph hand, three subsidiary dials

– Bracelet: Oyster bracelet, leather strap, or Oysterflex bracelet

– Water Resistance: 100 meters

– Modern References: 116520, 116523, 116528, 116518, 116519, 116515, 116500, 116503, 116508, 116509, 116505, 116506

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Daytona.

In addition to being one of Rolex’s most popular sports watches, the Daytona is also the world’s most famous chronograph model. The collection made its debut in the 1960s and while it had a slow start, the Rolex Daytona is now recognized as an icon. Unlike the manual-winding vintage Daytona watches, modern versions are automatic, powered by in-house Rolex-made movements.

The assortment of modern Rolex Daytona chronographs is generous, ranging from steel to gold to half steel and half gold. There are even solid platinum variants, as well as bejeweled iterations. Yet, regardless of the metal type, dial color, or bezel material, what ties all Daytona watches together is their classic silhouette consisting of two chronograph pushers framing the winding crown, a tachymeter bezel inspired by racing, and a face with three subsidiary dials. Of all the Rolex sports watches to choose from, the Daytona is the sportiest and most coveted of them all – and one that most Rolex enthusiasts would be proud to wear every day.

From Tool Watches to Luxury Icons

From the earliest days of the company, Rolex always strived to make durable and water-resistant watches that could withstand all sorts of environments. Rolex’s goal was to manufacture watches that would satisfy the world’s biggest overachievers, whether it was for those that climbed the highest peaks, plunged down to the deepest depths, or flew the farthest distances.

While many of us don’t encounter those extreme environments on a daily basis, we can certainly enjoy and appreciate the tough yet luxurious modern sports watches that the Rolex ethos has produced.

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4 Rolex Watches That Surprisingly Don’t Exist (Yet)

When you see as many Rolex watches as we do and have studied them for as long as we have, you start to recognize patterns. For instance, it’s hardly a shocker when Rolex introduces a new material option within a collection, or when the brand releases a fresh batch of references to accommodate a new […] The post 4 Rolex Watches That Surprisingly Don’t Exist (Yet) appeared first on Bob's Watches.

4 Rolex Watches That Surprisingly Don’t Exist (Yet)

When you see as many Rolex watches as we do and have studied them for as long as we have, you start to recognize patterns. For instance, it’s hardly a shocker when Rolex introduces a new material option within a collection, or when the brand releases a fresh batch of references to accommodate a new generation of calibers. However, what is most surprising often lies in what is not currently available. Many of Rolex’s core watch models have been around for decades and during that time, they have been produced in numerous different variations. With that in mind, even after all these years, there are still a number of Rolex watches that still surprisingly don’t exist (yet).

We originally published a version of this article back in 2019 and at that time, we were surprised that the Rolex Submariner Date had not yet received the Caliber 3235 movement. Well, that certainly changed the following year when Rolex rolled out a whole new generation of Submariner watches with 41mm cases (despite the fact that Baselworld 2020 never happened). However, even though we now have two years of new Rolex releases behind us (including a handful of surprises like the new Oyster Perpetual models with colorful dials), all of the hypothetical watches that were originally mentioned in this article still don’t exist yet. So, just for fun, here are four Rolex watches that we’re surprised still don’t exist.

Rolex Submariner with Oysterflex Bracelet

Rolex Submariner Key Facts:

– First introduced in 1953

– The first watch to achieve 100-meters of water resistance

– Luminous hands and hour markers

– 60-minute rotating timing bezel

– Rolex Oyster Case w/ screw-down crown and case-back

– The original watch of James Bond

– Versions issued to branches of the Military

– Offered in both Date and No-Date formats

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Submariner.

Continuing on the Submariner discussion, we would venture to say that a blatant missing element from the collection is the option of a rubber strap – or in Rolex-speak, the Oysterflex bracelet (which is, in fact, a metal blade coated in black elastomer). Those of you familiar with Rolex watches will no doubt know that that Submariner has only ever been fitted with the ubiquitous three-link metal Oyster bracelet over its six-decade history and that the new rubber Oysterflex bracelet made its debut in 2015 on a Yacht-Master model.

But what is more “dive watch style” than a rubber strap? Look to other brands such as Omega, Audemars Piguet, Breitling, and Panerai, and you’ll quickly spot plenty of rubber strap choices within their diving watch lineups – because it just makes sense. However, (at least for now) the Oysterflex bracelet is only available within the Yacht-Master, Daytona, and Sky-Dweller collections and it is exclusive to the solid gold models. So perhaps a gold Submariner with an Oysterflex bracelet is in the near future?

Rolex Daytona In Two-Tone Everose Gold

Rolex Watches Daytona Two-Tone Everose Gold

Rolex Daytona Key Facts:

– First introduced in 1963

– Designed for automotive racing

– 12-hour chronograph

– External tachymeter bezel

– Rolex Oyster Case w/ screw-down crown and case-back

– Named after the Daytona International Speedway

– Holds the record for the most expensive Rolex watch of all time

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Daytona.

The possibility of a two-tone Everose Daytona was first brought up way back in our roundup of Baselworld 2019 predictions. A Rolex Daytona in Everose Rolesor is a watch that seems like it already exists, yet here we are more than two years later and it is still notably absent from Rolex’s catalog. Therefore, it’s worth mentioning again since the marriage of stainless steel and Everose pink gold is the only material option missing from Rolex’s signature chronograph collection.

Over the course of its existence, the Rolex Daytona has been made in stainless steel, all three shades of gold, two-tone yellow gold and steel, and platinum, not to mention the choice of leather straps, Oysterflex bracelets, and ceramic bezels. And lest we forget the rainbow, leopard, and tiger versions! We have now been saying it for a few years now, but let us ask again: where in the world is the Everose Rolesor Rolex Daytona?

Rolex GMT-Master II with Black and Green Bezel

Rolex Watches GMT-Master II Black Green Bezel

Rolex GMT-Master II Key Facts:

– First introduced in 1982 (original GMT-Master launched in 1954)

– Designed for pilots and frequent travelers

– Additional 24-hour GMT hand

– Bidirectional GMT bezel with a 24-hour scale

– Rolex Oyster Case w/ screw-down crown and case-back

– Independently adjustable hour hands

– First Rolex watch to feature a Cerachrom bezel insert

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex GMT-Master II.

Of all the colors in the rainbow, green is the shade most associated with Rolex. It’s the go-to hue for the company’s logo, packaging, hang-tags, boutique design, and corporate marketing materials. Plus, it’s the color often used for milestone models such as the anniversary Submariner with the green bezel, the anniversary GMT-Master II with the green dial, and the anniversary Milgauss with the green sapphire crystal.

However, what is clearly missing is a bi-color green and black Cerachrom bezel on a GMT-Master II watch. We know that Rolex can make a green ceramic bezel as evidenced by the “Hulk” Submariner ref. 116610LV and the “Cermit” Submariner ref. 126610LV. Additionally, black ceramic bezels are standard throughout much of the current Rolex sports watch catalog. So why not merge both colors on one awesome pilot’s watch? The GMT-Master II “Green Lantern” perhaps, to follow in the footsteps of the Rolex “Hulk” and “Batman.”

Rolex Cellini Perpetual Calendar

Rolex Watches Cellini Perpetual Calendar

Rolex Cellini Key Facts:

– First introduced in 1968.

– Named after the Italian goldsmith and sculptor Benvenuto Cellini

– Rolex’s dedicated line of dress watches.

– Only crafted from either solid gold or platinum.

– Can be powered by either quartz or mechanical movements.

– Historically has featured non-traditional case shapes.

– Does not use Rolex’s Waterproof Oyster Case.

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Cellini.

It’s been said many times before, but the Cellini collection is clearly Rolex’s underdog. The collection of non-Oyster Rolex watches just hasn’t captured the watch-loving crowd’s attention the same way the brand’s Oyster Perpetual rage of watches, despite its beautiful and recent redesign. In 2016, Rolex re-launched the Cellini collection as a tight collection of elegant timepieces, dropping the somewhat nonconventional and often quartz-powered offerings it previously contained and replaced them with classically-styled mechanical dress watches that are more in line with the likes of what Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, and A. Lange & Sohne have to offer.

The new Cellini collection originally offered Time, Date, and Dual Time models and in 2017, Rolex added a Moonphase version. The moonphase complication is not one that we have seen from Rolex since the 1950s, so it was an exciting development and it would be a great way to kick off a future series of more complex mechanical dress watches. Personally, we’d love to see Rolex flex some mechanical mastery with a Cellini Perpetual Calendar watch – the company already has the Sky-Dweller annual calendar model, so why not go one step further with a quantième perpétuel?

What Rolex models do you think are missing and would love to see made? Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.

The post 4 Rolex Watches That Surprisingly Don’t Exist (Yet) appeared first on Bob's Watches.

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