OUR PICKS: MODERN COLLECTIBLE ROLEX
The desirability and potential collectibility of a watch are often a product of its rarity and popularity. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to overlook the subtle details – as is often the case with Rolex, where over a million watches are produced annually, many with unannounced changes. However, there are some watches in the modern Rolex catalog that possess a unique aspect and a brief production run, making them especially noteworthy.
126710BLRO GMT Master II “PEPSI” MK 1
When the Rolex 126710BLRO Pepsi was introduced in ceramic in 2018, Rolex faced a challenge in creating the iconic colorway with a one-piece ceramic bezel. They solved this problem by dyeing the bezel red first and blue after, resulting in the first batches of the 126710BLRO having a purplish hue of blue and a lighter shade of red known as the MK1 Bezel. This variant only belongs to the first few batches of the Rolex Pepsi and has a production run of only about one year.
116503 Daytona Black Dial with 8-Point Diamonds
There has been a recent hype surrounding rare Daytona dials with short production runs. For example, the Rolex Daytona 116503 Black 8 Point Diamond was upgraded in 2021 with the outer ring of the subdial being filled with solid gold. This resulted in a production run of only about two years.
Daytona 1165XX with Meteorite dial
Another highly sought after Daytona is the Meteorite dial in all variations, which was introduced in 2021. It has exploded in popularity and reached astronomical prices due to its rarity and extreme difficulty in obtaining. There are speculations that Rolex is running out of meteorite and coupled with its limited two-year production run, the Daytona Meteorite dial is expected to be a future collectible.
Daytona 1165XX with Mother of Pearl dial with New Card
Here, we have the Rolex Daytona Mother of Pearl 8-point diamonds in all variations. While it has a long production run, the Daytona with the new NFC cards has a limited production run of less than a year. Although the Mother of Pearl Dials Daytona has not always been very popular, but has recently gained in popularity.
116610LV Submariner “Hulk” with New Card
The Rolex 116610LV Hulk has long been the subject of speculation about discontinuation. When it was finally announced in August 2020, the news was delayed due to Covid-19 canceling Baselworld 2020. As a result, some Hulks received the new Rolex NFC Warranty Card. This created a very short production run and could make the Hulk a future collectible.
126610LV Submariner “Starbucks” MK 1
Now, we have the Rolex Hulk’s successor, the Rolex 126610LV Starbucks. It was introduced in August 2020 with a darker shade of green, but it was recently announced in Watches and Wonders 2023 that the Starbucks will have a new bezel in a lighter shade of green reminiscent of its pre-ceramic predecessor, the Rolex 16610LV Kermit. With the MK1 Bezel being discontinued, it will only have a production run of roughly two years.
124300 Oyster Perpetual 41 “Red/Tiffany/Yellow”
The Oyster Perpetual 124300 is notable for its Red, Tiffany, and Yellow colors in 41mm. Its introduction surprised many Rolex enthusiasts, as it deviates from the brand’s typical style. However, what shocked us even more was its extremely short production run of less than two years. Based on auction results, we know that unique-colored Rolexes are highly sought after.
These watches have subtle differences that may be overlooked, which drives up their scarcity and future value as collectibles, particularly with their very short production runs. As long as these models remain popular, they are expected to become increasingly sought after by collectors.