Best Rolex Watches for Under $50,000

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Photo of Best Rolex Watches for Under $50,000
Best Rolex Watches for Under $50,000 (photo: Rolex)
Prices for new Rolex models range from less that $10,000 to over $100,000 depending on the model configuration you choose. Most of the models under $10,000 are professional models made with 904L stainless steel. Model configurations in the $25,000 price range usually feature a combination of steel and 18 karat white or yellow gold. 

In the $50,000 range, you can choose from most of the Oyster Perpetual models in white or yellow gold. I focused on gold configurations for this list as most are not available for less than $25,000. (Note: All of the pricing information below is based on Rolex's suggested retail price in Swiss francs converted to USD based on current exchange rates.) For a list of the best Rolex models for under $10,000, click here. For the best Rolex models under $25,000, click here

Rolex GMT-Master II (Reference 116718 LN)
Photo of Yellow Gold Rolex GMT-Master II
Yellow Gold Rolex GMT-Master II (photo: Rolex)
The popular GMT-Master II model takes on a different aesthetic in the yellow gold configuration. While the 'Batman' and 'Pepsi' models that feature the two-tone bezels are favorites in Rolex forums, the yellow gold GMT configuration with the green dial shown above is an elegant watch that will never go out of style. The combination of the green with the black bezel and yellow gold is unique but also quintessentially Rolex. This is a great watch for an executive with classic style or a fashionable person looking for a strong and sturdy timepiece to anchor any look. The suggested retail price for the gold GMT-Master II shown above is 31,700 Swiss francs, or approximately $32,489 US. 

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (Reference 116528)

Photo of Yellow Gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
Yellow Gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (photo: Rolex)
Another popular Rolex model that is transformed in a yellow gold configuration is the Cosmograph Daytona shown above with the blue dial. While there may be a 2 year waiting list for the 2016 stainless steel Daytona with the white dial and black ceramic bezel, this yellow gold Daytona fuses functionality with classic design to create a beautiful gold timepiece. It will never go out of style and, as is the case with any of their gold watches, it will retain its value over time. The blue dial also differentiates it from other more common Daytona configurations. The suggested retail price for this yellow gold Cosmograph Daytona is 33,100 Swiss francs, or approximately $33,924 US. 

Rolex Sky-Dweller (Reference 326939)

Photo of White Gold Rolex Sky-Dweller
White Gold Rolex Sky-Dweller (photo: Rolex)
The newest of the Rolex models, the Sky-Dweller is an ideal timepiece for frequent flyers. This watch displays the month and date and features a 24-hour sub-dial that allows the wearer to set the time in two locations at once. It is high end in design, with a fluted white gold bezel like the Day-Date model. This model is popular with celebrities such as Jay-Z and UFC fighter Connor McGregor. With a 42 mm case, it is larger than most Rolex models. The priciest piece on this list, the white gold Sky-Dweller shown above goes for 46,600 Swiss francs, or approximately $47,760 US. 

Rolex Yacht-Master II (Reference 116688)
Photo of Yellow Gold Rolex Yacht-Master II
Yellow Gold Rolex Yacht-Master II (photo: Rolex)
With a 44mm case, the Yacht-Master II is the largest model on this list. Although most who wear the watch will likely not use the regatta timer functionality, the nautical design and size of this watch make it a highly coveted timepiece. The combination of yellow gold and the blue ceramic bezel is particularly complimentary in this configuration. At a price point of 41,500 Swiss francs or $42,533 US, this gives you a lot of watch for the price. Anyone looking for a large gold nautical watch for under $50,000 should check out this configuration or the white gold version which goes for 4,400 Swiss francs more. 

Rolex Day-Date 40 (Reference 228239)

Photo of White Gold Rolex Day-Date 40
White Gold Rolex Day-Date 40 (photo: Rolex)
The Rolex Day-Date 40 is a great wristwatch that can be worn everyday, but is designed for a formal setting. This elegant timepiece adheres to Rolex's classical design standards, recently upgraded to a 40 mm case to make it competitive with the larger models that currently dominate the market. The fluted bezel and roman numerals look particularly beautiful against the blue dial of this configuration. Most Day-Dates are priced over $50,000, making this white gold version particularly appealing to someone who may not want to spend so much but still own a sophisticated Rolex timepiece. The suggested retail price for this Day-Date is 35,800 Swiss francs or approximately $36,691 US. 

Rolex Datejust 36 (Reference 116238)
Photo of Yellow Gold Rolex Datejust 36
Yellow Gold Rolex Datejust 36 (photo: Rolex)
The Rolex Datejust model stands out amongst other models because of its simplicity. However, it is its simplicity in design that makes this timepiece a great alternative for those who don't care for the bells and whistles that come with the professional models. The Datejust comes in a few different sizes, shown above in 36 mm. With diamond hour markers and a black dial, this configuration adds a bit of sparkle to the Datejust that would be perfect for a Tony Montana type. The suggested retail price for this gold Datejust is 29,600 Swiss francs (approximately $30,984 US).

For an in-depth look at each of these models, browse the Rolex Models section of our Rolex Shopping Guide page. Click here for information on Rolex gold and visit our Tech page for more info on Rolex materials and precious stones.

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