Is Finding A Rolex For Under $5,000 Even Possible

The Crown might not be as elusive as you think!

We all know Rolex is seriously hyped up these days. That doesn’t change the fact that the brand makes superb watches. For those with venturesome imagination and a love for innovative design, the glacial visual progression of The Crown’s models is ideal. But have another look and consider the sweet ’60s or the vintage limbo of the ’80s and ’90s.

 If you can live with a well-loved appearance, slightly scruffy hands, and faded dials, you will find a good Rolex for under $5,000.  Well, I bought a manual-wind 6694 once, and the mainspring snapped after a day. It was still worth it for $2000, but those days are gone.

The design of any Rolex Datejust, Oyster Perpetual, or Air-King from thirty to forty years ago is timeless. Add the fact that the smaller 35-36mm size is now back in vogue, and now is the time to strike. But, do your research and background checks. You’ll find the best deals through searches like mine on eBay.

But make sure you check the ratings of the seller. The watches below are fresh examples published this week. There is also a chance you can find one at a reputable Rolex dealer like  but prepare yourself for a longer search if you’re extremely picky. It’s all worth it, though, because they sure were made to last.

Image courtesy of Swiss Watch Expo

When is a bargain really a bargain?

Times have changed, but as you can see, there are still bargains to be had. Saying $5,000 is a bargain might seem a bit rich, but in the right context, it actually is — especially when worn-out and scratched-to-hell Subs sell for millions. But there is a big caveat here, and that is the term “research”. The Rolex market is way too treacherous to enter into without a top-up of knowledge, this is true.

Have a look at our under $5,000 Rolex archive here.  When buying, start with a dealer-sourced piece. That way, you have a safety net in place, not to mention a warranty. Did this story surprise you, or had you already discovered these great Rolex starters? You might have been holding on to the same secret, but don’t worry. There are still plenty of good examples out there. Let us know about your own buying experience or your Rolex wish list in the comments.


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