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Buying your first Rolex is a milestone achieved only by the hard-working, successful, and driven enthusiasts of Haute Horlogerie. We can’t say that there’s a Rolex for every price range, but there’s certainly one for every unique personality. If you’re thinking of buying a Rolex as a flamboyant style statement, you might want to reevaluate your intentions. Simply because a Rolex watch wasn’t ever designed to be just another diamond-enriched wrist accessory, it was a beacon of heritage from various walks of life, be it aviation, motocross or even minimalism. Right since 1905, Rolex timepieces have always expressed a unique appeal in the eyes of watch collectors. Being hand-assembled and cased out of Oystersteel, a Rolex can take up to a year to craft, making it even so desirable and exclusive in its own right. So before you pick a Rolex watch, ask yourself which legacy of watchmaking would interest you best and what drives you towards a certain timepiece. For your first Rolex purchase, here’s our guide on how to pick a Rolex to suit your personality and lifestyle.

1
The Traveler - Rolex GMT Master II

The original GMT Master was designed for British pilots in the 1950s, to remind them of time back home while be busy with intercontinental transit. As the name suggests, it’s a GMT watch. This means that, as well as the regular hour, minute and second hands, it has another hand for telling the time at GMT – that is, Greenwich Meantime, as observed by the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. The extra hand works in sync with the 24-hour bezel which gives you a direct indication of time back in England.  The dial is the distinctive face of a Rolex watch and the GMT Master II almost always incorporates that to contrast its two-tone bezel. The 2019 Rolex GMT Master II boasts a calibre 3285  Manufacture Rolex that offers a 70 power reserve.

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2
The Racing Fanatic - Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

Watch just about five minutes of the Daytona or the 24-hour Le Mans races and you’ll not only be flooded by Rolex Daytona advertisements, but also surprised as to how many people wear them there. The trend of chronographs in timepieces came to light in the 1950s-1960s where motocross and other sports required efficient timekeeping with hair line accuracy. The Tag Heuer Monoco being an example of this tale. Widely considered as the motorsport timepiece, the Cosmograph Daytona has been with us since 1963 and has appeared on the wrists of some of the world’s most successful drivers. Being a wristwatch intended for motorsport and time-keeping, the Rolex Daytona features a second hand which displays an accurate reading to one-eighth of a second, plus two dials showing elapsed time in hours and minutes.

Price: ₹ 1,069,800 onwards.

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3
The Minimalist - Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39

The simple elegance of the 39 makes every other timepiece look superflous in their details. Being a part of the much larger Oyster Perpetual family, it’s perhaps the only Rolex edition that comes with a clean dial. Inside, the calibre 3132, Manufacture Rolex is self-wound while the entire mechanism is cased in pure Oystersteel. We prefer wearing the 39 with a clean white dial and an Oystersteel strap.

Oystersteel is extremely resistant, offers an exceptional finish once polished and maintains its beauty even in the harshest environments. The 39 is as simple as it gets yet embraces the very same allure and luxury a high-end Rolex would.

Price: ₹ 358,900 onwards.

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4
The Avgeek - Rolex Sky Dweller

If flying is your pastime of choice, then the Sky Dweller is the Rolex for you. The watch offers a simple and classically attractive look, with a compact 40-mm case, Oyster bracelet and domed bezel. The Sky Dweller has everything a globe-throtter would need – a Perpetual Calendar, Dual Time Zones, a Date Window and an annual calendar. Being so mechanically intricate on the inside, the dial is best in champagne edition which brings out a golden allure to the timepiece.  Don’t be fooled, its been crafted out of Yellow Rolesor – a combination of Oystersteel and 18 ct yellow gold. If you’re a lover of complications and aviation, opt for the Sky Dweller or the Air King, another aviation-inspired novelty.

Price: ₹ 1,082,800 onwards.

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5
The Vintage Collector - Rolex Cellini Moonphase

A member of Rolex’s vintage watch collection, the Cellini Moonphase is for those who truly admire heritage and take their watch collection seriously, it’s for those who prefer a classic look which strays away from shouting about your flying, racing or yachting escapades. Instead, this 18ct rose gold timepiece offers a simple white dial sat inside a subtle 39mm case. Underneath this simplicity is an exquisite 3295 calibre movement that boasts a moonphase complication which Rolex claims will remain astrologically accurate for 122 years before it requires adjustment. Appropriately, the full moon present on the face of the Cellini is made from a real piece of meteorite, which moves gradually around the complication as each day of the month passes by.

Price: ₹ 1,694,500 onwards.

All Images: Courtesy brand

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Mikhail Gomes
Senior Features Writer
A watch aficionado, Gomes also enjoys learning about fine whiskies, and one day hopes to establish his own menswear label. At Lifestyle Asia India, he writes on watches, menswear, auto and tech.