Rolex. The name says it all really. It’s the name of the most famous watchmaker in the world, hell one of the most famous luxury brands in history. Going by the numbers, your first watch was or will probably be a Rolex. However, while some models *cough* Daytona *cough* tend to jealously keep the limelight to themselves, how well do you know the extended Rolex range?

It’s a more diverse collection of watches than perhaps you know, with each piece suited to an entirely different personality. Well, to make sure you have the right Rolex for you, here’s our guide to every model in the legendary watchmaker’s current collection.

The Professional Models

Yacht-Master

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 Rose GoldRolex Yacht-Master 42

As the name hints, this is Rolex’s regatta watch, designed for timing seafaring races on the fly. It’s nautical, but that doesn’t mean it’s suited for the depths like other Rolex pieces. It’ll be fine in the likely event you find yourself bobbing in the ocean, but if you prefer scuba gear to sailboats you’ll want to look elsewhere.

It’s the only Rolex model with a precious metal rotating bezel, giving it the kind of glamorous look an on-board cocktail party requires. At the same time, that bezel is a genuine tool and, in the Yacht-Master II, is used to set the regatta timer – just turn the bezel 90 degrees anticlockwise to set. The timer counts down the ten crucial minutes between the starting gun going off and the time your yacht is allowed to cross the starting line, but can also be used to time your progress mid-race. Even without that particular complication, the watch is easy to use, easy to read – especially in the case of the new Yacht-Master 42 – and easy for any yachtsman to fall in love with.

Rolex Yacht-Master II
Yacht-Master II

Price & Specs:

Case: 40mm (40), 42mm (42), 44mm (II)
Bezel: Bidirectional Rotating
Movement: 3235 (40, 42), 4161 (II)
Power Reserve: 70h (40, 42), 72h (II)
Water Resistance: 100 Metres / 330 Feet
Strap: Oysterflex Rubber Strap (40, 42), Three-piece Bracelet (II)
Starting Price: From £9,050 (40), £21,400 (42), From £14,350 (II)

Cosmograph Daytona

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

The Daytona is to all intents and purposes the most iconic timepiece ever released. Designed for the high-stakes world of racing, it wasn’t the first tachymeter-equipped watch but this has been the most successful by far. It’s three subdial layout is instantly recognisable, as is that engraved bezel and the 4130 calibre is one of the finest chronographs out there. What really sets the Daytona apart however is who wore it.

The legendary Hollywood actor was the face of the Daytona, to the point of having a particular dial named after him. In case you were wondering, that dial is a stark black-white contrast with exotic dial and subdial-matched 60-second ring. His name is so inextricably linked to the Daytona that Paul Newman’s very own timepiece went for a world record £13.5m at auction. The modern versions are almost as hard to get hold of, but if you want to show off your horological heft, the Cosmograph Daytona has some serious cache.

Price & Specs:

Case: 40mm
Bezel: Fixed Tachymeter Scale
Movement: 4130
Power Reserve: 72h
Water Resistance: 100 Metres / 330 Feet
Strap: Oysterflex Rubber Strap or Three-piece Bracelet
Starting Price: £9,550

Submariner

Rolex Submariner

The Submariner is the archetypal dive watch. It’s arguably the first true water resistant watch and, just as arguably, the watch that really put Rolex on the map. A spiritual successor to the original 1923 Oyster, when it was released back in 1953 it destroyed any and all competition. Today it’s still the reference dive watch,  with all the professional touches that entails: a unidirectional rotating bezel, a rugged case and 300m depth resistance.

It also happens to be one of the most versatile Rolex models out there; the simplicity of the dial combined with the various metals and dial colours (the royal blue is an icon) means you can wear it with anything. Reliability being yet another necessity for a professional instrument, it’s also good to know that the in-house calibre 3130 (or 3135 for the date model) are ten times more precise than a traditional hairspring when it comes to bumps and shocks.

Price & Specs:

Case: 40mm
Bezel: Unidirectional Rotating Diving Bezel
Movement: 3130 (no date) / 3135 (date)
Power Reserve: 48h
Water Resistance: 300 Metres / 1,000 Feet
Strap: Three-piece bracelet
Starting Price: £5,750

Sea-Dweller

Rolex Sea Dweller

The Submariner may have laid out the blueprint for the professional diving watch but in 1967 the Sea-Dweller pushed it to the extreme – 1,220m of extreme. However, nowadays there are two different version of the Sea-Dweller: the original and the Deep-Sea, the latter eclipsing previous depths, pushing far deeper to 3,900m.

In style it’s similar to the Sub, but the bigger, bulkier case and the extra waterproofness that comes from Rolex’s patented Ringlock system makes it a few millimetres bigger. Even then, the 43mm diameter is more wearable than anything in that kind of depth range, showcasing the sheer level of engineering behind the Sea-Dweller. It’s a little less versatile than the Submariner, with just black and blue dials – or gradiated black and blue on the Deep-Sea – a black Cerachrom bezel and steel only cases, but when you’re thousands of metres underwater, that’s just what you need.

Price & Specs:

Case: 43mm (Sea-Dweller), 44mm (Deepsea)
Bezel: Unidirectional Rotating Diving Bezel
Movement: 3135 (Sea-Dweller), 3235 (Deepsea)
Power Reserve: 70h
Water Resistance: 1,220m / 4,000 feet Feet (Sea-Dweller), 3,900 metres / 12,800 feet (Deepsea)
Strap: Three-piece bracelet
Starting Price: £8,700 (Sea-Dweller), £9,700 (Deepsea)

Explorer

Rolex Explorer

The name says it all. As early as the 1930s, Rolex was equipping explorers, mountaineers and adventurous masochists of all kinds with watches in their then-new Oyster case. The feedback from the tops of peaks and the polar ice caps is what directly led to the development of the Explorer in 1953 and the 1972 Explorer II.

The difference between the two (other than size) is that the Explorer II is fitted with 24-hour hand and fixed bezel, helping would-be adventurers tell the difference between day and night if, say, they’re caving. Both watches however are built to survive any and all conditions. That means a corrosion-resistant Oystersteel case and the 3132 (Explorer) and 3187 (Explorer II) movements with Parachrom hairpsrings and Paraflex shock absorbers. Basically, either Explorer can take anything you care to throw at it and look good doing so.

Price & Specs:

Case: 39mm (Explorer), 42mm (Explorer II)
Bezel: Fixed (Explorer), 24-Hour Display (Explorer II)
Movement: 3132 (Explorer), 3187 (Explorer II)
Power Reserve: 48h
Water Resistance: 100m / 330 feet
Strap: Three-piece bracelet
Starting Price: £5,000

GMT-Master II

Rolex GMT-Master II

Originally designed for pilots, the GMT-Master was the first dual time zone wristwatch, using it’s 24-hour hand and rotating bezel to show any second time zone you so desired. The modern GMT-Master II perfected the mechanism, allowing the 24-hour hand to be set independently from the 12-hour, in effect allowing three different time zones to be displayed at once.

The most famous of the various two-tone bezel variations is the ‘Pepsi Cola’ (reintroduced last year), so-called for it’s blue / red day / night bezel. There are other versions of course – the red and black ‘Coke’, the brown and black ‘root beer’ and the blue and black ‘Batman’ are the most famous – and all modern bezels are made from incredibly hard Cerachrom inserts rather than the original’s brittle Bakelite. Finished with a Cyclops magnifier for the date, it’s the original jet-setting icon.

Price & Specs:

Case Size: 40mm
Bezel: Bidirectional 24-hour
Movement: 3285
Power Reserve: 48h
Water Resistance: 100m / 330 feet
Strap: Three-piece or five-piece bracelet
Starting Price: £7,150

Air-King

Rolex Air-King

When you’re in the cockpit, you need one thing from your watch above all else: legibility. That’s the foundation the Air-King was built on. The watch was first released in 1958, building upon the legacy of Rolex timepieces owned and used by aviators since the 1930s. Originally with a gold dial, the modern version’s distinctive black and white contrast, complete with the oversized 3, 6 and 9, make differentiating the hours from the minutes easy at a glance, vital in the cockpit.

At 40mm it’s smaller than most modern pilots watches out there but the clarity more than makes up for that. Finished with a distinctive green hour hand, it’s the most elegant of Rolex’s professional timepieces, the perfect ‘watch for every occasion’.

Price & Specs:

Case Size: 40mm
Bezel: Fixed
Movement: 3131
Power Reserve: 48h
Water Resistance: 100m / 330 feet
Strap: Three-piece bracelet
Starting Price: £4,750

Milgauss

Rolex MilgaussUnless you have a killer sound-system, magnetism isn’t something that normally comes up in everyday life. For the scientific community however, strong magnetic fields are a regular occurrence, generated by plenty of necessary equipment and around the scientifically-valuable poles. The Milgauss, as it’s name suggests, was built to withstand magnetic fields of 1,000 Gauss, leading to its adoption by the European Organisation of Nuclear Research, CERN.

It’s by far the most modern of Rolex’s professional timepieces and not just chronologically. The distinctive lime green sapphire ring around the bezel, the signature lightning bolt second hand and the bright orange contrast – particularly paired with the medium blue dial – combine to make one of the most individual Rolex pieces there is. If you want your Rolex to stand out from the crowd, this is the one for you.

Price & Specs:

Case Size: 40mm
Bezel: Fixed
Movement: 3131
Power Reserve: 48h
Water Resistance: 100m / 330 feet
Strap: Three-piece bracelet
Starting Price: £6,300

The Oyster Classic Models

Datejust

Rolex DateJust 41

The epitome of elegance, the Datejust is at once the paradigm of horological glamour and one of the most diverse models within the Rolex canon. First released in 1945 to celebrate the watchmaker’s 40th anniversary, it was at the time the first and only automatic watch with a date window. In the early models, that date would begin to change before midnight but since 1955 it’s been instantaneous.

The modern Datejust is as glamorous as ever, available in everything from 37mm to 42mm sizes, a surprising number of dial colours and all Rolex precious metals. Even the bezel comes in plain, crimped and diamond-set bezels. The latest model however is the yellow gold Rolesor (bi-colour) with an olive green dial, crimped bezel and jubilee bracelet.

Price & Specs:

Case Size: 31mm (31), 34mm (Date 34), 36mm (36), 41mm (41)
Bezel: Fluted
Movement: 2236 (31), 3135 (Date 34), 3235 (36, 41)
Power Reserve: 55h (31), 48h (Date 34), 70h (36, 41)
Water Resistance: 100m / 330 feet
Strap: Three-piece bracelet (Date 34), five-piece bracelet (31, 36, 41)
Starting Price: £6,300

Day-Date

Rolex Day-Date 36

Yet another first for Rolex, the Date-Date was the first watch to showcase not only the date, but the long-form day on the dial. Released in 1956, it quickly became the Rolex flagship and just as quickly was taken up by a prestigious clientele, especially presidents. In fact, ‘President’, the name given to the Day-Date’s iconic bracelet has become the official moniker of the entire timepiece.

Over the last half a century the Day-Date has barely changed. It’s now available in a larger, 40mm size as opposed to the 37mm and is equipped with a new-generation 3255 movement, but is otherwise the same. It’s still only available in precious metals and, if you want the true presidents watch, the full yellow gold with gold dial is still the symbol of power and wealth it ever was.

Price & Specs:

Case Size: 40mm
Bezel: Fixed
Movement: 3131
Power Reserve: 48h
Water Resistance: 100m / 330 feet
Strap: Three-piece bracelet
Starting Price: £6,300

Cellini

Rolex Cellini Moonphase

Rolex don’t generally go in for fancy finishing or the kind of complications that Patek and Vacheron hold dear. Except, that is, in the Cellini, Rolex’s ode to a more classical school of watchmaking. Named after Italian Renaissance artist, Benvenuto Cellini, it’s the one place you can find guilloche – specifically Rayon flamme de la gloire – and a moon phase within the collection. Even the collection’s fluted crown speaks of watchmaking from a time before Rolex.

The signature model of the collection is the Cellini Moonphase, though the beautifull-finished Dual Time, particularly with the shimmering brown dial, is perhaps even more classical. This is a watch for people that appreciate both the Rolex name and the more traditional side of Swiss watchmaking.

Price & Specs:

Case Size: 39mm
Bezel: Double bezel, domed and fluted
Movement: 3165 (Date), 3195 (Moonphase), 3132 (Time), 3180 (Dual Time)
Power Reserve: 48h
Water Resistance: 50 metres / 165 feet
Strap: Leather Strap
Starting Price: £11,700

Lady-Datejust

Rolex Lady Datejust

All the glamour and elegance of the Datejust, downsized for a more feminine wrist. The Lady-Datejust first appeared in the 1950s and since then has been the quintessential women’s Rolex. It takes all the hallmarks of the original Datejust but compliments it with jewellery touches, such as diamond indexes, mother-of-pearl dials and smaller, more delicate features.

It still has all the technical innovations of Rolex, from the various in-house precious metals and unique settings to the latest calibre 2236 movement with its silicon balance spring. Yes it may be the smallest Rolex, but it shines all the more brilliantly for it.

Price & Specs:

Case Size: 28mm
Bezel: Domed
Movement: 2236
Power Reserve: 55h
Water Resistance: 100m / 330 feet
Strap: Five-piece bracelet
Starting Price: £4,850

Pearlmaster

Rolex Pearlmaster

Many a Rolex watch is glamorous, but the Pearlmaster is their collection’s equivalent of the Crown Jewels. In Essence, it is the name given to the Datejust models that have been so exquisitely bejewelled that they deserve their own name. Think fully-set diamond dials, complete with diamond-set bezels and bracelets streaming precious stones and you begin to get the idea.

This is not the subtle beauty normally associated with Rolex; this is pure, glorious extravagance. Mother-of-pearl, meteorite and gold all have their place, but it’s the diamonds above all else that make Rolex’s high jewellery collection what it is.

Price & Specs:

Case Size: 34mm (Pearlmaster 34), 39mm (Pearlmaster 39)
Bezel: Set with diamonds
Movement: 2235 (Pearlmaster 34), 3235 (Pearlmaster 39)
Power Reserve: 48h (Pearlmaster 34), 70h (Pearlmaster 39)
Water Resistance: 100m / 330 feet
Strap: Rounded five-piece link bracelet
Starting Price: On request

Oyster Perpetual

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39

If you’ve ever wondered what the first Rolex looked like, this is about as close a modern reinterpretation as you can get. The Oyster Perpetual traces its lineage all the way back to 1926 and the first waterproof wristwatch in the world, the watch that built Rolex. It’s the simplest, purest expression of that perfect combination of practicality and elegance that has come to define the Rolex name.

Not that Rolex hasn’t had some fun with the model of course. The Oyster’s innate minimalism lends itself to some funky dial colours, whether that’s olive green, blue or the incredibly cool red grape. Available in sizes ranging from 26mm to 39mm and equipped with the ever-reliable 3130 movement, the Oyster Perpetual brings Rolex watchmaking back to its purist fundamentals.

Oyster Perpetual 39
Oyster Perpetual 39

Price & Specs:

Case Size: 26mm (26), 31mm (31), 34mm (34), 36mm (36), 39mm (39)
Bezel: Domed
Movement: 2231 (26, 31), 3130 (34, 36), 3132 (39)
Power Reserve: 48h
Water Resistance: 100m / 330 feet
Strap: Three-piece bracelet
Starting Price: £3,700

Sky-Dweller

Rolex Sky-Dweller

If the GMT-Master II is for the guys that fly in the cockpit, the Sky-Dweller is for the guys that fly first class. Rather than the practical rotating bezel, here the second time zone is read via an off-centre rotating disc at 6 o’clock. However, the Sky-Dweller goes far further than just a second time zone, by including a subtly integrated annual calendar.

Along with the cyclops-enhanced date, a red rectangle hops from hour marker to hour marker, indicating the month. It’s among the most sophisticated calendars ever built and one that detracts in no way from the elegance of the dial. The entire ensemble, local time, reference time and calendar, can all be set from the crown, simply by turning the so-called command bezel into different positions. It’s almost surprising that the most basic Sky-Dweller only has 11 patents.

Price & Specs:

Case Size: 42mm
Bezel: Fluted, bidirectional rotatable, Rolex ring command
Movement: 9001
Power Reserve: 72h
Water Resistance: 100m / 330 feet
Strap: Three-piece bracelet
Starting Price: £11,100

More details at rolex.com