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9 Affordable Alternatives to the Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Rolex Oyster Perpetual m126000-0003

How do you define the Rolex Oyster Perpetual? It is in many regards one of Rolex’s most versatile collections with steel cases measuring from 28mm-41mm, vibrant and colourful dials with sunray finishing, polished bezels and steel bracelets. Plus, it has an aesthetic that artfully rides the line between dressy and sporty that makes it appropriate for all occasions. That is, assuming you can afford the £4,600 – £5,400 that they can cost depending on their price. And that’s at retail, let alone the £10,000+ that specific references can reach on the secondary market. So, what are the best affordable alternatives to the Rolex Oyster Perpetual?

Citizen Tsuyosa

Citizen Tsuyosa Light Blue

The Citizen Tsuyosa fits right in the pocket of Oyster Perpetual style watches with its 40mm stainless steel case, round dial and colourful dials. There are variety of colours available just like the OP, including turquoise and yellow, which is a particular highlight. There is a notable aesthetic difference in the shape of the case but that’s because the Tsuyosa has a tonneau case and integrated bracelet, which is more of a seventies interpretation of sports luxe while the OP draws its aesthetic codes from the early Oysters of the 1920s and 30s. At just £299, it’s the ideal affordable alternative to the Rolex Oyster Perpetual.

Model: Citizen Tsuyosa
Case: 40mm diameter x 11.7mm thickness, stainless steel
Dial: Black, blue, yellow, green or turquoise
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Citizen calibre 8210, automatic, 21 jewels
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 40h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £299

More details at Citizen.

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Mulberry

What makes the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Automatic in Mulberry Red a great alternative to the OP is the combination of the steel case, sunray brushed dial and steel bracelet. In fact, the bracelet is brand new to Christopher Ward, it’s a five-link piece called the Consort Bracelet with alternating brushed and polished links. It really enhances the dress watch/sports watch dichotomy as it more or less fits both.

Model: Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Automatic
Case: 36mm diameter x 10.75mm thickness, stainless steel
Dial: Mulberry red, white or black
Water resistance: 150m (15 bar)
Movement: Sellita calibre SW200-1, automatic, 26 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 38h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £840

More details at Christopher Ward.

Charlie Paris Alliance

Charlie Paris Alliance Blue

At time of writing, the Charlie Paris Alliance is available for pre-order and just like the Rolex OP, is a watch designed for everyday and every occasion. It has a 39.5mm diameter case in steel with brushed finishing along the top of the bezel and polishing on the flanks. The dial is a classy time and date display, but what makes the Alliance special is what’s below the dial. It houses the G100 calibre from La Joux Perret with a 68-hour power reserve.

Model: Charlie Paris Alliance
Case: 39.5mm diameter x 8mm thickness, stainless steel
Dial: Sandblasted blue with cut out outer flange for the minute track
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: La joux-Perret calibre G100, automatic, 24 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 68h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: €1,548 (approx. £1,425)

More details at Charlie Paris.

Longines Flagship

Longines Flagship Blue

Longines produce an incredibly diverse range of watches from pilots to divers to ultra-refined dress watches. So, it’s not a surprise that within their collections you can find a classy 40mm steel sports watch with an understated dial. Specifically, we’re talking about the Flagship, a time and date model that was first launched back in 1954 and has been a collection staple ever since. It’s powered by the Calibre L888 with a great 72-hour power reserve.

Model: Longines Flagship
Ref: L4.984.4.92.6
Case: 38.5mm diameter x 8.2mm thickness, stainless steel
Dial: Blue, black, white or silver
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Longines calibre L888, automatic
Frequency: 25,500 vph (2.5 Hz)
Power reserve: 72h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £1,550

More details at Longines.

Ball Marvelight Chronometer

Ball Marvelight Chronometer Ice Blue

The Engineer III Marvelight is, despite its rather impressive sounding name, one of Ball’s most low-key timepieces. That doesn’t mean that it’s any less rugged than the usual element-defying references in the watchmaker’s collection, just that it’s one of the more aesthetically restrained of the lot. In fact, it’s one of the few you’d actually call elegant. It measures 40mm in diameter with an ice blue dial that’s reminiscent of everyone’s favourite buzz word colour: Tiffany blue.

Model: Ball Watches Engineer III Marvelight
Case: 40mm diameter x 12.45mm thickness, stainless steel
Dial: Ice blue, burgundy red, green, grey, navy blue or black
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Ball calibre BALL RR1103-C, automatic, COSC-certified
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 38h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £1,924

More details at Ball Watches.

Tag Heuer Carrera Date

Tag Heuer Carrera Date Pink

In 2023 Tag Heuer have been celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Carrera, one of their emblematic chronograph – in fact they just launched a golden edition to cap off the celebrations. However, in our focus at the moment is the non-chronograph time and date model at 36mm. It’s available in a variety of colours including a very unusual fuchsia which makes the sunray brushing absolutely shine.

Model: Tag Heuer Carrera Date
Case: 36mm diameter, stainless steel
Dial: Pink, grey or green
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Tag Heuer calibre 7, automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 56h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £2,750

More details at Tag Heuer.

Nomos Glashütte NeomatikNomos Glashütte Neomatik

The Nomos Glashütte Neomatik Club 39 Smoke is perhaps the most stylistically different to the Rolex Oyster Perpetual with its bold numerals and small seconds subdial, but conceptually it makes for a great alternative to the OP. Primarily that’s because it’s an understated daily beater with a sporty vibe. It takes the same formula as the OP but the result different, much more German, much more Bauhaus.

Model: Nomos Glashütte Neomatik Club 39 Smoke
Case: 39.5mm diameter x 8.4mm thickness, 49.5mm lug to lug, stainless steel
Dial: Galvanised grey, brown or copper
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Nomos calibre DUW 3001, automatic, 27 jewels
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 43h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £2,820

More details at Nomos.

Seiko King Seiko

Seiko King Seiko

We’re really in the luxe alternatives now that are almost as expensive as the Rolex in the first place. The Seiko King Seiko KSK 6L is a fabulous 38.6mm steel watch with a sunray brushed dial, baton hour markers and a facetted case. It’s a relatively recent revival watch based on the original 1960s models that were produced in the rival factory to Grand Seiko. It’s powered by the 6L35 automatic movement with 45-hour power reserve.

Model: King Seiko KSK 6L
Case: 38.6mm diameter x 107mm thickness, stainless steel
Dial: Silver coloured, black or white
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Seiko calibre 6L35, automatic, 26 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 45h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £2,900

More details at Seiko Boutique.

Tudor Black Bay 36

Tudor Black Bay 36

Considering that Tudor is Rolex’s sister company and while they’ve done their best to distance themselves from the designs of Rolex, you can still tell that there’s some shared DNA. The Black Bay 36 is part of the 31/36/39/41 collection which are Tudor’s understated, plain bezel versions. As opposed to the main diving watch edition of the Black Bay or the 58. Of course, there is still a little diving heritage seen in the BB 36 with the circular hour markers but for the most part, it’s a stylish sports watch.

Model: Tudor Black Bay 36
Case: 36mm diameter, stainless steel
Dial: Blue
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Tudor calibre MT5400, automatic, COSC-certified
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £3,260

More details at Tudor.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.