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Buying any luxury item, from bespoke jewellery to a sports car, is an individual process. Therefore, you might not want any input on what might be the right – or the wrong – Rolex watch for you. Fair enough, if so.

However, at Bonds of Brentwood, we get asked for our advice all the time. Watch buyers want to make an informed purchasing decision and, as experts in the field of new and pre-worn Rolexes, you can expect us to give our opinion when asked. That said, there are no hard and fast rules because it ultimately comes down to what you want from a luxury watch like a Rolex. 

Read on to find out how to identify the right one for you.

Men and Women's Models

Diamond clarity boils down to the number and extent of the flaws any diamond will have. Remember that natural diamonds are formed by extreme geological pressures forcing carbon molecules to link together in a particular way. Other elements may also be present when this process occurs which will result in tiny flaws. In addition, the cutting process that goes on with diamonds may lead to certain flaws being highlighted. All diamond dealers tend to refer to anything present in a diamond that, ideally, would not be there as inclusions. Inclusions are often black, grey or even white specks that can be seen within the body of the diamond.

Perhaps the most obvious distinction between the many Rolex models available today is men’s and women’s versions. Not all Rolexes come in his and hers versions but the Datejust collection does. As such, if you want a watch that you will be able to pair with another one at some point, this is probably the first buying consideration to take into account. Remember that if you are buying purely for investment, then it doesn’t matter which version you choose because most investors don’t actually wear their Rolexes.

Size Matters

Rolexes come in many different sizes. From the large 44mm wristwatches, such as the Deepsea or Yacht-Master II, to the more diminutive 36mm ones, like the Rolex Day-Date 36, the Explorer and the Datejust 36, there are plenty of choices to make. Indeed you can find very slender 24mm Rolex watches but these are no longer made so you will have to look for them in the second-hand market. If you are not sure, go for something that is in the small to medium-sized range since these suit most people’s wrists. If you are large, then there’s nothing to stop you from opting for a 41mm or a 44mm model. Bear in mind that you may need to go up a cuff size with your shirts if you opt for the latter.

A Watch to Wear or Keep Safe?

Given that diamond inclusions are very small, they need magnification to be spotted. The standard magnification used to assess inclusions – and therefore diamond clarity – is ten times. If closer magnification were to be used, it might be possible to spot even smaller inclusions but, generally speaking, these would not affect the sparkling quality of a diamond due to their tiny size. As such, x10 magnification offers a good balance between detecting inclusions while not making an overly critical assessment of their clarity. This is the global standard nowadays.

If you want a watch to keep as an investment, then a pre-owned one will often make a great deal of sense. Make sure the box and previous bills of sale are available to you if you decide to buy from the used Rolex market since these are things potential buyers will be after. If you intend on wearing your investment piece from time to time, then buy a pre-worn model. This way, any scuffs you make on your watch won’t be the first and dramatically devalue it. If you intend on placing it in a safe until you sell it, then an unworn second-hand Rolex will often be preferable.

Water Resistant Watches

If you like Rolexes because they are often nautically themed, then water resistance will be an important property. The Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller is the most resistant to seawater, even with the sorts of pressures you are not likely to find unless you are a deep-sea diver. Another water-resistant model worth looking into is the Rolex Submariner which comes in multiple different colours and styles to suit all tastes.