Founded by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis at the beginning of the 20th century, Rolex has quickly grown to be the most sought after and the most expensive watch brand in the world. As of 2014, Rolex ranks at 72 amongst the most powerful global brands in the world. They have been the leading pioneers in the watch industry in several areas, having developed the first waterproof watch, followed by the first automated date change watch, etc. However, what is most popular is the most expensive Rolex watches for men.

10 Most Expensive Rolex Watches For Men

Listed are some of the most expensive Rolex watches for men out there.

#10. Rolex Submariner for Cartier — $100,000Most Expensive Rolex Watches for Men - Rolex submariner

Two watches have been made in the Submariner’s franchise for the Paris-based firm Cartier. These watches were highly acclaimed by fans and critics alike, and the first in this series called Double Red Sea Dweller sold at $91,000 whereas the next one, named, Rolex Submariner sold for $100,000.

However, this wasn’t actually the intended price. It was the price received at an auction and was later set up as its market price for good.

#9.  Paul Newman Rolex Daytona — $106,273

Paul Newman Rolex Daytona - expensive rolex watches for men

This is the perfect watch to use as a symbol of power and status as the dial of the watch is made of champagne gold, offset against black enamel and tachometer. The lever movement is studded with 17 pieces of jewels and they’re all fixed in nickel.

Only 200 of these have ever been manufactured despite their success. It’s limited nature adds to its value.

#8.  Steve McQueen 1967 Rolex Submariner —$234,000

Steve McQueen 1967 Rolex Submariner -expensive rolex watches for men

As the name suggests, it was produced back in 1967, and in the year 1971, it made its feature film debut in the movie Le Mans. It can even function 200 meters under water and is made of pure stainless steel.

It has a brief luminescent dial against a tough strap which makes it look both rough and elegant. But actually what made this popular was its previous owner,  Steve McQueen.

#7.  Paul Newman Ferrari Red Rolex Daytona 6565 — $267,203

Paul Newman Ferrari Red Rolex Daytona 6565 -expensive rolex watches for men

This watch is featured in the 1969 movie Winning, in which it was worn by the Race Car Driver turned Hollywood celebrity, Paul Newman. This was a clever trick of marketing which sent the cost of the watch soaring.

The dial of the watch is scarlet red, the most popular color of a Ferrari. The straps were coated with Tritium. The red of the dial was complete enamel and it was studded with 17 pieces of jewels.

#6.  Rolex Platinum Pearlmaster 18956 — $276,000

Rolex Platinum Pearlmaster 18956-expensive rolex watches

As opposed to some of the more modern aesthetics in this list so far, this watch leans a little bit more antique in aesthetic. The pearl master is an extremely limited piece with sapphire crystal engravings.

It is further made of baguette diamond bezel and the dial is studded with meteorite diamonds. All of this adds to an extremely jewel encrusted aesthetic which makes it phenomenally expensive.

#5.  Dr. Rajendra Prasad’s Gold Rolex Oyster — $440,000

Dr. Rajendra Prasad’s Gold Rolex Oyster - expensive rolex watches

This watch was custom made for Dr. Rajendra Prasad — India’s first President. And it was manufactured in the year 1950 in order to mark India’s first ever Republic Day. It is made entirely of gold.

The dial is black with an 18k gold etchings and a map of India with the words 26 January 1950 etched across it. It is certainly not discreet, it is loud and ostentatious in order to mark India’s newly found independence, but that’s what makes it so special. It was sold by Sotheby’s.

#4.  James Bond 1973 Rolex 5513 — $450,000

James Bond 1973 Rolex 5513 - expensive rolex watches

Rolex really does love its high profile product placement. This model graced the hands of the James Bond from the 1973 ‘Live and Let Die’, Roger Moore. In fact, it was custom made to be worn by Bond himself.

It comes equipped with some cool features befitting of Bond such as a razor disc and magnetic field. The magnetic field was used by Bond in the movie in order to dodge a fatal bullet. There is absolutely no doubt that that scene alone was enough to ensure its position in the top 5 of this list of- most expensive rolex watches for men even half a century after its conception.

#3.  Rolex GMT 116769TBR — $485,350

Rolex GMT 116769TBR - expensive rolex watches

This comes replete with an Oysterlock clasp and is wholly made of 18k white gold. This can only be afforded by the 1 percenters of the world. It certainly loves to show off and the white gold dial features a wave made of diamonds.

The locks and case of this watch together feature about 76 pieces of diamonds. The hands of the clock and luminescent and the date automatically changes in response to the steady onward march of the clock hands. This is a must have for all the jewel lovers out there, as it is pretty much doused in it.

#2.  Eric Clapton 1971 Rolex Daytona — $505,000

Eric Clapton 1971 Rolex Daytona - expensive rolex watches

Also known as Albino, this comes in second on this list. However, at first glance, one might be a little uncertain about what makes this watch so expensive. Unlike the other watches on this list, it isn’t showy or ostentatious at all, with a rather simple design.

Only if you can discern royalty will you realize that the whole monochrome dial is made of silver? This is great for those who love to wear power on their wrists but not be too obvious about it.

#1.  1942 Rolex Chronograph — $1.16 million

most expensive rolex watches -1942 Rolex Chronograph

This watch mostly deserves its position of the most expensive Rolex watches for men, because of its complicated design comprising 17 pieces of jewels, baton numerical and pink Arabic gold.

Another reason for its value is that only 12 of these have ever been produced in history, and had a grand unveiling at Christie’s auction in 2011. It was actually intended for racecar drivers so as to allow them to time their laps with the chronograph.

There are various reasons why some things become supremely expensive, be it just shoes or watch and some others don’t. Market forces like supply and demand can only go so far in explaining it. Most of them are expensive as a result of being conspicuous good, that is, they are sold simply because they are so ridiculously expensive rather than despite them. Some have the notoriety of being placed on the arms of Hollywood celebrities and others are ridiculously diamond and jewel encrusted. So let us know which one of the most expensive Rolex watches for men gets your heart aflutter, or if you think that this is crass capitalism at its worst, then let us know your thoughts on that as well. We’d love to hear from you.