It’s always a good time to buy a new watch. If you’re like many watch fans, you’re probably already contemplating which Rolex watch to add to your collection. We always recommend that you buy a timepiece that matches your style, budget, and preference. But, the fact remains that watches can often serve as an investment with a potentially higher future value. Considering that you prefer a Rolex watch, you’re already on the right track in terms of investing in a timepiece that is well worth its value.
In this article, we would like to focus on a particular collection: Rolex Oyster Perpetual. While they are not as hyped and sought-after as other Rolex watches, their prices remain relatively stable and most of them have not depreciated in the past few years.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual: History and Best Watches To Buy
The Oyster Perpetual is one of the oldest names in the Rolex catalog. It is regarded as the brand’s entry-level line which history dates back to 1931 when Rolex first patented a self-winding watch movement. It was one of the first movements to be wound using a weighted rotor. This rotor moved as the wearer moved, thus constantly winding the mechanism and justifying the word Perpetual in its name.
While it’s the case, it wasn’t until 1950 when the first true Oyster Perpetual was commercially released. This featured a number of Calibres such as the 645 and 1030—the same movements used in the early Submariner and Explorer. From then onwards, Rolex has strategically released Oyster Perpetual watches with different features and eventually, sizes.
In 1959, Rolex released the 36mm Oyster Perpetual No Date. It featured automatic movements, a plastic crystal glass, and a selection of either stainless steel or a combination of steel and gold bracelet. Some references were also presented with either fluted or milled bezel, which colors varied from yellow, white, to pink gold. These watches featured the Calibre 1560 and 1570 movement. Unfortunately, their production ended sometime in the 1980s.
Other milestones Rolex has achieved with this collection include the release of the first Oyster Perpetual Lady in 1964 and mid-size Oyster Perpetual watches from the 1960s. Fourteen years later, the brand re-introduced the lady’s model but with a larger size. In 2014, the Oyster Perpetual received a new update with the release of four new sizes—26mm, 31mm, 34mm, and 36mm. One final addition to the collection is the 2015 39mm Oyster Perpetual.
While there hasn’t been much hype surrounding the line throughout history, it was quite a different story in 2020 when updates to the collection made the headlines, even more so than the brand-new Submariner released at the same time. Along with new movements and a selection of new dial colors came a new 41mm version of the lineup, which is by far the largest Oyster Perpetual. Fast forward to 2021, some versions of the Oyster Perpetual have become in-demand, being traded for up to 70% above their brand new prices in the secondhand market.
Which Oyster Perpetual to Buy According to Size
The Oyster Perpetual may be available in a wide range of sizes today, but its core features remain the same: impressive chronometric precision, a waterproof Oyster case, and Perpetual movement. This narrows down your selection process, as one of the few things you have to do, is to determine a watch size that complements your wrist.
28mm Oyster Perpetual: A Rolex OP for Women
The 28mm Oyster Perpetual is considered a watch for women. With this size, you’ll feel a little limited in terms of dial color selection. Nevertheless, it doesn’t fall short in features just like any other model. On its minimalist display are the single baton markers that run all around the dial and the hash marks for the minute hands. It also sports a Chromalight luminescence and the Calibre 2232 movement, all of which are presented in a bracelet that boasts the trademarked Easylink extension system.
31mm Oyster Perpetual: A Women’s Watch But Slightly Larger
A 31mm watch may appeal as a little too small for gentlemen. Therefore, it is also very much intended for women, albeit slightly more eye-catching than 28mm watches. It shares general dial features with the smaller OP version and has the same lacquer dial colors as the 36 and 41mm models. But, what it has that the 41mm model hasn’t is the hot candy pink dial version.
34mm Oyster Perpetual: A Watch for All
While this is listed as a women’s model, a 34mm OP looks more unisex than any other size. It offers the same dial selection as the 28mm OP line and has Roman numerals for the hour markers. This makes the watch look a little more formal, which differentiates it from the rest of the OP watches. Nevertheless, it maintains the single baton markers.
36mm Oyster Perpetual: The Largest Watch for Men with Small Wrists
Many watch experts suggest that a 36mm is the largest watch that men with small wrists can wear comfortably. A distinctive feature of the 36mm model is its double baton markers at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. Nothing in its general design features has changed in the past years except for its dial colors. In 2020, we got a major refresh in the form of new colorful lacquer dials. The new versions also include the new in-house Calibre 3230, the same movement used in the 2020 version of the 41mm Submariner No Date.
41mm Oyster Perpetual: The Biggest of Them All
The OP 41 is relatively new in the line. It follows the 36mm in terms of form and function, including the double baton markers. It is also available in a rainbow of colors and is by far the most favorite among watch enthusiasts.
2014 marked the release of the new Oyster Perpetual in four new sizes. This doesn’t include the 41mm version as well as the 39mm option released in 2015. All these size varieties make the Oyster Perpetual the most versatile and flexible in comparison to almost any other Rolex watch.
Which of these Oyster Perpetual sizes do you like most? Let us know by leaving a comment below.