Stainless Steel Rolex Watches Buying Guide

Rolex Submariner Black Dial

Right now, you know two things. You’ve settled on purchasing a Rolex for yourself. The other thing is that you want it to be stainless steel. Outside of that, you’re open to all sorts of suggestions.

Fortunately, there are plenty of Rolex stainless steel watches to consider. As you take a look at different designs and styles, do keep the following elements in mind. Doing so will make it easier to find a watch that you’ll be proud to wear for a long time.

The Case and Caseback

Opting for stainless steel already has you on the way to finding the right Rolex watch for you. The good news is that several of the brand’s most popular watches use this steel for the case and the caseback. That includes the line of Datejust watches as well as the Day-Date 40. 

The Submariner line will also include casings made of stainless steel,. That’s also true of the Yacht Master and the Yacht Master II. Don’t overlook the , making something like the Sea-Dweller and the Oyster Perpetual lines if you want the best in stainless steel cases and casebacks.

Case Thickness (or Thinness)

If you want to go with a vintage Rolex watch, you’ll find that the dimensions are something to consider. In particular, how thick or thin would you like the case? Some of the designs like the GMT Master 1675 sported cases of different thicknesses throughout the run. For example, the 1675 designs released between 1959 and 1967 measured roughly 12.7 mm from the case back to the bezel. Alternatively, the same design was 13 mm between 1968 to 1979.

Case Diameter

How large or small would you like the case diameter? A lot depends on the size of the hand and the wrist. Ideally, you want something that doesn’t seem to overpower your hand. At the same time, you want something that doesn’t seem to be lost on a larger wrist and hand.

You’ll find Rolex watches with diameters ranging from 25.1 to 48 mm. A good range to consider is stainless steel cases that are close to 44 mm. With that in mind, consider the Datejust 26, the Lady Datejust, or the Pearlmaster 39.

Watch Face Color

Dial or face colors are definitely something to consider. White is easily the go-to when it comes to any luxury watch. It fits in neatly with any setting, including the perfect foil for any type of business attire. Black is also a front runner that tends to fit in perfectly with casual occasions as well as dressy ones. You can also think about blue, green, or rose when it comes to stainless steel Rolex watches.

Rolex Datejust 41, 126300-0018

Consider options like the Datejust 36 if you like the idea of a white dial. The Datejust 41 has a beautiful blue one, while the Datejust II has the classic black. Don’t overlook the stately green face that comes with the Submariner line.

The Watch Crystal

Sapphire crystal is the more common option you’ll find with Rolex stainless steel watches. Along with being highly scratch resistant, this crystal also provides reduced glare properties that make it a great choice. Consider something like the Cosmograph Daytona or the Milgauss and it will be easy to see why this type of crystal is such an asset.

The Functions/Complications

With Rolex watches, you can enjoy a number of functions or complications that augment the basic time keeping. For example, a number of styles offer 12 and 24 hour counters. It’s not unusual to find watches of this type that can adjust to up to 24 different time zones. There’s also an alarm function that can come in handy when you travel or even if you need to keep on track on a busy day. Don’t overlook the immersion time setting if you plan on wearing the watch while enjoying scuba diving or some other type of water sport.

Some of the suggestions that provide these and other key functions include the Rolex Submariner Date 40, the Sea-Dweller, the Sky-Dweller, and the Yacht-Master.

Rolex Yacht-Master 40, Stainless Steel and Platinum, Blue dial, 126622-0002

Water Resistance

Water resistance is a must if you plan on wearing the watch for fun as well as in the office. The last thing you need is a watch that can’t withstand depths if you like to go diving. In general, you’ll have no problem finding Rolex watches that are made of stainless steel and have water resistance ranging from anywhere between 300 feet to 2000 feet.

If this is a feature that’s important to you, take a good look at the Omega Seamaster. The Sea-Dweller and the Submariner are also excellent choices that will hold up well. Along with the water resistance, make sure they have an immersion time setting that will help you track how long you’ve been underwater.

Power Reserve

Self-winding watches are common with Rolex stainless steel watches. That’s great if you wear them often, but what about a watch that you only pull out for special occasions? You want something that has a power reserve that easily gets you through if you only wear the watch for a short time a couple of days a week.

The good news is that you have options that provide power reserves ranging anywhere from 14 hours to a single day to up to 14 days. Consider designs like the Datejust 26, the Explorer, or the Date 34. Something like the Oyster Perpetual 39 has the classic look that takes you from the office to any type of setting with ease while also providing 48 hours of power reserve.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 114300-0005

Band/Strap/Bracelet

With your stainless steel Rolex watch, you may want to go all the way and include a stainless steel band. There are design options that you can consider. They include the practical and popular oyster type. Consider something like the GMT Master II or the Oyster Perpetual 34 if this is what you have in mind.

How about other band, bracelet, or strap options? Along with the oyster clasp, you may want to focus on one that also happens to include the Rolex Glidelock extension system. That’s often found on most stainless steel Rolex watches. Check out the Pearlmaster 34, the Oyster Perpetual 31, or the Date-Date 40 and see what you think.

Packaging and Documentation

With clever counterfeits out there, it pays to make sure you’re getting an authentic Rolex watch. That’s easier when you decide to only deal with an authorized dealer who has a reputation for carefully examining every new and used watch that’s offered for sale. Dealers of this type have no problem providing access to the documents or the packaging. In fact, they are likely to be offered for inspection without any prompting on your part.

The other element to consider is the packaging and the documentation that comes with the watch. The boxes have elements that are often hard to replicate exactly. Even little things like the placement of the crest on a box can tell you if the watch is authentic or if it’s fake. Make it a point to check everything that comes with the watch, even if it seems to be a Rolex stainless steel original.

Remember that Rolex watches are more than superbly-crafted time pieces. They can also be an investment that you pass on to your children. Choose wisely and you may not be the only one who takes pride in wearing the watch as the generations pass.