It’s that time of year when holiday shopping is at its height and people are looking for that ultimate Rolex gift.  When it comes to shopping for a Rolex either for you or for a loved one, there are some things to consider.  After purchasing more than a dozen Rolexes in my time, I have discovered a few things to consider. I have found that shopping for a Rolex is similar to purchasing an automobile. Purchases of this magnitude mark milestones, are not done too frequently, and something typically not done on a whim. 

Selecting the right Rolex model requires some time as there is a good likelihood that this watch will be worn for years and perhaps passed down to the next generation.  Rolex has a compendium of watches varying from sport to elegant, complex to simple, stainless to platinum.  Perhaps the first consideration to narrow down the collection is to select whether to go all-stainless, a combination of stainless and gold, or completely with a precious metal.  Each metal has its own advantages and the selection allows for meeting all sensibilities. Rolex’s 904L stainless is an industry standard, stainless and gold combines practically and elegance, and the precious metals are made in Rolex’s own factory meeting the highest standards for quality that Rolex maintains for all its watches.

After selecting the type of metal, the next consideration is dial visibility.  Rolex’s professional line has bold, easy to read dials and hands made of 10K gold to prevent rust and oxidation and are filled with Chromalight to keep them visible in low light conditions.  Rolex’s DateJust line is designed to be a dress watch, but with the Oyster case combined with the Oyster Twinloc winding crown makes the DateJust line as water repelling as some of Rolex professional watches.  

Another consideration that might help solidify whether to go with a dress or professional watch are the timing considerations.  Any Rolex watch will maintain standard time to COSC chronometer standards, but other considerations such as monitoring multiple time zones, stopwatch functions, or monitoring elapsed time such as in diving situations will help narrow down the selection.

Next step is visit Fourtané and bring a friend and/or your spouse.  I have found it helpful when you have a trusted advisor helping you decide which model.  If Fourtané is too far away, always go to a Rolex Authorized Dealers as they will give you the service and trust that you deserve and the authentication that your purchase is certified Rolex. 

When visiting a Rolex Authorized Dealer, zero in on a couple of models.  Utilizing the considerations above to narrow your choice helps from being overwhelmed. Try one watch on at a time taking into consideration dial visibility, height on your wrist, weight and size. One trick I have found useful when considering watches is to wear it on your opposite wrist from normal.  Wearing on the opposite wrist provides a visual perspective that your brain is not accustomed to viewing, and you get a better sense of the weight and height.  If still undecided on which Rolex model, grab a catalog and take a lap around the block. You do not want any indecision when making a purchase because that indecision will follow you if it is not squelched from the outset.

When trying on a Rolex, use the Rolex display tray to place your existing watch, as well as any watches taken out of the showcase. When inspecting a Rolex, hold it over the display tray in the unfortunate event that it slips from your fingers. Rolex Authorized Dealers have tile floors that can sometimes break a dropped watch.  You know that you are at a Rolex Authorized Dealer when you see the watch tray presented to you with the Rolex crown facing you, and the sales person utilizes a white glove. 

If you are not sure about the fit, ask the Rolex salesperson to adjust the bracelet making sure that the clasp is centered on the underside of the wrist. Many times affordability is a question and in that event, be sure to ask about financing.  If you want your spouse to sponsor your Rolex as a gift, be sure discretely inform the sales person to follow up with your spouse at a particular date/time.

Once you have your watch selected, pull the trigger. Your Rolex sales person will fit the watch to you.  Be sure to keep the Rolex box, certification and warranty papers, and extra links. Although some people perceive the Rolex box and paperwork as superfluous, keep them in the event you want to trade your Rolex after a few years.  The box, links and papers are important components that should travel with the watch. Rolexes are guaranteed for two years at any Rolex Service Center scattered around the globe. 

Once purchasing a Rolex, take a read of the September 22, 2014 posting on “What I Should Know About Buying a Rolex.” 

-Sheldon Smith