Starting a Rolex Collection? Here Are the 5 Models You Should Buy Now

Here are the reigning kings of the crown.

By Paige Reddinger 03/05/2024

It’s no secret that Rollie’s have a real ROI, but getting your hands on the right crown can be like capturing the Iron Throne. Unless you’re one of Rolex’s most loyal customers—that means buying multiple pieces a year, and not entry-level DateJusts—you will probably have to pick yours up on the secondary market. Enter Paul Altieri, founder of the new and pre-owned timepiece e-tail portal Bob’s Watches, who is known for being a trusted Rolex dealer as well as a collector in his own right.

We asked Altieri for his recommendations on the best Rolex models to collect, from a beginner’s piece to the reference that will affirm your status as a collecting king. You can find at least one of each at Bob’s Watches—except, of course, the one that belongs in Altieri’s own vault.

Submariner 116610

Rolex Submariner Ref. 116610
Courtesy of Bob’s Watches

If you’re just dipping your toes into Rolex collecting, you may want to dive into your horological journey in a more attainable realm. Here we have a Submariner Ref. 116610—a classic in the Rolex roster and one that has been gaining in popularity even in the midst of Daytona mania.

“It’s the iconic model, it’s still what Rolex is known for, even with the Daytona, the GMT and all the other models they’ve got, the Submariner is still the quintessential Rolex,” says Altieri. “Several months ago you couldn’t even buy one—the local dealers were completely sold out of them. Even in the secondary market, they were selling for over retail.”

The Ref. 116610 retails for a relatively reasonable $12,260, but like all covetable Rolex models you likely can’t walk into your local retailer and buy one. The good news is you can still buy one under $14,300—for now.

Pepsi GMT-Master II

Rolex Pepsi GMT-Master II Ref. 126710
Courtesy of Bob’s Watches

For hardcore watch enthusiasts, the very mention of the Pepsi GMT-Master II Ref. 126710 might elicit a long yawn. Thanks to Instagram, this was easily the hottest watch of 2018. But for those of you just dialling in, it’s still on fire—the watch currently sells in secondary markets for double its original $13,260 retail price. The Pepsi earned its nickname for its blue and red bezel. Developed in 1955 to help Pan Am pilots keep track of time during transatlantic flights, the fourth hand can be set with the 24-hour bezel to set the second time zone. Prior to 2018, the latest Pepsi was released in white gold on an Oyster bracelet, but when the new steel version with the Jubilee bracelet came out at a more affordable price, they sold so fast they had an instant and significant return on investment.

“It’s been completely oversold now in all the local Rolex stores,” says Altieri. “There’s long waiting lists and it’s still selling for a significant premium over retail.” So how can you get your hands on one? You probably can’t—unless you’re willing to pay top dollar. “Here’s the thing: If you’re a loyal customer and you’ve bought a bunch of watches from a Rolex store and you have a good relationship with your local AD (authorized dealer) and you want to put your name in and you’re willing to wait for a long time, then yes, you can get one,” says Altieri. One of Altieri’s clients from the Midwest was able to purchase both the Pepsi and the new Daytona Ref. 116500 but…he had a 20-year-long relationship with his AD and has probably bought more than 50 Rolex watches over the course of those two decades.

Rolex Pepsi models, no matter the decade of production, go for well beyond their original retail price, so even if you can’t get a new one, a vintage model is still a great investment. This 1990 Pepsi Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 16700 is only slightly more than the retail price of the brand new, but unattainable Pepsi. But if you have some extra cash to throw down (and you don’t mind that the case has been recently polished), then we recommend buying one from the Pepsi’s prime era—when it was a useful tool watch during the dawn of public aviation. This 1968 ref. steel Pepsi on a jubilee bracelet with a Mk 1 tritium dial and creamy markers and hands, for instance, still comes in less than the current model on the secondary market.

Daytona Ref. 116500

Rolex Daytona Ref. 116500
Courtesy of Bob’s Watches

The Rolex Daytona Ref. 116500, introduced in 2016, was the first Daytona to feature a Cerachrom bezel—a patented Rolex ceramic material that is resistant to both scratches and ultraviolet rays. Prior to this Daytona release, the model had not received a major update since 2000, when Rolex began equipping it with its first in-house movement, the calibre 4130. It had previously come with a Zenith-made El Primero movement, which the watchmaker had used since 1988.

“I think they nailed it in terms of sizing, the dial, and the Cerachrom bezel,” says Altieri. “I think white is still a little bit more preferred over black currently, but that could change. It’s at an affordable price and it’s kind of a flashback to the 6263 model that they were making in the late ’60s and ’70s and that model has done well. So, it’s a great watch and it’s still selling for a significant premium.”

The model from the ’70s sold for around $1,500 to $3,000 and now sells for between $121,000 and $157,000. The Ref. 116500 at retail is around $18,000 (the same price for the white dial or the black dial), but is commanding prices as high as $35,000.

“When it first came out, I had customers say, ‘I’ll wait six months or a year when the prices come down,’ says Altieri. “Well, it’s been three and a half years, and prices aren’t coming down at all—they haven’t even budged.”

Rolex Skydweller with Blue Dial

Rolex Skydweller Ref. 326934
Courtesy of Bob’s Watches

“This is a fantastic watch—a lot of the real horological watch people out there were excited to see something come out from Rolex that had a complicated movement with a calendar,” says Altieri. “They made it with a blue dial and a black dial, but the blue dial is more desirable. It’s a bit more difficult to get.”

The Skydweller Ref. 326934 is a watch that has picked up in demand over time and believe it or not, Altieri says it’s harder to get than the Pepsi GMT-Master II. It’s also selling for double its original $20,000 retail price, and there’s fewer of them popping up in the secondary market because clients are holding onto them.

Vintage Daytona Gold 6241 Paul Newman

Rolex Daytona Paul Newman Ref. 6241
Courtesy of Bob’s Watches

In certain circles, this Rolex is considered a grail watch. And let’s be frank, if you’re just beginning to collect you’re likely not going to start with this million dollar baby. If you’re already looking ahead to the future however, this could be one of your end-goals in Rolex collecting.

The Ref. 6241 Daytona is known as the John Player Special because of its black-and-gold colouring that looks like the livery of a 1972 Formula One car sponsored by cigarette maker John Player & Sons. The 6241 was manufactured prior to the ’70s between 1966 and 1969 and less than 300 examples of the model in 18-karat yellow gold were ever produced.

“I bought this watch two years ago and was really happy to add it to my collection,” says Altieri. “Like almost all the watches in my collection, it found me. There is a local real estate developer in my area that bought this watch brand new at Bucherer in Switzerland. He wore it his whole life, but when he found out how much it was worth now he didn’t feel comfortable wearing it anymore. He read about my collection and knew I’d pay full value for it, so he came to see me and I bought it.”

But Altieri says there are still some that get away, like a Rolex Ref. 6536. He already owns 8 of them, but this one had a red depth rating on the dial…

If you’re fresh to the hobby of watch collecting, just be prepared that, like most watch collectors, your interest may develop into a full-blown obsession.

(And in the event that you are on the hunt for a more affordable Daytona on the eve of the 90th Monaco Grand Prix, Bob’s Watches has partnered with Sotheby’s to offer 12 references dating from as early as 1937 to 2016 and ranging in price from $15,700 to $107,000 )

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How To Make the Ultimate Hangover Cure

Is this the ultimate cocktail to know by heart?

By Belinda Aucott-christie 29/05/2024

The Savoy in London, a beacon of luxury and opulence, holds a significant place in British history as the nation’s first luxury hotel. It was a haven where the affluent sought to experience a taste of royalty. Interestingly, it was within these grand walls that the alleged liquid remedy for hangovers, The Corpse Reviver, was born.

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Due to its medicinal qualities, this cocktail has passed into drinking folklore, making its recipe a right of passage for any lush.

The Corpse Reviver is aptly named for its life-affirming qualities and claimed ability to knock a hangover on the head.

It’s reassuring to know that the dreaded hangover was such a cause of social consternation in the late 1940s, that it demanded a creative response from Savoy’s hotel bar staff. We’ll drink to that.

Adding to the Corpse Reviver’s allure is the mystery surrounding its creation. Was it the ingenious work of Savoy bartender Johnny Johnson or the creative genius of Joe Gilmore? The exact timeline of its inception between 1948 and 1954 remains a tantalising enigma. 

It’s a zesty, slightly sour hangover cure with a cheeky touch of absinthe shining through. If your hangover is very bad, add a little more syrup to the mix.

To make, take a cocktail shaker and add equal parts dry gin, triple sec, lemon juice, and Lillet Blanc (3/4 of a shot each). 

Add a tiny dash of sugar syrup and absinthe, shake all ingredients with ice until very cold, strain and pour into a chilled coupe.

Garnish with a chic lemon twist and say cheerio to your hangover. 

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ThirdHome Arrives Down Under

The global home-swap club targeting Australia’s millionaires.

By Belinda Aucott 24/05/2024

Wayne Shealy made his name developing resorts from New England to the Caribbean, and shifting more than $3 billion in luxury real estate. In 2010 he started ThirdHome to let luxury homeowners leverage the empty parts of properties in their portfolio to enjoy better holidays. Billed as an exclusive community of ‘neighbours’, ThirdHome now facilitates swapping second and third homes for the super-wealthy.

Wade Shealy, CEO and Founder of ThirdHome, a luxury home-swapping membership program. THIRDHOME

While the glamorous international portfolio spans illustrious private residences, including castles, ranches and chalets, it has been extended to private islands, pieds-à-terre, safari camps, wineries, boutique hotels and yachts.

Turin Castle in Forfar, Scotland. THIRDHOME

Purpose-built for people who own at least two residences and have homes to spare valued at over $2 million, all applicants are vetted and assessed, before being allowed to join. With a global portfolio across 100 countries and 2500 destinations, Shealy is now focusing on Australia.

“We’re super excited for the next chapter of our Australian journey,” Shealy says, from his horse farm outside Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee. 

“We know there’s an extremely healthy appetite for Australians with second homes wanting to become members, who love to travel and want to enjoy exclusive access to the world’s more exceptional stays for a fraction of the price,” he says of his motivation for extending the network Down Under.  He notes that by cleverly utilising the downtime in their own homes, they can fund extravagant trips they may have never dreamt possible. Doing so in a gated community that values trust and respect.

Château De Vézins in Loire Valley, France. THIRDHOME

The spirit of sharing drives the sservice, with ThirdHome members acquiring points in the system each time they open their doors to others. This makes it a self-regulating community backed by solid technology and vigilant management that keeps applicants A-grade.

“Our members are house proud and guest proud,” he adds. “They want the guests to have a great experience.”

Learn more about membership and the rules of engagement here

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Art for Investment

A new private gallery in Sydney helps collectors enter the secondary market.

By Belinda Aucott-christie 24/05/2024

When Art Basel opens next month in Switzerland, it will do so with fresh power under its wings. In 2022 the global art market totalled $67.8 billion, showing 3 percent year-on-year growth*. This year, art topped Knight Frank’s Luxury Investment Index, with prices rising by 11 percent over 2023. According to most reports, art is now a positively appreciating asset class. By comparison, the values of rare whisky, classic cars, handbags, and furniture fell.

This raises the question of how to invest wisely in art and ensure the sound provenance of your investment. Jesse Jack De Deyne and Boris Cornelissen from A Secondary Eye are here to help art collectors. Conceived as a private gallery with rotating exhibitions, the space is designed to help serious investors confidently buy and sell.

“We offer access to some of the finest works entering the secondary market in Australia and operate with a stringent provenance framework in place,” says Jess Jack De Deyne from the company’s top-floor space overlooking leafy Queen Street in Sydney’s Woollahra.

De Deyne and Cornelissen opened in May with a presentation of rare works by Rover Thomas, the late East Kimberly artist who represented Australia at the 1990 Venice Biennale.

Rover Thomas, Desert Meeting Place, 1994 natural earth pigments on canvas.

De Deyne specialises in Indigenous Australian art and comes to Sydney with a background as a Director in an Aboriginal Arts Centre and working for a leading auction house. Cornelissen is a former contemporary art specialist from Sotheby’s in London and Hong Kong.

“We are most effective when a prospective client comes to us with a specific artwork in mind,” explains De Deyne. “They may have recently been to Canberra to visit the highly regarded exhibition of Emily Kame Kngwarreye at the National Gallery of Australia and there is a specific period of the artist that they are drawn to. Through our contacts, we may be able to help source available related works that would not necessarily appear at auction.” 

Though A Secondary Eye was founded in 2020 in Brisbane, De Denye says the larger pool of collectors drew them down to Sydney. The new gallery’s private aspect seems to be a key selling point for the duo, who prize discretion and private sales. 

Rover Thomas, Lake Argyle, 1994 natural earth pigments on canvas

“Whereas auctions are publicly advertised, a private dealer can offer a work discreetly to a handful of clients without over-exposing it. And we can also present works in a more considered way through curated, high-quality exhibitions that tell the story of each work.”

While some may be intimidated by entering the art market, these art dealers say exposure to the art world is key to unlocking its potential. “Take the time to attend art fairs, exhibitions and auction viewings. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for advice. With time and experience, you will learn what you are drawn to and how the offered prices sit relative to other works in the market.”

In an art world overflowing with rules, customs, and jargon, De Deyne is quick to clarify the key difference between dealers and advisers for newbies. 

“An art dealer helps collectors buy and sell artworks and therefore has a commercial incentive in selling a work. The best art advisors work independently, often on a retainer, and don’t profit from the transaction, which means they can give their clients honest advice. 

De Deyne and Cornelissen are well-placed to help people get a foot in the market, no matter how experienced they are. Ultimately, they preach to the choir, appealing most to fine art collectors searching for a specific work. 

“We work in a niche area and ultimately attract people who share our interests. Art collectors, particularly on the secondary market, often follow the art, rather than the person selling it.”

Follow A Secondary Eye here for future exhibitions. 

*According to the 2023 Art Market 2023, authored by Dr. Clare McAndrew, Founder of Arts Economics and published by Art Basel in partnership with UBS

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Watch of the Week: Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph

Roger Dubuis unveils its innovative chronograph collection in Australia for the very first time.

By Josh Bozin 21/05/2024

When avant-garde Swiss watchmaker Roger Dubuis revealed its highly anticipated Chronograph Collection halfway through 2023, it was a testament to its haute horology department in creating such a technical marvel for everyday use. Long at the forefront of cutting-edge design and technological excellence, Roger Dubuis (pronounced Ro-ger Du-BWEE) is no stranger to such acclaim.

Now, fans down under will finally get a taste of the collection that made headlines, with the official Australian unveiling of its Chronograph Collection. Representing precision engineering, extraordinary craftsmanship, and audacious design, this collection, now in its fifth generation, continues to redefine the chronograph category.

Roger Dubuis Australia welcomes the Excalibur Spider Collection to the market, featuring the exquisite Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph, as well as the Excalibur Spider Revuelto Flyback Chronograph (a timepiece made in partnership with Lamborghini Squadra Corse). Each model speaks at lengths to the future of ‘Hyper Horology’—watchmaking, as Roger Dubuis puts it, that pushes the boundaries of traditional watchmaking.

Roger Dubuis

“Roger Dubuis proposes a unique blend of contemporary design and haute horlogerie and the Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph is the perfect illustration of this craft,” says Sadry Keiser, Chief Marketing Officer. “For its design, we took inspiration from the MonovortexTM Split-Seconds Chronograph, while we decided to power the timepiece with an iconic complication, the flyback chronograph, also marking its come back in the Maison’s collections.”

The Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph is bold and flashy—a chronograph made to be seen, especially at its 45mm size. But Roger Dubuis wouldn’t have it any other way. The supercar-inspired watch is certainly captivating in the flesh. Its multi-dimensional design reveals different layers of technical genius as you spend time with it: from its case crafted from lightweight carbon to its hyper-resistant ceramic bezel, black DLC titanium crown, open case back with sapphire crystal, and elegant rubber strap to tie the watch together, it’s a sporty yet incredibly refined timepiece.

The new RD780 chronograph calibre powers the chronograph, a movement fully integrated with two patents: one linked to the second hand of the chronograph and the other to the display of the minute counter. The chronograph also features a flyback function.

The complete set is now available at the Sydney Boutique for those wishing to see the Roger Dubuis Chronograph Collection firsthand.

Roger-Dubuis

 

Roger-Dubuis

Model: Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph
Diameter: 45mm
Material: C-SMC Carbon case
Water resistance: 100m

Movement: RD780 calibre
Complication: Chronograph, date
Functions: hours, minutes, and central seconds
Power reserve: 72 hours

Bracelet: Black rubber strap

Availability: upon request
Price: $150,000


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Thanks to NETGEAR, the First Quad-Band WiFi 7 Mesh System Has Arrived

Elite WiFi performance for your whole home.

By Robb Report 30/05/2024

There’s no denying that in today’s era of technological innovation, home living and entertainment have reached unprecedented heights. In fact, modern home technology is so advanced that we can now enjoy futuristic comforts at the touch of a button (or the flick of a switch).

But one caveat to overcome before enjoying such modern perks: you need ultra-fast Wi-Fi to feed internet-hungry devices, especially when our dependence on Wi-Fi will only grow. Enter, NETGEAR’s latest Wi-Fi technology, set to change the performance of your whole home.

NETGEAR

The NETGEAR Orbi 970 Series Quad-Band WiFi 7 Mesh System is the first of its kind in the category of Wi-Fi technology, unlocking the extraordinary power of WiFi 7 (with 2.4 x faster speeds than WiFi 6). The Orbi 970 Series elevates what most households love, like streaming movies in the highest possible quality, linking wireless speakers throughout your home to play concert-quality music in every room, and gaming like a pro without any lag or drop-outs. But the Orbi 970 Series will also drastically improve your workflow, from email and colleague chats to taking Zoom calls and more.

Leveraging over 25 years of NETGEAR engineering innovation and exclusive patented technology, the Orbi 970 Series will service all of today’s needs, as well as tomorrow’s—in a country like Australia, where internet standards lag behind the rest of the world, residential multi-gigabit speeds will become a godsend. With unparalleled performance based on cutting-edge, patented technology, the Orbi 970 Series will continue to grow with its users, especially as our homes get “smarter”; relying on technology, such as the Orbi 970 Series, will be paramount.

And design doesn’t have to be compromised, either. Wi-Fi might not necessarily be the sexiest topic out there (very few Wi-Fi routers exist that you could call “design-drive”), but the Orbi 970 Series changes that. Thanks to a new sophisticated design, the Orbi 970 Series is elegant enough to blend seamlessly with your home décor.

Netgear

Best of all, thanks to a one-year NETGEAR Armour included with your purchase, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your family and your home are protected with an automatic security shield across your connected devices.

The NETGEAR Orbi 970 series Quad Band WiFi 7 Mesh System retails for $4,299. To learn more, visit the website here.

 

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