Today, we’re taking a look at what the Chrono24 community would buy on a budget of between $6,000 and $8,000. We know, we know: That’s quite a chunk of change and more than most people spend on really anything – let alone a watch
However, if you do ever take this kind of plunge, you’ll obviously want a watch that knocks it out of the park. The good news is that this specific budget includes watches from the really big names like Omega, Breitling, IWC, and of course, Rolex. That’s why the $6,000-8,000 range is very popular for people who are looking for one luxury watch to wear for the rest of their lives or the first of many fine timepieces in a collection.
Which brands are popular?
So, let’s look at the five brands with the highest sales numbers within this price range on Chrono24. It’s no surprise that Rolex is the absolute king, accounting for 30% of sales. This is followed by Omega with 15%, and Breitling with 9% (these three brands, by the way, also top the list for other price ranges). Number four goes to Panerai with 8%, closely followed in fifth by IWC at 7%. These brands have enjoyed widespread popularity for a long time, offer a great range of watches, and fall within the amount we have to spend today.
Which models are popular?
Now, let’s zoom in for a closer look at the most frequently purchased models. Surprise, surprise: all five are from Rolex. Rolex has become so popular over the years that it’s now nearly impossible to find any of their new steel timepieces at brick-and-mortar dealers. That’s why more and more people are turning to Chrono24 to get their hands on one, which, in turn, has caused prices for Rolexes to steadily increase. Let’s check out the most popular choices.
Rolex Explorer II ref. 16570
The bestselling model is one of my personal favorites: the Rolex Explorer II ref. 16570. This model was in production from 1989 through 2011, and it simply screams “function over form” with its design. At 40 mm in diameter, it’s the perfect Rolex for those who’d prefer something less flashy but want the functionality of a second time zone. This beauty starts at around $7,500 with a white dial on Chrono24.
Rolex Datejust ref. 16233
Coming in at second place is the Rolex Datejust ref. 16233. The Datejust premiered in 1945 in celebration of the Swiss company’s 40th anniversary. Over the years, it has become one of the most popular and recognizable Rolex models. The Datejust ref. 16233 was introduced in 1988 and was the first Datejust to feature sapphire crystal. This yellow gold and steel two-tone Datejust has a fluted bezel and comes on a Jubilee or Oyster bracelet. You can also choose from a variety of dial colors. This 36-mm watch is a true Rolex icon and belongs on any list like this. You can pick one up for anywhere from $6,000 to $8,000, depending on its condition. The avid watch enthusiast should also keep an eye out for a model that includes a full set.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual ref. 114300
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual has always been the brand’s entry-level model. This classic is simple yet beautiful and might end up being the only watch you need for, well, the rest of your life. The Oyster Perpetual ref. 114300 is the 39-mm model and debuted in 2015. It is available in a variety of different dial colors. Rolex initially only offered more extravagant blue, gray, and purple dials before adding a black and a white dial in 2018. The Oyster Perpetual is the perfect watch for any occasion. Rolex has since ceased production of the 39-mm model, replacing it with a 41-mm version in 2020. Prices start at roughly $7,300, so we think you’ll find an Oyster Perpetual you love that’s still within our budget.
Rolex Datejust ref. 16234
Number four on this list is the Rolex Datejust ref. 16234. A close relative of the Datejust ref. 16233 (number two on our list), it also has a fluted bezel (this time in white gold) and comes on your choice of either a Jubilee or Oyster bracelet. This watch features the same caliber 3135, along with a variety of dial colors and configurations, giving you plenty to choose from. Options include Roman or Arabic numerals, diamond hour markers, and a range of colors from simple black and white to salmon and copper. The Datejust is probably the most versatile watch that $6,000 to $8,000 can buy.
Rolex Explorer 114270
Fifth place on our list is no surprise. The 36-mm Rolex Explorer ref. 114270 was available from 2001 to 2010. It’s the last of the small-sized Rolex Explorers, as the brand has since moved on to the 39-mm model. The Explorer shares its story with Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the first people to summit Mt. Everest. Their achievement is intertwined with the legacy of this timepiece. The Explorer was the first Rolex sports watch and has become an icon of the watch world. To this day, it continues to exude a classic, timeless presence. As the last 36-mm edition of this legendary timepiece, it is understandably a favorite among watch enthusiasts and collectors.
What about the watch’s condition?
When you buy a watch, it should be in the best possible condition available. With this amount of money, you want to be sure that the watch you buy is at least in very good condition. And Chrono24’s numbers show that our users know this. Out of all the watches sold in the $6,000 to $8,000 price range, 50% are listed as “Very Good,” 31% as “New,” 12% as “Unworn,” and 7% as “Good.” Descriptions might not always tell the whole story, especially when it comes to older watches like the Rolex Datejust, so be sure to look carefully at the pictures and determine what condition the watch is in for yourself. Also, never be afraid to ask the seller for additional photos if you need a closer look.
When it comes to the delivery contents, the overwhelming majority of buyers (76%) only purchases watches that come with their box and papers. And I applaud that. Box and papers give you an insight into the timepiece’s history: When was it produced? Has it been serviced? Does it come with a warranty? On top of that, having the box and papers means having a full set to enjoy, and if you decide to sell your watch one day, it will be more valuable with the correct box and papers. All of that is to say, if you can, go for the full set because a $6,000+ watch is an investment that you should be able to enjoy for as long as possible. Happy hunting!