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Which Rolex models are the hardest to find?

by Andy Jones on Jun 24, 2024

Which Rolex models are the hardest to find?

The ongoing struggle between the limited supply and high demand for certain Rolex models is well-known. Over time, more and more Rolex watches have become difficult to find, and many now have long waiting lists. 

Yes, not all Rolex models are easily available, and you might have to wait not just days or weeks but years to buy your favorite Rolex watch. 

Therefore, we have provided you with the list of Rolex models that are the hardest to find. But first, it is important to understand the reality behind their unavailability.

Rolex Waiting List Explained

Not too long ago, you could simply walk into a store to buy yourself a Rolex watch. Now, you face long waiting lists or find getting the Rolex you want nearly impossible unless you have a good purchase history and are considered a valued customer.

The basic principle of supply and demand is the short explanation for this big problem. When demand exceeds availability, you get long waiting lists. In recent years, the demand for Rolex watches has surged while their availability in retail shops has decreased, making them much harder to find. 

As a result, the value of these Rolex timepieces has increased so much that they sell for around 100% more than the retail price in the secondary market.

The Hardest Rolex Models to Find

If you're looking to buy a Rolex watch, here are the hardest models to get. Be sure to adjust your expectations and plan accordingly.

1. Rolex Oyster Perpetual 'Tiffany' Dial, Ref: 124300

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 'Tiffany' Dial, Ref: 124300

Rolex caused a big buzz in 2020 with the release of the Oyster Perpetual featuring the eye-catching 'Tiffany' blue dial. Named for its resemblance to Tiffany & Co.'s signature color, this model quickly became popular. However, Rolex retailers received only a few pieces of this stunning watch, leading to long waiting lists worldwide.

It's believed that the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 'Tiffany Dial' Ref. 124300 has a waiting period of nearly two years or more. Due to this high demand, many stores have closed their waiting lists for this model.

2. Rolex Daytona Ref: 116500LN

Rolex Daytona Ref: 116500LN

The Rolex Daytona is a legendary chronograph known for its limited availability and high demand—the stainless steel Daytona models, like the Ref. 116500LN, are especially sought-after. Rolex retailers usually receive only 5-10 pieces of this model to sell yearly, fueling the high demand.

For example, if a retailer gets 10 Daytona models a year (which is on the higher side) and has a waiting list of 100 people, the wait time could be 10 years! It sounds unbelievable, but that's the reality. 

To get one of these iconic Rolex watches, you must be a top client or have a long purchase history with the brand.

3. Rolex Submariner Ref. 126610LN

 Rolex Submariner Ref. 126610LN

The Rolex Submariner is incredibly popular and highly sought after, not just in the Rolex lineup but in the entire watch industry. Available in various versions like steel, gold, or a combination of both, the most difficult to find is the Ref. 126610LN.

Rolex retailers typically receive only 10-30 pieces of the steel Submariner Ref. 126610LN, and due to the high demand, this leads to long waiting lists. Other hard-to-get Submariner models include Ref. 126610LV and Ref. 124060.

4. Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126710BLRO

Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126710BLRO

While getting any Rolex in steel is challenging, the GMT-Master II Ref. 126710BLRO is one of the hardest to acquire after the Daytona Ref. 116500LN. Its iconic design, featuring the eye-catching 'Pepsi' bezel with red and blue colors, adds to its immense popularity. This unique look has made it a favorite among watch enthusiasts and collectors.

Due to this high demand, the waiting list for the GMT-Master II Ref. 126710BLRO seems never-ending. A typical Rolex dealer receives only about 20 pieces of this model annually. 

However, with thousands of people hoping to get their hands on one, the wait time can extend to several years. This scarcity and the extensive waiting list only add to the prestige and allure of owning a GMT-Master II Ref. 126710BLRO.

5. Rolex Daytona Ref. 116506

 Rolex Daytona Ref. 116506

The Daytona Ref. 116506 in platinum is a flagship model of the luxury Swiss brand Rolex. Surprisingly, it didn't immediately gain popularity when it was released in 2013 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Daytona. Its high price initially kept many people away. However, from around 2018 to 2020, interest in this watch started to grow.

Today, this watch is extremely hard to find. Retailers specifically ask to get this model because it's so sought after. A seller typically receives only 1-2 pieces of this watch in a year, which may decrease even further. 

The Daytona Ref. 116506 has very limited production, making it incredibly difficult to acquire in recent years.

6. Rolex Sky-Dweller Ref. 326934

Rolex Sky-Dweller Ref. 326934

The Rolex Sky-Dweller is a prestigious watch renowned for its sophisticated features, including a dual time zone display and an annual calendar. However, its limited availability truly sets it apart and makes it a topic of conversation.

The Sky-Dweller boasts Rolex's most complex movements, which means they are produced in limited numbers. As a result, there is a significant waiting period for the Sky-Dweller 326934, averaging around 3-4 years for those eager to purchase one.

Among its various versions, the Rolex Sky-Dweller Ref. 326934 with a blue dial stands out as the most beloved by enthusiasts. Even for customers with a good relationship with the seller, the wait time can still stretch to at least 2 years due to the high demand and limited production of this coveted timepiece.

7. The Rolex Daytona Ref. 116508 

The Rolex Daytona Ref. 116508

The Rolex Daytona Ref. 116508 is an incredibly beautiful watch with a green dial and a yellow gold body, making it one of Rolex's most stunning creations. Its popularity rose after John Mayer, a well-known collector in the entertainment industry, flaunted his Green Daytona on a show, causing a sharp increase in demand for this model.

Even though the Rolex Daytona Ref. 116508 isn't as sought after as the Ref. 116500LN in steel, its limited production makes it difficult to obtain. The waiting time for this lovely green dial watch is approximately 7 years, as Rolex retailers only receive 1 to 3 pieces of it each year.

Conclusion

In conclusion, certain Rolex models are incredibly difficult to find because of their limited availability and high demand. Models like the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 'Tiffany' Dial, Daytona Ref. 116500LN, Submariner Ref. 126610LN, GMT-Master II Ref. 126710BLRO, Daytona Ref. 116506, and Sky-Dweller Ref. 326934 are among the most sought-after and hardest to acquire.

If you need help finding these exclusive Rolex models, Time Source Jewelers can help. Our team is experienced in sourcing rare and collectible timepieces, including these hard-to-find Rolex models. 

Contact us today to explore our collection of luxury timepieces and how we can help you find the Rolex watch you've been searching for.