What Rolexes Have Been Discontinued

by Barbara

Rolex, the epitome of luxury and precision in watchmaking, has a rich history of producing iconic timepieces that have become coveted symbols of status and style. However, Rolex’s product lineup is not static; the brand periodically discontinues certain models, either to make way for new releases, meet changing consumer preferences, or maintain exclusivity. For watch enthusiasts and collectors alike, staying informed about discontinued Rolex models is essential for understanding the dynamics of the market and making informed purchasing decisions. In this comprehensive guide, we explore some of the notable Rolex models that have been discontinued over the years, shedding light on their significance, collectability, and potential as investment pieces.


Understanding Discontinued Rolex Models

Reasons for Discontinuation:

Rolex discontinues models for various reasons, including technological advancements leading to updated versions, changes in design trends, limited production runs for special editions, or strategic decisions to streamline the product lineup.


Impact on Collectability:

Discontinued Rolex models often become sought after by collectors due to their limited availability and historical significance. The rarity of these timepieces can drive up demand and prices in the secondary market, making them prized additions to watch collections.


Considerations for Buyers:

For prospective buyers, understanding which Rolex models have been discontinued can inform purchasing decisions and influence preferences. Whether seeking a vintage collectible or anticipating future investment potential, knowledge of discontinued models is invaluable.


Notable Discontinued Rolex Models

Rolex Submariner 5513:

The Rolex Submariner 5513, produced from the 1960s to the late 1980s, is an iconic diver’s watch known for its simplicity and robustness. Discontinued in favor of newer Submariner references, the 5513 has since become highly sought after by collectors for its vintage charm and historical significance.

Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” Ref. 6239:

The Rolex Daytona Ref. 6239, famously associated with actor and racing enthusiast Paul Newman, has achieved legendary status among collectors. Discontinued in the 1970s, vintage examples of the “Paul Newman” Daytona command premium prices at auctions due to their rarity and iconic design.

Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” Ref. 16710:

The Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710, featuring the iconic red and blue “Pepsi” bezel, was discontinued in the early 2000s, replaced by newer GMT-Master II models with ceramic bezels. Vintage examples of the Ref. 16710 are highly sought after by collectors for their classic design and historical significance.

Rolex Explorer II Ref. 16570:

The Rolex Explorer II Ref. 16570, characterized by its distinctive 24-hour hand and fixed bezel, was discontinued in the early 2010s. While replaced by newer Explorer II references, the Ref. 16570 remains popular among collectors for its versatile design and practicality.

Expert Insights and Recommendations

Research and Due Diligence:

Before investing in a discontinued Rolex model, conduct thorough research on its history, production details, and market value. Familiarize yourself with the nuances of each model to make informed purchasing decisions.

Consult with Experts:

Seek advice from experienced collectors, horology experts, or reputable dealers who can provide insights and guidance tailored to your collecting goals and budget. Their expertise can help you navigate the complexities of the vintage watch market and avoid potential pitfalls.


In conclusion, the world of Rolex watches is characterized by a constant evolution of models, with certain references being discontinued over time. Understanding which Rolex models have been discontinued is essential for collectors and enthusiasts alike, as it can inform purchasing decisions and influence preferences. Discontinued Rolex models often hold significant historical and collectible value, making them prized additions to watch collections and investment portfolios. By staying informed about discontinued Rolex models, conducting thorough research, and seeking expert advice, collectors can navigate the dynamic landscape of luxury timepieces with confidence and make informed decisions that align with their collecting goals and preferences.


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