The original Rolex Oyster watch was introduced in 1926 as the first waterproof watch. The “Oyster” namesake comes from the notoriously difficult-to-open shell of an oyster. This tightly sealed case was an innovation from Rolex that was one of the biggest building blocks off of which their reputation was built. At this time in watchmaking history, the idea of a water-resistant watch was exactly that - just an idea. Rolex proved with their Oyster case that there was indeed a way to effectively waterproof a watch. This first Oyster model was famously worn by Mercedes Gleitze when she swam the English Channel, which helped prove the reliability of these cases. The “perpetual” designation comes from Rolex’s own automatic winding system. They were the first company to use a rotor to automatically wind the movement, thus making the movement “perpetually” wound. Rolex built just about all of their watches using this Oyster case and Perpetual winding system as a foundation.
There a few key elements that make the Oyster Perpetual so desired by both watch enthusiasts and “lay-people” alike. The Oyster Perpetual is an especially versatile piece. The proven Oyster case and reliable movement make the watch durable-enough to withstand swimming and daily knocks, and the clean, balanced dial allows the watch to look great in formal settings or casual wear. There is also incredible variety when it comes to the OP. As far as sizing goes, there is definitely a model to fit your wrist with available diameters of 26, 31, 34, 36, and 39mm. And with an excess of dial colors and configurations, you are bound to find a variant to fit your style and needs. Lastly, the Oyster Perpetuals are priced as one of the entry-level watches in the catalog, which is ideal for collectors to be able to add such a historically important piece to their collections at such an accessible price point.
There is great value when it comes to Oyster Perpetual models on the pre-owned market. The OPs at retail price are already a decent value, but the prices are even better on the secondary market. There is also a tremendous amount of variety on the pre-owned market. Many Oyster Perpetual models have been released over the years between the different sizes and color options. The authorized deals will have the most recent releases in stock, but there are still so many models to discover and enjoy on the pre-owned side. If you are looking to add an Oyster Perpetual to your collection, Watchbox’s global inventory is the best place to start your search!
The Oyster Perpetual, frequently called the “OP” for short, is as classic as it gets from Rolex. Due to the simple, time-only nature of the Oyster Perpetual, these models are often described as having “everything you need and nothing you don’t” in a wristwatch. With the Oyster case and rock-solid movement, the OP beautifully embodies the core values that Rolex was founded on, water resistance and movement reliability. The stick hour hands and applied crown marquee on the dial is the traditional Rolex aesthetic that has been around since their earliest models.