While today, only stainless steel versions of the Oyster Perpetual are available, this wasn’t always the case. Take for instance the men’s two-tone Oyster Perpetual models. Although these particular two-tone Rolex watches are no longer in production, there are a few interesting examples in the secondary market. Let’s delve into some vintage and retro references of the men’s two-tone Oyster Perpetual.
Vintage Men’s Two-Tone Oyster Perpetual Watches
The vintage men’s two-tone Oyster Perpetual ref. 100X series was a long-running collection, in production for 30 years from the 1950s well into the 1980s. The models sported a 34mm two-tone Oyster case in 14k yellow gold and stainless steel and bezels varied according to the reference numbers. The men’s two-tone Oyster Perpetual ref. 1002 includes a smooth bezel, while the more ubiquitous ref. 1005 dons a fluted bezel. There’s also the rare Rolex Zephyr ref. 1008 that includes the characteristic two-tone case, but along with an engine turned gold bezel and crosshair dial.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches are no-date time only models. Early models of the two-tone Oyster Perpetual ref. 100X series ran on the Cal. 1560 automatic mechanical movement with a frequency rate of 18,000 beats per hour. Later models came equipped with the Cal. 1570, boasting a higher frequency rate of 19,800 beats per hour. Both movements are COSC-certified, thus the dial of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual ref. 1002 and ref. 1005 carry the “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” designation.
Retro Men’s Two-Tone Oyster Perpetual Watches
Following the above vintage models, Rolex unveiled the updated five-digit men’s two-tone Oyster Perpetual in the 1990s. Although the watches retained the 34mm sized Oyster case, the yellow gold was upgraded to 18k. The men’s two-tone Oyster Perpetual ref. 14203 includes a smooth bezel while the Oyster Perpetual ref. 14233 has the fluted bezel.
Both models come along with the signature two-tone Oyster bracelet with yellow gold center links flanked by stainless steel outer links.
As a more modern Rolex watch, the Oyster Perpetual ref. 14203 and the Oyster Perpetual ref. 14233 are powered by the Rolex Caliber 3000 with a frequency rate of 28,800 beats per hour and a power reserve of 42 hours. Of course, these OP watches are indeed COSC-certified chronometers.
Rolex offered a number of dial options on the Oyster Perpetual ref. 14203 and the Oyster Perpetual ref. 14233 including 3,6, and 9 Explorer-style layouts, straightforward stick indexes, and ones with Roman numerals.
Men’s Two-Tone Oyster Perpetual Watches Prices
As Rolex no longer manufactures men’s two-tone Oyster Perpetual watches, the secondary watch market is where to source them. For vintage versions carrying the 4-digit reference numbers such as a pre-owned Rolex ref. 1005, prices start from about the mid $2,500 to about $3,500. For newer models, such as a pre-owned Rolex ref. 14203 or a used Rolex ref. 14233, expect to pay anywhere from $3,500 to $5,000 depending on condition, year, and availability of packaging and paperwork.
The men’s two-tone Oyster Perpetual watch takes a straightforward time-only Rolex watch and offers more luxury thanks to the use of yellow gold. Given its iconic Rolex design, COSC-certified movements, varied dial options, and accessible price points, these models are a great way to wear a low-key everyday luxury watch.