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As far back as 1926, Rolex invented the very first waterproof wristwatch – aptly named the Oyster – which has evolved over time while remaining one of the brand’s most recognized and popular watches. In 1931, Rolex patented a self-winding watch movement – one of the first movements to be automatically wound simply through the weight and movement of the wearer’s wrist. Hence the name “perpetual”, as the movement would be perpetually wound – thus creating the Oyster Perpetual (OP). This watch introduced to the world of watchmaking a new era of convenience and functionality. Decades later in 1964, the first Ladies Oyster Perpetual was introduced.

A list of reference numbers for the Oyster Perpetual collection is as follows: 14233M, 14208M, 14203M, 14238, 14208, 14203, 6634, 6623, 6605, 6590, 6584, 6582, 6580, 6569, 6567, 6565, 6564, 6556, 6552, 6551, 6549, 6548, 6546, 6532, 6518, 6284, 6202, 6177, 6103, 6085, 5500, 1565, 1501, 1500, 1038, 1030, 1025, 1024, 1023, 1018, 1014, 1010, 1008, 1007, 1006, 1005, 1004, 1003, 1002

Ladies Oyster Perpetual: 761833, 176210, 176200, 79193, 77518, 76243, 76198, 76193, 76188, 76183, 76180, 76094, 76080, 76030, 67243, 67230, 67198, 67197, 67194, 67193, 67180, 6724, 6723, 6719, 6718

Along with its new 2020 line up of watches, Rolex introduced a whole new colorful array of next generation Oyster Perpetual timepieces. Included in this new generation are 5 different case sizes – 28mm, 31mm, 34mm, 36mm, and 41mm – which come available in a variety of vivid dial colors including coral red, green, yellow, bright blue, candy pink, turquoise (or “Tiffany blue”), silver, and black. The two larger size watches, the 36mm and 41mm Oyster Perpetual, both come equipped with the new caliber 3230 movement that gives them an impressive 70-hour power reserve. The other sizes are all made with the caliber 2232, which gives them a 55-hour power reserve. Both power reserves are impressive and set a high standard for the OP – a watch considered to be an “entry level” Rolex.

Every model has its own set of signs and tells of authenticity, or lack thereof. Aside from trusting that the source you’re buying from is credible and vetted for, some signs to look for include:

  • The movement of the seconds hand should be a smooth sweeping motion – as the Oyster Perpetual has an automatic movement. If the seconds hand appears to be moving in a ticking motion, it is worth a closer inspection as this usually indicates a quartz movement – a less expensive movement that many counterfeits are made with to save on manufacturing costs.
  • Another indicator of a watch’s authenticity is its inner functioning. The best way to get a feel for this without actually opening up the watch is to hold it up to your ear and listen for any ticking sound. If you hear ticking, the watch likely has a quartz movement – and is more than likely fake. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch has a perpetual automatic movement, which is absolutely sound-less.
  • The weight of a watch is another usual giveaway of whether it is real or fake. A real Rolex watch is generally heavier in weight, as it is made with quality materials that generally weigh significantly more. If a watch is lighter than usual, and seems to be made of shoddier material, it is likely a replica and worth further inspection and authentication.

These are the most obvious and easy-to-tell signs for the naked eye (and ear) for how to spot a fake Rolex Oyster Perpetual. For a more detailed breakdown of some other ways to tell between a real and fake Rolex, check out our “How to Spot a Fake Rolex” blog.  As a list of signs and tells will vary significantly from watch to watch, it is highly recommended to have your watch officially authenticated by a trustworthy watchmaker or brand service provider to eliminate any and all doubts.

Among the newest 2020 releases of the Oyster Perpetual collection, the retail prices range from $5,100 for the 28mm ref. 276200 to $5,900 for the 41mm ref. 124300. As far as the secondary market, not only does the Oyster Perpetual hold its value well, its growth rate has also risen in the last several years – with the annual gain in value amounting to about 1.9% in recent years. Therefore, buying a pre-owned Rolex Oyster Perpetual for a price near its market value, you are likely to achieve a higher return value – which makes a well-maintained pre-owned OP, ideally with original papers and box, a sensible investment choice.

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch has a perpetual automatic movement (hence its name). As mentioned above, this movement should make no sound. If you hold an OP watch up to your ear and hear any ticking sounds, the watch likely has a quartz movement instead of an automatic movement – and is probably not an authentic Rolex watch.

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