3 Rolex collaborations you need to know about, according to a Rolex expert

Watch expert shares his favourite Rolex collaborations and why they make excellent investments

Rolex GMT-Master II
(Image credit: Rolex)

It can be difficult to talk about watch trends, as investing in one of the best watches is completely subjective and unique to your personal style. That being said, watchmaking is a trends-based industry, and a recent underlying theme is watch collaborations.

Whether it’s between two watch manufacturers or a watchmaker joining forces with a celebrity, film or retailer, collaborative timepieces are a rarity for Rolex. One of the most popular watch brands on the market, Rolex collaborations are few and far between, but the manufacturer does have a select few that have become serious investment pieces.

To understand more about Rolex and its rare collaborations, I spoke to Rolex expert, Danny Shahid from Diamond Watches London who highlighted three of his favourite Rolex collaborations, how they’re appearing to become more frequent and why they make amazing investments.

Dominos Rolex

A unique and surprising collaboration from Rolex is the ‘Dominos Rolex’. Shahid explains that the Dominos Rolex is “simply a special Oyster Perpetual or Air-King which would be awarded to the franchisee of a Dominos store that hit specific sales targets.”

Dominos Rolex

(Image credit: Diamond Watches London)

The watch was created as an incentive by Dominos’ founder Tom Managhan in the 1980s, and would come with “either the Dominos logo stamped on the dial, engraved on the caseback or stuck onto the bracelet via a pin. While not a traditional collaboration, these watches have recently become very sought after, and illustrate how much interest can be generated when a watch is perceived as a collaboration.”

Rolex Daytona Le Mans

In 2023, Rolex celebrated Le Mans’ 100th anniversary with a limited edition Daytona in 18-karat white gold. The watch, which was discontinued at Watches and Wonders 2024, featured a Paul Newman inspired dial design and a red-black ceramic bezel.

This exclusive watch was extremely limited in stock, but as Shahid explains, it was the most sought-after collaborative watch that Rolex has ever released. “Those who were lucky enough to get their hands on one for its retail price of just $51,400 have been able to sell their examples on the open market for north of $300,000, showcasing the desirability of these collaborative pieces.”

After the discontinuation of this special Daytona Le Mans, the brand released a version in 18-karat yellow gold, and many other Daytona timepieces have a similar design to the Le Mans variant. For example, the “Baby Le Mans with the ref. 126529LN is a regular production white gold black dial Daytona that’s jumped in demand and price,” explains Shahid.

Vienna Philharmonic Day-Date

At the start of 2024, Rolex launched the Vienna Philharmonic Day-Date to celebrate its 15-year partnership with the orchestra. The watch showcased a green dial with an ornate violin design, achieved through the champlevé method of grand feu enameling.

Rolex Vienna Philharmonic Day Date

(Image credit: Diamond Watches London)

With the level of detail displayed on the Vienna Philharmonic Day-Date, it’s completely unlike any other modern Rolex collaboration. Shahid states that “this watch, which probably retails for the mid $40,000s (it hasn't been officially announced), has a market value of around $90,000, which highlights the value and potential that Rolex has to unlock through these collaborative models.”

Rolex collaborations: what to expect in the future

While Rolex watch collaborations are still rare, it’s exciting to see that two of the watch releases mentioned above are from the past couple years. With this in mind, Shahid believes that Rolex is beginning to explore the idea of collaborating more frequently, keeping the brand in line and in competition with other manufacturers.

What collaboration we can expect to see next from Rolex is still ‘hush hush’ but Shahid says that “these collaboration watches are serious investment pieces if you can get your hands on one from an authorised dealer.”

Danny Shahid is a luxury watch expert at Diamond Watches London (DWL). DWL has more than 16 years of experience in sourcing rare and big name watches, and the flagship shop is located in Mayfair’s exclusive Burlington Arcade.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!