List vs. Ask: Comparing Steel Replica Rolex Prices at Retail to Prices on the Secondary Market

It is no secret that many watches within Replica Rolex’s steel range can be difficult to come by at retail prices. With wait lists stretching for weeks to months to even years, depending on the dealer and the model reference, many collectors are now turning to watch resellers and the grey market to cut their wait time significantly.

Rolex Air-King (+13.34% and Up)
we looked at was the Rolex Air-King Ref. 116900. The modern Air-King is usually a love-it-or-don’t model within the Rolex catalog, but at the end of the day it is still a production member of the most in-demand luxury brand in the world, and its price mark-ups reflect that.

As of this writing, the Air-King can be found on Chrono24 for $7,375 and on WatchBox for $8,250, the first up 13.34% and the second 27.91% from the retail listing of $6,450.

Rolex Explorer (+13.74% and Above)

Like the Milgauss and Air-King, the Rolex Explorer is a time-only classic presented by the Rolex brand. The modern production reference is 214270, and it is currently listed by Rolex at $6,550.

Despite the entry-level pricing (at least in terms of a Rolex), the Explorer’s historical link to mountain scaling and adventure draws it a slightly higher premium in terms of percentage gained, at least in comparison to the Air-King. Currently, Chrono24 lists the watch at $7,495 — a gain of 14.43% — and WatchBox lists it at $7,450, a gain of 13.74%.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (+101.1% and Above)

The final model on our list is none other than the iconic Cosmograph Daytona, one of the most in-demand Rolex watches since its contemporary debut in 2016 with the Reference 116500LN. Recalling the famed vintage variation “Paul Newman” Daytonas which so often drive massive premiums at auction, the modern-production Daytona has swiftly become a contemporary classic in the four years since its initial release.


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