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In recent years, Rolex has been tinkering with its watch case sizes, adding a millimeter or two here and there. With all these changes, we thought it’d be worth having a comprehensive look at all the Rolex watch sizes available across its collections. You may be surprised at just how many different Rolex sizes are out there! From vintage references and discontinued models to current watches, welcome to the complete guide to Rolex sizes.

A Complete Guide to Rolex Sizes
A Complete Guide to Rolex Sizes

44mm Rolex Watches

44mm is the largest case size offered in Rolex’s lineup and only two models have them: the Yacht-Master II regatta chronograph and Deepsea diving watch.

Rolex introduced the the Yacht-Master II in 2007, fitted with a regatta chronograph for competitive sailors. The 44mm Yacht-Master case is available in a range of materials including steel, yellow gold, or two-tone steel and Everose gold–all topped with a bright blue Cerachrom ceramic bezel. There’s also the white gold version with a platinum bezel.

Yacht-Master II

The Deepsea made its debut in 2008 and at the time, it was the largest Rolex watch ever made. Built to withstand the pressure at 12,800 feet deep into the ocean, the Deepsea’s 44m case is fashioned from stainless steel (with a titanium caseback) and it sports a black Cerachrom cerachrom bezel.

Deepsea Sea-Dweller

43mm Rolex Watches

The newest size to join the Rolex catalog, there’s currently only one model with a 43mm case: the latest Sea-Dweller. When Rolex released the newest Sea-Dweller in 2017, it discontinued the 40mm versions in favor of this larger case size.

Rolex Anniversary Sea-Dweller 126600
Sea-Dweller

The two versions of the Sea-Dweller 43 include the full stainless steel version and the two-tone steel and yellow gold version, both featuring black Cerachrom ceramic bezels.

42mm Rolex Watches

The three Rolex watches that come with 42mm sized cases include the Explorer II, the Sky-Dweller, and the Yacht-Master 42.

First introduced in 1971, the Explorer II’s case size has evolved a few times over the decades. To celebrate the model’s 40th anniversary in 2011, Rolex released the largest Explorer II ever made, featuring a 42mm case. As is tradition for the collection, the 42mm Explorer II is exclusively available in stainless steel and includes a 24-hour engraved steel bezel.

Explorer II

The Sky-Dweller annual calendar watch is Rolex’s newest model, first released in 2012. It is also Rolex’s largest dress watch, fitted with a 42mm case and a prominent fluted bezel. The Sky-Dweller case is available in a variety of materials such as yellow gold, white gold, Everose gold, two-tone steel and yellow gold, and steel with a white gold bezel.

Sky-Dweller

The Yacht-Master nautical watch has always come in a variety of sizes and in 2019, Rolex released the largest version yet with a 42mm case. The Yacht-Master 42 is exclusively available with a white gold case equipped with a matte black Cerachrom bezel.

Yacht-Master 42

41mm Rolex Watches

There are quite a few models that fall into the 41mm Rolex case size range. There are the discontinued Day-Date II and Datejust II watches, the current Datejust 41 watches, and the brand new Submariner 41 and Oyster Perpetual 41.

In 2008, Rolex released a larger version of its prestigious Day-Date “President” watch with a 41mm case instead of the traditional 36mm. It was called the Day-Date II and like all other Rolex President watches, it’s exclusively available in gold or platinum. The Day-Date II came to an end in 2015 when Rolex replaced it with the slightly smaller Day-Date 40.

Rolex Day-Date II President ref. 218235
Day-Date II

Rolex took a similar approach to the Datejust lineup by launching the Datejust II with a larger-than-ever 41mm case in 2009 to site alongside the classic Datejust 36. As is the norm for this particular model, the Datejust II was available in a slew of material and bezel options, ranging from simpler steel models with smooth bezels to two-tone versions with gold fluted bezels. Following in the footsteps of the discontinued Day-Date II, the Datejust II was also replaced by a revamped model (called the Datejust 41) in 2016. As its name suggests, the Datejust 41 is fitted with a 41mm case, which is the same measurement as the Datejust II but with some notable differences. The overall style of the Datejust 41 is more refined compared to the sportier Datejust II thanks to slimmer lugs, a thinner bezel, and smaller hour markers.

Datejust II

The Oyster Perpetual has always been one of the most varied in terms of Rolex sizes and in 2020 a brand new size joined the collection–the Oyster Perpetual 41. The Oyster Perpetual 41 supplanted the Oyster Perpetual 39 as the largest option in the collection and like all modern OP watches, it is crafted from stainless steel and has a smooth bezel.

2020 also brought about big changes for Rolex’s flagship dive watch when the brand announced an entirely new Submariner collection. Rather than its once-traditional 40mm case, the new Submariner watches all feature slightly larger 41mm cases–still topped with Cerachrom ceramic bezels. In addition to the 1mm increase, the lugs have been slimmed down, the bracelet widened by 1mm, and the crown guards were shaved down a tad, which results in a profile more similar to classic pre- “Super Case” Submariners. The Submariner 41 is only available in stainless steel while the Submariner Date offers a choice of stainless steel (black or green bezel), two-tone steel/yellow gold (black or blue bezel, yellow gold (black or blue bezel), or white gold (blue bezel).

Submariner Date 41

40mm Rolex Watches

One of the most common sizes in the brand’s collection, 40mm has been the go-to diameter for Rolex sports watches like the Submariner, GMT-Master, Sea-Dweller, Daytona, and Yacht-Master. What’s more, other Rolex models, such as the Air-King, Milgauss, and Day-Date, that were traditionally smaller have now adopted the 40mm case size.

Once Rolex introduced crown guards to the Submariner watch in 1959, the case size of the watch grew to 40mm (it was previously 38mm). For the next six decades, the Submariner always had a 40mm case. The no-date Submariner has always been exclusively in stainless steel. On the other hand, the stainless steel Submariner Date was eventually joined by gold (first yellow, then white) and two-tone Submariner Date variants along the way. Depending on the era, a 40mm Submariner can either have an aluminum bezel insert or a Cerachrom ceramic bezel. The Cerachrom Submariner 40 watches are noted for having the “Super Case,” which wears bigger thanks to thick lugs and broad crown guards.

Rolex Submariner with Ceramic Bezels
Submariner 40

Similarly, when Rolex introduced crown guards to the GMT-Master in 1959, the watch also grew to 40mm from 38mm. Since then, the GMT-Master (and the succeeding GMT-Master II) have always featured 40mm cases. All 40mm GMT-Master watches have aluminum bezels and cases can be made from stainless steel, yellow gold, or two-tone yellow gold/stainless steel. Conversely, GMT-Master II watches used to come equipped with aluminum bezels but they now feature Cerahcrom ones. Rolex once offered yellow gold and two-tone yellow gold/stainless steel GMT-Master II watches but these options have been discontinued. Instead, the 40mm cases of the GMT-Master II watches are now available in steel, white gold, Everose gold, or two-tone Everose gold/steel.

GMT-Master II

When the Sea-Dweller was first introduced in 1967, it featured the same 40mm case size of the Submariner of the era. However, as a tool watch for saturation divers, the Sea-Dweller was equipped with a Helium Escape Valve and boasted a water depth rating of 610 meters (compared to the 200-meter rating of the Submariner at that time.) Rolex continued to make the Sea-Dweller with a stainless steel 40mm case (first with aluminum bezels then with Cerachrom ones) until the Sea-Dweller 40 was discontinued to make way for the Sea-Dweller 43 in 2017.

Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 16600
Sea-Dweller 40

The second and third generation of the Explorer II watch featured 40mm cases. These two references were produced from 1985 until 2011 and they all sport stainless steel cases and metal bezels engraved with a 24-hour scale.

Explorer II ref. 16570 "Polar" with SuperLuminova for lume
Explorer II 40

While the Daytona began its life as a manual-winding chronograph with a 37mm case, in 1988 Rolex revamped the model and launched the automatic Daytona with a 40mm case. The Daytona has since retained the 40mm case size and over the last three decades, Rolex has expanded the collection to include steel, yellow gold, white gold, Everose gold, platinum, and two-tone steel/yellow models. Furthermore, there are Daytona watches with metal bezels or Cerachrom ceramic bezels–all featuring a tachymeter scale.

hottest luxury watches of the decade
Daytona

When Rolex released the first Yacht-Master watch in 1992, it featured a 40mm case in full yellow gold with a matching yellow gold bezel. While other sizes have since joined the Yacht-Master collection, the Yacht-Master 40 remains the most popular choice. Discontinued 40mm Yacht-Master editions include the yellow gold and the two-tone stainless steel/yellow gold variants while current versions include the stainless steel with a platinum bezel, the Everose gold, and the two-tone steel and Everose gold models.

Yacht-Master 40

Though the Milgauss antimagnetic watch has a history that dates back to the mid-1950s, Rolex discontinued the model in 1988. However, in 2007, the Milgauss returned. Restyled for the modern era, the contemporary Milgauss is still only available in stainless steel but features a larger 40mm case. As its name suggests, the Milgauss is antimagnetic to 1,000 (mille in French) gauss (a unit used to measure magnetism).

The Modern Rolex Milgauss 116400
Milgauss

The Air-King is another Rolex watch with a long history that has undergone a restyling for the modern era. Leaving behind its petite 34mm case behind, the new-generation Air-King is equipped with a 40mm steel case, a smooth bezel, and a black dial punctuated with colorful green and yellow accents.

History and Evolution of the Rolex Air-King
Air-King 40

The largest current-production Rolex President watch is the Day-Date 40, which debuted in 2015 to replace the 41mm Day-Date II. The 40mm case of the Day-Date 40 is available in yellow gold, white gold, Everose gold, and platinum. The gold variants are offered with a fluted bezel or a diamond-set bezel while the platinum version is offered with a smooth bezel or a diamond-set bezel.

Rolex Presidential Day-Date 40
Day-Date 40

39mm Rolex Watches

From dress watches like the Day-Date Masterpiece and Pearlmaster to sports watches like the Explorer and Explorer II to daily watches like the Oyster Perpetual, 39mm Rolex watches come in a variety of styles.

Though current versions are much bigger, the Explorer II started out as a 39mm watch when it was presented in 1971. The 39mm Explorer II featured a steel case with a 24-hour engraved steel bezel and it was produced until 1985. The original Explorer II reference is a highly collectible vintage Rolex watch that’s often nicknamed the “Steve McQueen.”

Explorer II

Relatively unknown compared to the classic Day-Date “President,” the special-edition Day-Date Masterpiece is a combination of a 39mm Day-Date case and a five-link Pearlmaster bracelet. It was only produced for a short while in the early 2000s and like all Day-Date watches, it was strictly made in precious metals.

What is the Rolex Day-Date Masterpiece Watch?
Day-Date Masterpiece

In 2010, Rolex’s longest-running sports watch, the Explorer, underwent a major change when its case size grew to 39mm from its traditional 36mm case. Despite its larger dimensions, the Explorer 39 is still instantly recognizable thanks to its stainless steel construction, smooth bezel, and black dial with oversized 3/6/9 Arabic numerals.

Rolex Explorer
Explorer

In 2015, a new 39mm size was added to the Oyster Perpetual collection. The Oyster Perpetual 39 was the largest model available until 2020 when it was replaced by the Oyster Perpetual 41. Like all modern versions, the Oyster Perpetual 39 was only made in stainless steel and featured a smooth bezel.

The Oyster Perpetual 39 ref. 114300 with a black dial
Oyster Perpetual 36

2015 also saw the addition of a larger Pearlmaster model with a 39mm case. The defining characteristics of Pearlmaster is its precious metal construction, diamond embellishments, and of course, the curvy five-link Pearlmaster bracelet. The Pearlmaster 39 remains in the current Rolex collection and is one of the priciest watches made by the brand.

38mm Rolex Watches

  • Rolex Submariner (early vintage models)
  • Rolex GMT-Master (early vintage models)
  • Rolex Milgauss (vintage)

Rolex currently doesn’t make any 38mm watches but two of its most famous sports watches, the Submariner and the GMT-Master, began as 38mm watches. The earliest Submariners and GMT-Masters with 38mm cases were made from the mid to late 1950s and do not include crown guards. These are some of the most collectible vintage Rolex watches in today’s market.

The Milgauss antimagnetic watch also originally came with a 38mm stainless steel case when it was released in 1956. The Milgauss retained the 38mm case size (always in steel) throughout several references until it was shelved in 1988.

37mm Rolex Watches

Like the Submariner and GMT-Master, the Daytona also began as a smaller watch than today’s versions. Vintage Daytona chronographs, which were produced from 1963 until 1988, have 37mm cases (in steel or yellow gold, with metal or acrylic bezels) that house the manual movements that power the watches. These are by far the most sought after vintage Rolex watches in the collector’s market.

Vintage Rolex Daytona "Big Red" 6265 with a Panda dial
Vintage Daytona

In 2015, Rolex unveiled a never-before-seen 37mm Yacht-Master size. The Yacht-Master 37 replaces the now-discontinued Yacht-Master 35 and Yacht-Master 29 as the smallest option within the collection. It is available in Everose gold with a black Cerachrom bezel, in stainless steel with a platinum bezel, or in two-tone steel and Everose gold with an Everose gold bezel.

36mm Rolex Watches

It’s hard to believe but it wasn’t that long ago that 36mm was the largest size option for non-sport Rolex watches like the Datejust, Day-Date, and Oyster Perpetual. And the Explorer had a 36mm for most of its history.

The Oyster Perpetual is the watch that established Rolex as a watchmaking force due to its appealing combination of a waterproof case (Oyster) and an automatic movement (Perpetual). It dates back to the 1930s and has served as the blueprint for most Rolex watches throughout the company’s illustrious history. The Oyster Perpetual has come in a bevy of sizes and metals throughout the decades. Today, it is exclusively produced in stainless steel and is considered Rolex’s entry-level model. The Oyster Perpetual 36 is one of many sizes available within the current OP collection.

Oyster Perpetual 36

The Datejust was released in 1945 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Rolex brand. It was the first automatic wristwatch to have a window on the dial to indicate the date and it came with a 36mm case. More than 75 years later, the 36mm Datejust is still at the heart of the collection–available in a dizzying assortment of metals and bezel styles–but it has since been joined by both smaller and larger sizes.

Two-Tone Datejust with Jubilee Dial
Datejust 36

The Day-Date launched in 1956 as the first automatic wristwatch to display the date and the day of the week spelled out in full in a window on the dial. It is now more commonly known as the Rolex President watch thanks in part to its iconic President bracelet but also because it is the watch you’re most likely to see on the wrist of the world’s most powerful people. It too came with a 36mm size case, but unlike the Datejust, the Day-Date has only ever been available in either gold or platinum. The Day-Date 36 is now the smallest Presidential watch available in Rolex’s lineup.

Day-Date 36

Rolex Sizes Smaller Than 36mm

Rolex watches with cases smaller than 36mm are generally categorized as midsize watches and ladies watches. The Rolex watches that offer models in these smaller size options include the Yacht-Master, the Air-King, the Datejust, the Date, the Pearlmaster, and the Oyster Perpetual. Some of these models have been discontiued while others are currently being produced by Rolex.

  • Air-King 35mm (discontinued)
  • Yacht-Master 35mm (discontinued)
  • Air-King 34mm (discontinued)
  • Date 34mm
  • Oyster Perpetual 34
  • Pearlmaster 34
  • Date 31 (discontinued)
  • Datejust 31mm
  • Oyster Perpetual 31
  • Pearlmaster 29 (discontinued)
  • Yacht-Master 29 (discontinued)
  • Lady-Datejust 28mm
  • Oyster Perpetual 28
  • Lady-Datejust 26mm (discontinued)
  • Date 26 (discontinued)
  • Oyster Perpetual 26 (discontinued)
  • Oyster Perpetual 24 (discontinued)

A Slew of Rolex Sizes

It’s evident that Rolex sizes have generally become larger in recent years. Some models have been entirely replaced by bigger versions, some collections have welcomed larger options, and some entirely new watches have come with generously-sized cases.

Explaining Rolex Watch Models
Rolex Sizes

Yet, there are still plenty of smaller options for those who want them–particularly in the pre-owned watch market. In short, from petite to large, there is a perfect Rolex size for any wrist.

Written by

Celine Simon

Celine is a freelance luxury watch writer who has enjoyed working in the horology industry for over ten years. Like many of the high-end timepieces she writes about, she comes from Switzerland—the heart of fine watchmaking. From Singapore to Montreal to Geneva to Dubai, Celine has lived all over the world but now calls Southern California home.