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Since its inception, Rolex has been a pioneer in creating timepieces that deliver both aesthetics and performance. From the first waterproof watch called the Oyster, to the first self-winding Perpetual movement, Rolex believed in making timepieces that were reliable, accurate, and beautiful all at the same time.
Founder Hans Wilsdorf was determined to offer women, as much as men, finely crafted and dependable timepieces. As ladies’ watches were often dainty, and served as more fragile items of jewelry on the wrist, Rolex heeded the challenge of producing smaller but just as precise movements. Beginning with the Lady-Datejust, Rolex offered the best of both worlds: an accurate chronometer watch that wears like fine jewelry.
Today, Rolex offers a wide range of ladies watches, from the classically elegant Oyster Perpetual and Datejust, to the sporty Yacht-Master, and opulent Pearlmaster, all of which offer refined glamour and technical performance. Explore our selection of Rolex ladies watches at SwissWatchExpo.com.
With their invention of the waterproof Oyster case, and the self-winding Perpetual movement, Rolex helped change the image of watches from merely time-telling instruments to reliable companions for work and play. While Rolex has mostly concentrated its efforts into making robust and reliable timepieces for different pursuits (such as the Submariner for diving, and the Daytona for racing), the brand also has a long history of creating watches for women.
Rolex began producing ladies timepieces as early as the 1920s, with many of the designs influenced by the Art Deco movement. Vintage advertisements show the Rolex Oyster watch being targeted towards women with active lifestyles. Meanwhile, Rolex emphasized the combination of glamour and precision with models like the Rolex Princess and other cocktail “wristlet” designs from the era. They also produced Oyster Perpetual models in diminutive designs, many as small as 24mm.
In 1945, they introduced the Rolex Datejust in time for Rolex’s 40th anniversary. It became the first watch to feature an automatically changing date display. With its success, Rolex unveiled the Lady-Datejust in 1957, a chronometer especially designed for women’s wrists. Just like the Datejust, it was certified for accuracy and featured the ingenious date display.
The ladies Oyster Perpetual soon followed in 1964. From the 1960s to the 1980s, Rolex continued to produce these models alongside Cellini cocktail watches for ladies. By 1992, Rolex launched the Pearlmaster, a line of dress watches made exclusively for women. The Yacht-Master, launched in the same year, also came in 29mm case sizes suited for women’s wrists.
More recently, Rolex has upsized their women’s watches. From 26mm, the smallest ladies watches now available are the Oyster Perpetual and Lady-Datejust in 28mm case sizes.
From their larger tool watches, all the way to their dainty ladies timepieces, Rolex’s commitment to quality lives on.
Milestones in the history of Ladies Rolex Watches
1920s – Rolex produces ladies timepieces influenced by Art Deco design
1927 – Rolex releases advertisements geared towards women. Mercedes Gleitze becomes the first female Rolex testimonee. She swims the English channel with a Rolex Oyster
1930s – Rolex wristwatches emphasize their combined glamour and precision in advertisements
1957 – With the success of the Datejust, Rolex creates a version for women – the Lady-Datejust
1964 – Rolex launches the first ladies Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch
1992 – The Rolex Yachtmaster and Pearlmaster are introduced. The Pearlmaster becomes the first Rolex collection targeted towards women, while the Yachtmaster becomes the first Rolex sports watch with a 29mm ladies size
1998 – The smallest Rolex Oyster Perpetual increases in size, from 24mm to 26mm
2015 – The smallest Lady-Datejust also increases in size, from 26mm to 28mm
Rolex is top of mind for tool and luxury watches such as the Submariner, GMT-Master, and the Daytona, but the Swiss brand also has a range of ladies watches that are just as reliable and well-designed. Here are the Rolex collections with models especially designed for women.
Introduced in 1957, the Lady-Datejust is the women’s version of the iconic Datejust. It benefits from the same groundbreaking features, namely: the automatically changing date function, the water resistant Oyster case, and the elegant Jubilee bracelet. From the traditional 36mm size of the Datejust, they shaved off 10mm to create a slender profile.
The Lady-Datejust has been in continuous production since then, and has even gone on to become the best-selling watch of Rolex. Just like the Datejust, the Lady-Datejust offers a vast range of metals and metal combinations, dial and bezel designs, bracelet types, as well as embellishments.
To keep up with modern tastes, the Lady-Datejust grew in size for the first time. From 26mm, the smallest model is now 28mm. There is also a 31mm Midsize that’s classified as women’s Datejust. Additionally, women have also grown fond of wearing the 36mm Datejust, even though it has been marketed towards men.
Current editions of the Rolex Lady-Datejust are powered by the Caliber 2235 which is COSC-certified and Superlative Chronometer-rated. It features a 55-hour power reserve and a Quickset date which lets the wearer adjust the date display independently from the hands.
Rolex Lady-Datejust Options:
Lady-Datejust 26 (discontinued)
Datejust Midsize 31
Full 18k gold (yellow, white, and Everose
Two-tone (steel with gold)
Jubilee (five-piece links)
Oyster (three-piece flat links)
President (three-piece circular links)
ROLEX OYSTER PERPETUAL LADIES
Introduced in 1950, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual collection offers the quintessential Rolex watch. Boasting Rolex’s Oyster case and Perpetual self-winding movement, Oyster Perpetual watches are characterized by simple, time-only dials and stainless steel construction. While there were some Oyster Perpetual models made in gold and two-tone finishes, modern editions are exclusively crafted in steel, emphasizing its position as an entry-level, purist’s Rolex.
It was in 1964 that Rolex first offered the ladies’ Oyster Perpetual in a 26mm case. In 2020, the range was revamped to offer a total of 5 sizes: 26mm, 31mm, 34mm, 36mm, and 41mm, with the first three sizes geared towards women. The three-handed models also come with a wider range of dial colors, from silver, black, and blue, to brighter shades like candy pink, turquoise, and coral red.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Ladies Options:
Oyster Perpetual 26
Oyster Perpetual 31
Oyster Perpetual 34
Oyster Perpetual 36
Bezel: Smooth domed steel bezel
Bracelet: Oyster bracelet
The Rolex Cellini collection is the brand’s line of dress watches. While Rolex had created Art Deco-inspired “tuxedo” watches as early as the 1920s, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the collection was formed. While Rolex’s tool watches flourished during this era, they also hoped to establish the brand as a maker of luxury timepieces, and the Cellini, as a catch-all for their formal watches, helped cement this reputation.
The Cellini collection also became a venue for Rolex’s creativity, with its watches deviating from the Oyster case, and coming in a vast assortment of case shapes. From the 1980s until the early 2000s, Rolex produced women’s watches under the Cellini line as follows:
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Ladies Options:
Cellini Classic – a simple round watch in yellow or white gold, with a slim profile and Roman numerals
Cellini Octagonal – a slim watch with an eight-sided case and an integrated bracelet
Cellini Cellissima – round or oblong watches with double rows of diamonds on the bezel
Cellini Orchid – round or oblong cocktail watches embellished with pavé diamonds on the bezel and often with dressy link bracelets
Cellini Cestello – cushion-shaped watches with hinged lugs
In 2014, these were all phased out to make way for the modern Cellini range, which consisted of 39mm dress watches with a coherent look. As of 2023, the Cellini is no longer offered in the Rolex catalog, but remains available in the secondary market.
The Rolex Pearlmaster was introduced in 1992 as a slightly larger and more grandiose take on the Datejust. The exclusive range of ladies watches comes exclusively in gold and with generous helpings of diamonds, sapphires, and rubies to up its luxury quotient. It also came with an exclusive Pearlmaster bracelet, which features flat, rounded five-piece links with a polished surface, and enclosed with a concealed Crownclasp.
The first generation of Rolex Pearlmaster watches came in 29mm and 34mm sizes. In 2015, Rolex discontinued the 29mm edition and added a 39mm size, which also made the collection a unisex range. Additionally, a platinum model was added in the same year.
The Pearlmaster 34 is powered by Caliber 2235, while the Pearlmaster 39 has the Caliber 3235. Both watches are COSC-certified and boast Rolex’s Superlative Chronometer certification, which guarantees an accuracy of -2/+2 seconds per day.
The entire Rolex Pearlmaster collection has been discontinued as of 2022, but is still available in the pre-owned market.
Rolex Pearlmaster Ladies Options:
Bezel: Smooth precious metal bezel or diamond-embellished bezel
Bracelet: Pearlmaster bracelet
For many decades, most of Rolex’s offerings for women were dress watches, and in 1992 the Yacht-Master changed that. The Yacht-Master is a more luxurious take on the Submariner, expressed with a gold or platinum bi-directional bezel and flashier design.
It was the first Rolex sports watch that became available in three sizes: 40mm, a mid-sized 35mm, and a 29mm ladies version. Earlier models of the Yacht-Master came in solid yellow gold, two-tone steel and gold, and Rolesium – a blend of stainless steel on the case and bracelet, and a sandblasted platinum bezel.
In the middle of the 2010s, Rolex updated the Yacht-Master collection. The 29mm and 35mm editions were replaced with a 37mm unisex size. Moreover, Rolex phased out the solid gold and two-tone steel and yellow gold editions in favor of Everose gold and two-tone steel and Everose gold. The solid Everose gold edition also comes with an Oysterflex bracelet, Rolex’s patented rubber strap with a titanium-nickel frame within.
By 2019, the Yacht-Master became available in 42mm editions – first in 18k white gold, and later on in yellow gold.
The current Rolex Yacht-Master range offers the 37mm size for ladies. Within, it is powered by the Caliber 2236, a Superlative Chronometer movement that runs on 55 hours of power reserve.
Rolex Yacht-Master Ladies Options:
Sizes and Metals:
Yacht-Master 29 in yellow gold, yellow gold and steel, and Rolesium (discontinued)
Yacht-Master 35 in yellow gold, yellow gold and steel, and Rolesium (discontinued)
Yacht-Master 37 in Everose gold, Everose gold and steel, and Rolesium
Rolex has made a name for itself with equally beautiful and reliable timepieces for both men and women. If you are looking for smaller wristwatches that do not sacrifice technical functions, Rolex has a wide range of models available. Here are the most commonly asked questions about Rolex ladies’ watches:
The Rolex Datejust, first introduced in 1945, continues to remain in production and with good reason. Aside from its classically elegant design, the range offers a wide range of sizes, metals, dial colors, and bracelet options that one won’t be hard pressed to find a style that suits their taste. For this reason, it is Rolex’s best-selling range, even outselling many of the brand’s famous sports watches. With such demand, ladies Rolex Datejust watches are poised to keep their value, and are your best bet if you are looking to sell your timepiece down the line.
With the exception of Cellini watches, Rolex ladies watches come in Oyster cases. With Rolex’s patented hermetic case structure, where the bezel, case back, and crystal are screwed down against the middle case, these watches are guaranteed water resistant to 100 meters of 330 feet.
As an expression of both jewelry- and watchmaking, the Rolex Pearlmaster is exclusively crafted in solid gold or platinum and is often embellished with gems. For this reason, it is the most expensive line among Rolex ladies’ watches. It was discontinued in 2022 but remains available in the secondary market.