What does Roger Federer, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, have in his amazing Rolex watch collection?
So Roger Federer is one of the most accomplished tennis players of all time, accumulating over 20 Grand Slam wins in his career, making him one of the greatest tennis players of all time and personally one of my favorite to watch.
I love watching the back-and-forth battles between him, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic and the three of them playing together. It truly was an unmatched era in tennis. I’m sad to see him retire, but I’m glad for the years that he gave us when he was playing.
Over the past 20 years, Roger Federer has been an ambassador for the most popular brand in the world today, Rolex. And so over time, he’s accumulated quite an impressive watch collection. Today I wanted to review many of the watches that he currently has in his collection, both new and old, and give you my feedback in terms of what I think about his collection overall.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Starting first with the Rolex Oyster Perpetual. Roger Federer has been spotted wearing a number of 41-millimeter Stella Dial OPs that reference 124300 both in the green and the yellow dial configurations.
Now, while the green still is in current production, the yellow is no longer produced and was ultimately discontinued only having a production run of a couple of years, making it actually one of the rarer modern production Rolex watches. Prices can vary on these, but in terms of the green, you’re going to be paying around $14,000, whereas, in the yellow, you’re going to be paying closer to about $20,000 in the current market today.
The OP 41 is maybe the best first Rolex to ultimately buy. I prefer it definitely over, say, for example, a Rolex Datejust. It has a lot more character, especially with these kinds of Stella dial colors which are really famous because, of course, they were featured in Rolex Day-Dates of old and now sell for big money on the secondary market.
These Stella dial colors just have so much charm to them that is so far beyond a more ubiquitous watch, especially in the configurations that weren’t produced for very long. Overall a great first introduction to Rolex and definitely a great watch for the goat of tennis, Roger Federer.
Rolex GMT Master II “Lefty”
Next is a release from Rolex that really set the watch industry a storm and got a lot of polarizing reviews, and that is the Rolex GMT Master, reference 126720VTNR. It’s the new left-handed GMT, what is known as a Destro GMT in the green and black color configuration.
Personally, I really like the colors, but I do find the fact that it has a left-sided crown to be a little bit weird, especially since I’m personally right-handed, and it was just something that came out of the blue that we never expected. I do have to commend Rolex for it because it is something just a little bit different, and most watch collectors are looking for new releases from Rolex that are a little bit inventive and that have a bit more character and spirit to them. And I think Rolex definitely does achieve that with this new model line.
While it is an unusual release, it’s not something Rolex hasn’t done before. They actually did this in the original reference GMT master, the reference 6542, which featured a number of things such as, for example, the original bakelite bezel and oyster-style bracelet.
Of course, it was the original GMT reference, but in this case, the date was actually at 3:00 versus in the newer references where they’re at 9:00, and the newer references obviously have a ceramic bezel and also have the option to put it on a Jubilee bracelet.
These older 6542 Destro GMTs are quite difficult to find and are most likely auction pieces only at this point that will fetch tons of money at auction. Ultimately I think they are cool and just have a lot of character and are so different from what we’re typically used to seeing from Rolex. Again, I really do commend this release, as I think it is something a little bit different, a little bit off the beaten path, which Rolex simply hasn’t been doing in recent years.
Now price-wise, on the secondary market, these came out of the gate super high, trading around the $40,000 to $50,000 range, which is crazy for a watch that has a retail price of around $10,000.
Nowadays they’ve settled around the high $20s to low $30s range, which I think is a lot more reasonable and I think is definitely a watch that potentially Rolex can only make for let’s say maybe one or two years and then discontinue it, just like we saw them do, for example, with the Rolex oyster perpetual in the yellow dial and the Tiffany blue dial and also the coral red.
It would be interesting to see what the future is of this Destro GMT and if Rolex will decide to discontinue it within a couple of years and ultimately buy into what I feel is the height market in that they will discontinue newer releases more rapidly to ultimately create this scarcity in the market. Overall, again, I do really like the watch and I do commend Rolex for releasing something that is a little bit different and a little more unique, which they just haven’t done a lot of in recent years.
Moving on next to Rolex’s most complicated watch, it’s the Rolex Sky-Dweller, and Roger Federer’s collection includes a few Sky-Dwellers and he has been seen with a number of different variations, my favorite being the one in steel with a blue dial, the reference 326934.
This is a watch that I feel is just absolutely beautiful and it’s really just a perfect design. It mixes complications but at the same time style in a great way. This watch is an annual calendar NAGMT from Rolex, so you’re getting the most complicated watch that Rolex currently produces in a format that I feel is actually very classy, timeless, and very versatile. It’s definitely something that you can wear every day, wear dressed up, dressed down, casually or formally. I think it really is a do anything go anywhere kind of watch.
Now the watch itself sells in the high $20,000s to mid $30,000s, depending on the year, condition, and the bracelet it’s on, the Jubilee carrying a premium just because it’s still a little bit newer and ultimately a little bit nicer, in my opinion. Any combination you go with, you really can’t go wrong.
Considering the watch retails for $15,200 and will probably require a spending history in excess of half a million dollars, the fact that it only sells at about 2X retail in my opinion makes it actually a really good deal overall. It’s a watch that is truly scarce from Rolex because it is so complicated for them to make, and so picking it up around the two times retail range in my opinion is actually quite a very good deal.
Next is the model line that takes up the most space in Roger Federer’s Rolex collection, and that is the Rolex Daytona. Roger Federer has been spotted with a number of Daytonas both new and older, which we’ll ultimately get into, starting first and foremost with the iconic 116500LN, the Panda, which is just a faultless watch.
It’s a beautiful design and has a steel case with a ceramic bezel. I absolutely love this watch and this is one that was trading around the $55,000 mark that has now depreciated to about the $30,000 to $35,000 mark depending on the year, condition, et cetera. It’s one of those great watches for a great deal considering the spending history you’ll have to dish out at an authorized dealer and the time you’ll ultimately have to wait to get it.
Next is the Rolex Daytona reference 116506, the Platinum Daytona, which features a brown ceramic bezel along with that stunning glacier blue dial. I absolutely love the watch, although I will admit that it is quite heavy overall to wear every day and makes it a bit impractical to wear. I think the design of it is just absolutely knockout.
It’s another watch that has definitely decreased in price in the current market, now trading around the $115,000 range, and ultimately I think for the price you generally can’t go wrong, again considering the retail price of around $70,000 or so thousand dollars and considering just how difficult it is to get it at retail brand new.
Next is what’s known as an off-catalog Daytona. It’s one that you won’t actually find in a Rolex catalog and is super rare and very difficult to get. It’s the reference 116588 Sacco Daytona. This features 11 baguette sapphires on the dial itself and 32 around the bezel. It features also an oyster flex bracelet, which is super comfortable in a yellow-gold case.
I think this is ultimately a watch that has a knockout design, and considering ultimately just how difficult a watch this is to get, I mean, I just can’t help but appreciate it even though personally it isn’t to my taste and style, as I’m just not a fan of gem-set watches. I simply can’t disrespect this watch just because of how difficult it is to get and truly how great of a design it looks ultimately.
This last watch in Roger Federer’s collection really is a testament not only to the fact that he’s the goat on the court but also has a goat-level collection off the court. It’s definitely an off-the-beaten-path choice and it is the Rolex Daytona reference 6263 in a particular configuration known as the Big Red Daytona.
The watch itself features a 37-millimeter stainless steel case along with a steel bracelet and is powered by a Valjoux 727 movement. This was typical for Daytonas in the 62 references and definitely is a great workhorse movement for the Daytona overall.
It’s important to note the variation in this reference. Specifically, the 6263 was released in 1971 approximately and went on to be produced into the mid-’80s. Given this long production run, you can find a number of different variations in the 6263. Some have a dial that doesn’t even have the word Daytona on it.
Some have what’s known as a small red dial, which has a red Daytona text but in a small print, or the one that Roger Federer has in his collection, which has a large red print on it. And so the word Daytona is really emphasized on the dial itself, which ultimately creates the name Big Red Daytona.
The watch also features screwed-on pushers, which is an upgrade from the original Cosmograph Daytonas from the ’60s which had pump pushers that ultimately allowed for increased water resistance for the watch overall, which has about 100 meters.
I doubt anybody will be diving with this watch on the wrist, especially considering the prices that they ultimately sell for today, which is in excess of about $120,000 for an example that is in really, really good condition that is all original, which is extremely important again, especially for vintage watch collectors.
Provenance and originality truly are everything for a watch of this magnitude, because simply put, they really didn’t make that many of them altogether despite it having a long production run. At the time, this was one of Rolex’s, if not Rolex’s most complicated watches. In terms of availability, they truly were limited just by the scale. They just couldn’t be produced in the same kind of ways that a Rolex Daytona is today.
I love the combination of both modern pieces and vintage pieces in his overall collection. He also has a number of other watches that I didn’t mention, namely Rolex Day-Dates and other variations of some of the model lines I mentioned.
I do have to say that it is a really tastefully curated collection that is definitely one that I would expect from Roger Federer, especially considering he is a Rolex ambassador and has been for the last 20 years. If I had to give him a rating, I think I would give him an overall score of about 8 out of 10. I love the inclusion of the vintage Daytona, but I would really love to see him expand out of the more modern watches that you typically see him wearing.
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