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Bulgari Lucea 102690 New Steel 28mm Quartz United States of America, California, Burlingame
TOP
Bulgari LVCEA Quartz Black Dial Ladies Watch - 102690
$2,899
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4755
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 2531.80 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, Michigan, Warren
TOP
Omega Seamaster Automatic 2531.80 James Bond Blue Wave...
$4,195
Free shipping
Professional dealer
67
US
Longines Master Collection L29104920 New Steel 40.00mm Automatic United States of America, New Jersey, River Edge
TOP
Longines L29104920 Master Collection Automatic 40mm Sunray...
$1,850
Free shipping
Professional dealer
707
US
Maurice Lacroix AIKON AI6058-SS002-430-1 New Steel 43mm Automatic United States of America, California, Burlingame
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer Automatic Blue Dial Men's Watch...
$1,508
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4755
US
Omega Speedmaster Reduced 3510.50.00 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Reduced 39mm - Excellent Condition - Patina...
$3,133
Free shipping
Professional dealer
 
CA
Franck Muller Vanguard V45 YT SC DT AC BL New Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Miami
TOP
Franck Muller Vanguard KOI
$7,900
Professional dealer
300
US
Rolex Daytona 116500LN Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Orlando
TOP
Rolex Daytona Black Dial Ceramic Bezel STICKERED 116500LN
$32,495
Professional dealer
641
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-010 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Hollywood
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus Stainless Steel Blue Dial Watch...
$112,000
Professional dealer
34
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26315ST.OO.1256ST.02 New Steel 38mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26315ST
$42,600
Free shipping
Professional dealer
469
US
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe 5054-1110-B52A New Steel 43mm Automatic United States of America, Arizona, Mesa
TOP
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantieme Complete...
$11,250
Professional dealer
13
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26315ST.OO.1256ST.02 Unworn Steel 38mm Automatic United States of America, Illinois, Chicago
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26315ST Unworn 2021
$47,999
Free shipping
Professional dealer
33
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 2264.50.00 Very good Steel 41mm Quartz United States of America, California, Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
TOP
Omega Seamaster 300m
$2,395
Free shipping
Professional dealer
76
US
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 79030B-0002 Very good Steel Automatic United States of America, Pennsylvania, York
TOP
Tudor Black Bay 58 Navy Blue (79030B)
$3,699
Professional dealer
5
US
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Rolex Super-Clean 2015 Submariner Date, Box and Card, 116610LN
$13,850
Professional dealer
92
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLRO New Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi Jubilee New Style Card/Box/Papers...
$23,249
Free shipping
Professional dealer
213
US
Rolex Daytona 116520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Texas, Austin
TOP
Rolex : Daytona Cosmograph Chronograph: 116520 : Stainless...
$29,900
Professional dealer
826
US
Rolex Datejust II 116300 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Hollywood
TOP
Rolex DateJust II Stainless Steel Silver Stick Dial 41mm Ref...
$10,800
Professional dealer
34
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 126660 New Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea New 2021 "James Cameron" Black/Blue...
$18,350
Free shipping
Professional dealer
469
US
Breitling Superocean Heritage II 46 AB2020121B1S1 New Steel 46mm Automatic United States of America, Kentucky, Lexington
TOP
Breitling Superocean Héritage II 46 Black on Rubber (2021)
$3,299
Free shipping
Professional dealer
145
US
Rolex Explorer II 226570 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, Illinois, Chicago
TOP
Rolex Explorer II 42mm White Dial 226750 Unworn 2021
$14,549
Free shipping
Professional dealer
33
US
Rolex Lady-Datejust 278240 Unworn Steel 31mm Automatic United States of America, California, Newport Beach, CA
TOP
Rolex Datejust Ladies 31mm Midsize Diamond MOP Dial & Diamond...
$9,695
Free shipping
Professional dealer
76
US
Cartier Drive de Cartier WSNM0017 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, La Jolla
TOP
Cartier Drive De Cartier
$6,990
Free shipping
Professional dealer
33
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 212.30.41.20.03.001 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Omega 41mm Seamaster — Serviced by Omega in August 2021 — Box...
$4,150
Professional dealer
92
US
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 215.30.44.21.01.001 Very good Steel 43.5mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Omega 2021 Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M 43.5mm Box/Cards...
$5,249
Free shipping
Professional dealer
213
US
Rolex Daytona 116500LN Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Texas, Austin
TOP
Rolex : Cosmograph Daytona Chronograph: 116500LN : Stainless...
$32,950
Professional dealer
826
US
Breitling Superocean Heritage II Chronographe A133121A/L536 Very good Steel Automatic United States of America, Florida, Hollywood
TOP
Breitling Superocean Heritage II 46 Chronograph Stainless...
$5,850
Professional dealer
34
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 114300 New Steel 39mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39mm Rhodium Dial 114300 New 2020
$8,950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
469
US
Breitling Superocean Heritage II 46 AB2020121B1A1 New Steel 46mm Automatic United States of America, Kentucky, Lexington
TOP
Breitling Superocean Héritage II 46 Black (2021)
$3,450
Free shipping
Professional dealer
145
US
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Quartz WAZ1010.BA0842 New Steel 43mm Quartz
TOP
TAG Heuer Formula 1
$1,053
Professional dealer
79
CA
IWC Pilot Chronograph IW371701 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
TOP
IWC Chronograph
$4,195
Free shipping
Professional dealer
76
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00232 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding United States of America, California, La Jolla
TOP
Panerai Radiomir 1938
$9,990
Free shipping
Professional dealer
33
US
Rolex Datejust 126300 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Rolex 2021 41mm Datejust, Rolex warranty valid until 2026
$9,650
Professional dealer
92
US
Rolex Submariner Date 16610LV Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Submariner Green Kermit UNPOLISHED Engraved Rehaut M...
$22,499
Free shipping
Professional dealer
213
US
Rolex Daytona 116500LN Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Texas, Austin
TOP
Rolex : Cosmograph Daytona Chronograph: 116500LN : Stainless...
$37,995
Professional dealer
826
US

Stainless Steel Watches: Versatile and Robust

Most of today's watches are made of stainless steel. They're robust, corrosion-resistant, and gentle on the skin. Polished finishes look especially exquisite, and the matte look is great on tool watches. Some models make a very solid investment.


4 Reasons to Buy a Stainless Steel Watch

  • A robust and corrosion-resistant material
  • Available in just about every price and quality category
  • A wide selection of men's and women's models
  • Rolex, Patek, and AP: Classics with remarkable appreciation potential

From Entry-Level Pieces to Pure Luxury

When it comes to watches, stainless steel has established itself as the industry's dominant metal. It's hard but not brittle, corrosion-resistant, doesn't tarnish, and is gentle on most people's skin. What's more, it's easy to work with and can be polished, brushed, or sandblasted to create beautiful finishes. Simply put, stainless steel is the perfect watch material. Watchmakers first discovered it for themselves in the early 20th century. Prior to that, they had preferred working with softer precious metals like gold or silver.

Stainless steel has been an unstoppable force in the watch industry since the 1920s. Models like the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso and early Rolex Oyster watches were key to stainless steel's rise. It didn't take long for them to find all kinds of fans and start flying off the shelves. In the 1930s and 40s, many militaries realized how robust stainless steel is and quickly came to rely on pilot's and navy watches from Omega, IWC, Hamilton, and Stowa.

Today, timepieces like the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, and stainless steel editions of the Rolex Submariner and GMT-Master are some of the world's most sought-after models and enjoy large fan bases among men and women alike. Recent years have seen some of these watches reach astronomical prices, often selling for more than their sister models in gold.


How much do stainless steel watches cost?

Model Reference number Price (approx.)
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A 76,000 USD
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15202ST 44,500 USD
Rolex Submariner No Date 5512 22,500 USD
IWC Big Pilot's Watch 500201 10,500 USD
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 311.33.42.30.01.001 4,000 USD
Seiko Prospex Dawn Grey Turtle SRPD01K1 770 USD
Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic H70305143 580 USD
Fossil Machine Chronograph FS4552 130 USD

Rolex: The Queen of Stainless Steel Watches

Some of Rolex's most successful and sought-after luxury models are made of stainless steel, including the Submariner diving watch. Rolex first introduced this timepiece in 1954. Today, it's available in a number of gold and two-tone editions, though most fans and collectors prefer the versions in so-called "Oystersteel" stainless steel. This is also true for Rolex's other sports models, such as the GMT-Master or Daytona, as these editions bear the strongest resemblance to the originals from the 1950s and 60s. However, it's not just Rolex's stainless steel sports watches that sell well. There are also many fans of the Rolex's classic dress watch, the Datejust, in stainless steel.

If you decide to purchase from a dealer or retail location, expect long waiting lists for the Submariner and similar watches. In some cases, the wait may even be several years. As a result, many collectors and watch lovers are willing to pay a premium to get their hands on one of these timepieces more quickly. That means shelling out anywhere from 6,200 USD for the 28-mm Lady-Datejust 28 ref. 279160 to spending 25,500 USD on a Cosmograph Daytona ref. 116500LN.

Vintage models are even more highly coveted. For example, the especially rare Submariner COMEX often demands upwards of 112,000 USD. At 17.75 million USD, Paul Newman's personal Daytona ref. 6239 worn is the most expensive watch ever sold.


Royal Oak and Nautilus: 1970s Classics

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus are stainless steel watch icons. Both debuted in the 1970s and come from the pen of legendary watch designer Gérald Genta. The Royal Oak premiered in 1972 and stumbled a little out of the gate. However, as people got used to the concept of a stainless steel luxury sports watch, it eventually picked up speed and transformed into an industry icon. The Nautilus followed four years later and also had its initial struggles due to the ongoing quartz crisis and skepticism around stainless steel as a luxury material. Both models were also hampered by their prices, which were often more than their gold counterparts. In the end, watch aficionados grew to love everything about these stainless steel timepieces, from their distinctly wide bezels to their integrated steel bracelets.

These days, many collectors consider a stainless steel Nautilus or Royal Oak their personal holy grail. The demand for these watches is exponentially higher than current production numbers can meet, which has led to some mind-blowing prices. If you don't want to wait years to become the proud owner of a Nautilus ref. 5711/1A, be prepared to depart with about 76,000 USD. That's more than double the recommended price! Vintage Nautilus models, such as the ref. 3700, demand around 100,000 USD. Prices for the Royal Oak have also been on the rise in recent years. For example, the same ref. 15202ST that cost roughly 28,000 USD a year ago now sells for some 44,500 USD.

Despite their high cost, both watches are an excellent investment since their prices will continue to climb higher and higher.


Inspired by Aviation and Racing

Many well-known tool watches owe their existence to stainless steel. Famous examples include IWC Schaffhausen's pilot's watches and Omega classics like the Speedmaster, which was originally designed as a racing chronograph and later became the first watch on the Moon. TAG Heuer has also exclusively relied on stainless steel to create their racing-inspired watches.

Prices for TAG Heuer watches range from 2,000 to 9,000 USD. On the other hand, IWC and Omega timepieces generally sell for between 3,300 and 22,500 USD.


Affordable High-Quality Watches

The great thing about stainless steel watches is that you'll find them in all price categories. There's a vast selection of high-quality watches that cost around 1,000 USD. Some even have a cult following, such as the Seiko Turtle. This diving watch gets its nickname from its case shape, which resembles a turtle's shell. This model has been a consistent part of the Japanese manufacturer's catalog since 1977. As a result, there are many editions to choose from, with prices ranging from 300 to 1,100 USD.

Another example is Hamilton's Khaki series. These models are inspired by the pilot's and military watches Hamilton developed for the American military and U.S. Airmail in the early 1920s. The Khaki Field is a fan favorite thanks to its reliability. These timepieces feature an automatic or quartz movement and sell for between 330 and 1,200 USD.

The list goes on. Whether it's traditional manufacturers like Longines, Tissot, and Junghans or fashion behemoths like Fossil, all of them offer a full line of affordable stainless steel watches.


What is stainless steel?

Steel is an alloy of iron and approximately 2% carbon. Humans have been using this metal since antiquity. Stainless steel refers to especially pure steel that's enriched with elements like chromium, nickel, molybdenum, titanium, or tungsten. These elements give stainless steel its special properties, such as its corrosion resistance.

In watchmaking, 316L steel is the variety of choice due to its extreme resistance to corrosion and pitting. This material is perhaps better known as "surgical steel." Rolex has been using class 904L stainless steel for the past few years. This alloy has a higher proportion of copper, making it more resistant to acid or moisture. Both steels are similarly hard and are easy to work with.

Stainless steel is used for just about every watch component: from the case, bracelet, crown, and hands all the way to the movement's gear train and arbors.