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Breguet Marine 5817ST/12/5V8 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Aventura
Breguet Marine
$11,800
+ $35 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.94 (202)
US
Rolex Daytona 116520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Texas, Houston
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Black Dial 40mm Stainless Steel...
$33,500
+ $50 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.90 (15)
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-010 Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-010 Nautilus Blue Dial...
$224,900
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4.95 (376)
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon Q1368480 or 1368480 New Steel 39mm Automatic United States of America, Georgia, Alpharetta
Jaeger-LeCoultre Ultra Thin Moon Automatic 39mm Master
$10,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4.97 (283)
US
Rolex Daytona 116500LN New Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New Jersey, Totowa
Rolex Daytona 116500LN Black Dial 2021 Partial Stickers
$50,999
+ $79 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.98 (378)
US
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Islamorada
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 1960
$38,990
+ $100 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.87 (22)
US
Mb&f M.A.D. 1 New Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, Massachusetts, Boston
Mb&f MB & F M.A.D Edition MAD 1 UNWORN
$26,900
+ $29 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.89 (655)
US
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Moonphase 304.30.44.52.01.001 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, Illinois
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Moonphase 44mm Chronometer Steel...
$7,650
+ $55 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.96 (18)
US
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
Rolex 326934 Sky Dweller Blue Dial Stainless Steel Jubilee...
$35,500
+ $70 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.84 (114)
US
Chopard L.U.C 168561-3001 New Steel 43mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Miami
Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin
$18,000
+ $35 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.94 (202)
US
Rolex Submariner Date 16610LV Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Texas, Houston
Rolex Submariner "Kermit" Stainless Steel M-Serial 16610LV w/...
$23,850
+ $125 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.90 (15)
US
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph 5960/1A-001 New Steel 40.5mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph 5960/1A-001
$72,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4.95 (376)
US
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 310.30.42.50.01.001 New Steel 42mm Manual winding United States of America, Georgia, Alpharetta
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Co-Axial Master Chronometer
$6,200
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4.97 (283)
US
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV New Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New Jersey, Totowa
Rolex Submariner "Hulk" FULL STICKERS OPEN CARD 116610LV
$51,999
+ $79 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.98 (378)
US
Rolex Daytona Rolex 116520 Spike Lee Brooklyn Good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Islamorada
Rolex Daytona Spike Lee Brooklyn
$36,990
+ $100 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.87 (22)
US
Rolex Daytona Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Naples
Rolex Daytona Stainless Steel Black Dial Circa 2005 Ref#...
$29,500
+ $29 for shipping
Professional dealer
5.00 (3)
US
Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback PAM 00524 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, Illinois
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Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback Pam00524 Stainless...
$7,995
+ $55 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.96 (18)
US
Rolex Sky-Dweller Rolex 326934  Sky-Dweller Stainless Steel Blue Dial Unworn Steel 42mmmm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
Rolex 326934 Sky-Dweller Stainless Steel Blue stick Dial...
$35,500
+ $70 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.84 (114)
US
Chopard L.U.C 168574-3001 New Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Miami
Chopard L.U.C Time Traveler One
$11,000
+ $35 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.94 (202)
US
Rolex Submariner Date 16610V Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Texas, Houston
Rolex Submariner 'Kermit' Stainless Steel Green Bezel 16610V...
$21,500
+ $125 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.90 (15)
US
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
Rolex Submariner Date Hulk 2018 Edition 116610LV Mint Condition
$31,900
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4.95 (376)
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.32.42.20.01.001 New Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, Georgia, Alpharetta
Omega Seamaster Diver 300
$4,700
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4.97 (283)
US
Rolex Datejust 41 126300 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, New Jersey, Totowa
Rolex Datejust 41mm 126300 Blue Stick Dial 2021 oyster
$13,999
+ $79 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.98 (378)
US
Rolex GMT-Master 6542 Very good Steel 38mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Tavernier
Rolex GMT-Master
$24,990
+ $100 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.87 (22)
US
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167A-001 Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Stainless Steel Black Embossed Arabic...
$111,399
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4.94 (272)
US
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 5512 Good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Sunny Isles Beach
Rolex Vintage “5512 Meters First” Submariner
$24,000
+ $29 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.97 (51)
US
Rolex Submariner Date 126610LN New Steel 41mmmm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
Rolex 126610LN Submariner Date Stainless Steel Automatic New 41mm
$17,800
+ $70 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.84 (114)
US
Bell & Ross BR 05 BR05A-BLU-ST/SST New Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Miami
Bell & Ross BR 05 Blue Steel
$4,200
+ $35 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.94 (202)
US
Baume & Mercier Capeland MOA10084 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, Texas, Houston
Baume & Mercier Capeland Chronograph 42mm MOA10084 w/ Box Only
$2,250
+ $75 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.90 (15)
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 126660 New Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea New 2021 "James Cameron" Black/Blue...
$21,900
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4.95 (376)
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.