A luxury timepiece is a functional work of art, an accessory that makes a statement and combines practicality with individual style. If your watch of choice is a Rolex, you are entering an extensive circle of like-minded watch aficionados.

There are a few points to keep in mind before purchasing a luxury watch. Consider your purpose ­– is it for everyday wear or special occasions only? Rolex watches are available in a vast array of styles with a variety of features. Discerning which functions suit your lifestyle best will help you to narrow down or extend your selection.

Lady’s Diamond and Emerald ‘Oyster Perpetual DateJust’ Wristwatch, Rolex, Spring 2012 Auction.

These high-end watches are crafted from a wide variety of materials, including “Oystersteel”, Rolex’s proprietary stainless steel fabrication. Combine the brand name Rolex, plus the letter S for steel and add OR, the French word for gold and you get the popular two-tone “Rolesor” bracelet, juxtaposing stainless steel with yellow gold details; for a pinkish tinge, there’s Everose Gold; and there’s a black rubberized version, nothing basic about it; platinum and titanium, too. Light coloured dial or dark, raised signature texture, smooth or diamond encrusted, a Rolex can satisfy any design preferences.

Recognition Factor

Rolex is inarguably the most easily recognized luxury watch brand in the world. From Elvis to James Bond to Jay-Z to President Kennedy, Rolex has seen its share of legendary wearers. President Obama has been spotted wearing a slim-line Cellini on an elegant leather strap.

The dominant Jubilee and Oyster bracelets easily catch the eye, and befitting the status of a president or CEO, the President style of bracelet is manufactured only in precious metal.

Don’t discount the value of vintage

Although the latest Rolex models possess the most modern technological innovations, collectors also prize the unusual, the rarely seen, the limited series. The charm and character of a vintage piece can never be recreated – in fact, quite literally. Eaton’s quarter century models from the early 1930s have an avid following; uncommonly for Rolex, and limited to the 1970s and 80s, a battery-operated edition called the Oysterquartz was in production.

“Complicated” choices

The Submariner
The quintessential divers’ watch, the Submariner combines superlative waterproof features with sleek design and the smoothly rotating bezel promotes safety in the depths under water. It’s been perpetually popular since its introduction in 1953, supremely versatile and as attractive on land as it is useful in the sea. Famous owner: screen star Steve McQueen

The Datejust and Day-Date
Sporting some very useful quotidian “complications”, these ever-popular models boast an enduring everyday appeal, yet comfortably straddle a larger all-purpose quality that extends from dressy, to office, to casual. Famous owner: Dr. Martin Luther King

The Daytona
The epitome of performance, with a trio of eye-catching sub-dials, the Daytona chronograph was designed with a useful stopwatch function for the professional high speed race car driver; named after the exciting Florida speedway, it’s an extremely desirable choice amongst collectors. Paul Newman, venerable actor and notable amateur motorsport enthusiast, famously wore a late 1960s Rolex Cosmograph Daytona.

There are countless options to configure your choice for the perfect luxury watch, coveted for its prestige. Considering their reputation for durability, precision time keeping and iconic good looks, there’s a suitable Rolex for every occasion; while you’re rotating through your collection, you’re on the way to enjoying a time-honoured heirloom.