Should You Sell Your Rolex? Why Rolex Watches Hold Their Value

Rolex watches are synonymous with luxury – Rolex is easily one of the most famous watch brands in the world. They’re recognised around the globe as a symbol of quality, success and wealth. But what is it about this brand that means a Rolex holds its value and what should you consider before selling?  

Why does a Rolex increase in value over time?

Rolex is a recognised name in watchmaking, and it’s remained a popular option over the years. Its appeal lies in its exclusivity and the fact that it evokes style and sophistication. Luxury brands like Rolex are desirable and we associate them with celebrities and A-listers, which only enhances their appeal. Rolex has been able to retain its exclusivity over the decades and the value of their watches has remained well above the rate of inflation. 

Is your Rolex rare?

The first factor that influences the value of a Rolex watch is the rarity of the style and model. All Rolexes have the same level of prestige and finesse, but certain styles hold their value much better, and the rarity of the watch is one of the primary factors that affects how good of an investment it is. 

There’s huge demand for rare Rolex watches, in part because of how limited the supply of them is, but there’s no way of knowing for sure which pieces will increase in value. Bear in mind that models that are no longer in production, that were part of a limited edition design or where just a small number of them were made are likely to be worth more because collectors are willing to pay a higher price for rarities.

An example of a Rolex watch that increased in price was Paul Newman’s Cosmograph Daytona which sold for $17.8m in 2017. 

Vintage Rolex watches are a safe investment

Vintage Rolex watches are a fail-safe when it comes to investing in this brand, and their value typically increases over time because they’re valuable to watch enthusiasts and collectors. While modern Rolexes are still a desirable accessory, vintage watches are part of the brand’s rich history and that makes them far more sought-after. Rolex is a brand that has aided scientists, professional athletes, the military and so many more people, and so each timepiece has its story to tell. 

Rolex metals

The metal your watch is made from also influences its value over time. You might think that a Rolex made from precious metals such as gold is more likely to increase in value, but actually its styles made from steel tend to return a bigger profit. The price of gold can fluctuate considerably, but the higher price tag doesn’t necessarily mean it will increase in value, whereas steel Rolexes continue to grow in demand. Steel watches are more wearable and that influences its value over time, though of course this can change as styles evolve. 

What’s the reference number?

Locating the reference or model number on your Rolex is key to understanding the level of value, but even better is to have the original paperwork or manual that came with your watch. This will help you research your particular model and determine the value in the future, but it’s also valuable to collectors too to prove it’s genuine. The reference is a four to six digit number which is engraved on the side of the case and you’ll only be able to see it when you remove the watch band. 

Understand the market value and retail value

When considering the long-term value of a Rolex watch, you need to know the difference between retail value and market value. If you’re selling your Rolex watch to a dealer or a jeweller, they’ll need to resell it to a buyer at a profit. This means that you’ll be getting a lower price than they’ll sell it for. The difference between these two values covers other costs, such as any repairs that are needed or maintenance and cleaning. 

A Rolex’s value doesn’t depreciate that much, there are certain factors that can influence how much you’ll receive, such as a model that’s less in demand, so do your research into the market value of the model you have beforehand, so you know its value. 

The best models for investment

Rolex sport watches tend to be a reliable option and hold or even appreciate in value over time, with the most popular models including the Rolex GMT-Master II, the Rolex Daytona and the Rolex Submariner. However, all Rolex sports watches do well, especially if they are no longer in production. You should also look for special editions of these watches, such as the “Hulk” Submariner or the “Batman” edition of the GMT-Master II. 

It’s not just older sports models that increase in value though. Even a newly discontinued design can be popular with collectors, and they tend to be a style that’s consistently in demand and therefore always valuable. But bear in mind that trends do change over time so stay on top of the different styles and models that are desirable with collectors. 

Unsure of the value of your Rolex watch? Get in touch with us today for a valuation or advice on which models are best to invest in.