There isn’t a straight-forward answer to the question of if a Rolex watch is worth the investment. In fact, there are several factors to consider when comparing the value of any Rolex watch. While some of the obvious factors might be the use of precious materials, condition, year released, and model, other collectors might find return or loss of investment to be of greater importance. Depending on who you ask, some will argue that there are better options on the market when it comes to value, while die-hard collectors will side with Rolex based upon their incredible reputation for high-quality timepieces that are made to last a lifetime. We’ll break it down to three major categories: watches that are a loss on investment, break even, and best value.
The Worst Value
Some new Rolex watches depreciate shortly after you purchase them. The most significant loss by far is purchasing a Rolex watch at retail from an authorized dealer and then selling it on the secondary market. The buy price will be far less than retail, leaving you at a significant loss in value. For example, a new gold Day-Date, similar to reference 118238, retails on Rolex.com for $29,750 and is listed on Bob’s Watches in pre-owned condition for as low as $16,195. In this case, a Rolex watch would not be worth the investment. Unless a brand new Rolex is what you prefer; the smartest option would be to buy a vintage Rolex or a pre-owned reference in excellent condition.
The Break Even
Some collectors gravitate towards Rolex watches simply for their brand power. Rolex is one of the most recognizable watch brands in the world, and those who wear a Rolex watch are often considered successful or powerful. If wrist presence is more important to you than value, then a mid-level pre-owned reference may be the way to go and it doesn’t get any better than a classic Oyster Perpetual. The stainless steel reference 114300 currently retails for $5,700 and is available at Bob’s Watches for around $5,000, depending on the condition of the individual watch. While, we will need to wait for the future to determine whether or not this watch will sky-rocket in value it is a very popular choice, but the current ROI on this watch probably has not reached its prime (yet).The men’s Rolex 114300 is pretty much break-even when it comes to investment but still looks and feels impressive on the wrist via a bold 39mm Oyster case. Regardless of the small growth of profit for this watch, it is consistently one of the crowd favorites and it always in high demand with three color variants: Grape, Grey, and Blue.
The Best Value
A new Rolex might be a tempting choice for your next luxury watch purchase with modern references offering bold dials, next-generation movements, and precious metals. But it might take years to see a significant increase in value if it increases at all, depending on the particular model. The Rolex watches with the best return on investment tend to be vintage sports models. For example, the Submariner Date ref. 5513 originally retailed for around $150 and currently sells for $10,000 to $20,000, depending on the quality of the timepiece and how rare its distinguishing features are. Some exceptionally rare references can go for thousands of dollars more than that price range. More impressively, the Daytona ref. 6239, aka the Paul Newman, retailed for around $200 when he was gifted one by his wife. References with the desirable feature set that resemble Paul Newman’s personal Daytona currently sell for anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000. With enough research, there are deals to be found on.
If you don’t wear your Rolex often, you want to also buy a Rolex watch winder as it will rotate your watch and keep it running at all times.