Rolex is a British-founded Swiss watch designer & manufacturer based in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded in 1905 as Wilsdorf and Davis by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in London, England, the company registered the word 'Rolex' as the brand name of its watches in 1908, and it became Rolex Watch Co. Ltd. in 1915.
Rolex is arguably the most recognisable watch brand on the planet, and indeed, the very name 'Rolex' emits class and sophistication. Many bidders attend an auction with the hope of finding their perfect Rolex, often to cherish and keep within their family for future generations to enjoy.
Have you ever wondered how much your own Rolex is worth? Or, are you unsure of how you should be taking care of your Rolex? Maybe you are interested in purchasing a modified Rolex but aren't sure how much the modifications will depreciate the watch's value. Let us dive into all of the above. Get ready to rediscover...Rolex.
Whether you're thinking of selling your Rolex or simply wondering about its worth, our quick guide will give a few pointers to help you empower yourself with the knowledge needed to determine your Rolex valuation.
Valuing your Rolex is a subjective process that yields more of an opinion rather than a reality. If you ever do decide to sell your Rolex, the market will determine how feasible any Rolex valuation is. Rolex values are a constantly shifting beast. They are conceptually related to the valuation of stocks, shares, and commodities, and many of the same concepts apply. The number of buyers and sellers in the market for any given piece will determine supply and demand.
If the Rolex you're pricing is a current Rolex model or Rolex is currently producing an upgraded version of the same model, start with the Rolex retail price list.
Take, for example, a Rolex Submariner 116610LN stainless steel wristwatch. We can see from the table that the UK retail price is £7,150 at the time of writing, therefore assuming that you can go into a Rolex Authorised Dealer (AD) and buy this watch right now, we can know that the market is prepared to spend £7,150 for the watch in question. This is an excellent place to start our valuation, and we can work our way backwards from there.
There are more elements to consider concerning the valuation you are attempting to produce unless your watch is in new condition, as shown in the baseline example. The following are the key factors that might reduce value:
Normal wear and tear are to be expected. However, the following variables can significantly affect value:
The faults above will almost always come with a repair fee, which you should subtract from the baseline price.
The impact of the watch not having a box and paperwork on its value is generally around £750, so this is a decent starting point. The value of a new watch would be affected more, whereas the value of an older piece would be affected less. If the watch is less than 5 years old, the balance of the 5-year warranty will typically cover it, but it will be void if there is no warranty card.
The first depreciation of a watch is highest at the moment of purchase from new, similar to driving a car off the dealer forecourt. Year on year depreciation vs new price will occur. However, the valuation will improve if there has been a price gain since the watch was acquired (as the baseline for the valuation is the current retail price rather than the retail price at the time of purchase). Market forces will ultimately determine how much any given model would depreciate over time. The amount of buyers in the market dictates how much of a discount they would want to get if they bought a used watch instead of a new one.
So, let's pretend the Rolex Submariner 116610LN we're appraising is from 2011. The watch comes with its original box and papers, and it is in good working order with just minor signs of wear. The current selling price is £7,150 at the time of writing. The watch is also available in new, unworn condition for £6,750. Given that the watch is in good condition, we must analyse current market prices and determine how much of a discount a buyer would anticipate in the present market to acquire a watch of this age vs a new model. This is when the appraisal becomes more subjective.
Now you are up to speed on how you can find out how much your Rolex is worth. You may be wondering what the best ways to keep it in the best condition possible are. We have listed a few of the most effective ways below:
Rolex watches are intricate machines that require your attention and servicing to keep them operating well. We recommend bringing your Rolex watch in for repair every two to three years after it has reached the age of ten years - the friction within timepieces wears them down over time. It may be the difference between a fast touch-up and a complete Rolex overhaul with new parts if you wait five years or more after that point
It's always preferable to wear your watch rather than leave it sitting. Watches were designed to run, much like a car that performs better when driven. Oils might dry out, and motions can tighten if it sits for too long. If any moisture got in over time, rust would have developed and destroyed the essential components. If you must store your watch, make sure you keep it in a temperature and humidity regulated environment. Hot, dry, cold, and damp conditions can all be detrimental to your watch. Another no-no is direct sunshine.
Although Rolex watches are built of high-quality stainless steel, gold, and platinum, and most feature scratch-resistant sapphire crystals, but they are not indestructible. Even a slight bump can harm the watch if it is caught at the proper angle at the wrong moment.
It's hard to believe that dazzling your Rolex with diamonds, one of the world's most desired and precious jewels, may actually depreciate its worth. But, to be honest, customising or altering a Rolex watch is akin to putting lipstick on the Mona Lisa. Sure, she'll look better, but you just altered a perfectly fine (and valuable) artwork for the sake of aesthetic pleasure.
Every part and component of a Rolex watch is purposefully and deliberately placed with meaning. The purist collectors will not buy a watch that has been polished, much less one that has had aftermarket diamonds put, or a bright new face installed.
There are several aftermarket modification possibilities available nowadays. Some businesses can completely revamp your watch to make it appear like a long-lost vintage treasure, and others will provide you with the transparent case back on your Rolex that you have always desired. PVD coating on your Rolex case and bracelet is available for an ever-cool matte-black appearance. Of course, you have the option of changing the dial to the colour of your choice. When you personalise your Rolex, you'll have a one-of-a-kind or almost one-of-a-kind piece that will attract attention and spark a few conversations.
While customisation appears to provide limitless options, it actually limits the amount of money that can be made. This is a major turn-off for serious collectors. Yes, we all started watch collecting because we adore the items. However, collecting pieces that are already valuable or will increase in value over time is a significant part of the enjoyment. When you replace authentic Rolex components with aftermarket parts – no matter how well-made they are – you are essentially devaluing the watch.
The option is yours. Indeed, if you know it's only for fun and fashion. However, this isn't the greatest choice if you're seeking to develop a collection with long-term worth and investment potential.
If you require any further information in regards to consigning your Rolex, please do get in touch.