When someone mentions watches, what are the brands that come to mind? In the world of Haute horology, Rolex is one of the most recognized luxury watch brands. From connoisseurs to newbies, they’re a symbol of style, success, and status. Rolex watches are more than just fashion pieces, and buying a Rolex watch is more than just casual retail therapy. Being the most famous watch brand there is, Rolex comes with a pretty hefty price tag, not just in stores but in the resale market, making them one of the best watches to invest in.
It is still important to note, however, that not all watches are created equal. While the prestige of the brand name and the quality that comes along with it contribute to its value, collectors play a part in picking the right model and maintenance to preserve its value as an investment piece.
In this article, we provide a guide to getting the best value out of your Rolex investment.
What makes a watch valuable?
Considering that the average Rolex watch is already as coveted as it is, rare Rolex watches seem to have a multiplier value due to scarcity. In most cases, rare models can hold their value much better than the popular ones.
For one thing, putting a limited edition label means that not just anyone can get their hands on it. This is one of the reasons why rare editions go against the grain to appreciate even after ownership.
Similarly, watches that are in high demand are also considered to be rare and prized possessions, rising in value in the resale market. Collectors are willing to pay top dollar for rare watches, especially one from a brand name of such prestige, which is what makes a rare Rolex timepiece a great investment.
When it comes to rare Rolex pieces that have superseded in value, a Rolex Daytona owned by American actor and philanthropist Paul Newman comes to mind. In 2017, the watch sold for a whopping USD 17.7 million to watch collector James Cox at an auction. Just three years later, another engraved Rolex Daytona from Paul Newman’s collection sold for USD 5 million. With a combination of exotic features that were not initially designed for the Daytona, along with the personal touch from the late actor, these watches rose to become highly coveted in the watch industry, justifying the high prices.
The concept of rarity can also be applied to vintage Rolex watches. The lifespan of the brand dates back to 1905, which means that there is a good range of models that are no longer in production today. Vintage Rolexes have seen steady growth in value in recent years, as collectors desire a piece of the fascinating history in the mechanical watch industry.
There are, of course, factors that can affect the value of a vintage Rolex. For instance, over time, there can be signs of wear and tear, or replacement of parts, that can significantly affect the sale price. That being said, while modern Rolex watches manage to hold their value quite well, a well-preserved vintage timepiece is probably a guarantee for any investor. In some cases, the watch owners do not even know what they are. Just last year, a US Air Force veteran found out that his 1971 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Oyster purchased over four decades ago is well worth over $700,000 today.
Besides exclusivity, another good indicator of a watch’s potential as an investment piece is the model. Generally, sports watches are highly sought after in Haute horology, and Rolex is no different. If you take a look at the most popular models in Rolex’s product line, you’ll find that models such as the Datejust, Submariner, GMT Master II, and Daytona do quite well. Due to the high demand and general elegance of these timepieces, they pretty much dominate the resale space.
To take it one step further, Rolex often releases one-off editions and limited production pieces that skyrocket over time. Celebrity ownership can also contribute to the value of a certain model. For example, some of the most well-known figures that have donned classic Rolex watches are Warren Buffet and John F. Kennedy, with the Day-Date, and Jay-Z and Paul Newman with the Daytona. The Submariner, made famous by James Bond movies, is also one of the brand’s most popular models today.
Rolex Investment: Where to begin?
While Rolex investment holds immense potential, it is also important not to dive in head-first without proper research. There are ways to increase your chances of success, such as keeping your watches in pristine condition and buying from authorized dealers.
If you are looking for a good place to start, TrueFacet has an extensive range of Rolex watches just for you.