One of the most common questions many people have is how much is my Rolex worth? There are many ways to determine the value of your pre-owned Rolex watch based on age, scarcity/rarity, condition, originality and collectability.
By defining these aspects of your watch you can begin to determine the ultimate overall value of your Rolex timepiece.
To determine the age of your watch you will need to locate your serial number. The serial number will allow you to determine what year your watch was manufactured unless it is a “scrambled/random” serial that began in 2010, in which case the date will be found on the original warranty card given at the time of purchase.
The serial number will be located on your watch either under the bracelet engraved on the case at the 6 o’clock position or engraved on the inner bezel at the 6 o’clock position; or it should be located on your original purchase paperwork.
A list of the serial number range with corresponding ages can be located here: https://swiss-wrist.com/rolex-serial-numbers
Depending on the model of your watch the age will play a significant factor in determining the value.
For instance the older utilitarian models such as a vintage Rolex Daytona, Submariner, and GMT the value can be 10 times the value of a current new model. However, vintage Datejust and Day-Date models will be less expensive than the current modern models.
The materials used to manufacture the watch will play a key role in value as well. A full yellow gold watch or full platinum watch will be more expensive than a stainless steel watch.
The price will be determined by the current rate of that material. During the coronavirus pandemic we saw gold valuing at an all time high, raising both the buying and selling the rates of full gold models.
Over the years Rolex produced certain models in a larger capacity than others. By far the model Rolex has produced the most is the Datejust, thus making them less rare. Models such as Daytonas have had about a quarter less produced than the Datejust therefore making them more scarce.
In addition to the model, Rolex has produced many unique varieties of dials with precious stones, designs and colors over the years that could add to the value of your watch. They have used obsidian, agate, jade, meteorite, malachite and bloodstone to name a few. They also produced dials from coral and petrified fossils.
In the 60’s, Rolex introduced bright colored “stella” dials on the Day-Date and the 34mm Date models. Because they were not popular at the time, there were only a small amount of them produced before they discontinued them. Because of the small number produced and their desire later on in years, these brightly colored dials are rare and come with a high resale value.
This is one of the most important components when determining the value of your watch. Rolex watches are to be infrequently serviced, similar to auto maintenance, in order to keep the watch movement lubricated and in great shape.
Rolex will also advise to have the watch polished at time of service. If any components need to be replaced or altered at the time of service, Rolex will provide you with a service replacement part which can either add or detract value from your watch.
On vintage sport models, the watch will hold a stronger value if damaged parts remain original to the watch. They can also get a higher premium if the watch was never polished. This ensures that the watch is original the way it came from the factory, adding to the rarity of the watch.
Rolex watches are initially sold with a warranty paper or card, booklets and a Rolex box. After the warranty, many people have discarded the warranty papers and booklets. A lot of people have also discarded the original Rolex box.
This is a common mistake, as those additional items do gain a premium added to the watch. The premium will be in direct correlation with the scarcity and desirability of the watch. For example, a vintage Daytona will have a much larger premium on the original warranty papers than a Datejust would.
How we can best evaluate your Rolex
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