Does the desire to buy your own Rolex watch burn inside you? Surely you already have looked into the subject of watches, studied the market a little and know about the problem of the very long waiting lists for certain models. That's why buying a Rolex watch second-hand is so convenient. And, naturally, it might be possible to find a bargain. However, if you are still sceptical about buying online and concerned about possible fraud, please take a look at our tips for buying pre-owned Rolex watches. Here, we'll explain why it can be worth your while to look around on the used market.
Tips for buying a Rolex second-hand
If you're thinking about buying a used Rolex for yourself or, for example, as a gift, the vast selection available online can be overwhelming and may even be a deterrent to your purchase. However, upon closer examination, the pre-owned luxury watch market offers a number of clear advantages over purchasing a watch new, which we will also discuss in more detail.
In addition to the expansive variety offered by online retailers and potential savings of up to several thousand euros, the positive appreciation of Rolex models should not be underestimated. Thus, buying a used Rolex may not only be a safe investment in times of crisis, but also a lucrative investment for the future. If you buy a used Rolex, you essentially cannot do anything wrong. But why is that the case?
ROLEX SUBMARINER 116613LN
The advantages of buying a Rolex watch pre-ownedFor many, an important benefit of buying a "certified pre-owned" Rolex model is its immediate availability. With the official Rolex retailers or concessionaires, you may have to wait several years, depending on the model, before you even have the opportunity to buy the watch you want. This isn't the case on the grey market, because you may only buy what is currently available. For this reason, almost all models are available at any time – even recently released models will usually end up on the second-hand market fast because they are so difficult to purchase new.
Along with the latest Rolex models, the market for pre-owned luxury watches also provides the opportunity to find Rolex models that have long since been taken out of production. So on the grey market, the selection is significantly greater, which is why the probability of finding your dream watch or acquiring a particularly rare model is also much higher. Why pass up this opportunity? With regular, proper care you will be able to enjoy your timepiece for decades – regardless of whether it was purchased brand-new or used.
Another decisive factor is the price of second-hand models. With a brand as in-demand as Rolex, it can't be assumed that you will always find a steal on the second-hand market – but the possibility certainly exists. Be sure to keep an eye on the price trends of certain models for a while and then decide if it's worth your while to buy. With the considerable increase in value that some Rolex watches experience, it can also be well worth purchasing at a used price that is significantly higher than the original list price.
ROLEX DATEJUST 116200
Frequently asked questions about buying a pre-owned Rolex watch
To eliminate any doubts you may have, here are a few answers to the most frequently asked questions about purchasing a used Rolex watch. We hope that our tips will help bring you closer to realizing your dream of owning a Rolex, as well as remove any scepticism you may have about the grey market.
How much does a pre-owned Rolex cost?Prices for second-hand Rolex models are difficult to gauge based on concrete figures, as the price range can be quite wide. Rarely, although every now and then, it is possible to find vintage Rolex models for less than €1,000 – but these usually come with heavy wear. One of the most popular, entry-level Rolex models, the Datejust, is available used for between €4,000 and €5,000, while newer, worn models in popular series are priced between €7,000 and €12,000. From here, there is no upward limit from there for pre-owned Rolex models. From platinum watches like the Day-Date (Ref. 118346) for around €50,000, to rare gold models with sparkling gemstone trim like the Daytona (Ref. 116598RBOW) at just under €230,000, to the chronographs of deceased actors auctioned in the millions, the age of a Rolex says nothing about its value. If these prices seem too high for a second-hand watch, then it must be stated clearly: a Rolex, even in used condition, is rarely a bargain, but rather an investment and consequently has its price. However, this speaks for the stable value of Rolex models.
ROLEX DAYTONA 116598RBOW
How much does the cheapest used Rolex cost?The logical follow-up to the previous question is about the cheapest Rolex model. This, too, is not that easy to answer. On the used market, the Oyster Precision series among others, stands out as being relatively inexpensive. Oyster Precision models usually come with a case diameter of 34 mm, a steel or leather strap, a hand-wound calibre and occasionally include a date complication. In lesser condition, models in the collection can be found for under €2,000. Remarkably, second-hand prices are still above €1,000 even for Rolex watches that have suffered a lot of damage. At Watchmaster, we currently offer the Oyster Precision for less than €3,000. Alternatively, individual versions of the Oyster Perpetual, the Oyster Perpetual Date and the Lady-Oyster Perpetual can also be found in this price segment. Our advice for enthusiasts: look for early models of the Rolex Oyster, also known as the "Channel Swimmer" thanks to Mercedes Gleitze's record attempt, which appear on the grey market every now and then for less than €2,000. With watches like the Ref. 2136 or the Ref. 3351, it is possible to get a lot of vintage watch with history for little money!
What is important to consider when buying a second-hand Rolex?Always pay attention to the watch's condition and authenticity. Only buy a worn Rolex model if you have a legitimate certificate of authenticity or have had its authenticity verified by an independent concessionaire or jeweller. Since Rolex is the most counterfeited brand in the world, you should never rely solely on the weight and feel of the watch. Moreover, knockoffs are getting better and better, and even experienced watchmakers usually can't tell at first glance if a Rolex is genuine or fake.
ROLEX EXPLORER II 216570
Is It possible to sell a used Rolex?Yes, very easily, in fact, because the demand for Rolex watches is constantly growing. The watch manufacturer is unable to meet the ever-growing demand, which is why the trade of second-hand models has boomed. Of course, when selling luxury watches, however, there are a few things that you should definitely keep in mind. To have a successful watch sale the most important things are clearly communicating the condition as well as the contents and terms of delivery of the watch. If you have a watch with all its accessories and have kept it in good condition, there shouldn't be any issues. Watchmaster can also assist with a sale as an international dealer with years of expertise in buying and selling luxury watches. This way, you can sell your pre-owned Rolex for the highest price within the shortest possible time.
Is it worthwhile to finance pre-owned Rolex watches?Absolutely! A Rolex is always a meaningful investment that can even exceed the sum of financing in the long run. In that regard, financing a pre-owned Rolex means not only paying off a loan for an exclusive wristwatch, but also accumulating a sum of money that will multiply on its own. That is why selling your watch at Watchmaster can be worthwhile even after years of financing. Simply observe the price trend of the Rolex watch of your choice on the second-hand market over a longer period of time and observe how the value increases.
If you would like to purchase a pre-owned Rolex and are interested in financing, you can learn more about the financing plan available at Watchmaster here.
What are the most popular men's watches from Rolex?The most popular used men's watches from Rolex are the steel sports models. Namely, the Daytona, die Submariner and GMT-Master II series, which have been winning over the hearts of countless men – and women – for decades and have proven to be very stable in value. The only disadvantage of these models is the shockingly long waiting lists. There is virtually no way to avoid buying a used model, which turns out to be more of an advantage when considering the wide variety of models available online. Finding the perfect men's watch from the Geneva-based manufacturer's range is actually quite easy.
ROLEX SUBMARINER 126610LV
What are the most popular women's watches from Rolex?The aforementioned steel sports models from Rolex enjoy steadily increasing popularity among women as well. Otherwise, there are a few watch models that stand out from Rolex' collection on the pre-owned market, such as the Pearlmaster, Lady-Datejust or the Yacht-Master. Particularly, the latter combines the classic look of a Rolex sports watch with precious materials and exceptional colour combinations. The combination of sporty attitude, high-quality materials and the occasional dash of glamour make the models in the Yacht-Master Collection truly eye-catching – even on slender wrists. Be sure to take a look at our tips for buying the right women's watch in advance to help you find the model that suits you best.
ROLEX YACHT-MASTER 126622
Why buy a pre-owned Rolex from Watchmaster?
Purchasing a pre-owned Rolex usually means having to deal with a huge selection and always being wary of counterfeits. However, this may sound a lot more dramatic than it actually is. As long as you follow a few basic guidelines and opt for reputable online retailers, you'll be able to enjoy purchasing a luxury brand without any worries.
Still, Watchmaster does all the work for you when buying used Rolex watches: our experienced watchmakers inspect all watches for authenticity in our in-house workshop and guarantee their authenticity with a certificate. Furthermore, you will also receive our 24-month warranty, which you could only dream of with a private transaction. If you are still undecided and would prefer to see the Rolex of your choice in person, you are welcome to visit our headquarters in Berlin for a personal viewing by appointment.
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