Rolex’s newest watches are already worth a lot more than their retail prices
Newbies in the world of watch collecting are consistently advised to buy what they like and to avoid viewing watches as investment vehicles. Yet this year, more than ever, buying a new Rolex model from an authorized dealer and selling it on the secondary market is virtually guaranteed to generate (considerably) higher returns than the stock market.
Take, for example, the new Rolex Explorer 36 mm in Oystersteel (ref. 124270). Featured at Watches and Wonders Geneva in April for a retail price of $ 6,450, the model is currently priced between $ 10,026 and $ 11,246 on Chrono24, which bills itself as “the world’s largest marketplace for watches. luxury ”. As of August 3, the benchmark obtained a premium of 66.4% over retail.
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On Watchfinder & Co., the UK-based pre-owned watch retailer acquired by Richemont in 2018, ref. 124270 goes for almost double its retail value at £ 9,200, or $ 12,785. And on Watchbox, a Philadelphia-based used retailer, the market price ranges from $ 11,000 to $ 11,500.
The new 36mm two-tone Rolex Explorer in Oystersteel steel and yellow gold (Ref. 124273) also earns a significant premium in the secondary market, with prices on Chrono24 exceeding its list price of $ 10,800 by 32.5% (with a value of estimated down between $ 13,255 and $ 15,655). Meanwhile, the benchmark sells for $ 15,000 on WatchBox and £ 12,000, or $ 16,678, on Watchfinder.
“The price growth trajectory of the new 2021 Rolex models on Chrono24 definitely follows the same model that Rolex has proven year after year as the most sought after brand in our market,” wrote Tim Stracke, co-CEO of Chrono24. , in an email. “Values continue to climb very strongly. “
The frenzy in the aftermarket has come to a head, dealers say.
“I took a week off and everything is back on the rise,” wrote Carol Altieri, chief operating officer of second-hand Rolex online dealer Bob’s Watches, in an email. “Prices have gone up 30% in almost all areas, not only on Rolex ‘regular’ hot sport models, but on all models, from ladies’ models to Datejusts and Cellinis. It must be boring to hear that!
The new Explorer II (ref. 226570), which sells for $ 8,550, “is the most elusive right now,” says Altieri. “We pay 20-30% on retail, and they sell as soon as we put them there, with a profit of 10%. I don’t know where the market will take this one yet. White dial explorers have always commanded a higher value than black.
The Explorer II mentioned above is available for almost twice its retail value on Chrono24. It is the same on Watchfinder. There, the white dial version of Ref. 226570 sells for £ 11,950, or around $ 16,611, while the black-dial version is just under £ 11,450, or around $ 15,916.
In short, virtually every Rolex model introduced in April – from the references mentioned above to the yellow gold Daytona with meteorite dial (ref. 116508), which sells for $ 41,000 but sells for £ 66,950, or 93 $ 050, on Watchfinder – sells well. above retail.
Consider Datejusts’ 2021 harvest. The Datejust 36 in steel with palm dial (Ref. 126200) is currently available for $ 16,338 on Chrono24, more than double its retail value of $ 7,050. And the alluring two-tone Datejust 36 in Oystersteel steel and yellow gold (ref. 126233-038), which sells for $ 11,050, has an estimated value on Chrono24 between $ 14,180 and $ 17,002. Meanwhile, Watchfinder values the gold dial benchmark at £ 11,150 to £ 12,400, or $ 15,499 to $ 17,236.
And don’t get us started on the most coveted benchmark of Rolex’s 2020 introductions, the new $ 8,100 Submariner (ref. 124060). Chrono24 calculates its current value between $ 12,877 and $ 13,841, while Watchfinder sells the model for up to £ 12,325, or $ 17,130, and WatchBox offers it between $ 13,500 and $ 14,000.
Elsewhere in the Rolex pantheon, interest in classic, and classically unobtainable, references continues to grow.
“Precious Metal Daytonas have exploded – from yellow gold greens (ref. 116508-0013) to white gold blues (ref. 116509-0071), and white gold on Oysterflex (ref. 116519ln-0027) – all of which dominate the retail market, ”said Justin Reis, co-founder and CEO of WatchBox. “Oysterflex prices are even higher than some all-gold models! Of course, the steel and ceramic Daytona (P / N 116500LN-0001) is stronger than ever, actively trading in the $ 30,000.
Stracke of Chrono24 says that collectors’ interest in discontinued models is also pushing up the prices of older references.
“It’s important to point out that in our community of collectors, it’s not just the novelties that are creating accelerated price frenzies, but also the models that have been discontinued as a result,” he says. “In this case, Rolex told Watches & Wonders earlier this year that it would be withdrawing its Explorer II (Ref. 216570) and that left collectors willing to pay hefty prices before it was no longer available.”
For buyers lucky enough to have a good relationship with an authorized Rolex dealer, inquiries should be made well in advance of any special occasion.
At Wempe, a major Rolex retailer in New York City, there are no “waiting lists” for Rolex models, which would suggest a chronological order for responding to requests. “We try to be a part of people’s lives and special occasions and we have a long-standing relationship with clients who expect us to have something for them whether their child graduates or gets married,” said Wempe US President Ruediger (“Rudy”) Albers. “But we obviously want to attract new customers. So we go about building relationships and finding customers who love the product for all the right reasons. “
“A lot of customers don’t know what’s going on in the aftermarket and don’t know what the demand looks like, so we have to educate them,” he says. “Once it’s formulated correctly, most people understand that if it takes a few months or a few years to get it, that’s history.”
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