You’ve seen headlines proclaiming the ridiculous sale prices of specific Patek Philippe references or something like that, but you rarely actually see Rolex grabbing the headlines. Everyone is well aware of Rolex, it’s the name you think of when discussing luxury watches and there is a reason for that. While Rolex have mostly been absent in the news, as an alternative investment they have consistent been appreciating in value.
Discussing alternative investments will make anyone you’re talking to do an immediate 180 and walk out the door. Just like that one mate who won’t shut up about crypto. But at least with watch collecting, you have a tangible item worth a real dollar amount and there is proof that luxury watches are worth the investment.
Bob’s Watches, a pre-owned watch exchange specialising in Rolexes, have compiled 10 years’ worth of sale data and have revealed by just how much Rolex watches have appreciated in value. This is even when you take into account Rolex’s steady price increase and inflation. Rolex, according to this data has outperformed major asset classes like real estate, stocks, and gold (on average).
Looking at the data you will find that the market average sale for a pre-owned Rolex has risen from under $5,000 USD in 2011 to over $13,000 USD in 2021.
Prices actually rose during the pandemic by a rate almost equal to the total price increase observed over the previous five years. In a pandemic!
The Most Appreciated Rolex
Every model has appreciated in value at least a little bit with most reaching all-time highs.
On the lower end of the spectrum, we have references like the Air-King and the Date but the real talking points are the Daytona, Day-Date, and the Sky-Dweller which have all blown up over the last decade, doubling their value. It’s most impressive for the Sky-Dweller as it was only introduced in 2012 and has achieved amazing results in less time than its comparable references.
However, it is still the Daytona that remains the champion as it has more than tripled in value with an average pre-owned price of over $30,000 USD in 2021.
The Most Popular Rolex
While some references have gained amazing value, that doesn’t mean they are the most popular. The single best-selling Rolex reference is the stainless-steel Submariner 16610. In second place is the two-tone steel and gold Submariner 16613.
Rolex’s sport and tool watches are by far their most popular as they fill out 8 of the top 15 best seller spots.
That isn’t to discount the others as, surprisingly enough, the Lady-Datejust collection represents a total of three references from the top 15 list as well. In fact, the stainless steel and 18k yellow gold Lady-Datejust 69173 is the fourth best-selling Rolex of the last 10 years.
Other notable positions on the list include the dix-digit GMT Master II 116710 in third place, the steel Explorer II 16570 in fifth, and the yellow gold Day-Date 36 18038 in sixth.
I wish we could say that this means it’s a great time to buy a Rolex as an investment but there is no guarantee that this price rise will continue and that all these watches will hold their value. A lot of variables go into this and it isn’t as simple as just buying a Rolex and hoping for the best.
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