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Luxury Watches | 10.01.2020

What Is The Resale Value of a Rolex Watch?

Why are Rolexes so Valuable?The time has come, and now you’re ready to sell your beloved Rolex. You know that Rolex is an iconic watch brand, but you don’t know much about the history of your specific watch. So, you’ve gone down a rabbit hole about how to go about selling your Rolex. What is the resale value of my Rolex watch? Has the value of my watch gone up or down? Is my Rolex considered vintage? Why do some Rolexes go for more than others? Do I get more money if my Rolex if it is a men’s or women’s Rolex? How do I find a reputable dealer?

Why are Rolexes so Valuable?

Rolexes are always going to be expensive as they are quality and precision timepieces that last for generations. This means that Rolexes typically have higher resale values in comparison to other luxury watches. The mechanical ingenuity and craftsmanship add to the value of a Rolex.

Part of the pricing is due to the material selection for the bezel, bracelet, and dial. The value of your Rolex changes depending on whether you have a piece with gold, stainless steel, ceramic, platinum, titanium, or even diamonds. Other factors determining the price of a Rolex, beyond the materials, is labor, research and development, and marketing and brand position.

Rolex history also plays a part in the price of a Rolex. There are vital turning points in the life of Rolex products that have minor improvements that refined Rolex products in every way. These changes created the illustrious market for used and vintage men’s and women’s timepieces. Rolexes are sleek and stylish and built to last.

How do I know if my watch is Vintage?

There is a blurry line between having simply a used or pre-owned Rolex versus a vintage Rolex. Usually, after 20 or 30 years is when the watch tends to start appreciating in value. At that point, there is usually more visibility and more knowledge about the history of that Rolex model.

You can check the unique serial that comes engraved on every Rolex watch, which allows you to track your watch to learn more about it. Without a serial number, you may have a counterfeit Rolex. If you are unsure if your Rolex is counterfeit or authentic, take it to a trusted Rolex dealer to learn more about your timepiece. 

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What Are Some Popular Used or Vintage Rolex Models?

Not all Rolex models are treated equally. Some used and vintage Rolex models are more popular than others


After the Rolex Submariner's launch in 1954, the Submariner has been one of the most recognizable Rolex models. This watch was conceived as a divers watch since Rene-Paul Jeanneret, the Rolex director at the time, was an amateur diver and sought the help of Jacques Cousteau to test this watch in his underwater explorations. The Submariner's design was not only as a sporty watch but also as a dress watch. There is also a wide price range among the Submariner models including the Kermit and Hulk variations, thus making this iconic watch highly collectible amongst collectors giving the Submariner one of the best resale values on the market.


In 1945, the Rolex Datejust was introduced as the first watch to display the visible date on the dial. The groundbreaking date display mixed with simple details and its precious metal construction led to the Datejust becoming popular for both men and women. Adding to the popularity of the Datejust is the watch’s association with notable figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dwight Eisenhower, Jennifer Anniston, Bono, Roger Federer, and Michael Jordan. The Datejust has a lower price point than others, which makes this attractive minimal piece affordable.


In 2012, Rolex first released the Sky-Dweller to make it the first new Rolex watch in 20 years. This watch features the most complicated movement that Rolex makes. The annual calendar feature is highlighted by the complicated movement that takes into account specific months that have 30 days instead of 31 days. Adding to the Sky-Dweller’s innovation is the month indicator around the dial. Rolex originally released this dressy timepiece with a gold case, making it quite expensive, and later Rolex released this model in steel, thus dropping the price.


In 2008, the Rolex Deepsea was introduced to allow divers to monitor their dive and decompression time and is water-resistant up to 12,800 feet (3,900 meters). With engineering for deep-sea exploration, the Rolex Deepsea is amongst the ultra-resistant watches. After James Cameron’s historic dive to the deepest point on earth, the Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 116660 D-Blue dial was introduced in 2014 to commemorate this dive. The Deepsea has been worn by celebrities, including James Cameron, Sylvester Stallone, Joe Rogan, Stephen Curry, Tiger Woods, and Charlize Theron.


The Daytona was first released in 1963 and named for the city in Florida that is known for attracting motorsport enthusiasts and the Daytona International Speedway, but the original name was Le Mans. This watch celebrated Rolex officially partnering with the racetrack. It featured a tachymeter engraved on the bezel for easy MPH reading. The Daytona also features a chronograph (stopwatch) that drivers could use to time laps. When actor/driver Paul Newman was photographed wearing the Daytona, the popularity of the Daytona increased.

What Goes Into Pricing a Used Rolex? 

The price of your used or vintage Rolex watch isn’t only about the materials, history, and age of your watch. There are five factors that go into pricing your watch.

  1. Condition: Having a Rolex in good condition will make it more valuable than a Rolex that has significant blemishes or missing links in the bracelet or have non-Rolex replacement parts. This isn’t to say there aren’t rare vintage defects that increase the value of a watch. A good rule of thumb to remember is that the better the condition, the higher the value of the Rolex.
  2. Model and Serial Number: The serial number on your Rolex is the most important part of pricing your watch. If you didn't keep or didn't receive the paperwork that tells you the model and serial number, the watch has the model and serial number engraved on it. You can find the model number engraved at the watch lug at the 12 o’clock side where the case and the bracelet come together. You can find the serial number engraved at the watch lug at the 6 o’clock side where the case and bracelet come together.
  3. Box and Papers: Having the original box and papers that came with the purchase of your Rolex watch, you can increase the value of your Rolex. However, having the original box and papers isn't a necessity. The box and papers can help with the verification of authenticity. This is more important if you have a rare Rolex.
  4. Original Features and Authenticity: There are circa-correct Rolex watches and authentic Rolex watches. Both affect the overall price you can fetch for your watch. A circa-correct Rolex has all of the original components that are correct for the time that they produced the Rolex. An authentic Rolex has all of its components made by Rolex without being circa-correct.
  5. Provenance and Rarity: If you have a fairly standard Rolex that was owned by someone famous, having the provenance of that ownership can increase the resale value of a Rolex that doesn’t fetch the highest price. Having a Rolex with rare qualities, such as a rare dial or defect, can raise the value of your Rolex. Just make sure you have the paperwork to prove it.

What is My Rolex Actually Worth?

The amount that you once paid for your Rolex isn’t the current resale price. The five items above go into the valuation of a used or vintage Rolex. Some of the pricing depends on the current market value. This can change year to year. 

The model and serial number allow you to know how much your Rolex is worth simply by looking it up. This is what reputable buyers and sellers go off from for initially pricing your Rolex. The price of a used Rolex can change from seemingly identical Rolex watches, which is why you need to find a certified, reputable Rolex dealer to help you get a fair market price.

With more and more people looking to purchase sustainable items, luxury pre-owned Rolexes are quite desirable. 


Sell Your Rolex

Contact the specialists at U.S. Coins and Jewelry help you determine the fair marketing value of your used or vintage Rolex before you sell it. Contact Houston’s #1 most trusted source at 8435 Katy Freeway in Houston or call 713-597-6367.

Want an idea of what you would get before driving to our location?

Simply upload some images at our free, no-obligation, Online appraisal form so we can give you an estimated price if you’re considering selling your Rolex. While it is impossible to give you an exact figure based on pictures, we can get very close. If you want to trade your Rolex for another model we can do that as well.

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