The World Of Rolex

Diary Of A PawnbrokerFeatures

Rolex have always been a world leader in the luxury watch market. Luxury watches are built to last and designed to be passed on from generation to generation or in many cases, part exchanged or resold as an investment piece like a quality vintage car.

The pre-owned luxury watch market has received some correction since 2021 when lack of spending during lockdown and low interest rates triggered the fastest rise in the pre-owned prices of watches we have seen in the last 10 years.

The prices now seem to have normalised again and it has left the preowned market in a very strong position as nearly three quarters of currently made Rolex watches are worth more second hand than new.

Patek Phillippe still commands the highest resale premium, though only half its models beat their retail price, along with Audemars Piguet and of course Rolex, these three brands drive the luxury watch resale market.

Speculation is one of the biggest drivers of pre-owned prices. Which model will be discontinued next and will it become collectable? When Rolex discontinued their steel bezel Daytona in 2016, their pre-owned price rocketed. 

I remember being offered any number of pre-owned Stainless Steel Daytona watches when I opened my first Brown & Gold branch back in 2012. Back then they would have cost me £5500 each trade price with a view to selling them for £6250 if I was lucky. Just over 10 years later and you would be fortunate to find the same watch for less than £20,000 with most models selling for around £25,000 each. I wish I had filled my safe! 

If you owned a pre-2000 Daytona with the Zenith movement you could be looking at double that price. Why? Basically because of supply and demand. Many customers tell us they are on the Rolex waiting list, but very few, if any ever receive the call to tell them their watch is ready for them to collect! 

It is likely to be at least 5 years wait if you’re able to buy a new Rolex Daytona. During that time we’ve seen Covid pass through, World Cups come and go, markets rise and fall and four different prime ministers all within the time it takes to get your hands on a new Rolex Daytona. The pre-owned price is high for good reason.

We sell a vast range of Rolex at Christopher Brown Jewellers our prices are matched to those of the online market. The beauty of buying a watch from a recognised ‘bricks and mortar’ jewellers such as ours is that you get a full 2 year warranty, you know the watch has been fully serviced and authenticated by qualified Rolex technicians and if ever there was a problem, you can come back to us and rely on our excellent customer service to put things right.

What Are The Top Tipped Rolex To Invest In For 2023? 

I have to be honest and admit that my personal guess is as good as yours (otherwise I would probably be sat in a nice big yacht sailing around the Maldives). However, when you research the view from experts, the general opinion seems to be as follows:

■ Rolex GMT-Master II

Rolex GMT-Master II (Ref. 16710) This long production run means a lot of different versions of the watch were produced that include models with Pepsi and Coke bezels, as well as a fully black bezel version. All highly desirable and with lots of potential for being discontinued.

■ Rolex Submariner

Rolex Submariner Ref. (16610) If you consider what you get for your money it has remarkable potential to appreciate in value: the brilliant 16610 is a steal, especially when compared to the modern Submariners with ceramic bezels.

■ Rolex Datejust

Rolex Datejust (Ref. 16234) If you want a more affordable watch then look no further than the Rolex Datejust. For many, the Datejust is both a great way to enter the world of Rolex in terms of price, and a great watch for almost any occasion. You can wear the Datejust in casual situations and at formal events and the 16234 which features a 36-mm stainless steel case with a fluted 18ct white gold bezel is a true timeless classic.

■ Rolex Explorer II

Rolex Explorer II (Ref. 16570) Rolex produced the Explorer II ref. 16570 for a total of 22 years before it was replaced by the new, bigger ref. 216570 in 2011. This watch was available with a black dial or a white “polar” dial and is an elegant slimline sports watch with a 40mm case. 

There are so many more models available and small variations can have a huge impact in the value to the collectors eye. One thing is for sure, if you are prepared to give it time you can have many years of pleasure owning a luxury watch such as a Rolex and not be out of pocket in years to come should you ever need to sell it.

To view our latest range of Rolex and luxury watches visit and arrange an appointment to view and try the watch you have always dreamed of in your nearest branch including, York, Seacroft, Shipley, Goole, Pontefract, Batley, Stockport, Prescot and Toxteth.

Chris Brown

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August 2023


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