Prices for pre-owned Rolex watches have fallen this year after peaking in the spring, but the long-term return on investment still stands the test of time, experts say.
According to Paul Altieri, founder and CEO of Bob’s Watches, an online marketplace for reselling watches, Rolex’s return on investment over the decade from 2011 to 2021 will outpace real estate, the stock market and even gold. It was expensive. , with a focus on Rolex.
The average price of a pre-owned Rolex watch has risen from under $5,000 in 2011 to more than $13,000 by the end of 2021, according to a report released by the California-based company earlier this year.
Altieri said the price increase continued until this spring, after which it gradually declined. The average Rolex order price on his online platform has fallen from $12,900 in May to about $11,000 today, Altieri says.
The price correction is partly due to the negative impact of the economic slowdown on consumer spending, he said.
Paul Boutros, head of watches at Phillips Americas, agrees. “Prices have risen too far and too fast over the last two years to unsustainable levels,” he says. “Prices probably averaged about 20% off their peaks because there weren’t enough buyers to sustain that price level.”
The average price of a pre-owned Rolex watch rose from US$20,000 in early 2020 to over US$37,000 in late March. Prices have fallen to around US$28,000 as of today, according to WatchCharts, which provides data-driven analysis of the pre-owned watch market.
However, pre-owned Rolexes still sell above their original retail price on the secondary market. The main reason is that “demand is still outstripping supply,” Altieri said.
Altieri says Rolex makes about a million new watches each year and no longer makes vintage watches, such as the iconic 1969 Rolex Daytona. On the other hand, “Rolex watches, or luxury watches in general, are a great investment, and more and more watch enthusiasts and collectors are embracing this collecting category,” Altieri says.
A Swiss company recently launched a pre-owned business that certifies pre-owned watches that are at least three years old. This “positively reinforces how big and important the second-hand and vintage markets are,” he says Altieri.
Meanwhile, Boutros said that while Phillips does not sell its watches as investments, some collector’s watches have proven to appreciate in value over time.
“Watches are a passion product,” he says. “If it goes up in value, consider it a bonus. But if it goes down in value, you still have what you love.”