How much is my Rolex worth? Asked Conrad
Steve, I have a Rolex Datejust here. I think about selling and would like to know how much my Rolex is worth. Furthermore I also have a Submariner and a GMT-Master watch. Maybe you can do me a favour, Steve. Is it possible that you tell me how much they are worth? The Datejust watch, I bought by myself some years ago. I guess I paid about 5 grand. The two other watches belong to my dad. They are not for sale but I would also like to know how much they are worth.
Conrad from Denver in Colorado
Dear Conrad, you have a nice Rolex collection. The story of Rolex watches began at the turn of the 19th century. After a few years on the clerical side of the watch industry, Mr. Hans Wilsdorf founded his own company in England named Rolex. Did you know that Mr. Wilsdorf was a very young man at the age of 24 as he founded his watchmaking company? For me, Rolex is a very nice brand with an interesting history. It’s a pleasure for me to evaluate your three Rolex watches.
reDollar appraiser, Steve Redrich
Conrad wants to know, how much is my Rolex worth?
Conrad: I’m proud to own three Rolex watches. One watch, bought by myself some years ago, is for sale. It’s a Datejust Rolex watch and I’m emotionally ready to sell. The two other watches belong to my dad. God bless his soul. They are not for sale but I would like to know how much they are worth. So please tell me how much is my Rolex Datejust worth, when I sell it and give me an idea about the other watches’ value. This would be very friendly.
Steve: Your Rolex watches are very common and popular in the US. Rolex watches became a very important status symbol within the last centuries. If you watch other people you will realize how many people wear Rolex watches. Its popularity isn’t only a masterstroke of marketing experts it’s also because of a thrilling history beginning in 1910. The quality of the first Wilsdorf watches was most convincing to watch experts that one of the first produced watches obtained the first official chronometer certificate ever awarded to a wristwatch. Furthermore a class A certificate awarded by the Kew Observatory followed some years later. After the First World War, Wilsdorf moved his company from England to Geneva accompanied with a name change to Montres Rolex SA. The name “Rolex” was registered as a trademark since 1908 but initially used under the new company’s name. I tell you Steve, your dad knew why he collected Rolex watches. They are more than just a status symbol. They are one of the most important parts of the watchmaking industry. Countless patents and inventions belong to Wilsdorf an Montres Rolex SA.
Conrad: Very interesting to learn. I thought that Rolex always was a Swiss brand. It’s new for me that the founding has taken place in England. Steve, what is the most important innovation or invention that Rolex has ever made?
Steve: That’s in the eye of the viewer. For me, maybe it’s the invention of the first waterproof case. By 1926 Montres Rolex SA created a prototype of a waterproof watchcase. The watch’s bezel and its back were screwed onto the central carcass using a lead seal. Wilsdorf tested the first prototypes of waterproofed cases for some weeks. The tested watches showed no sign of moisture penetration and no signs of variation of performance. Rolex is the pioneer of waterproofed watches beginning in the 1920s. That’s a brilliant achievement to me.
Conrad: The history of watches is really very interesting. I guess for now on, I honor the Rolex watches more than ever before. It’s really awesome to learn such facts.
Steve: Do you want me to start with your Datejust watch?
Conrad: Oh yes, please. Go on!
Steve: Rolex Datejust watches are modern and classic watches. The first Datejust watch was produced in 1945 and models of the Datejust series became extremely popular. The modern versions of Datejust watches are still popular and Rolex is working on refinements in design and technique from every now and then. Your Rolex is the model number 116233 in stainless steel and 18K gold. The case diameter is exactly 35mm and is an indicator for authenticity. I have seen some faked watches with deviant diameters. Your Datejust watch has an automatic movement with an analog display, a sapphire crystal and a gold bezel. The condition, from the source of your photos, looks very good to me. I guess the watch has just normal signs of wear. I see an estimated value in the range of $4,800 and $5,200. There is no certification to all of your three watches what reduces the value a bit.
Conrad: So, it looks like I get out what I paid once. That’s not a bad deal wearing a watch for some years without losing money.
Steve: Rolex watches offer stability of value. You only lose significant amounts if you buy brand new Rolex watches. Your Rolex Submariner is also a very nice watch. The Submariner comes with a superlative chronometer movement, a black dial, a stainless steel bracelet and an Oyster flip lock. I guess it was made circa 1986 or 1987. Its case shows a diameter of about 40mm and the watch comes water-resistant up to 1,000 feet. Summarized, a well-known and popular watch also these days. Such a Rolex watch sells between $3,500 and $4,000.
Conrad: That’s a very helpful information for my records. I need an insurance and I guess they will ask for the value of my valuables.
Steve: Yes, they will ask for sure. Some insurance companies also expect a certification. If you need a certification one day, I can provide some addresses to you where you get that job done affordable. Finally, let’s talk about your vintage GMT-Master. I really, really LOVE THIS watch. The Rolex GMT-Master comes with a self-winding automatic movement and date function. The case diameter shows 40mm with a black dial and with white markers. I see a plastic crystal and an 18k yellow gold & stainless steel oyster band with a Rolex signed clasp. This fine piece sells between $3,400 and $4,000 depending on the condition.
Conrad: Nice to learn from you, Steve. I’m very thankful.
Steve: You’re very welcome. But remember, this is an evaluation from afar. There is no possibility for me to proof the authenticity of your Rolex watches. Normally I open the cases to examine the clockworks. Only a clockwork check delivers certainty about the authenticity.
Conrad: I know and I thank you again for letting me know. Your help is unpayable to me. Thank you for your kind customer service.
Steve: I thank you too Conrad.