Let’s talk about Rolex prices: how much is your Rolex worth?

Steve, I have a Rolex Datejust and I think about selling my watch. For this reason I would like to know how much my Rolex watch is worth. In addition to the Rolex Datejust I also have a Submariner and a GMT-Master Rolex. I hope you will do me a favor, Steve. Is it possible that you tell me how much my Rolex watches are worth? I bought the Datejust Rolex myself some years ago. I guess I paid about $5,000. The two other watches belonged to my dad. They are currently not for sale but I’m curious to find out how much they are worth.

Conrad from Memphis in Tennessee

Dear Conrad, you have a pretty nice Rolex watch collection. The history 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 established 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?

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust in reDollar envelopeConrad: I’m very proud to own 3 Rolex watches. One watch, I bought myself some years ago, is for sale. It’s a Rolex Datejust and  if I can get a decent amount of money for it, I’m ready to sell. The two other watches belonged to my dad. They are not for sale but I would really like to know how much this Rolex watches are worth. So please tell me how much is my Rolex Datejust worth if I sell it and please give me more information regarding the other watches’s value. This would be great.

Steve: Your Rolex watch models 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, soon you will realize how many people wear Rolex watches. The popularity isn’t only a masterstroke of marketing experts, it’s also because of a thrilling history beginning in 1910 and an unique quality. The quality of the first Wilsdorf watches impressed the experts in such a way that one of the first manufactured watches received the first official chronometer certificate, ever awarded for a wristwatch. In addition, a few years later, the Kew Observatory awarded a Class A certificate. After the First World War, Wilsdorf moved his company from England to Geneva, and changed the company name to Montres Rolex SA. The name “Rolex” is registered as a trademark since 1908 but initially used under the new company name. I tell you Steve, your dad knew why he collected Rolex watches. They are more than just a status symbol. Rolex watches made history and belong to one of the most important parts of the watchmaking industry. Countless patents and inventions belong to Wilsdorf and Montres Rolex SA.

Conrad: Wow, that’s extremely interesting. I thought that Rolex was always a Swiss brand. It’s new to me that the brand was founded in England. Steve, what is the most important innovation or invention Rolex has ever made?

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date GMT-Master IISteve: That’s in the eye of the viewer. For me, I think it’s the invention of the first waterproof case. In 1926 Montres Rolex SA created a first 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 his 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 waterproof watches beginning in the 1920s. That’s a brilliant achievement to me.

Conrad: The history of watches is really very interesting. I guess from now on, I will honor my Rolex watches more than ever before. It’s really mesmerizing to learn such facts.

Steve: Do you want me to start with your Rolex Datejust watch?

Conrad: Oh yes, please. Go ahead!

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 in high demand and Rolex is continuously working on refinements in designs and techniques. Your Rolex is model number 116233 in stainless steel and 18K gold. The case diameter is exactly
35 mm and is an indicator for authenticity. I have seen some faked watches with deviant diameters. Your Rolex Datejust watch has an automatic movement with an analog display, a sapphire crystal and a gold bezel. Based on your photos, I can say the condition looks 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 are no certificates available for all of your three Rolex watches what reduces the value a bit but not significantly. A Rolex stays a Rolex, with certificate or not. Our customers can also sell Rolex watches without papers.

Conrad: So, it seems that my Rolex is still worth what I paid? That’s not a bad deal wearing a watch for some years without losing money.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day DateSteve: Rolex watches hold their value very well. Only if you buy brand new Rolex watches, you can lose money in the short term. 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 Oyster flip lock. I guess it was made in 1986 or 1987. The case shows a diameter of about 40 mm and the watch comes water-resistant up to 1,000 feet. Summarized, a well-known and popular watch also nowadays. Such a Rolex watch has a selling price between $3,500 and $4,000.

Conrad: That’s a very helpful information for my records. I need insurance for my Rolex watches and I think that helps a lot.

Steve: Yes, if you need a good insurance for your luxury watches you need a meaningful appraisal from an accredited appraiser in written form. Some insurance companies also expect a certificate and/or a bill of sales. Finally, let’s talk about your vintage Rolex 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 40 mm 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 for $3,400 to $4,000 depending on the condition.

Conrad: Thank you so much Steve! I’m very thankful for your brilliant advice.

Steve: You’re very welcome. Please be aware, 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 gives certainty about the authenticity of a watch.

Conrad: Thank you! Your help is priceless! Thank you for your brilliant customer service, I will definitely recommend you to my friends.

Steve: I thank you Conrad!

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