Rolex As An Investment Performance

Despite a recent dip in pre-owned prices, learn why Rolex watches remain a strong long-term investment and continue to hold their value.

May 4, 2023

Paul Altieri, founder and CEO of Bob's Watches, an online marketplace for the resale of timepieces with a specialty on Rolexes, claims that during a ten-year period, from 2011 to 2021, the investment return of Rolexes was higher than that of real estate, the stock market, or even gold.

According to a survey by the California-based company released earlier this year, the average cost of a pre-owned Rolex watch grew from less than US$5,000 in 2011 to more than US$13,000 by the end of 2021.

According to Altieri, price growth persisted into the spring of this year before progressively declining. According to Altieri, the cost to order a Rolex dropped from $12,900 in May to around $11,000 today.

He claims that the decline in consumer spending brought on by the economic slowdown is a contributing factor in the price adjustment.

Philips Americas' head of watches, Paul Boutros, concurs. The price increase over the previous two years was, in his words, "simply too great and too quick to a level that was sort of unsustainable." Prices have likely dropped by 20% on average since their peak since there weren't enough customers to maintain such price levels.

Early in 2020, the typical pre-owned Rolex watch cost US$20,000. By late March, that price had risen to US$37,000. According to WatchCharts, which offers data-driven research of the used watch market, the price has decreased to around US$28,000 as of right now.

In secondary markets, used Rolexes continue to fetch premiums over their original retail costs. According to Altieri, the fundamental cause is that "demand is still outstripping supply."


According to Altieri, Rolex makes over a million new watches year but has stopped producing classic models like the famous 1969 Rolex Daytona. Moreover, Altieri notes that "Luxury watches in general, or Rolex watches in particular, have been wonderful Buys, and more and more watch aficionados and collectors are adopting this collecting area."

The pre-owned division of the Swiss corporation, which will verify pre-owned watches at least three years old, just began operations. According to Altieri, it is "a good confirmation of how vast and essential the used and vintage market is."

While certain collector's watches have shown to appreciate in value over time, Phillips, on the other hand, does not promote timepieces as investments, according to Boutros.

He claims that watches are a "passion product." "If the value increases, think of it as a bonus. But, even if the value declines, you still have what you cherish.


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