As they say in the business, most watches are like new cars and depreciate the minute you strap them on your wrist. But is this the case with every watch brand? Thankfully, no. Ask if Rolex watches can hold their value or even appreciate down the line and the answer is yes. Although the beloved Oyster Perpetual you were given on your graduation will probably not be featured in a Christie’s watch auction catalogue, the value of your watch will hold over time; however, if you happen to have a 1970s Paul Newman Daytona in good nick hidden in the back of your sock drawer, you could be looking at six-digit figures.
Which Rolex watches on the market today are likely to appreciate?
It would be naive to assume that buying a Rolex watch means you are going to make a windfall sometime in the future, but insider knowledge from the experts might help you select a model that will not just hold its value but actually appreciate down the line. Rolex’s sports watches – often referred to as instrument watches – are the models destined to perform well over time. Today, the GMT-Master II, the iconic Submariner and the Cosmograph Daytona are all very desirable models. In fact, even the current Daytona model with a black ceramic bezel and stainless steel case is difficult to lay your hands on and few are available through the front door. There is always a waiting list.
One of the best-loved pilot’s watches, the Rolex GMT-Master – aka the Pepsi watch, so called because of its red and blue bezel – was developed by Rolex in 1955 with the input of Pan Am pilots. Revisited with a new two-tone black and blue ceramic bezel in 2015, the GMT-Master II is another highly desirable model that is known in the business as the “Bruiser” or “Batman” because of its new black and blue bezel.
Which Rolex watches might interest a novice and hold their value?
The Oyster Perpetual and Rolex Explorer II models are fantastic entry-level candidates with attractive prices.
Why do Rolex watches hold their value so well?
Because Rolex is the watch brand everybody on our planet knows about – and for very good reason. Many brands might quibble about the pecking order, but Rolex really put the wristwatch on the watch map, was the first brand to develop a water-proof case for the wristwatch and has always been adamant about quality. Not the most communicative of brands or fond of trumpeting its breakthroughs, not many people know, for example, that all Rolex watches must now conform to the new stringent manufacturing tolerances of +2/-2 seconds a day, accuracy well above the standard COSC chronometry requirements. The fact is that Rolex does not cut corners and has invested enormously in its business. People respect Rolex because the brand has never sold out to its customers. The family resemblance of the collections is consistent and yet the models don’t look tired and out of date, and this is something people appreciate.
At the end of the day, though, the intrinsic value of a watch lies in the enjoyment it brings you. A watch is made to be worn and enjoyed and is a reflection of your personality and taste. If well looked after, your watch will make it through several generations and obtain the patina of a priceless object – if only for sentimental reasons.
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