How Much Is My Vintage Rolex Worth?
The Rolex brand is synonymous with luxury and elegance, first gracing wrists in 1905. Since then, the brand has built a reputation for timeless pieces avid watch collectors everywhere seek.
At Precision Watches, we know the importance and value of the Rolex brand. Vintage watches come to our family-owned business for repair.
If you want to sell your Vintage Rolex, you will find it more complicated than simply walking into a consignment shop. The Rolex is a timeless work of art, and understanding how to price one is part of owning a Rolex.
Whether you are a collector or seller with a vintage Rolex, here’s everything you need to know about determining its worth.
Vintage Model & Reference Number
The model type and reference number are significant factors in appraising the timepiece’s worth. The reference number is a primary factor in confirming the original manufacture date of the watch, which ties in directly with its value.
The serial numbers ensure authenticity in a brand. You can find the serial number between the lugs opposite the reference number, right at the six mark, for watches made before 2005. After 2005, the brand switched to engraving the number on the inner bezel. The watches were numbered 1 to 1 million up until 1954. After hitting the first 1 million serial examples, Rolex began again at 1 until the next million in 1964.
By 1986, the number of serial numbers reached 10 million, and Rolex introduced defining characters to distinguish the year of production. The serial number is between five to eight numbers.
Authenticity & Original Components
Luxury brands always suffer from the efforts of con artists seeking to make bootleg versions. The Rolexes are no different, and counterfeit watches can find their way on the market. The serial numbers aid with verifying the authenticity as well as original papers if they are on hand.
A genuine Rolex will have both a model and a serial number, whereas a fake one may lack one or the other. The serial number is between five and eight digits. A genuine model also features a small engraved crown near the number six as a marker of authenticity. A fake will try to have this, but it will be slightly too large to be genuine.
Another issue is the depreciation value of a repaired watch. If original parts have been swapped or changed, the value will decrease. In some cases, small parts, like the bezel insert, can be changed back to the original.
In other instances, a component like a new dial can factor into the durability and waterproofness of your Rolex. Finding an original dial for a vintage watch is significantly more complicated than swapping for an original bevel. In some cases, it can be impossible.
Some collectors may still be willing to buy a modified vintage Rolex, but it is a factor in determining how much your Rolex is worth.
At Precision Watches, we aim to protect the integrity of our sales and the Rolex prestige by verifying the authenticity of all purchases. We never want to inform you of an inauthentic item, but it does happen.
The Rolex brand has watches made from several different materials, ranging from stainless steel to gold. Of course, an 18-karat gold vintage watch will have a higher price tag than a stainless steel one.
The material used in your watch manufacturing is another element in appraising its worth. Some materials require scrupulous care and service.
If you are unsure about the material of your vintage watch, never fear. Our expert eyes have seen them all and can ascertain the type of metal.
Box & Papers
Many people hold onto the boxes and papers of significant purchases. It is an excellent idea when it comes to luxury items like the Rolex.
The desirability of your vintage watch will increase if you have both the original papers and the box from the initial sale. The papers can play into how much someone is willing to pay.
Vintage models can present the wear and tear of time, which can impact their value. Perhaps the watch has been a family heirloom or passed between many hands. Perhaps it has gathered dust locked in a forgotten box. Either way, the condition of the vintage watch in the light of day is an essential factor when selling it.
If any scratches, marks, and dents are visible, expect a price deduction. Many collectors understand vintage does not mean perfection but still expect a near-perfect condition.
A concerning condition factor would be rust and oxidation in the watch. If possible, keep the Rolex locked away safely if you ever plan on selling it.
Rolexes should also get professionally serviced about once every ten years. If you have not had your watch serviced recently, we can do that and repair any issues such as oxidation to keep the timepiece in pristine and proper working condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Old Is a Vintage Rolex?
It can be hard to determine when a watch crosses from ‘new’ to ‘vintage’ territory with a brand as long-lasting as Rolex. While there is no scientific formula behind this, generally, twenty years is sufficient to hit the vintage mark.
What Is the Best Way to Sell My Vintage Rolex?
You may feel tempted to sell your vintage Rolex through online marketplaces. While making a quick eBay post is an option, professional assistance in a deal like this is advisable.
Precision Watches brings a careful eye and unmatched precision to the sale. Not only do we bring peace of mind to the buyer, but we also ensure proper appraisal so that you can receive nothing less than its true worth.
The Rolex brand is timeless, and most watches have increased in value over the years. Seeking or selling a vintage Rolex means tapping into the equity that began building as soon as you purchased one of these classic timepieces.
There is always a market for an item as classic and stylish as a Rolex. Contact Precision Watches to see just how we can help you tap into the worth of your vintage Rolex.