Vintage Rolex Buying Guide
It’s no secret that vintage Rolex watches are sought-after in the secondary market, and their popularity has exploded in recent years. If you’re new to the market, you probably have questions about vintage Rolex timepieces, whether you’re buying, selling, or simply curious.
What exactly is a vintage Rolex? How much is a vintage Rolex worth? How can I tell if a vintage Rolex is real? Where is the best place to sell vintage Rolex watches? If these are some of the things you’re wondering, go ahead and delve into our vintage Rolex guide for answers to your burning questions.
About Vintage Rolex Watches
What defines a vintage Rolex? Generally speaking, vintage Rolex watches are at least 30 years old. Therefore, at a minimum, the timepiece has to be made in 1992 or before to be considered a vintage Rolex watch.
Many vintage Rolex watches will have common design traits that you can look out for. For instance, the type of luminous material used before 1992 was tritium. Luminova was only adopted in the late-1990s. Vintage Rolex watches that have tritium painted dials will typically include a marking below the 6 o’clock marker that says: “Swiss-T <25,” “T Swiss Made T,” or “T SWISS T”.
Another telltale sign of an older vintage Rolex can be the type of crystal used. Many (but not all) vintage Rolex watches produced in the early-1980s and before will have acrylic crystals rather than the sapphire crystals commonly found on modern luxury watches.
How Much is a Vintage Rolex Worth?
Vintage Rolex watches have a reputation for being exceedingly pricey. After all, it’s the million-dollar sales that’ll grab the headlines. Although it’s accurate that certain older models will command eye-popping prices in the vintage market, this isn’t necessarily true of all of them.
The price for vintage Rolex watches can vary wildly depending on model, reference, year of production, provenance, and, of course, condition. Also, remember that searching a watch model and reference online may not always yield the most accurate results for the current market value of your particular watch. Many details will impact the price of a vintage Rolex watch.
The best way to find out how much a specific vintage Rolex is worth is to request an initial quote from a professional watch buyer. That’ll give you a ballpark figure.
Is My Vintage Rolex Real?
If you’ve recently inherited or been given a vintage Rolex watch, you’re probably wondering if it’s real. So, how can you tell if a vintage Rolex a real?
While there are no guarantees if you’re trying to authenticate the watch yourself (again, this is something you should probably leave to the professionals) here are a few tips and tricks if you want to gain a better understanding of whether or not your vintage Rolex is real.
• Try to determine what model it is and research it. Does your vintage Rolex watch have all the details that it should? For instance, the correct dial layout, case metal, and movement type? There’s plenty of general information online about vintage Rolex watches that should give you a general idea of what yours should look like.
• Inspect the dial to see if you can spot any spelling mistakes, sloppy font, or poor finishing. These are red flags.
• Look at the back of the watch. Vintage Rolex watches will have solid (not see-through) casebacks.
• If you can remove the bracelet (if you’re not comfortable doing so, skip this part), look on the 12 o’clock side and 6 o’clock side – this is where vintage Rolex watches will have their model and serial numbers engraved.
Where Can I Sell My Vintage Rolex Watch?
Several ways to sell a vintage Rolex watch include finding a private buyer, listing it on an auction site, or bringing it to a pawn shop. However, the quickest, safest, and easiest way to sell a vintage Rolex is to bring it to a professional business that has experience with vintage Rolex watches.
This is a specialized market, and you want to ensure that your potential buyer understands all the intricacies and inherent value of a high-end older mechanical watch. Pawn shops will low-ball you, auction sites normally charge hefty fees, and dealing with strangers — online or in person — that don’t represent a legit company can be unsafe. Safety first!
Who Buys Vintage Rolex Watches in Philadelphia?
Located in Willow Grove, PA, just outside of Philadelphia, Precision Watches buys vintage Rolex watches. Not only is Precision Watches a third-generation, family-owned and operated luxury watch retailer that’s authorized to sell some of the top Swiss watch brands in the world, but we’re also experts at buying vintage watches.
Precision Watches, an official retailer of several Swiss watchmakers, serves the following cities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey:
Willow Grove, PA
East Norriton, PA
West Norriton, PA
King of Prussia, PA
Maple Shade, NJ