Best Rolex Investment: a Beginner’s Guide

While global financial uncertainty looms large, men’s Rolex are still performing well as an investment. We’ll take a look at the standout models to find out the best watch to invest in and check out any models that are worth watching.

Are Rolex Watches a Good Investment?

Despite inflation, there’s been no significant Rolex price drop to help secure sales. In fact, the opposite is true, with a price rise on the horizon from the manufacturer. This means that the low supply, high demand model still stands and, if you’re seriously considering an investment watch, Rolex is a very strong performer as a good investment watch in 2024.

Why are Rolex watches so expensive?

Rolex watches hold their value extremely well. The Swiss-based ‘King of Watches’ brand carry with them a status and power that few other brands bring. If you’re seeking watches that appreciate in value, few brands tick the box so much as Rolex, from the record-breaking Paul Newman Daytona to the Rolex Hulk, as the Rolex Hulk Submariner reference 116610LV is also known as. There’s nothing to make a Rolex more sought after than discontinuing a model just like this.

Best Investment Watches

Some Rolex models are always more popular than others, with the stainless-steel sports models in highest demand.

These models include the Rolex GMT Master II, the Rolex Daytona Stainless Steel, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer and the Submariner. While it may seem like there are very little differences between each model, that’s where investors can truly leverage the value of the brand and the thought they put in to the advancements made on each watch and each model.

The Rolex Daytona is a robust, sports watch that can measure speeds of up to 4,000 km per hour; however, the rarer the model, the more valuable the watch. The unusual Rolex Daytona Cosmograph with a Green Dial is an 18ct yellow-gold watch holds its value because Rolex fans gravitate towards their green dial models, while the gold hour marker also sets it aside from other models.

The cost of a Rolex watch is just one aspect of its purchase. Finding the model you want from an approved retailer and taking your space on a wait list, with times of up to 6 years for some models, is a route to purchase for many. You might opt to go for a less highly sought after model, which can still pay dividends in the future, or you might look to preowned options – and this is now a better option than ever.

Another Route to Rolex models

Rolex aren’t the king of watches by accident. Their smart market positioning and manufacturing policy of limited supply against an increased demand means that the preowned Rolex market is just as vibrant as the first-time purchase – in fact, preowned prices are often the record setters, rather than the retailers.

Rolex has tuned into this and launched a certified preowned programme so that buyers seeking the best Rolex investment can purchase Rolex-certified preowned watches, driving the resell value up even further.

When buying pre-owned, it’s important to understand the value that’s held in the model, but, of equal importance, it’s critical to know what to look for in a purchase and appreciate how to spot a fake. The value held in any Rolex also depends on the several factors, including:

  • Condition
  • Provenance
  • Sale paperwork
  • Original Box
  • Rarity
  • Market Demand

A high number of investors look to buy a Rolex Submariner, a Rolex Sea Dweller and the Rolex rose gold Daytona among other key models, but with demand so high and supply so low, savvy investors know that they can seek out the lesser-known models, including the Rolex Perpetual Oyster Datejust or the Rolex Milgauss to leverage the market’s appetite.

Rolex Investment Watches

While releases are limited, there’s always something new to explore from the Swiss brand. Let’s explore the best Rolex for investment.

Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710

This version of the timeless classic was in production from 1989 to 2007 and was the last reference to feature an aluminium bezel before the ref. 116710 moved to steel with a fully-black Cerachrom bezel.

If you’ve ever heard of the Pepsi Rolex – or the Coke Rolex – this is the model in question. The Pepsi Rolex features a bezel with blue and red of the Pepsi Cola brand, while Coke’s read and black feature on that version.

These models offer strong investment opportunities because of the differentiations between models, Will the pre-1997 models used tritium lume, the models between 1997 and 1999 used LumiNova before switching to Super-LumiNova from 2000 onwards.

With a switch to Rolex’s 3185 in-house calibre, the movement facilitated a slimmer case than see on earlier models Rolex was able to make the case slimmer in comparison to previous editions. These are iconic models are some of the easiest-to-spot Rolex and are often high up buyers wish lists.

Submariner Ref. 116610LV

Rolex Submariner date Model 116610LV

Adopting the moniker ‘Hulk’ because of its green bezel, the Hulk’s 40mm stainless steel case and bracelet hosts a power reserve of up to 48 hours. Arriving in 2010, the Rolex Submariner Hulk was well received.  Following 7 years after the release of the Rolex Submariner 16610LV (Kermit) in 2003 with iconic Rolex-brand green bezel, the Hulk was even greener, with colour across both the bezel and the dial and using Cerachrom ceramic. Everything about the Hulk was bigger and brighter, down to the wide lugs and crown guards.

‍Rolex Explorer

The Rolex Explorer is designed with wear and functionality at its core. Both the Rolex Explorer I and Rolex Explorer II are hard-wearing watches with both luminous hands and numbers offering a clear night view.

Both the Rolex Explorer I and the Explorer Rolex 2 were born out of the desire for exploration in the 1950’s, with special reference to mountaineering. It was the need of these mountaineers and explorers that precipitated the need for the time to be seen in blackout conditions.

Rolex Datejust

Rather than be a watch with another function, like the Submariner or the Explorer, the Rolex Datejust is the perfect entry point to Rolex that can be worn in everyday situations. With the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust women’s one of Rolex’s classic women’s models, it offers a non-sports style model for women.

The Datejust has witnessed several changes to its design over the years, with models adopting gold and rose gold bezels and inset diamond and sapphire crystals, such as the ref. 16234.

Datejust’s offer a range of dial colours and configurations, from black or silver dials to soft salmon pink teamed with Roman numerals rather than numbers. With many different models of offer for both men and women, the Rolex Datejust are perfect his and hers Rolex watches.

 Rolex Sea-Dweller

The Sea Dweller Rolex brought developments developed for divers to the wider market, so that investors could enjoy the advancements too. One aspect of the Rolex Sea Dweller that sets it aside from other dive watches is the helium escape valve that was invented by US Navy diver, Robert A. Barth. Rather than placing the watch under extreme pressure during a deep dive, the helium escape value allows molecules to escape during decompression and ensure that the watch’s crystal doesn’t break.

Also read our article on 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Rolex Watches.

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