Renowned for their timeless design, impeccable craftsmanship, and enduring prestige, Rolex watches have historically demonstrated strong value retention and even appreciation over time. However, as with any investment, the question of ‘is Rolex a good investment in 2024?’ requires examination of market trends, economic conditions, and evolving consumer preferences to help determine potential short and longer term gains.

Is It Worth Investing In Rolex Watches? 

Rolex's reputation as a stable investment has been built upon decades of consistent performance in the second-hand Rolex market. Historically, certain Rolex models, such as the Submariner, Daytona, and GMT-Master II, have exhibited remarkable resilience to economic downturns and fluctuations in consumer demand. This resilience can be attributed to several factors, including Rolex's commitment to quality, limited production runs for certain models and enduring popularity among collectors and enthusiasts. Prices for brand new Rolex watches are expected to grow by a further 4% in 2024 which will increase the desire for pre-owned Rolex watches which are accessible at a much lower price point, creating a great opportunity for investors. The long wait times for brand new Rolex watches of anywhere from 2 - 25 years, depending on the model, also encourages people to purchase a second-hand Rolex which further exemplifies the investment value.

rolex milgauss and rolex gmt master ii

The Rolex Milgauss (left) and Rolex GMT-Master II (right)

Investing In New Versus Pre-owned Rolex Watches

Investing in Rolex watches presents both pros and cons for investors to consider. On the positive side, Rolex watches have a long-standing reputation for holding their value and even appreciating over time, making them a potentially profitable addition to an investment portfolio. Their timeless design, exceptional craftsmanship, and above mentioned limited production runs for certain models contribute to their allure among collectors, driving demand in the pre-owned luxury watch market. Moreover, Rolex watches offer tangible assets that can serve as a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainty.

The initial capital outlay required to purchase a new Rolex watch however, particularly for highly sought-after models or those in pristine condition, can be substantial. This is why purchasing a pre-owned Rolex watch as an investment can be a wise choice, as the initial depreciation in value has already occurred and you can return greater profit long-term. Buying second-hand luxury watches does however require expertise in authentication, market trends, and historical valuations to make informed decisions.This is absolutely a consideration rather than a con, one which is easily addressed through expert consultation.

Finally, Rolex watches, like any luxury item, are subject to fluctuations in consumer demand, economic conditions, and shifting tastes, which can affect their investment value over time. As with any investment, careful consideration of these points is essential before committing capital to Rolex watches, particularly if you are seeking short term gain. In the UK's current challenging financial landscape, we are seeing no reduction in demand for Rolex, either new or pre-owned, which supports the case that indeed a Rolex watch remains a good investment in 2024.

The Value Of Rolex Watches Over Time

As they age, Rolex watches often appreciate in value, becoming sought-after collector's items that fetch premium prices in the second-hand watch market. The Rolex price increase and appeal lies in its fusion of tradition and innovation, as Rolex continually refines its techniques and materials while staying true to its rich horological heritage. According to data from Barron’s, the average price of a used Rolex watch has increased from less than $5,000 in 2011 to more than $13,000, with a high increase since the global pandemic in 2020. The Rolex Daytona is the highest appreciating model with an average price of a pre-owned model reaching $30,000. This Rolex price increase, especially seen with the Rolex Daytona, can be a result of the high demand for Rolex watches with roughly a 5-year waiting list for a brand-new Rolex Daytona.

rolex oyster perpetual
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Is Rolex a Good Investment Compared to Other Watch Brands?

In recent years, the luxury watch market has experienced notable shifts driven by changing consumer preferences, advancements in technology, and global economic conditions. While demand for certain vintage and limited-edition Rolex models remains strong, there has also been growing interest in contemporary iterations featuring innovative materials and designs. Additionally, the rise of online marketplaces and digital platforms has facilitated greater accessibility and transparency in the pre-owned Rolex market, enabling investors to more easily buy, sell, and track the value of Rolex watches as well as allowing more people access to luxury watches at a lower price point.

Determining whether Rolex is a superior investment compared to other watches is an interesting subject. While Rolex watches often retain and even appreciate in value over time due to their enduring popularity, exceptional craftsmanship, and strong brand reputation, the same cannot be guaranteed for all watches by all watch brands. Some watches from other leading brands do undoubtedly also hold their value well, depending on factors such as limited production, historical significance and rarity. Indeed most well known luxury Swiss watch brands also have a collector community which fuels demand for particular models. Buying pre-owned models by these watch houses, for example Tag Heuer, Breitling and Cartier also provides the same depreciation benefit and in all cases it is not uncommon to find 'as good as new' models at these lower prices where some owners are already relinquishing them to invest in the latest releases.  Ultimately however, the longstanding Rolex reputation as 'King of Watches', combined with consistent exceptional demand means that their watches command higher value and therefore potentially higher gain.

rolex vs breitling investment

Factors Influencing The Pre-Owned Rolex Investment Value

When evaluating ‘is Rolex a good investment?’, the specifics of any second hand watch purchase should also be considered:

  • Condition - Assess the condition of the watch, for any signs of wear and tear, damage, or the watch mechanism not working correctly, as these factors can significantly impact its investment value.
  • Authenticity - Ensure the authenticity of the Rolex watch by purchasing from reputable sellers, verifying serial numbers and gaining official documentation. Rolex watches with the correct paperwork including the Rolex service guarantee and the Rolex warranty card as well as the original box, have a higher value and are more likely to be a genuine Rolex watch.
  • Rarity - Evaluate the rarity of the Rolex watch model you're interested in, as limited production runs or discontinued models often command higher prices in the pre-owned Rolex market and will likely appreciate more over time.
  • Market demand - Assessing the popularity for specific Rolex models, both vintage and contemporary, is crucial for gauging their investment potential. 

Top 6 Rolex Watches For Investment

When considering Rolex watches for investment purposes, certain models have historically demonstrated strong Rolex watch value retention and appreciation over time. While investment outcomes can vary based on market conditions and individual preferences, here's a list of some of the best Rolex investment watches often favoured by collectors and investors: 

rolex gmt master and rolex submariner

The Rolex GMT Master (left) & The Rolex Submariner (right)
  1. Rolex Submariner: As one of the most iconic and sought-after Rolex models, the Submariner is a favourite among collectors. Vintage references, such as the Submariner 5513 and 1680, as well as contemporary iterations like the Submariner Date 116610 and Submariner "Hulk" 116610LV, are highly desirable for their timeless design, robust construction, and enduring popularity and make a very popular Rolex investment.
  1. Rolex Daytona: The Daytona holds a special place in the hearts of collectors and racing enthusiasts alike. Vintage Rolex watches like the Daytona 6239 "Paul Newman" and Daytona 6263 are particularly coveted for their historical significance and limited production numbers. Contemporary versions, such as the Daytona Ceramic 116500LN, also command high prices in the second-hand Rolex watch market.
  1. Rolex GMT-Master II: With its dual time zone functionality and distinctive design, the GMT-Master II appeals to frequent travellers and watch enthusiasts alike. Vintage Rolex watches like the GMT-Master 1675 and GMT-Master "Pepsi" 16710 are highly collectable, while modern iterations like the GMT-Master II "Batman" 126710BLNR and GMT-Master II "Root Beer" 126711CHNR offer contemporary appeal. 
  1. Rolex Day-Date: Often referred to as the "President's Watch," the Day-Date is synonymous with luxury and prestige. Vintage watches, such as the Day-Date 1803 and Day-Date 18238, are prized for their classic design and historical significance. Modern versions, like the Day-Date 40 228238 and Day-Date 36 128238, continue to be sought after for their opulent aesthetics and mechanical precision.
  1. Rolex Explorer: The Explorer embodies the spirit of adventure and exploration, making it a favourite among outdoor enthusiasts and collectors. Watches like the Explorer 1016 and Explorer II 1655 "Steve McQueen" are highly collectable and popular as a Rolex investment, while contemporary versions like the Explorer 214270 offer updated features and technology.
  1. Rolex Milgauss: Known for its antimagnetic properties and distinctive lightning bolt seconds hand, the Milgauss appeals to both collectors and scientists alike. Vintage Rolex watches like the Milgauss 1019 and Milgauss 6541 are rare and highly sought after, while modern iterations like the Milgauss 116400GV offer a contemporary take on this iconic model.

While these Rolex watches are often considered some of the best Rolex investment options, it's essential to conduct thorough research before making any investment decisions as well as considering other great options that we have not listed. Factors such as market demand, condition, authenticity, and historical performance should all be taken into account when evaluating Rolex watches for investment purposes. Additionally, consulting with experts or industry professionals can provide valuable insights and guidance for building a successful watch investment portfolio.

Rolex Watches At S&R Jewellers London

In conclusion,‘is Rolex a good investment in 2024?’ - we say yes. As long as enough research has been conducted into your specific purchase and you understand the fluctuating watch market, Rolex watches still make a great investment opportunity.

At S&R Jewellers we have a wide selection of pre-owned Rolex watches including rare Rolex watches and Vintage Rolex watches with guaranteed authenticity. If we don’t currently have the Rolex watch that you’re interested in on our site, please contact us to register your interest and find out when we have your dream Rolex watch in stock. Alternatively, if you have an old Rolex watch that you no longer wear and are looking to sell, please get in touch to receive a valuation and see how much your Rolex watch is worth.

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