The name Rolex is synonymous with prestige, luxury, and exceptional craftsmanship, all factors which influence Rolex watch value. The demand for new Rolex watches is so high, that it naturally elevates the retail price, and attracts long waiting lists especially for the latest releases. The same reasons mean that the value of Rolex watches is sustained and sometimes even grows overtime, fuelling an equally buoyant market for used Rolex.

Rolex by name

Have you ever wondered about the origin and meaning behind this iconic brand name? The story of Rolex begins with its founder, Hans Wilsdorf, a visionary entrepreneur with a passion for horology. In 1905, Wilsdorf founded a watch company in London, England, alongside his brother-in-law, Alfred Davis. It was during this time that he conceived the name "Rolex."

"Rolex watches have achieved an iconic status in the world of luxury timepieces, captivating watch enthusiasts and collectors alike".

The origins of the name Rolex are somewhat mysterious, as Wilsdorf never publicly revealed its exact inspiration. However, there are several theories surrounding its meaning. One popular belief is that Wilsdorf wanted a name that would be easy to pronounce in different languages and would fit well on watch dials. Another theory suggests that he derived the name from the French phrase "horlogerie exquise," meaning "exquisite watchmaking". Regardless of its precise origins, the name Rolex quickly became identified with precision, innovation, and luxury. Throughout the brand's history, Rolex has consistently pushed the boundaries of watchmaking, introducing ground-breaking advancements and timeless designs that have captured the imagination of watch enthusiasts worldwide.


Today, Rolex stands as one of the most prestigious and sought-after luxury watch brands, renowned for its impeccable quality, attention to detail, and enduring elegance. The name Rolex has become a symbol of excellence in the world of luxury timepieces, embodying a legacy of innovation and success that continues to shine brightly to this day. The popularity of Rolex can be attributed to several factors that set the brand apart. First and foremost is the unparalleled reputation for quality and precision that Rolex has cultivated over its long history. Each Rolex watch undergoes rigorous testing and meticulous craftsmanship, ensuring exceptional durability and accuracy.


Another key aspect of Rolex's popularity lies in its timeless design. The brand has mastered the art of creating watches that seamlessly blend elegance and functionality. The iconic Rolex models, such as the Submariner, Daytona, and Datejust, boast distinctive aesthetics that have stood the test of time, appealing to both traditional and contemporary tastes. Furthermore, Rolex watches are often seen as a symbol of success and accomplishment. Owning a Rolex is associated with prestige, luxury, and exclusivity. The brand's long-standing presence in popular culture, as well as its association with influential figures and celebrities, further enhances Rolex watch value.

Rolex by nature

A strong commitment to innovation is yet another reason behind the value of Rolex watches and their popularity. The brand has introduced ground-breaking technologies and advancements in watchmaking, such as the Oyster case, the self-winding Perpetual movement, and the Cerachrom ceramic bezel. These innovations not only enhance the watches' performance but also demonstrate Rolex's dedication to pushing the boundaries of horology.

Moreover, Rolex watches have established themselves as reliable investments. Due to their reputation for quality, rarity, and desirability, Rolex timepieces often retain or increase their value over time. This aspect attracts not only watch enthusiasts but also investors who see Rolex watches as a tangible asset with the potential for appreciation. Their popularity can be attributed to their exceptional quality, timeless design, association with success, continuous innovation, and investment value. Rolex has carved a niche for itself in the luxury watch market, captivating individuals who seek a combination of precision, prestige, and enduring style.

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Why are second-hand Rolex watches popular?

Second-hand Rolex watches are popular due to their association with luxury and prestige at a more affordable price point, allowing individuals to enjoy the brand's renowned craftsmanship and timeless design. Additionally, the second-hand Rolex market offers a wider selection of models, including rare and discontinued pieces, providing a sense of exclusivity and uniqueness to collectors and enthusiasts.

Here are 6 ways things that influences second-hand Rolex watch value and popularity:

1. Prestige and Status

Rolex has established itself as a luxury brand known for its high-quality timepieces. Owning a genuine Rolex watch is often associated with success, wealth, and social status. Second-hand Rolex watches allow individuals to own a Rolex at a lower price point than buying a brand-new one while still enjoying the prestige and status associated with the brand.

2. Condition and Patina

Some collectors and enthusiasts appreciate the character that comes with a pre-owned Rolex watch. Vintage Rolex watches may show signs of wear and possess a natural patina, which adds to their charm and uniqueness. Each scratch or mark can tell a story and make the watch more appealing to certain buyers rather than having any negative impact on the Rolex watch value.

3. Timeless design and Durability 

Rolex watches are renowned for their timeless and elegant designs. The brand has a rich heritage and classic models that have remained popular over the years. Rolex watches are also known for their exceptional durability and reliability, making them desirable timepieces that can be enjoyed for generations.

4. Price advantage

Buying a second-hand Rolex can offer a significant cost advantage compared to purchasing a brand-new one so buying a pre-owned piece can allow individuals to save money while still acquiring a high-quality luxury watch.

5. Investment value 

Rolex watch value holds well, and in some cases, even appreciates over time. Certain vintage Rolex models have become highly sought after by collectors, leading to increased demand and value. Buying a genuine second-hand Rolex can be seen as an investment that may retain or increase its worth over time.

6. Exclusivity and Rarity 

Some Rolex models are produced in limited quantities, making them rare and highly sought after. Owning a discontinued or hard-to-find Rolex watch can provide a sense of exclusivity and uniqueness. Second-hand watch marketplaces often offer a wider selection of Rolex models, including vintage watches that are no longer in production.

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What's the price difference between a new and a second-hand Rolex watch?

The difference in new and second-hand Rolex watch value can vary significantly depending on factors such as the specific model, condition, age, and rarity. Second-hand Rolex watches can be found priced at a lower cost compared to brand-new ones, sometimes offering a saving of 20% or more off the original retail price. 

However, for certain vintage Rolex watches or highly sought-after models, the price difference can actually be higher, exceeding the original retail price due to their desirability and limited availability. It's important to note that these price differentials are approximate and can vary depending on various market factors.

The value of Rolex watches sold second hand is also influenced by the availability of the original Rolex Warranty card.

Can Rolex watches value increase? 

Rolex watch value is typically well maintained over time, and as mentioned above in some cases, can appreciate. The desirability and rarity of certain Rolex models, especially limited-edition pieces or vintage Rolex watches can contribute to their appreciation in the resale market. 

However, it's important to note that not all Rolex watches will necessarily increase in value. Factors such as model popularity, condition, scarcity, and market demand play a significant role in determining whether a specific Rolex watch will rise in value. It's advisable to research the specific model and consult with reputable watch dealers or experts for a more accurate assessment of its investment potential.

Read more on why the price of Rolex changes >>

How can I assure second-hand Rolex watch value?

Determining the authenticity is crucial in confirming a Rolex watch value, as counterfeit watches are unfortunately prevalent in the market. Here are some key indicators to help you determine if you have a genuine Rolex watch:

1. Buy from a reputable retailer

Purchase your pre-owned Rolex watch from a reputable dealer. Buying from a fully credible retailer significantly reduces the risk of acquiring a counterfeit watch. At S&R Jewellers we check every watch we buy/sell for authenticity using industry registers.Our expertise ensures that any Rolex watch value is always accurately assessed.

2. Find it's unique serial and model number

Each genuine Rolex watch has a unique serial number and model number engraved between the lugs on the side of the case. You can verify these numbers with Rolex or a trusted dealer to ensure they correspond to the specific model and production date. We undertake this check on all Rolex watches so you can be assured of a genuine purchase.

3. Cyclops date window 

Most Rolex watches have a date window with a magnifying lens called the Cyclops. On genuine Rolex watches, the Cyclops magnifies the date by 2.5x, and the date should be aligned perfectly with the window. Counterfeit watches may have low-quality magnification on the Cyclops window, often magnifying the date less than the standard 2.5x.

4. Check the quality and craftsmanship 

Rolex watches are meticulously crafted with high-quality materials. Look for precise detailing, smooth movements of the hands, and solid construction. Counterfeit watches often have noticeable flaws, such as rough edges, misaligned logos, or subpar finishing.

5. Check the Rolex crown logo and hallmarks 

Examine the Rolex crown logo on the dial and crown. Genuine Rolex watches have a finely detailed and well-defined crown logo. Additionally, authentic Rolex watches may feature hallmarks, such as the Rolex coronet on the dial, the word "Rolex" engraved on the rehaut (inner edge of the dial) or the micro-etched Rolex crown on the crystal near the 6 o'clock position.

6. Holograms and rehaut engravings 

Older Rolex models used to feature holographic stickers on the case back. However, newer Rolex watches employ micro-etched Rolex crowns on the crystal, as mentioned above. Counterfeit watches may try to replicate these features, but they are typical of lower quality and lack the intricate details of genuine Rolex holograms or engravings.

7. Rolex movement

Authentic Rolex watches use high-quality automatic movements. If you have the opportunity, have a professional watchmaker or jeweller examine the movement to ensure it matches the calibre expected for the specific model.

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Where can I check a Rolex serial number?

To check the authenticity of a Rolex watch using the serial number, you can follow these steps:

  1. Locate the serial number: The serial number is typically engraved between the lugs on the side of the case, usually found at the 6 o'clock position. You may need to remove the bracelet to see it clearly.
  2. Visit the Rolex website: Go to the official Rolex website (
  3. Find the "Contact" or "Support" section: Navigate to the appropriate section of the website. It may vary slightly depending on your location.
  4. Contact Rolex customer service: Look for contact information, such as a phone number or email address, and reach out to Rolex customer service. Inform them that you would like to verify the authenticity of your Rolex watch using the serial number.
  5. Provide the serial number: When contacting Rolex, be ready to provide them with the serial number of your watch. They will verify the details against their records and inform you if it matches a genuine Rolex watch.

Alternatively, you can also enlist the help of an authorised Rolex dealer or a reputable watchmaker who can authenticate and assess your Rolex watch value for you. They have the expertise and access to Rolex databases to verify the authenticity of the watch using the serial number.

Please note that due to privacy and security reasons, Rolex does not provide an online database or public tool to directly check the authenticity of a watch. Therefore, it is advisable to rely on official channels such as contacting Rolex directly or seeking assistance from authorised dealers or experts.

Can I part exchange a Rolex watch in London?

S&R Jewellers offers a part exchange service for luxury watches. Our valuations are very similar to those during direct sales. We will offer you the Rolex watch value you are looking to sell, which will get deducted from the cost of the item that you are looking to purchase. Whether you are looking to sell a watch or want to upgrade your timepiece, our part exchange service is the perfect way to refresh your collection.

If you would like to sell your Rolex watch, fill out the enquire form at Suttons & Robertsons to get a quote.

Where can I buy a second-hand Rolex watch in London? 

S&R Jewellers is one of London's leading traders in pre-owned luxury Rolex watches. Our desirable selection of designer watches such as Rolex and Omega is coveted by enthusiasts, collectors and discerning individuals in search of value, a piece of history, a specific piece, or simply a unique item. Whether nearly new or truly antique and vintage, all pre-owned Rolex watches at S&R Jewellers London are professionally authenticated, valued, cleaned and refurbished by our expert team before being made available in our stores and online.

Our Rolex collection can be viewed on this website with an option to submit an enquiry/expression of interest for any watch - it can then be made available at any of our London stores for you to view the watch in person and complete your purchase.

View Rolex Watches at S&R

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July 04, 2023

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