Are Rolex Watches A Good Investment?

Rolex is really the world’s most notorious luxury watch brand. From watch fanatics to those who know little about watches, Rolex is recognised across the globe for being a symbol of luxury, style, success and quality.

The branding of watches has history dating back to 1905, Rolex watches are not only desired after by celebrities, but the brand has also produced a number of ground-breaking innovations that have helped the military, scientists and NASA. 

Rolex watches are among the most prestigious watch brands in the world and are known for having quite a large price tag. With it coming at a cost, they have become a very collectable item for some due to its status and demand.  

Are Rolex’s Good Investments Then?

The short answer, yes. However, there are many things to consider before you decide to invest in one of the best watches ever created, so it is worth looking at the key factors before you buy.

Where to Start

You should make sure to thoroughly research any Rolex piece before purchasing it, as buying a Rolex is similar to any other investment you might make.It is important to keep in mind that the value of a Rolex can differ depending on supply and demand.

Good-condition Rolexes and those considered to be rare will be more valuable than those that are not. We examine a few things that make a Rolex a good investment as well as some things to consider when buying a Rolex as an investment in this article.

Things to Consider

1) Consider whether it is a rare Rolex watch – There are many types of watches Rolex make and you need to make sure that you are picking the right one.

2) Get an idea if that watch is one of the most popular Rolex models – So compare with all sites and previous watches that this make is the right choice.

3) Decide if it is a collectible Rolex or a vintage Rolex – It is easy to be confused between the two and you will need to make a decision on which one you want.

4) Find out if the metal is in demand – Rolex uses different materials so be sure to check which one is the suitable option for investment.

Found a Rare Rolex?

The most expensive and desirable watches at auction are always those that are rare or hard to find. Taking a quick look at the top three most expensive Rolex watches ever sold illustrates this point. So if you find one in your possession, you could be one lucky person!

History of Expensive Sales

A Rolex Cosmograph Daytona owned by Paul Newman sold for a whopping $17.8 million at Phillips in New York in 2017, making it the most expensive watch ever sold. That famous man just added to the value of the Rolex as it became the most desired item at the time of its sale. 

The 6265 white gold reference on the second most expensive Rolex ever sold is the only one in existence and one you shouldn’t overlook when analysing Rolex watches that you may come into contact with. The white gold Daytona Reference 6265 ‘Unicorn’ sold for $5.9 million. It is important to note that scarcity plays a part. Historically, Daytona watches were either made from steel or 18 ct yellow gold. 

The third most expensive watch was specifically commissioned by Bao Dai, the last Emperor of Vietnam, in 1954, which was the Bao Dai reference 6062. Rolex reference 6062 in yellow gold, with a black dial and diamond indexes, was the most precious and rare watch that the Emperor ever ordered, a one-of-a-kind piece selling for over $5m.

So What Does That Tell Us About Rolex History?

Rolex reference numbers on their watches are part of the key to finding out how rare one of their watches actually is. Alongside this information, you will be able to find out what material it is made from and the year it was made. If you can compare this to what is currently on the market then that will help you in making your decision on whether to invest or even sell.

Should I Buy a New or Old Rolex?

Rolex watches that are second hand can increase in value as well. In most cases, buying a pre-owned Rolex is less expensive than buying a new one, so it is great as an entry level luxury watch, but sometimes a pre-owned Rolex will be worth more than a brand new one. So in reality as long as you do your research you will know what old Rolexes will be worth good money. 

Do not let it put you off buying a brand new one however, as it will most likely gain value in the future if following the typical trends of rare Rolex watches. In addition, you may need to keep an eye out for the reference number of the watch Rolex decides to release of that particular model. 

Buyers and investors will pay more for a Rolex watch when there is a shortage. This tends to be because the model is a limited edition for example. Rolexes are often considered as the most valuable pieces by collectors, which is why they are such good investments, since rare and hard-to-find watches often command the highest prices at auction.

Best Rolex Models for Investment

These are the best models we believe give Rolex owners the best results for investment currently.

Rolex Milgauss 

Often referred to as the ‘scientist watch’, the Rolex Milgauss enjoys a fascinating history. Its main feature is its resistance to magnetic fields beyond its subtly distinctive aesthetics, including a green sapphire crystal and orange electricity bolt second hand. There is a relative scarcity of Milgauss watches in circulation today, since the model was discontinued for nearly two decades in 1988. Although production picked up again in 2007, only a small number of Milgauss watches were produced during this period meaning certain models of the Milgauss remain in demand.

Rolex Sports Watches

Steel Rolex sports watches in general retain their value or appreciate in value over time. This is the most popular type of Rolex watch, whilst it still has some rarer models in its family. This includes, in particular, the GMT-Master II with its famous two-coloured bezel, the Cosmograph Daytona, and the ever-popular Submariner 16610. In recent years, both the GMT-Master II “Batman” with its black and blue bezel and “Hulk” Submariner with its green bezel have proven particularly popular. It’s no surprise that rare and obsolete examples of Rolex’s sports watches consistently draw the most attention.

Vintage Rolex Watches

When it comes to investing in Rolex watches, vintage Rolexes are almost impossible to go wrong. They have a high value and are a smart purchase. Collectors and watch enthusiasts find them desirable because there are only limited numbers of them available. It is believed that these models will continue to grow in value as years go by, so you will be lucky to get your hands on one of these.

Example of Where Value Increased

With today’s inflation, a Submariner should cost $1,265 as opposed to $150 as it did in 1957. However, Submariners sold for $7,500 in 2014. Consequently, the value of a Submariner has risen dramatically above the rate of inflation.

If we look at this in the context of inflation, it may be more complex, but with the way the market has worked, we have seen a rise in value for the exquisite Rolex watches. This is good news for investors as it shows no signs of slowing down.

The Condition of Your Rolex

If you are planning on investing in your next Rolex, you will want to keep your watch in good condition. Although Rolex watches are made from the best hard wearing quality materials, your watch condition is a key factor in its value. Oyster Steel and crystal are materials used to make your Rolex last, but it is important to take additional care as a watch with little wear and tear will most likely sell for more than one with little treatment at all.

Rolex watches are after all designed to be worn, so it depends what you want to use them for. Choosing not to wear it or waiting for the value to rise is easy, but you will never understand the sheer magnitude of the materials that go into a Rolex watch without trying it on your wrist. 

If your watch is showing signs of wear, you may want to have it serviced by a watch specialist who may be able to solve the problem. Keep in mind, however, that this may affect the value of your watch. Keep your Rolex watch safe and make sure it’s polished to give it a bit of sparkle.


A Rolex watch is one of the best investments you could ever make due to its prestigious history and timeless design. It would be foolish not to own one. It is important to remember that you should always check the model and condition of the watch before buying one, as this can determine your future success. Owning one of these luxury watches is a safe choice, as the market for these watches is always on the rise. If you are able to purchase one of the really rare designs we previously mentioned then you have made the right decision. Rolex watches are expensive, there’s no question about that. However, in the long-term, you will be able to appreciate the feeling of owning the best watch in the market.

Matt Roberts
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