The 5 Things You Need to Know When Selling Your Rolex

Photos Credit: Bob's Watches

In 2010, Paul Altieri founded Bob’s Watches, the first-ever platform for buyers, sellers and collectors of pre-owned Rolex watches to market their timepieces with transparent pricing. While Rolexes are famous for retaining their worth over the years, factors like model number, condition, demand, and accompanying items all affect the true market value. Altieri gives us his five essential tips for selling your timepiece:


Reference Number

"The first thing to uncover when determining the value of your Rolex is the reference or model number. The reference is a four to six digit number engraved into the side of the case, located in-between the lugs at 12 o’clock. Because of its position, removing the watch bracelet or strap is the only way to see the reference number. But, if you have the correct paperwork for the Rolex, then you can also find the reference (aka style) number within the corresponding papers."

"The reference/model/style number of a Rolex watch will unveil the most information about your timepiece: collection (Submariner, Daytona, GMT-Master, Datejust, etc.), material (stainless steel, gold, platinum, two-tone, etc.), movement, production date, and so on. A quick online search using your model number will bring back an abundance of information. Furthermore, if you enter the model number on Bob’s Watches search bar, you will see what the sell value of your specific model number is thanks to our Rolex Exchange."


Serial Number

"Depending on the year of your Rolex watch, the serial number is in either one of two locations. With pre-2005 models, the engraved serial number is located on the case in between the lugs at the 12 o’clock. The bracelet or strap will also have to be removed to see it. In 2005, Rolex accompanied the case engraving with a serial number on the inner flange aka rehaut, and as of 2008, the serial number was only included on the rehaut. Aside from the watch, the serial number can also be found on the corresponding paperwork of the Rolex. The serial number identifies a specific watch and can indicate approximately the watch’s production date. Over the years, Rolex has changed the serial numbers to also include letters, rather than just numbers."


Market Value

"Once you’ve found the Rolex model and serial numbers, you can research the watch’s market value. Sometimes, owners of luxury watches place more value on their timepiece than it is actually worth. It’s important to remember that the true market value of a Rolex is dependent on how much a buyer is actually willing to pay for it-regardless of how much you initially purchased it for and how much sentimental value is attached to it. Naturally, rare pieces will command higher selling prices than more common ones. In addition to looking up what your Rolex model has recently sold for at auctions, the Bob’s Watches’ Rolex Exchange concept can help you clarify the current market value of your watch."



"The condition of a particular Rolex will have a significant impact on the value of a used Rolex. NOS (new old stock) watches refer to pre-owned watches that have not actually been worn, but rather, hidden away safely for many years. These types of Rolexes are worth a lot since they are essentially new watches in pristine condition. However, when it comes to vintage Rolex watches, its condition is a tricky thing when looking to sell your Rolex. Certain signs of aging, such as tropical dials (when the dials turn a different shade over time due to a production defect) and patina (color change of the hands and hour markers) are actually sought after by collectors. The more original components a Rolex has, for instance, the original bracelet, dial, and bezel, the more valuable it’ll be."


Box & Papers

"Accompanying boxes and papers will increase the value of a secondhand Rolex when reselling it. These are items that watch buyers look for when purchasing a pre-owned Rolex watch. Not only do the original box and papers confirm the authenticity of a particular Rolex, but also, if the watch was stored in its box when not used rather than just placed loosely in a drawer, chances are that the watch is in better condition."

Jared Paul Stern

Jared Paul Stern, JustLuxe's Editor-at-Large, is the Executive Editor of Maxim magazine and has written for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the New York Times' T magazine, GQ, WWD, Vogue, New York magazine, Details, Hamptons magazine, Playboy, BlackBook, the New York Post, Man of the World, and Bergdorf Goodman magazine among others. The founding editor of the Page Six magazine, he has al...(Read More)

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