Pre-Owned Rolex Watches: All You Need To Know in 2024

Buying a pre-owned Rolex can be a smart investment. Unlike other luxury pieces, Rolex watches hold their value over time, and some models even appreciate in value. However, purchasing from a reputable seller is crucial to ensure that you’re getting an authentic Rolex that’s in top condition.

So, what does purchasing a pre-owned Rolex entail? Which are the best pre-owned Rolex watches that will fetch a good profit? The extensive guide below answers these and many more related queries. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Factors to Consider When Buying Pre Owned Rolex Watches

Here are some of the main factors you should think about before buying your luxury pre-owned piece:

1. Lifestyle

You may want to go for a Rolex timepiece with a high water-resistance feature if you’re an active person who enjoys outdoor activities such as swimming and hiking. On the other hand, you may want to consider a more formal Rolex watch that can be worn with a suit or evening dress if you’re mainly at the office and at high-profile events.

2. Budget

How much have you set aside for your purchasing venture? A budget helps you avoid overspending. It also enables you to achieve your goal without getting distracted. As such, it’s vital to set a budget before buying. Research various pre-owned Rolexes to find one that matches your price point easily.

3. Purpose: Personal, Collection, Investment, Heirloom

Consider the purpose of the watch. Are you buying the watch for personal use, as a part of a collection, investment, or heirloom? Each purpose may require a different type of Rolex watch. 

For personal use, choose a watch that suits your unique style and needs. For a collection, choose a rare or limited edition Rolex watch.

For investment, choose a Rolex watch with a proven track record of increasing in value over time. For an heirloom, choose a Rolex watch with sentimental value or historical significance.

What to Look for in a Rolex Watch

Some of the main things you should seek in a Rolex timepiece are:

1. Features

Here are some of the essential features:

Case

A Rolex watch’s case is an important part to focus on as it carries vital components. Look for any signs of wear or damage, such as scratches or dents. Check it for any signs of polishing, which may indicate that it’s been restored. A restored piece may have a lower value than one with its original case.

Dial

The dial is another critical component to consider, as it displays time and adds some much-needed beauty. Look for any signs of wear or damage, such as scratches or fading. Check the alignment, spacing, and font of any text on the dial. A genuine Rolex watch will have crisp, clear text with consistent spacing and alignment.

Strap

A Rolex watch’s strap or bracelet contributes to the beauty and overall look of the watch. Therefore, it should be in proper condition. Look for any signs of wear or damage, such as scratches or stretching. Check the clasp for any signs of wear or damage, and make sure it functions properly.

2. Movement

A Rolex watch’s movement is one of the most vital parts of the piece as it keeps it alive. Look for any signs of wear or damage to the movement, and make sure it functions properly. Consider whether you prefer a manual or automatic movement, and prioritize your preferences accordingly. 

Most Popular Collections

Rolex is one of the most renowned watchmaking brands in the world, known for its precision, quality, and craftsmanship. The organization has produced a wide range of collections, but some of the most popular ones include:

1. Submariner

The Rolex Submariner line houses pieces that are meant mostly for underwater adventures. They boast highly-legible dials, high water-resistant capabilities, and rotatable bezels with knurled edges for a good grip-even with gloves. Here are some of its most coveted Rolex models:

Rolex Submariner – Oystersteel, Black Dial ref. 124060

Rolex Submariner Ref. 124060
  • Retail Price: S$12,119
  • Market Average: S$16,321
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$17,281

They include a self-winding movement, water resistance to 300m, a unidirectional rotatable bezel, a winding crown with a Triplock triple waterproofness system, and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal over the dial.

  • Production Year: 2020
  • Case Size: 41mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Black, with Chromalight lume-applied hands and index hour markers
    • Bracelet: Three-piece link Oyster, with a folding Oysterlock clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system
    • Bezel: Unidirectional rotating, with a black ceramic Cerachrom insert with white 60-minute graduations
  • Function: Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Self-winding Caliber 3230 movement with 31 jewels, a 70-hour power reserve, and 28,800vph frequency

Its price increased by at least 5 percent between 2020 and April 17, 2023.

About

The Rolex Submariner ref. 124060 is a luxury men’s dive watch. It has a simple yet elegant steel-black dial design. It also has a matching Oystersteel bracelet and luminous hands and index hour markers that contrast the black-dial backdrop. It’s kept alive by the high-precision automatic Caliber 3230 movement.


Rolex Submariner Date – Oyster 18K Yellow Gold, Royal Blue ref. 126618LB

Rolex Submariner ref 126618LB
  • Retail Price: S$51,939
  • Market Average: S$53,316
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$55,472

The main ones are a date window at 3 o’clock, a Cyclops lens over the window, water resistance to 300m, a screw-down caseback, a unidirectional rotatable bezel, and an automatic movement.

  • Production Year: 2021
  • Case Size: 41mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Royal blue, with Chromalight lume-applied 18K Yellow Gold-plated hands and index hour markers
    • Bracelet: 3-link 18K Yellow Gold Oyster, with a folding Oysterlock clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system
    • Bezel: Unidirectional rotatable, with a blue ceramic Cerachrom insert with 18K Yellow Gold-coated graduations and numerals
  • Function: Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Self-winding Caliber 3235 movement with 31 jewels, a 70-hour power reserve, and 28,800vph frequency

Its value increased by 3 percent between 2022 and April 17, 2023.

About

A versatile unisex luxury sports watch that will dazzle with its exciting colors. It has a golden body consisting of a 41mm case and matching bracelet, contrasted by a Royal blue dial and bezel. The dial and bezel also have golden details for perfect balance and aesthetic appeal. At its heart is the mechanical, self-winding Caliber 3235 movement.


2. Datejust

The Datejust collection comprises simple yet luxurious timepieces with a timeless design. It was created to celebrate Rolex’s 40-year anniversary. Its watches have a fluted or smooth bezel plus a special Jubilee or Oyster bracelet. Here are the top datejust models:

Rolex Datejust 41 – Yellow Rolesor, White Dial ref. 126303

Rolex Datejust 41 ref. 126303-0015
  • Retail Price: S$18,179
  • Market Average: S$17,747
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$18,356

Its best ones are 10 diamond hour markers, an automatic Caliber 3235 movement, a date window at 3 o’clock with a Cyclops magnifying lens over it, water resistance to 100m, and 18K Yellow Gold minute markers around the dial’s outer rim.

  • Production Year: 2022
  • Case Size: 41mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Black, with 10 diamond hour markers and 18K Yellow Gold hands
    • Bracelet: Two-tone, with a 3-link Oyster bracelet with an Oysterlock and the Easylink comfort extension link
    • Bezel: Fixed, smooth, 18K Yellow Gold
  • Function: Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Automatic Caliber 3235 movement

Its price increased by 3 percent between October 15, 2022, and April 17, 2023.

About

The Rolex Datejust ref. 126303 is an exquisite men’s luxury dress timepiece. It has a handsome Yellow Gold and steel combo design, featuring a 41mm case, black dial, and a two-tone bracelet with 18K Yellow Gold center links. 

The bracelet is smooth and hugs the wrist comfortably thanks to its Glidelock extension system. Being a modern Datejust, this piece is kept alive by the modern, super-accurate Caliber 3235 movement.


Rolex Datejust – Oystersteel, Mint Green Dial ref. 126300

Rolex Datejust 41 ref. m126300-0020
  • Retail Price: S$10,720
  • Market Average: S$13,246
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$14,364

They include a Jubilee bracelet with polished center links, water resistance to 100m, a self-winding Caliber 3235 movement, Arabic numeral minute markers around the outer rim after every five-minute interval, and a date window at 3 o’clock.

  • Production Year: 2017
  • Case Size: 41mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Mint Green with Chromalight lume-applied hands and index hour markers
    • Bracelet: Jubilee, with a folding Oysterclasp with Easylink 5mm comfort extension link
    • Bezel: Fixed, smooth, steel
  • Function: Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Automatic Caliber 3235 movement

It’s a versatile timepiece whose price has been increasing since 2017. It has risen by at least 6% in April 2023.

About

The Datejust ref. 126300 is a luxury timepiece crafted with the modern gentleman (and woman) in mind. It pushes boundaries with its unique design, consisting of a 41mm steel case contrasted by a delicious mint-green well-lumed dial. Additionally, it has a well-polished Jubilee bracelet that fits around the wrist like a precious jewel. Heck, it’s a jewel on its own! Inside the elegant watch case is an automatic Caliber 3235 that breathes life into it for years.


3. Daytona

The Daytona collection was introduced in 1963. It consists of racing-themed timepieces and got its name from Florida’s Daytona Beach. Its watches are burly yet well-chiseled, with big faces and exciting chronograph functions. Some of its most sought-after Rolex sports models are:

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona – Oystersteel, Black Dial ref. 116500LN

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 116500
  • Retail Price: S$19,710
  • Market Average: S$39,403
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$41,177

This Rolex model has a Cerachrom bezel, subdials at 3,6 and 9 o’clock, a self-winding Caliber 4130 movement, water resistance to 100m, and screw-down chronograph pushers.

  • Production Year: 2016
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Black, with Chromalight lume-applied hands and hour markers
    • Bracelet: Oyster, with folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5mm comfort extension link
    • Bezel: Fixed, ceramic Cerachrom, with black tachymeter scale
  • Function: Chronograph, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Sub-seconds
  • Mechanism: Automatic Caliber 4130 movement with 44 jewels, a 72-hour power reserve, and 28,800vph frequency

It fares well on the pre-owned market since it’s rare.

About

The ref. 116500LN is a luxury men’s sports watch built for the race track. It flaunts a masculine 40mm steel case amplified by a matching Oystersteel bracelet. It has an equally manly dial with a sexy black hue, adding mystery and confidence to the watch. It enjoys a Cerachrom bezel with a tachymeter scale and is powered by an automatic Caliber 4130 chronograph movement.


Rolex Cosmograph Daytona – Oystersteel, White Dial ref. 126500LN

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 126500LN
  • Retail Price: S$20,110
  • Market Average: S$53,271
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$55,550

The main features are a black monobloc Cerachrom bezel with a tachymetric scale, water resistance to 100m, a screw-down winding crown, a self-winding Caliber 4131 movement, and three subdials at 3,6 and 9 o’clock.

  • Production Year: 2023
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: White, with Chromalight lume-applied hands and hour markers
    • Bracelet: Oystersteel Oyster, with folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5mm comfort extension link
    • Bezel: Fixed, black monobloc ceramic Cerachrom with a tachymeter scale
  • Function: Chronograph, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Automatic Caliber 4131 movement with 47 jewels, a 72-hour power reserve, and 28,800vph frequency

It’s still a relatively new piece with minimal availability, making it desirable among watch collectors. Its price has also increased by at least 1 percent since its production.

About

The Daytona Cosmograph ref. 126500LN is an update of the discontinued ref. 116500LN. 

This Rolex Daytona has some minor but significant upgrades, including a thinner case (by roughly 0.5mm), redesigned hands and index hour markers, and a longer and more curved crown guard. It also has a more powerful movement- the Caliber 4131- with a patented Chronergy escapement.


4. GMT-Master II

The GMT-Master II was released in 1983 and is an upgrade of the discontinued GMT-Master collection. Its watches allow wearers to read three separate timezones (compared to the previous two-time zone feature). This is made possible by their bi-colored bezels and an independent 24-hour hand. Here are some of its best watches:

Rolex GMT-Master II – White Gold, Meteorite Dial Ref. 126719BLRO

Rolex GMT-Master II 126719BLRO
  • Retail Price: S$54,070
  • Market Average: S$63,435
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$64,760

They include a blue and red ‘Pepsi’ Cerachrom bezel, a central red hand with a luminous arrow-head tip indicating the GMT zone, an 18K White Gold Triplock crown, water resistance to 100m, and a self-winding Caliber 3285 movement.

  • Production Year: 2018
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Meteorite, with Chromalight lume-applied hands and hour markers
    • Bracelet: Oystersteel Oyster, with folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5mm comfort extension link
    • Bezel: Unidirectional rotatable ‘Pepsi,’ with 24-hour graduations
  • Function: Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Automatic Caliber 3285 movement with 31 jewels, a 70-hour power reserve, and a 28,800vph frequency

Its price has increased by over 4% since its production.

About

stylish unisex GMT timepiece that leans more to the formal side due to its eye-catching meteorite dial with intricate lines and charming personality. It also has a sophisticated 40mm White Gold case and bracelet that feels smooth around the wrist. Its sporty bi-colored bezel tones things down a bit and contrasts its all-steel background. The watch is brought to life by the automatic Caliber 3285 movement.


Rolex GMT-Master II – Everose Gold, Black Dial ref. 126715

Rolex GMT-Master II 126715
  • Retail Price: S$54,070
  • Market Average: S$54,962
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$58,759

The main ones are a two-color Cerachrom bezel (brown and black ceramic), water resistance to 100m, an automatic Caliber 3285 movement, a screw-down caseback, and a date window at 3 o’clock with a Cyclops lens over it.

  • Production Year: 2021
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Black, with Chromalight lume-applied hands and hour markers
    • Bracelet: Oystersteel Oyster, with folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5mm comfort extension link
    • Bezel: Bi-directional rotatable ceramic Cerachrom ‘Root Beer’ 24-hour graduated
  • Function: GMT, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Self-winding Caliber 3285 movement with 31 jewels, a 70-hour power reserve, and a 28,800vph frequency

It’s highly sought-after by watch collectors due to its rarity. Plus, its price increased by at least three percent between 2021 and April 17, 2023.

About

The GMT-Master II ref.126715 is a luxury men’s dress watch with a unique yet eye-catching design. It has a 40mm 18K Everose Gold case and matching Oyster bracelet that are contrasted by the black dial and ‘Root Beer’ bezel. Within it is the self-winding Caliber 3285 movement, whose thin feature allows it to slide into the slim, manly case.


5. Explorer II

A trusted collection for most volcanologists, polar explorers, speleologists, and other adventure seekers, the Explorer II collection was introduced in 1976 and features rugged watches with a 24-hour display and high-precision movements. Here are some of its best pieces:

Rolex Explorer II – Oystersteel, White Dial ref. 16570

Rolex Explorer II Ref. 16570
  • Retail Price: S$8,423
  • Market Average: S$11,088
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$11,799

They include a bezel with 24-hour marking engravings, a date window at 3 o’clock, water resistance to 100m, an automatic Caliber 3185 movement, and a solid caseback.

  • Production Year: 1989-2011
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: White (Polar), with hands and blackened applied hour markers with luminous fill
    • Bracelet: Oystersteel Oyster, with a push-button deployant buckle
    • Bezel: Fixed, smooth, steel, with 24-hour engravings in black
  • Function: GMT, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Automatic Caliber 3185 GMT movement with 31 jewels, a 50-hour power reserve, and a 28,800vph frequency

It’s highly sought after by watch collectors since it’s one of the vintage Rolex watches that’s no longer in production.

About

The Rolex Explorer II 16570 is an adventurer’s ultimate luxury tool watch. It has all the qualifications to face the great outdoors, including a durable 40mm steel case with a 24-hour graduated bezel, an extra-legible and well-illuminated white dial, a steel Oyster bracelet that hugs the wrist comfortably, and a powerful Caliber 3185 movement that thrives in harsh conditions.


Rolex Explorer II – Oystersteel, Black Dial ref. 226570

Rolex Explorer II 226570
  • Retail Price: S$12,852
  • Market Average: S$15,749
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$16,607

Its main ones are an automatic Caliber 3285 movement, water resistance to 100m, a steel bezel with bold 24-hour markings, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal over the dial, and a date window at 3 o’clock with a Cyclops magnifying lens over it.

  • Production Year: 2021
  • Case Size: 42mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Black, with Chromalight lume-applied hands and hour markers
    • Bracelet: Oystersteel Oyster, with folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5mm comfort extension link
    • Bezel: Fixed, Oystersteel, with 24-hour markings
  • Function: GMT, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Self-winding Caliber 3285 movement with a wider diameter, 31 jewels, a 70-hour power reserve, and a 28,800vph frequency

Its retail price increased from S$9,630 in 2021 to S$12,852 on April 17, 2023.

About

The Rolex Explorer II ref. 226570 is a welcome upgrade of the ref. 216570 (manufactured from 2011-2021). It has a thicker 42mm Oystersteel case with a robust black dial, a bezel with bolder 24-hour mark engravings, a wider bracelet with less tapering (depending on the wearer), and a new movement with a longer energy reserve.


Tips When Buying Your First Rolex

Buying your first Rolex is a significant investment, and making an informed decision is essential. Here are some tips to remember when purchasing a pre-owned Rolex watch.

1. Buy from a reputable dealer

It’s crucial to buy your Rolex from a reputable dealer. A trustworthy dealer will guarantee authenticity and quality and have a reputation to uphold. Ensure that the dealer has a physical store or an established online presence and check customer reviews to verify their credibility.

2. Consider the condition

When buying a pre-owned Rolex, consider the condition of the watch. Check for any visible indicators of wear and tear, such as scratches, dents, or discoloration. Inspect the watch’s movement and ensure that it’s running correctly. If you’re purchasing online, request high-quality photos of the watch from different angles to assess its condition thoroughly.

3. Authenticate the watch

Rolex watches are highly coveted and often counterfeited. Before purchasing a used Rolex, ensure that it’s authentic. Check the watch’s serial number and reference number against Rolex’s database to verify its authenticity. If you’re not confident in your ability to authenticate the used Rolex watch, consider hiring a professional appraiser or taking it to a Rolex dealer for inspection.

4. Get a warranty

Even though pre-owned Rolex watches are often in excellent condition, unexpected issues can arise. To protect your investment, consider purchasing a watch with a warranty. Many reputable dealers offer warranties that cover the watch’s movement and authenticity for a specific period. Ensure that you understand the warranty’s terms and conditions before making your purchase.

FAQs

1. What to look out for when buying a pre owned Rolex?

When buying a pre owned Rolex, it’s vital to ensure that the watch is authentic. Look for signs of wear and tear, scratches or dents on the case, bracelet, and crystal. Check the movement and make sure it is running smoothly. It is also a good idea to ask the seller for the watch’s service history and any accompanying documentation or certificates.

2. Is it worth to buy second hand Rolex?

Buying a second-hand Rolex can be a great way to own a high-quality luxury watch at a more affordable price. However, it’s essential to research and ensure you’re buying from a reputable seller. A pre-owned Rolex can hold its value well and may even increase in value over time, making it a worthwhile investment.

3. Are old Rolex watches a good investment?

Older used Rolex watches can be a good investment, especially if they are rare or have historical significance. However, it’s essential to research and ensure you are buying from a reputable seller. Remember that the value of a Rolex watch can fluctuate over time and is dependent on factors such as condition, rarity, and demand.

4. What is the best Rolex to buy for resale value?

The Rolex Submariner and Daytona are two popular models of vintage watches that tend to hold their value well on the resale market. However, remember that the value of a pre-owned Rolex can fluctuate over time and is dependent on factors like condition, rarity, and market demand.

Final Word

Pre-owned Rolex watches offer a unique chance to own a luxury timepiece at a more affordable price point. With a broad range of models available, from the iconic Submariner to the elegant Datejust, there is a pre-owned Rolex watch to suit every style and budget.

Key Takeaways

  • The price of pre-owned Rolex watches can vary widely depending on factors such as the model, condition, and whether or not it comes with original papers.
  • Buying from a reputable dealer or seller with a good reputation is vital to ensure a smooth and safe transaction.
  • Regular maintenance and servicing of a pre-owned Rolex watch are essential to keep it in good working condition and maintain its value.

Looking to buy or sell your luxury watches? Watch Book is your one-stop destination for trading Rolex, Patek Philippe, Tissot, Sinn, Zenith, and other luxury timepieces. Find your next watch today or list your item for free!

Share the knowledge: