How much is a Rolex watch?

Posted by Suzie Kidger-Clarke

on 20th February 2024

Luxury, prestige, and timeless elegance – these are just a few words that come to mind when one thinks of a Rolex watch. For decades, Rolex has been the epitome of horological excellence, adorning the wrists of the world’s most influential and discerning individuals.

But behind the exquisite craftsmanship and iconic status lies a question that intrigues both aspirants and aficionados alike: “How much is a Rolex?”

In a world where the price of a timepiece can vary from a few thousand pounds to astronomical figures, understanding the true value of a Rolex watch goes beyond its monetary cost.

Whether you’re an enthusiast seeking to expand your knowledge or a prospective buyer considering a Rolex investment, this blog aims to provide clarity on the subject and uncover the factors that determine how much Rolex timepieces will set you back.

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How much is a Rolex watch?

There are certainly different price points across Rolex models. The price of these luxury watches can be influenced greatly by several factors, including the materials used, age and condition and the complexity of the watch’s features.

If you’re looking for an affordable Rolex, there will likely be a model out there to suit your budget, but it’s always worth looking at the pre owned market and speaking to a Rolex trader for the best advice.

Contemplating investing in Rolex watches? You’ll be pleased to hear that the average Rolex price increased in 2023 by around 2.5% – making Rolex a pretty safe investment for the future.

From the Rolex GMT Master II to the Rolex Sea Dweller, finding the right price for your budget may require shopping around. But it’s important to not get distracted by misleading, cheap Rolex watches – there is where knowing how to spot a fake Rolex is crucial.

Furthermore, retail price points for Rolex watches have risen around 18% in the last two years alone, making the pre owned market busier than ever. Whether you’re a seasoned collector, investor or want to purchase your first Rolex watch, speaking to a professional Rolex trader may be the most affordable way to buy your next timepiece.

Which Rolex watch should you buy?

Knowing which Rolex watch to buy can greatly depend on a number of things, including your budget, style and even lifestyle. For example, if you’re a diver, the Rolex Submariner would be a great addition to your collection.

Nevertheless, here’s a little more info on a variety of Rolex watches and how much you can expect to pay. First, let’s kick things off with the Rolex Submariner.

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Rolex Submariner

Introduced in 1953, the Rolex Submariner watch marked a historic milestone in the world of horology by becoming the first-ever diver’s timepiece to withstand the staggering depths of 330 feet.

This achievement not only represented a remarkable technical breakthrough but also shattered the conventional limits of what a wristwatch could achieve.

Fast forward to the present day, and the modern Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner continues to build upon this legacy, boasting an impressive waterproof rating of approximately 1,000 feet. In terms of price, this specific model became even more popular after featuring in a few James Bond films.

On the pre owned market, you’ll be looking at a starting price of around £8,000.

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual stands as a timeless symbol of modern elegance, showcasing a design that has endured the ravages of time. As previously noted, it marked a pivotal moment in Rolex’s history as the brand’s inaugural waterproof timepiece, setting new standards and contributing significantly to the brand’s resounding success.

Through the years, the Oyster Perpetual has evolved and received enhancements, culminating in its contemporary iteration. Available in either a 41mm or 36mm case adorned with a gracefully domed bezel, it continues to exude the understated sophistication that Rolex is renowned for.

What’s particularly noteworthy is that the Oyster Perpetual remains the most accessible entry point into the world of Rolex, offering a prestigious watch without the premium price tag.

To get your hands on a Rolex Oyster Perpetual – on the pre owned market – you’ll be looking at a starting price of around £2,500.

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vintage rolex gmt master how much is rolex

Vintage Rolex GMT Master

Launched over 60 years ago, the Rolex GMT Master is a very popular, heavily sought-after Rolex watch. With the ability to keep track of two time zones at the same time, this model has become incredibly popular with travellers.

For this particular model, you’re looking at around £11,500 on the pre owned market.

The GMT Master II

While the Rolex GMT Master watch undeniably achieved iconic status, the GMT Master II took its legacy to new heights by introducing enhanced functionality. Unlike its predecessor, the GMT Master II doesn’t merely indicate two time zones; it boasts the capability to track a third time zone, adding an extra layer of versatility.

The GMT Master’s original concept was a result of a collaboration with Pan Am Airlines, designed to assist pilots in managing multiple time zones simultaneously during their flights.

Since its launch in the 1980s, the GMT Master II collection has remained a prominent presence in the world of horology, showcasing its enduring appeal and time-tested design.

Looking to buy a GMT Master II? A pre owned model will set you back around £10,000.

Rolex Daytona

Released in the 1960s, the Rolex Daytona has become an incredibly popular model among the rich and famous. It is also considered the most expensive Rolex ever sold, after actor and racing enthusiast Paul Newman sold his Rolex Daytona for a whopping $17.8 million at auction.

Crafted in a classic 40mm case, the iconic sports watch stands as a testament to uncompromising quality, featuring the finest materials available in the market. With its impeccable construction and materials, the Rolex Daytona emerges as an exceptional choice for those looking to enhance their watch collection.

Starting at a price of £15,500 on the pre owned Rolex market, it certainly offers remarkable value, although acquiring it may require some patience and financial planning.

Rolex Sea Dweller

The Rolex Sea-Dweller represents the pinnacle of timekeeping for deep-sea adventurers. Meticulously crafted by Rolex, this robust and waterproof masterpiece is engineered to withstand the depths of 4,000 feet or 1,220 meters, setting a remarkable standard in luxury timepieces.

Collaboratively developed in close partnership with diving professionals from across the globe, the Sea-Dweller emerges as a truly exceptional timepiece, catering not only to divers but also to captains and water enthusiasts, offering them a unique and unparalleled experience.

For a pre owned Rolex Sea Dweller, you’re looking at around £8,000.

Interested to know more about which Rolex watches are built for water? Take a look at our blog on whether Rolex timepieces are waterproof.

The Rolex Explorer

Rolex has a long-standing commitment to pushing boundaries. The Rolex Explorer epitomises this ethos, conceived to conquer new heights and venture into places rarely glimpsed by most. This extraordinary luxury timepiece marries premium materials with a sleek, contemporary design, exemplifying Rolex’s dedication to excellence.

Notably, the Rolex Explorer offers the ability to display two different time zones simultaneously, all while maintaining exceptional visibility even in the most adverse weather conditions. It’s this unwavering durability that makes the Rolex Explorer the ideal companion for travellers exploring some of the world’s most remote and challenging destinations.

With its roots tracing back to the 1950s, the Rolex Explorer represents a significant commitment by Rolex, as the company allocated substantial resources to create a distinctive timepiece capable of withstanding the harshest elements.

Looking to buy this particular model? On the pre owned market, you’ll be looking at roughly £6,000.

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How much is a Rolex dress watch?

There’s no denying that Rolex watches are an astounding addition to any outfit. If you’re looking to dress to impress, a dress watch could be just the accessory you need.

But which model should you choose?

rolex datejust price of rolex watches

Rolex Datejust

The Rolex Datejust really does go with everything. But how did this watch earn this title?

The Rolex Datejust watch stands as an iconic symbol of luxury, distinguished by its automatic date-changing function. It swiftly captured the hearts of enthusiasts and has since solidified its status as the all-time bestseller among Rolex timepieces. The Rolex Datejust model offers an array of captivating variants, showcasing bands crafted from solid gold, steel, and a striking blend of both.

Today, the Rolex Datejust remains one of the most sought-after models, in no small part owing to its approachable retail price. It serves as an accessible entry point into the world of Rolex, making it one of the most affordable Rolex watches among Rolex aficionados. A second hand Rolex Datejust starts at around £4,500.

Rolex Sky-Dweller

Part of the Oyster Perpetual family, the Rolex Sky-Dweller distinguishes itself with its innovative and timeless design. This remarkable timepiece seamlessly displays two separate time zones concurrently, offering an added layer of functionality through its automatic annual calendar feature.

In addition to presenting the current date akin to the Day-Date, the Sky-Dweller introduces an ingenious touch by highlighting the month in red. This subtle yet invaluable feature is much appreciated by pilots and frequent travellers, simplifying the task of staying attuned to both the date and month with ease.

If you’re looking to purchase a Rolex Sky-Dweller on the pre owned market, this classic watch will set you back roughly £15,000.

The Rolex Day-Date

The Rolex Day-Date stands as an enduring icon in the realm of luxury watches, celebrated not only for its exquisite craftsmanship but also for gracing the wrists of famous presidents worldwide, including several U.S presidents. This luxury timepiece exudes sophistication, presenting the day of the week atop the watch face and the date on the right-hand side.

With the Rolex Day-Date, you have an abundance of choices to suit your preferences. From models crafted from opulent materials such as gold, white gold, or steel, each characterised by its enduring quality and refined aesthetic. Furthermore, a diverse array of watch faces is available, with select models adorned with factory-set diamonds for an added touch of luxury.

While these diamond-studded editions are exceptionally rare and command a premium price, the standard Rolex Day-Date Presidential offers a more accessible entry point, with pre owned models available from £4,500.

The Rolex Yacht Master collection

If you’re looking for a robust, water-resistant timepiece fit for sailing adventures, the Rolex Yacht-Master stands as the ultimate choice. This iconic wristwatch boasts an array of variants, including options with metal bands, all meticulously crafted to cater to the needs of sailing enthusiasts. Designed with sailing in mind, select models even feature flyback regatta timers complemented by mechanical memory functions.

However, it’s worth noting that the Rolex Yacht-Master is a coveted rarity, and securing a brand new one may require a degree of patience, as demand often exceeds supply. If you look for a Rolex Yacht Master on the pre owned market, however, you’re looking at a starting price of around £8,750.

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So, what’s the cheapest Rolex watch?

Rolex watches can vary greatly in price, since there are a variety of factors to consider. Like any high-price item, buying a brand new Rolex watch can result in a certain level of depreciation as soon as it has left the store. Much like buying a new car!

However, many Rolex watches hold their value pretty damn well. If you’re looking to invest in a Rolex watch, you may want to take a look at our blog on this exact topic.

When it comes to finding the most affordable luxury watches, here are some of the most popular Rolex models to consider:

  • Rolex Yacht Master
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual
  • Rolex Daytona
  • Rolex Sky-Dweller
  • Rolex GMT Master II
  • Rolex Submariner
  • Rolex Explorer
  • Rolex Sea-Dweller
  • Rolex Datejust
  • Rolex Day Date Presidential

How is the price of a pre owned Rolex determined?

If you’ve been in search of Rolex prices in 2024, you’ve probably observed that each model can come with distinct price differences. It’s crucial to highlight that the Rolex price spectrum is quite diverse, and the factors influencing these prices are extensive.

Interestingly, vintage watches often command considerably higher price tags than their modern-era second-hand counterparts. To shed light on the methodology behind determining the price of a pre owned Rolex, we’ll provide you with some insights below.

1. Condition

The watch’s condition plays a pivotal role in determining its value. Typically, the better the condition, the more positively it influences the price.

However, it’s worth noting that in the realm of rare vintage timepieces, certain unique defects, such as tropical dials, ghost bezels, and the development of patina, can actually enhance the watch’s value.

2. Model and reference number

Ultimately, certain Rolex watches enjoy greater collectability and popularity than others. Distinguishing between them is paramount, which is why seeking expert help is advisable if you’re unsure. For instance, at first glance, a Submariner ref. 5512 may appear similar to a ref. 5513.

However, there exists a significant disparity in price between these two models, despite originating from the same era. Therefore, possessing knowledge of the reference number is instrumental in accurately assessing its value.

3. Features and authenticity

In addressing the query, “What is the value of a Rolex watch?” the distinction between a circa-correct Rolex and an entirely authentic Rolex holds tremendous significance. Possessing the former implies that your watch features components that are all period-appropriate, aligning with the time it was originally manufactured.

In contrast, an entirely authentic Rolex signifies that all its parts are manufactured by Rolex itself. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that a Rolex can retain 100% authenticity while no longer being circa-correct, often occurring when components are replaced over the years. Generally, a circa-correct Rolex carries a higher valuation.

4. Box and papers

Having the original box and accompanying papers from the initial retail purchase of your Rolex can potentially enhance its value. While it may not always be the primary factor impacting price, it serves as a crucial tool for verifying authenticity.

In the case of vintage Rolex timepieces, which are often rare in their own right, having these items can further increase their market worth.

5. Provenance and rarity

As previously discussed, the value of a Rolex watch is substantially influenced by its model and ref number. However, there exist exceptions to this principle, primarily related to provenance and rarity.

Consider a standard Rolex Datejust from the regular market. If it happens to have been previously owned by a celebrity, this historical connection can significantly enhance its resale value.

Another scenario could involve an ordinary reference that isn’t inherently rare, yet it possesses a unique dial, anomaly, or uncommon feature that sets it apart and contributes to its rarity. These distinctive attributes can make it stand out and command a higher price.

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FAQs around Rolex watches and their price

Rolex stands as one of the world’s most renowned brands, drawing the attention and desire of millions across the globe. As a result, enthusiasts and prospective buyers often go to great lengths to acquire one.

Here are some of the most commonly posed questions concerning the purchase of a Rolex.

How much is the average Rolex watch?

Rolex, being a luxury brand, provides a range of timepieces at diverse price ranges. The introductory models begin at approximately £5,000, whereas select limited-edition pieces can easily command prices exceeding £60,000.

In the realm of Rolex acquisitions, vintage models also present a viable option. While exceedingly rare vintage pieces may come with a higher price tag, a respectable vintage Rolex can be acquired for a starting price of around £4,000 today, making it a more budget-friendly choice. Of course, the retail price of a new Rolex watch differs greatly from the pre loved market, often making owning Rolex watches more accessible to newbie collectors.

How much is a Rolex really worth?

In the realm of luxury brands, the question of true value often arises, as many renowned names attach significant price tags merely due to their brand recognition. However, Rolex distinguishes itself by possessing a robust brand identity and a resilient, top-tier design that justifies every investment.

Rolex timepieces are meticulously crafted using only the finest materials obtainable in the market. From high-quality gold and platinum to exquisite diamonds, these premium components are consistently employed throughout the entire range. Consequently, Rolex watches emerge as some of the most valuable timepieces money can procure.

Is it difficult to buy a Rolex?

Acquiring a Rolex can pose challenges due to its rarity, primarily fuelled by the extraordinary demand for certain models. In fact, the brand’s overall popularity is so immense that nearly every model is accompanied by a waiting list, when purchasing brand new especially.

Conversely, vintage Rolex watches tend to offer a more accessible entry point. A wide array of models is available, and they are often more budget-friendly, making them an ideal choice for individuals embarking on their journey into luxury watch collection. Whether you’re looking for a sporty dress watch or something from the Submariner collection (for example), it’s always beneficial to seek the help of a reputable Rolex trader to help you purchase popular watches and hard-to-find models.

Is a Rolex watch worth investing in?

Luxury timepieces often come with a hefty price tag, but are they truly a worthwhile investment? Rolex watches have consistently demonstrated an upward trajectory in value over the past few decades, primarily driven by their surging popularity and enduring demand.

While it’s accurate that a watch’s value can decline if not well-maintained, the majority of Rolex watches tend to appreciate over time. Factors contributing to this include inflation and Rolex’s deliberate restriction of annual production numbers, rendering the brand persistently scarce.

For many, luxury watches are considered one of the most attractive alternative investment options. They function as a natural hedge, safeguarding your assets against various economic variables, including inflation.

Additionally, it’s crucial to acknowledge that Rolex watches are crafted from premium materials like gold and platinum, imbuing each piece with inherent value that transcends the brand itself. Some models even incorporate precious stones such as emeralds and diamonds, further amplifying their worth.

Which Rolex holds its value the best?

In the world of Rolex timepieces, if you’re considering investments with a high likelihood of retaining or increasing in value, the Rolex Submariner and Rolex GMT-Master collections emerge as your safest bets.

Renowned for their durability and robustness, these watches feature a sporty design that enhances their desirability.

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Can I get an estimate on my Rolex?

Rolex watches possess a remarkable capacity to maintain their value over time, and under favourable conditions, they may even appreciate in worth.

Whether you have your sights set on selling a vintage Submariner, a modern Datejust, or a Day-Date President adorned with a diamond dial, the initial phase in the process of selling your Rolex entails evaluating its fair market value.

Speak to us for fair, competitive pricing for your Rolex watch.

Looking to buy your next Rolex watch?

From the GMT Master II to the Rolex Daytona, Rolex watches are heavily sought after timepieces for many reasons. Whether you’re looking to add to your collection, sell your current Rolex watch or invest in Rolex timepieces for the first time, speak to LH Watch Trade today.

Take a look at our available Rolex models today, or get in touch if you’re looking for specific Rolex models. We also offer competitive pricing if you’re considering selling your Rolex watches.