Why are Rolex watches worth so much?

Posted by Suzie Kidger-Clarke

on 1st September 2022

When it comes to luxury watches, it comes as no surprise that Rolex is the brand that pops up time and time again. With timeless designs, Rolex watches simply stand out from other watch brands for a variety of reasons.

Often, those who may be considering a luxury timepiece will question the cost of even a pre owned Rolex, asking: ‘why are Rolex worth so much?’

Answering this question goes beyond the pleasing aesthetics of Rolex watches. So let’s dig a little deeper…

Why Rolex watches are so expensive

While it’s easy to assume that Rolex watches are so expensive, these luxury timepieces are priced this way for a reason. Often described as being ‘extravagant’, ‘luxurious’ and ‘classic’, there is a certain something about this luxury watch that makes it stand out in the watch world. Here are a few points that help clarify why Rolex watches cost what they do.

Designing Rolex watches costs a lot, too

Watchmaking is a meticulous and tiring production process, which also requires a lot of money to get right. If you’re looking for a prime example, Rolex watches are certainly that.

While you may think they have a high price tag, when an entire research and development department is behind the creation of a Rolex watch, it starts to become clear just how incredible they really are. Using the latest groundbreaking tools and equipment, it takes a lot to design and develop Rolex watches.

Not only that, but in the watch world, things are changing pretty damn quickly, which means that luxury watch brands need to keep up – Rolex included. Rolex is constantly innovating new manufacturing methods and techniques, to ensure their luxury timepieces stay on top. This incredible luxury watch brand hires highly experienced and trained scientists in their laboratories, with a huge amount of care and quality going into every Rolex watch they produce.

One thing’s for sure, Rolex watches are meticulously made, using precious metals and industry-leading techniques.

Rolex use 904L stainless steel

Aside from their highly professional facilities and meticulous detail, Rolex watches also have another thing over their competitors: their use of premium materials, including 904L stainless steel.

While many other watch brands use 316L stainless steel, 904L stainless steel is often referred to as the “corrosion-resistant superalloy” and “Oystersteel” in the Rolex world. This material plays a huge role in the production of Rolex watches, offering classic, stylish and extremely functional quality. Oystersteel is remarkably durable, with proven resistance to rust, magnetic fields, and any kind of corrosion.

Of course, this type of strength and resistance doesn’t come cheaply. Even on the pre owned market, Rolex watches are renowned for holding their value, standing up against frequent wearing and also holding their shine. Generally speaking, Rolex uses the 904L stainless steel in all of its collections. This ensures that all their timepieces are exquisite, tough, and long-lasting – playing a key role in the cost of Rolex watches.

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Rolex watches are built to last

While they may be considered the most ‘expensive watches’ on the market, Rolex watches can certainly stand the test of time. Although luxurious and incredible to the touch, don’t let their delicate details fool you. Rolex watches can withstand any type of wear and tear, including changes in humidity, movement, temperature, altitude and even water.

One example of this is Sir Edmund Hillary. Hillary was the first person to ascend Mount Everest, doing so while wearing a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch.

Much like many other Rolex models, the Oyster Perpetual and Explorer II for example are also water-resistant up to depths of 100 meters. This means that they go beyond being worn whilst swimming, but can also be worn whilst snorkelling or diving too. Unlike other watches, Rolex watches are built to last, function incredibly and look beautiful.

Rolex watches use precious materials

Alongside their use of stainless steel, Rolex watches are renowned for their use of precious metals, such as diamonds and gold. Rolex is probably one of the few brands that produce timepieces made out of gold. Yep, real, solid gold, not paint or gold plating. Rolex take care to specially refine 18K white, everose, and yellow gold for their timepieces.

Rolex watches hold their value

While adding another Rolex watch to your collection may not seem like much, they are actually a great investment opportunity. The truth is, not all watchmakers will see their creations hold their value, let alone appreciate over time!

Rolex has consistently created incredible luxury watches, with instantly identifiable features that have grown their brand around the world. Today, many choose to purchase a Rolex watch as a collectors’ item, while others do choose to buy them for everyday wear – whatever the reason may be, you can rest assured that a Rolex watch will give a great return.

Rolex movements are assembled by hand

Although Rolex do use some machines to produce their watches, the more complex jobs, such as assembling bracelets and watch movements are actually done by hand. As well as giving them more freedom to develop watches to their own standards, they are all expertly quality controlled by craftsmen to ensure they are of the highest quality.

Rolex are focused on quality

There’s no denying that every step of the manufacturing process is carefully structured when it comes to creating a Rolex watch. With a huge focus on the smallest of details, Rolex has master craftsmen who ensure that every screw is intact and each gem and hour marker is set perfectly in place.

They also take charge of melting down their own precious metals such as silver and gold, which are both used in the majority of their watches.

Supply and demand

The demand for Rolex watches is far higher than the supply, giving a forever waiting list of customers eager for their perfect Rolex watch. This can sometimes take years to complete and arrive (if at all), hence the open market value skyrocketing for such high-demand watches.

Final thoughts

On the whole, there are countless reasons why Rolex watches are worth so much. Considering their high-end materials, timeless designs and innovative techniques, the retail price of a Rolex watch isn’t really that surprising. After all, you are making an investment into a luxury watch brand that is built to last and look incredible.

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Looking for your next luxury timepiece?

Whether you’re new to collecting Rolex watches, or have a vast collection of Rolex timepieces, LH Watch Trade can help guide you in finding your next prized possession.

Our friendly team will help you every step of the way, from selling your Rolex watch, to making your next vintage Rolex investment. Stop by our showroom, or get in touch today.

We’d love to help you find your next Rolex.