This is a question that we are being asked all the time, so we thought we’d take the time to answer it thoroughly and detailed.
Now, the question ”how much does a Rolex cost” is frequently being asked, but this is of course no surprise. To many people, Rolex is considered the ultimate symbol of success, and for many people, Rolex is the watch you buy when you want to celebrate a significant event or when you’ve achieved something great. But without much knowledge about Rolex and their watches, it’s hard to know the price range of Rolex’s products.
Therefore, in this article, we’re sharing the answer to the question ”how much does a Rolex cost?” and go in-depth about how much you can expect a Rolex to cost.
How much does a Rolex cost?
Let’s take it back a few years, because when talking about the price of a Rolex, it hasn’t always been as high as it is today. In fact, Rolex were, just like any other watch a tool watch that truly made a difference and which was helpful in the respective environment it was used. And with that said, Rolexes were far more accessible and affordable back in the days. But over the years, more and more has Rolex moved towards becoming a luxury brand rather than a tool watch brand. Of course, this has not happened overnight, but more so over the course of 50 years or so.
Rolex watches were a lot cheaper back in the days, and no, it does not only have to do with inflation to do. Look at this graphic by Ablogtowatch:
Now, it’s important that you take this graphic with a pinch of salt as it shows the price increase of a highly popular and loved model which has increased quite significantly in value, and you should also have in mind that it is not adjusted for inflation.
But despite this, the price increase of Rolex watches in general has far exceeded the inflation that we have. In other words, in order to make Rolex watches more luxurious and exclusive, Rolex has continuously increased its prices. And despite this, people have continued to buy them. In fact, the price increase has more so increased the demand for Rolex watches. This may not come as a huge surprise since if you make a product harder to get, naturally, it will become more sought-after.
It is also crucial that you understand that the price increase shown is not solely affected by Rolex’s own price increase. In fact, this graphic refers to the cost of these models on the secondhand market, and here, the market decides what they are worth. And clearly, the graphic doesn’t lie about the dramatic increase and popularity in Rolex – or in this case at least these models.
Also, with the graphic above in mind, the steady price increase shows that buying a Rolex is quite a good investment in many cases. In the short run, it may be a poor investment, but this has to do with what watch you buy and if the demand on the secondhand market is there. On the flip side, models like the Daytona weren’t very popular at the time they were released, but today, they sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Now, let’s start looking at some numbers so you can get an idea of how much a Rolex costs, but before we do that, it’s important to point out that just like everything else, the prices of Rolex watches vary dramatically. Just like it is difficult to say ”How much does a car cost?”, it can be almost as tricky to say what a Rolex cost. Nonetheless, let’s dig right in.
Rolex authorised dealer or secondhand market?
There’s a huge difference between buying new from an authorised Rolex dealer. Let’s sort out the difference.
If someone asks ”How much does a Rolex cost?”, the answer depends. And this is similar (yet different) to a car and whether you’re referring to buying it from the dealership or secondhand.
Here’s the deal:
Authorised Rolex dealers only sell brand new Rolex watches. They also set their prices according to Rolex’s recommended retail prices.
Today, some Rolexes actually cost more on the secondhand market than they do at the dealer just because the demand is so high and the waiting lists so long. But for the majority of Rolex watches, the price of them is actually lower on the secondhand market.
As such, if you’re looking to buy a Rolex watch as cheap as possible, so you can get the most bang for your buck, you’re better off looking at buying your Rolex from dealers such as Millennium Watches.
And the best part is that the watches you buy secondhand don’t necessarily have been worn or have been worn more regularly. Naturally, the condition of the Rolex watch and how much the watch has been used obviously affects its price, just like with a car.
Just like any item with a high price, when taking it out from a store brand new, you will take a certain hit of depreciation, but because Rolex has such a good prestige and is such a strong brand, there’s a clear line for each and every model where the value of the watch won’t go lower. That way, if you want to buy new, you can know roughly how much you’ll get out of your watch if you decide to sell it.
Now, if you’re looking at new Rolex watches, Rolex has an enormous portfolio of different models. Especially in their Datejust range. The cheapest model from Rolex when buying brand new is the Oyster Perpetual. This model is available in a number of different variations, and the absolute cheapest is the 34mm Oyster Perpetual, which retails for slightly more than 5K USD, but note that this number may (probably) change over the years. The smallest and most basic Lady Datejust with no precious metals or gems retails for slightly more than that.
On the flip side, when we’re talking about the secondhand market, it’s a completely different story. Because the fact is that you can buy both vintage and really old Rolex watches, but you can also buy brand new watches which are exactly what you’ll get when buying from an authorised dealer.
As an example, the search for brand new 34mm Oyster Perpetual watches showed this:
In other words, the cheapest (brand new) Rolex Oyster Perpetual can be bought at roughly 1K USD less than at Rolex retail price, even though it’s the same product. And this presents a price which is cheaper than any watch that Rolex sells.
Of course, with watches that cost more, the margins will be even greater, which means that in not all -but many, the cost on the secondhand market will be much cheaper than when you buy it at an official dealer – even though it is completely brand new.
If you’re buying brand new, you’re going to have to expect to lose some money. Now, as mentioned, there are exceptions, but for most Rolex watches, this is the case. What this also means is that the price of the watch on the secondhand market is also lower than in store.
Whether you should buy a brand new Rolex watch or a pre-owned – note that (with some exceptions) Rolex authorised dealers only sell brand new watches, but on the secondhand market, you can get both brand new and pre-used watches.
Which you want to opt for when buying your Rolex watch is completely up to you, but surprise surprise, buying pre-owned always makes more sense financially.
Then, we have vintage Rolex watches, and this also brings us to the common question ”which is the cheapest Rolex?” Now, this depends on how you view it, because just like people sell barely working cars for very little, the same goes for some Rolex watches since, after all, they’re both mechanical pieces of engineering. For example, filtering for the cheapest Rolex watch available for sale will present unwanted, old, unpopular, and worn watches:
And as you can see, these only cost seven to nine hundred dollars. This is quite interesting, because when someone asks the question ”how much does a Rolex cost” – which this article is meant to answer, the answer in theory could be very complex, because the real answer is that it depends on what you buy, where you buy it, and how you buy it. But in theory, you could say 800 dollars, because as you can see, you can get a Rolex for that price.
But naturally, it tends to be the easiest to focus on the official retail price as these tend to be far more stable than the secondhand market. And if we are after some general idea of the price of a new Rolex watch from an official retailer, the vast majority of Rolex watches are prices between €6,000 to €100,000. But, as you know bay now, there are watches which are both cheaper and more expensive.
How much does a Rolex cost?
Since the watches you can see above aren’t really popular -not their design nor their size, if you are looking at the modern Rolex watches, the cheapest models to look for are the Air-King, Oyster Perpetual and Datejust.
With that said, the cheapest alternative tends to be the watches which are made in full steel and feature no gems.
The reason these watches are the cheapest – with the Air-King and Oyster Perpetual being the cheapest, is that they are the most basic models of Rolex. These two models feature no additional features in any way which otherwise complicates the movement and makes it more expensive. These watches feature a minute, an hour, and a second hand, and it’s only with the exception of the date function of a Datejust, but on the flip side, Datejusts naturally tend to be more expensive than the other two.
But again, have in mind that because there are so many different models of the same line, it’s impossible to say that ”Datejust” is the cheapest model, etc, because at the same time, there are Datejust watches that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
While buying a secondhand, vintage Rolex watch like the ones above may or may not be a very good idea, buying older Rolex watches on the secondhand watches with a restricted budget can actually give you lots of bang for your buck. One of the best alternatives here is looking at a Rolex Datejust. These are reliable watches that are more than 20 years which have proven themselves truly timeless and classic.
For about €2500 to $3000, you have countless of Rolex Datejust watches to choose from, and within this budget, you can get a really cool watch in a really good condition.
In other words, for essentially half the price of Rolex’s cheapest watch (if buying brand new), you can get a really cool, classic watch that is vintage and has the charm of a vintage watch.
How much does a Rolex cost?
The Oyster Perpetual is the entry-level watch in Rolex’s lineup of watches.
If you want to buy a modern yet classic watch which has been manufactured for decades, and been iterated time and time over, the Oyster Perpetual is a great candidate. Normally, the cheapest alternative/base model of something tends to never be something that you actually want to own, but the fact is that he Oyster Perpetual is actually a great watch, which lives up to all the demands and controls that being a Rolex watch includes.
Now, when asking the question ”How much does a Rolex cost”, it’s important that we sort out what that question actually means. Of course, you buy the watch and pay money, but the only difference is that the money has been translated to a Rolex, and thus the value is now in the many. This means that the value is still there, just that you’ve put it into the watch instead.
Also, since Rolex prices tend to increase, in particular sports Rolex models, the value of your Rolex may very well increase over the years.
In that sense, one way to answer this questions is that a Rolex doesn’t have to cost anything. It may even ”pay” you to wear it. How amazing is that?