The Rolex watch market has its own rules, mainly unwritten and often propelled by rumours as much as real demand from collectors. It’s kinda like the stock market; lots of companies and rich guys are constantly hedging their bets to try and beat the next spike in demand, and that drives the price of the stock higher. Or lower if a new Rolex model appears and nobody wants the 2019 range.
Then you have people who essentially trade in Rolex futures. They have a client list, they know which client will pay roughy XXXX amount for their grail Rolex, and so they try to locate one. Generally dealers, from international authorised shops, to eBay traders, these guys have a vested interest in talking up the long term cash profit that MIGHT be achieved on historic Rolex models, as well as the modern stuff. So you’ll see You Tube videos, blogs, magazine features and so on bigging up Daytonas, Submariners, various GMTs, even the odd Explorer. If a Rolex has some kind of authentic celebrity or movie connection then that adds to its future value…generally. That may not apply if Bill Cosby or Jimmy Savile owned it.
We had a look around at the latest Rolex Oyster Perpetual prices, after the recent release of the new 36mm and 41mm models. The first thing to note is that demand is wayyyy stronger for the 41mm case sizes. No surprise. Next though, it was interesting to see that the yellow dial Oyster was being touted at just over £8000 by one dealer, which is about 4K up on the RRP. Maybe it’s time to think out of the box if you don’t want to wait for a Submariner or GMT model from the 2020 range?
Certainly the offbeat dial colours won’t atrract the same attention as green, black or champagne. People tend to be risk averse when it comes to investing in Rolex watches, because the safe play suits most collectors. But rare models eventually tend to go for big money, because there are low numbers available in say a decade, and some wealthy collectors would like a full set, kind of like cigarette cards but with a 100K buy in price.
MAYBE A 34mm ROLEX IS WORTH BUYING?
OK, I hear you, a 34mm case size is too girly nowadays, but consider the rarity factor here. The latest 34mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual has a brand new movement for 2020, in the shape of the Cal 2232. So this is a debut year, always worth bearing in mnd for future collector/auction value. It has a 55 hour power reserve and a Syloxi hairpsring inside, which looks very much like a traditional metal balance wheel assembly. I like that rather than the Parachrom balance spring Rolex movements, because although silicon is more efficient in terms of conserving energy from mainspring to second hand, for me, it lacks romance, craft, engineering kudos.
Just worth looking at this one, especially in Sunray Blue, which is arguably the most handsome of the Oyster 34 range imho. It has an understated elegance, lacking a day/date window, or any extra bling in the bezel. Bit boring perhaps, but for me a design classic that will never go out of fashion, which a vivid green Hulk might do.
There y’go, place your bets Rolex futures traders.