Another point some watch enthusiasts like to raise is that Rolex watches are outrageously expensive. I beg to differ, actually. Rolex watches were never cheap to start with, so everything is relative, but there are a few things you need to consider. A new Rolex Submariner has a price tag of just over $8,500. On the pre-owned market you can find this watch for around $7,000, in good condition, approximately 1-2 years old. I will leave the bargaining at an official Rolex retailer up to you. My point is that the depreciation is only small compared to – basically – that of every other brand in this price category. You can have an awesome $8,000 watch from any other brand, even with some interesting complications in there, but will it keep its value? Since you are visiting this website, I’d assume you also know how to find your way to the online watch markets that carry all sorts of watches. Take a look at what is left of the list price on many of these other watches after a couple of years. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that Rolex has an excellent service department. A total overhaul of your Rolex watch is expensive, but when you get it back it will look as it did the day you unwrapped it for the first time.
My personal experience with Rolex’s Geneva service center is that I actually had to double-check to see if they didn’t replace the case of my Sea-Dweller 16600 when I got it back from an overhaul (they didn’t). I could not believe my eyes. It took them about six weeks, which is quite stunning compared to other watch companies. I have watches from other brands whose servicing took much longer, sometimes up to six months even for something as relatively simple as adjusting the movement. It’s been my experience that many watch manufacturers forget about you as soon as you buy something from them and would rather spend their money on celebrity “ambassadors” or expensive marketing campaigns, but it seems that Rolex actually cares a lot about the after-sales service.
Servicing vintage watches, of course, is a totally different issue. Parts might not be available anymore, new spare parts can mess up the value of your highly sought-after vintage watch, price quotes can be as high as those for a modern watch, and so on.
Whatever modern Rolex you will choose, it will be a quality watch. The chance that something will be wrong with it is very small, and the possible resale value (though there are no guarantees) is another incentive. My pick would be between the new Rolex Sea-Dweller 16600 mentioned earlier or the Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR. What would be your pick? Please share with us.