Why, where and how to buy a Rolex.

Why, where and how to buy a Rolex.


Rolex Storefront

Where to buy a Rolex.

  • New Rolex. The easiest and most comfortable method of buying a new Rolex is to visit Amazon online. However, if you want to test the watch first before making a decision, the best thing you can do is to locate an official dealer near you which can be found on the website of Rolex. The retailers you find on this link are the only ones allowed to sell and maintain new Rolex watches. They possess the skills, know-how and equipment and these retailers can guarantee the authenticity of your Rolex while helping you make the best choice. You can find official retailers in more than 100 countries worldwide. These stores can be identified by checking if the Rolex plaque is displayed in their location and on the company’s website.
  • Where to buy a used Rolex? The second option are used wristwatches and vintage timepieces. There are many places where you’ll be able to buy or sell a worn Rolex watch. Some are reliable and others are not. You can buy and sell them both offline and online. I prefer to collect used watches because they are cheaper and also easier to get. Personally I have the best experience with the online market place Bob’s Watches. The company has more than 5,000 five star reviews. That says it all. They also buy and sell the brands Oris, Tudor, Omega, Panerai, Breitling, Cartier, Parmigiani, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, IWC, Piaget, TAG Heuer, Vacheron. and Jaeger-LeCoultre.
  • Other places where you can buy a used or vintage Rolex. Other suitable places to purchase a worn Rolex are: the Watch Box and Crown and Caliber.

That’s all. Of course there are many more places where you can buy a Rolex watch. However, the ones mentioned here are reliable and well-known stores. If you think I missed something then please contact me.

Why buy a Rolex?

Here are the 8 most important reasons.

  • Best known brand of luxury watches. It will be difficult to find an adult person who never heard of the name Rolex.
  • The quality is known as the best on the market. Until a few years ago, Rolex was criticized for lack of innovation. The typical clasp still looked like it was made of the same material as a soda can. The cases of the sports watches were rather small with 40 millimeters in diameter, and the construction of the movements was not changed for decades. But in recent years, Rolex has had as many innovations and changes as in the four decades before. The watchbands were equipped with new closures that the wearer can easily and very precisely adapt to his wrist. Ceramics are now used for the lunettes, the movements have been optimized by a parachromic spiral, and the watches themselves look larger. The chronometers undergo rigorous testing before they can enter the market. Currently new Rolex timepieces have a worldwide 5 year warranty starting at the time of purchase and officially registered by Rolex.
  • Craftsmanship. Although Rolex is about as open in terms of numbers as the case of an Oyster, I know that the company produces approximately 800.000 watches a year. The select few who were able to enter Rolex’s manufacturing facilities report impressive automated processes that make human error impossible. Of course, the watches are still partly assembled by hand. The high quality that Rolex can deliver with this huge production volume is amazing. Despite the high number of watches produced, they still have an extremely high quality standard of craftsmanship. Yes, the manufacturer uses sophisticated machines for the production. These automated tasks are used for tasks that humans can’t do very well. On the other hand, Rolex watch hands are still manually set by a trained technician while every new wristwatch is inspected manually before leaving the factory.
  • Popular among famous people. Examples are: Several Presidents, Paul Newman, Rihanna, David Beckham, Miley Cyrus, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and many more.
  • Historical value. With a Rolex you have mechanical history on your wrist. The now famous company started in 1905 as a small business with only 2 partners. The time piece maker currently produces about 800,00 watches per year with the help of approximately 2,800 employees.
  • A Rolex is a good investment. The comparatively low depreciation of Rolex compared to other brands is famous. The demand continues to increase, while supply doesn’t. When you buy a brand new Rolex you can count on a return of around 5 to 10 percent per year. But, if you look at the price increases in the vintage watch market, the purchase of a Rolex has much bigger financial benefits.
  • The first-class Rolex customer service. Rebuilding a Rolex is a costly undertaking, but you get your watch back in the same condition as the day you first picked it up. When I got my Rolex Sea-Dweller 16600 back in Geneva after a major overhaul, I had to look twice to see if the case had been replaced – and, fortunately, that was not the case. I did not trust my eyes. The service lasted six weeks, which is pretty fast for a watch manufacturer. For other brands, the repair has taken much longer, even up to six months – and for rather simple repairs such as setting the movement. Most manufacturers forget you as their customer once you have purchased a product. They rather spend tons of money on brand ambassadors or marketing campaigns than investing in customer service like Rolex does.
  • Social commitment from Rolex. If you buy one of the company’s creations, you are doing a good deed at the same time. Company founder Hans Wilsdorf had no children. Therefore, shortly after his wife’s death, he transferred all his shares to the Wilsdorf Foundation. Rolex is part of this foundation, which receives most of the operating profit. Social initiatives, programs for environmental protection, science and artistic and cultural projects are being supported financially.

So, there you have it, 8 reasons why to buy a Rolex. Personally I think brand recognition is the most important reason why people buy Rolex. This recognition probably drives most consumer’s decisions when differentiating between competing companies.

Rolex Crown

How to buy a Rolex.

  • Know the models before you start. Overview of current Rolex models: Air King, Cellini Time, Cellini Date, Cellini Dual Time and Cellini Moonphase, Cosmograph Daytona, Datejust, Datejust II and Datejust 41, Day-Date, Explorer and Explorer II, GMT-Master and GMT-Master II, Lady Datejust, Milgauss, Oyster Perpetual, Pearlmaster, Sea-Dweller, Sea-Dweller 4000 and Sea-Dweller Deepsea, Sky Dweller, Submariner and Submariner Date, and the Yacht-Master and Yacht-Master II. Whether you like it or not, Rolex Daytona, Rolex Datejust, Rolex Sea-Dweller and other models are still the number one among potential watch buyers. I have a lot of respect for Rolex. The company produces high-quality watches in large quantities at reasonable prices and I have owned quite a few Rolex watches, both used and new.
  • Decide in advance to buy new or used. I must confess that I keep changing my mind on this subject. Once I wrote an article about why I do not collect second hand watches from Rolex – and today my modest collection consists mainly of them. Used Rolex watches are just a topic for me. In this article I want to show why this is the case, but why it is safer and probably just as nice to buy a new Rolex. At first, though, I should explain why I like the used Rolex models so much. Like most other vintage watches, a Rolex sports model from the ’60s or’ 70s has a touch of adventure. The signs of wear on the case and band give an idea that the watch already has a lot behind it. Just a pity that she can’t speak! The great thing about Rolex watches is that there are so many that you can always find exactly the model that you want.

How to purchase a preowned Rolex?

  • Think carefully about your budget in advance. If you want to buy a vintage or second hand Rolex, you should be clear about your budget and know exactly what you want. And, of course, you should be able to afford it.
  • Find a trusted dealer. You should be able to rely on a trusted dealer or owner. For example, you can find trusted providers through Internet forums and platforms that specialize in second hand Rolex watches.
  • Check the dealer information about the watch. Of course you can not know everything about pre-owned Rolex watches. But you should feel good about the piece your dealer offers you. If he says that everything is alright and you were able to test that, you should be able to trust him. Some traders also give money back if there are any irregularities after the purchase. However, always rely on common sense when looking for a vintage Rolex. Do not be reckless. Listen to your gut feeling when something feels funny to you.
  • Check the technical condition if possible. Buying and collecting used Rolex watches has a lot to do with aesthetics. Most people do not care so much about the mechanical movement, but simply rely on its quality – after all, it comes from Rolex. They prefer to invest in an attractive dial or in nice hands, rather than worry about the mechanics. Personally however, I like to make sure that the clock is in an optimal technical condition. You can do that as follows:
  1. Use a magnifying glass (2.5 – 3.3 times magnification is good).
  2. Turn the clockwise movement over the crown, up to the stop and listen to the noise. Cracking sounds are always bad. Think about torn springs, broken elevator wheels etc.
  3. Pull the crown into the hand setting position. Turn slowly and then quickly the hands and observe, with the magnifying glass, this for a while. If you notice any irregularity such as shaking or grinding, then there is something wrong.
  4. Test all functions.
  5. Open the bottom cover. Look closely at the parts of the lift shaft that are visible. If there is rust on the winding shaft, care should be taken (could indicate water damage). If dirt particles are visible on the inner part of the tube (where the lift shaft comes through the housing), a revision of the movement is definitely required. Test the rotor of the automatic elevator, whether it wobbles or has play. Should that be true, something is wrong. Whether the circuit boards are scratched or the screw heads are damaged, has nothing to say about the technical condition. These are just beauty defects.
  6. Pay attention to rust marks. Every drop of water can mean the death of the movement. Often it tries to “brighten up” these places. The movement can look great from the back, but under the dial can still be rust.
  7. Now comes a very important point. Please note the amplitude of the restlessness. The oscillation range should be at least 240 °. If the amplitude is below 240 something is wrong. This may be due to poor oil ratios and be remedied with a revision. But it can also be due to a fault in the movement, and then it is usually expensive. Since not every watch buyer has a trained eye, like a watchmaker to rate the amplitude, it is advisable to use a time scale. For your smartphone (Android and Iphone), there are cost-effective time-scale apps that are perfectly adequate for this purpose. Please do not be fooled that the second hand is running when the movement is wound up. The second hand also works when the amplitude is only 20 °.

These are the most important tips on checking the technical condition of a used Rolex. If you take these into account, you are one step ahead of many others. But that does not mean that the movement is technically 100%. There are still other problems possible that can only be seen when you turn off the clock, dismantle the dial and disassemble the movement.

  • Beware of scams with used Rolex watches. The ugly side of the otherwise aesthetic scene are cases of fraud. As always when trading valuable things – just think of classic cars, works of art or real estate, there can be a bad person around the corner. Sometimes suddenly people appear who claim to be able to make millions of dollars in used Rolex watches and procure all imaginable models. Beware of such dealers! Rather, choose a dealer who distributes used Rolex watches only as a hobby or one who owns a small shop.
  • Don’t worry about exclusivity. To make one thing clear: Rolex watches are not unique pieces. Even used, they are not exclusive since Rolex is a watch manufacturer with a high production capacity. It are the Rolex fans who declare certain lettering on the dial or signs of wear as exclusive. Also, there are watches from other manufacturers that are harder to find in the market and technically or historically even more interesting. But I’ll say it the way it is: The demand for Rolex watches simply is the highest among them all and nobody can change that.

How to buy a new Rolex.

  • Understand what matters most to you. Let’s go to to new and modern Rolex watches. As you have already read in the first part of this article, it can sometimes be risky to buy a used Rolex. If you’re just looking for a quality watch and do not chase the perfect vintage or pre-owned Rolex, you may want to consider buying a new watch. Many people – especially watch lovers – will tell you that it is boring to buy a new Rolex and that you can buy more interesting worn or vintage Rolex time pieces. That may be so. However, more important is what matters to you. If you want a watch that will last a lifetime (or even two) and a timepiece that gains in value (with a little patience), then a new modern Rolex is probably right for you.
  • Select your favorite model. As you can read at the start of this post, there are basically 15 models at the moment. This should make it relatively easy to make the best choice.
  • Determine if you want to buy online or offline. Buying a model online is generally cheaper, there are no travel expenses and it saves a lot of time. On the other hand, purchasing offline has the advantage that you can see the clock in real and that you can fit the item first. You will have to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages before making a choice.
  • Read online reviews about the stores that qualify. Don’t forget to check the authenticity of these reviews. You can consult Google on how to do this.
  • Read this online guide on how to spot a replica.

So, this was the story about how to buy a Rolex. And, as you were able to read earlier, this post started with an explanation on why many consumers purchase a Rolex despite the fact that there are also other good brands. Additionally I have mentioned the best places where you can buy either a new or second hand Rolex watch.

I hope you enjoyed reading and more than that, I hope you learned something from it. Buying a new Rolex is practically without any risk if you select an authorized retailer. Buying a vintage or used model is a different story. However, by following the tips as mentioned in this post, you will be able to eliminate 99% of the disadvantages. Good luck!

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