How Long Is the Waiting List for Rolex?
Updated: Mar 22, 2022
This isn’t an easy question to answer for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the answer depends on the particular Rolex you might want. Second, there is no standard by which an authorized Rolex dealer must place people on a waitlist. In fact, some unscrupulous dealers (and yes, there are unscrupulous dealers) will require thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry or watch purchases just for the privilege of waiting. Finally, if you get on a waitlist, the lists aren’t first come/first served in most cases but instead, dealers put customers on the list according to their own idea of how much the relationship is worth.
That said, here is a general idea informally determined based on research done online on four of the popular Rolex models very likely to be waitlisted.
How Long Is a Rolex Daytona Waitlist?
The Rolex Daytona in stainless steel is the most difficult sports watch to obtain. You’ll need a perfect relationship with an authorized dealer as well as a history of spending a great deal of money. There’s a long waitlist for the watches with precious metal, too. If you’re lucky enough to get on this waitlist, plan for at least a year but expect closer to three years!
How Long Is the Rolex GMT Master II Waitlist?
The GMT Master II is one of the most difficult watches to obtain regardless of your relationship with the dealer. This waitlist is about a year on the short end and two years or more on the long end.
How Long Is the Rolex Submariner Waitlist?
The Rolex Submariner is more popular than any other model right now. That makes the waitlist long. With a very good relationship with an authorized dealer, you can expect to wait from six months to a year. Without that relationship, you probably won’t be able to buy a Submariner from an authorized dealer at all.
How Long Is the Rolex Datejust Waitlist?
The Datejust is the easiest to purchase but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a waitlist. Depending on the type you choose, you can wait weeks or months. For example, a two tone Datejust shouldn’t take very long at all but a stainless steel Wimbledon could take as long as six months.
With waitlists like these, it is easy to understand why so many people have turned to the secondary market (sometimes called the grey market) to obtain one. Many are willing to pay a very large premium to avoid the waitlist, and a very large premium is exactly what it takes. These watched are purchased at retail price by someone who waited on the waitlist and then offered it to a dealer for sale at a premium, making the cost to the dealer already higher than retail price. If you purchase a pre-owned Rolex this way, it’s critical that you deal with a reputable Rolex seller.