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Two Basic Things to Know Before You Buy a Pre-Owned Rolex

Updated: Mar 22, 2022

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day Date President Yellow Gold Mens Watch

If you are looking to buy a pre-owned Rolex in San Diego, there are some basics you will need to know before you get started. If you’ve never bought a luxury watch, chances are you’ve never really thought much about the information provided in this post. Now is the time to familiarize yourself with some of the basics so you don’t get lost in the conversation when you search for your fine timepiece. This blog post will look at two important aspects of a Rolex or, for that matter, any luxury watch.

Watch Movement

The movement is basically what makes the watch run. It is sometimes referred to as a calibre. There are three types of movements and here is a quick rundown for you.

  • Mechanical Movement. This is the kind of watch that is wound by hand. It tightens the mainspring and the unwinding of the mainspring is what powers the actual timekeeping. These watches are the most collectible of Rolexes and are good choices for people who enjoy vintage items.

  • Automatic Movement. Quite simply, this is a self-winding watch. A semi-circular rotor inside the case pivots as the person wearing it moves, winding the mainspring. This was a dramatic improvement in early automatic watches which used a hammer system. The rotor developed by Rolex is essentially the same as those used today. Automatic movements are typically more expensive than other types because of the craftsmanship involved in their manufacture.

  • Quartz Movement. Unlike mechanical or automatic movement, quartz movement uses a battery for its power source and instead of a mainspring to power the watch, a quartz crystal which is electrified, causing vibration. This is the least expensive kind of watch but also the most reliable for timekeeping. These watches are the least desirable to collectors because they lack the craftsmanship of mechanical watches.


A complication is simply anything a watch does other than tell the hour and minute and second. When you buy a pre-owned Rolex, you’ll be buying the timekeeping functionality that may or may not include additional functions (complications) such as the following. There are many other complications as well.

  • Stopwatch.

  • Date.

  • Day of the week.

  • Time in multiple time zones.

  • Time elapsed.

This brief introduction will give you a basic understanding of the vocabulary you’ll hear when you buy a pre-owned Rolex in San Diego but it isn’t even close to all of the information you need. Be sure to deal with a reputable seller when buying a fine timepiece, one happy to help you learn all you need to learn to make a decision.


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