Updated: Mar 22
Right now, there are far more customers who want Rolex watches than the number of watches produced. This has a lot to do with Rolex’s exacting manufacturing standards. They are not going to increase production any time soon. This has resulted in long waitlist at authorized Rolex Dealers. There are a number of factors that determine if you can even get on a waitlist, and there is no standard to count on. Some dealers choose only those customers who have spent many thousands of dollars in the past. Some require large purchases up front just to get on the waitlist.
Naturally, the biggest factor for the length of time on a waitlist is the model. Here are five models you can bet you won’t find on the shelves. Instead, you’ll be stuck on the Rolex waitlist and sometimes for a very long time.
How Long Is the Rolex Sky Dweller Waitlist?
This watch is nearly impossible to buy. In fact, they usually don’t even make it to a seller’s display case because they’re sold long before a dealer receives them from Rolex. If by some miracle, you have a really amazing relationship with an authorized dealer and you’re lucky enough to get on a waitlist, you’re still looking at a year or two to receive it.
How Long Is the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Waitlist?
It used to be easy to get a Rolex Oyster Perpetual. However, when Rolex introduced colorful dials, that changed. Demand is so high for these, you just won’t find them in display cases at all. The waitlist is at least two years. Since this is also the least produced Rolex, the law of supply and demand suggests the waitlist for this model is going to keep growing.
How Long Is the Rolex Explorer Waitlist?
Although Rolex Explorers were very easy to obtain just a few years ago, supply and demand has caught up to them. So now, whether you are looking for a Rolex Explorer I or a Rolex Explore II, you will wait a minimum of six months but can wait for as long as a year and a half to get your watch.
How Long Is the Rolex Day Date Waitlist?
For many Rolex buyers, the Day Date represents the pinnacle of fine timepiece purchases. As such, it is always in high demand. Just to get on a waitlist, a buyer will need to have a very good relationship with a dealer and also a substantial and regular purchase history. Even then, a waitlist can be as long as three years.
How Long Is the Rolex Sea Dweller Waitlist?
The Rolex Sea Dweller is the deepest dive watch made by Rolex but it is not as popular as the less professional Submariner. Nonetheless, it is still very much in demand, creating long waitlists. With a very good relationship with a dealer and a good purchase history, a customer can buy a Sea Dweller in six to eighteen months.
These long waitlists have added to the importance of the Rolex secondary market. May people are willing to pay a great deal more to get their watch immediately rather than later. This has created an incentive for people on a waitlist to sell it to a pre-owned Rolex dealer the moment they buy it. There is a large premium for those watches and by the time they get to the final buyer, they may cost thousands of dollars above retail price. They sell nonetheless. If you decide to try your hand at buying a Rolex on the secondary market, make sure you deal with a reputable and trustworthy Rolex seller.