Why Are Pre-Owned Rolexes So Popular?

Updated: Mar 22

If you are in the market for a Rolex watch, you have two options. The first is to buy a Rolex brand new, which is primarily something only available through an authorized dealer. The other option is to buy a pre-owned Rolex. For the most part, pre-owned Rolexes are available from retailers but it is also possible to buy them from private parties who for various reasons cannot keep their watch.


Over the last ten years or so, the pre-owned watch market has seen dramatic growth. Once primarily a marketplace for collectors, the secondary market has flourished so people not only purchase a model that fills out a collection but also people buy their first watches pre-owned. This is, in part, a result of cost savings as well as increased availability of various models. For many, the pre-owned market makes it possible to own a Rolex, a dream for many people.


What led to this market?

Rolex Daytona Cosmograph 116520 Men's Watch
Rolex Daytona Cosmograph 116520 Men's Watch

There are a number of factors driving the increased demand for pre-owned Rolexes. One answer is that the internet has made information about fine Swiss mechanical timepieces instantly available and people are falling in love with the remarkable feats of timekeeping engineering. This increases the demand for watches like Rolex. However, Rolex’s very exacting manufacturing process don’t allow for enough production to meet that demand.


As a result, many people seek out pre-owned Rolexes, and the market has responded to the demand. While some Rolex models bought new may require time on a wait list that can last up to two years, the pre-owned market can put a watch on a person’s wrist in very short order. In some cases, in fact, pre-owned Rolex’s are priced well above the retail price as people pay more just to avoid the wait.


Another big advantage of the pre-owned market is the variety of models available. While new Rolexes are limited to models and ref. numbers currently under production, the pre-owned market is filled with watches from all time periods in Rolex’s history of about a century. It’s not difficult to see why a hundred years’ worth of choices is more attractive than five or ten.


Rolex continues to grow in popularity and the company’s commitment to quality means any production increases will happen at a far slower rate than the increasing demand. This is sure to keep pre-owned Rolexes a very popular choice for many consumers. If you are in the market for a pre-owned Rolex in San Diego, make sure you choose a reputable Rolex seller so your experience is everything it should be.