Rolex is by far the dominant brand in the secondary luxury watch market—no other brand comes close in terms of volume, value, and desirability. So if you have a Rolex to sell, then the process may just be that much easier since buyers are already so familiar with the brand. What’s more, given their popularity, you may be able to sell your Rolex for a good amount of money (close to current retail or maybe even above) depending on the model and condition.
While there are some general best practices when selling a watch, there are a few brand-specific tips to keep in mind that can result in even more successful transactions. If you’re looking to sell your Rolex watch, here’s some helpful information to keep in mind.
Locate the Rolex Reference Numbers and Serial Numbers
One of the first things you need to do is determine the watch’s reference number, also known as the model number or style number. Knowing the exact Rolex model number is key to selling the watch as it specifies the model, material, style, and approximate era of production.
Rolex reference numbers are engraved in the case, in between the lugs at the 12 o’clock position. The bracelet will have to be removed to see it. If you have the original paperwork that came with the watch, the reference number will be printed there and you won’t have to take off the bracelet.
The serial number is unique to the watch and some buyers will want this information to help confirm the authenticity of the Rolex. However, keep in mind that you should never publicly list or publish a photo of the full serial number because counterfeiters could start using it on their fake watches.
Learn more: How to Spot a Fake Rolex
If the watch was manufactured before 2008, Rolex serial numbers are engraved in the case, in between the lugs at the 6 o’clock position. Again, you’ll have to remove the bracelet to see it. However, if the watch was produced in 2008 or after, the serial number will be engraved on the rehaut (also known as the flange) at the 6 o’clock position. Note that Rolex switched over to random serial numbers around 2009, which makes it impossible to date the watch. Prior to that, however, Rolex serial numbers were sequential, meaning you could use them to approximate the year of production.
Collect Documentation and Packaging
The market is flooded with fake Rolex watches, so any official papers, warranty cards, boxes, packaging, receipts, service records, insurance papers, or any other documentation can help ease buyers’ worries. If your watch was sized, you’ll also want to ensure you provide all of your Rolex bracelet links, or disclose any links that are missing. Take the time to locate these items (if you have them somewhere) as they can add anywhere from 10% to 20% to the price you can sell your Rolex for.
Learn more: How Many Links Does a Rolex Come With?
Unlike many other luxury watch brands, Rolex does not provide any authentication programs or extracts from the archives. However, if you’ve had your Rolex serviced at an official service center, the service papers will go a long way in affirming your watch’s authenticity.
Determine the Value of Your Rolex
Using the reference number, do some pricing research on your Rolex. Finding out how much a Rolex is relatively easy given how popular the brand is in the secondary market. Rolex does publish its manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) on its website, however, this is only part of the picture. Make sure you research secondary market values of the watch too — they can be quite different from sticker prices.
We have a number of Rolex price guides you can reference:
Breaking Down Rolex Prices: Retail vs. Actual Market for Top Models
Rolex Watch Prices: Historical and Current From Actual Sales Numbers
How Much Can I Get for My Used Submariner?
How Much Can I Get for My Used Daytona?
What is the Price of a Datejust?
How Much Does a Rolex Day-Date Cost?
For Rolex market prices, you can ALSO check:
- eBay sold listings
- Watch Charts
- Pre-owned Watch Dealer and Grey Market Dealer Websites
Keep in mind that secondary market Rolex prices are quite volatile so what you see today may not be relevant tomorrow. Also, published prices will always be higher than what you’ll net for selling your watch.
Should I Service My Rolex Before Selling It?
If you have a vintage Rolex, remember that originality trumps looks. We recommend against replacing the original dial/bezel/hands or any other parts in hopes that it will make the watch look better. Counterintuitively, switching out old parts for new ones will decrease the value of a vintage Rolex, even if it looks newer. Collectors value originality above all.
How about a modern reference; is it worth servicing a modern Rolex before selling it? Generally, no. Rolex servicing is quite expensive and you will likely not recoup that money when you sell the watch. Plus, if you decide to sell your Rolex watch to a professional grey market dealer, they will take care of any repairs, servicing, or maintenance needed before reselling it. There’s no need to incur that cost yourself before selling your Rolex.
Get an Instant Offer from Luxury Bazaar
With decades of experience in the luxury watch industry and thousands of happy customers, Luxury Bazaar is the easiest way to sell your Rolex watch safely.
Simply answer a few questions about the Rolex watch you want to sell and receive an instant offer. We’ll guide you through the whole process, which is fast, easy, convenient, and most importantly, risk-free.