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5 Things to Keep in Mind When Selling A Rolex

May 19, 2018

BY Paul Altieri


How much is my Rolex worth?

Rolex Datejust, Submariner, and Milgauss

Rolex Datejust, Submariner, and Milgauss

If you’re in the market to sell a Rolex watch, then there are a few points to keep in mind to determine its value. While Rolexes are famous for retaining their worth over the years, factors like model number, condition, demand, and accompanying items all affect the true market value of a Rolex. Although at Bob’s Watches we make it easy to determine the value of your used Rolex with our innovative Rolex Exchange concept-where we list both the buy and sell price of a specific model for your convenience-for further information, read about these five elements that will influence the final value of your watch.

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1. Reference Number

Selling A Rolex

Rolex model number engraved in between the lugs at 12 o’clock

The first thing to uncover when determining the value of your Rolex is the reference or model number. The reference is a 4-6 digit number engraved into the side of the case, located in-between the lugs at 12 o’clock. Because of its position, removing the watch bracelet or strap is the only way see the reference number. But, if you have the correct paperwork for the Rolex, then you can also find the reference (a.k.a style) number within the corresponding papers.

The reference/model/style number of a Rolex watch will unveil the most information about your timepiece: collection (Submariner, Daytona, GMT-Master, Datejust, etc.), material (stainless steel, gold, platinum, two-tone, etc.), movement, production date, and so on. A quick online search using your model number will bring back an abundance of information. Furthermore, if you enter the model number on the Bob’s Watches search bar, you will see what the sell value of your specific model number is thanks to our Rolex Exchange.

2. Serial Number

Selling A Rolex

Rolex serial number engraved in between the lugs at 6 o’clock

Depending on the year of your Rolex watch, the serial number is in either one of two locations. With pre-2005 models, the engraved serial number is located on the case in between the lugs at the 12 o’clock. When selling a Rolex, the bracelet or strap will also have to be removed to see the serial.

In 2005, Rolex accompanied the case engraving with a serial number on the inner flange a.k.a rehaut, and as of 2008, the serial number was only included on the rehaut. Aside from the watch, the serial number can also be found on the corresponding paperwork of the Rolex. The serial number identifies a specific watch and can indicate approximately the watch’s production date. Over the years, Rolex has changed the serial numbers to also include letters, rather than just numbers. For more information on your particular Rolex serial number, you can use the Bob’s Watches Serial Number Look Up tool.

3. Market Value

Selling A Rolex

Rolex ref. 1680 “Red Submariner”

Once you’ve found the Rolex model and serial numbers, you can research the watch’s market value. Sometimes, owners of luxury watches place more value on their timepiece than it is actually worth. It’s important to remember that the true market value of a Rolex is dependent on how much a buyer is actually willing to pay for it-regardless of how much you initially purchased it for and how much sentimental value is attached to it. Naturally, rare pieces will command higher selling prices than more common ones. In addition to looking up what your Rolex model has recently sold for at auctions, the Bob’s Watches’ Rolex Exchange concept can help you clarify the current market value of your watch.

4. Condition

Selling A Rolex

Selling A Rolex Vintage Rolex Daytona ref. 6265 can be a very lucrative endeavor

The condition of a particular Rolex will have a significant impact on value, so if you’re considering selling a Rolex be sure to take note of its wear and tear. NOS (new old stock) watches refer to pre-owned watches that have not actually been worn, but rather, hidden away safely for many years. These types of Rolexes are worth a lot since they are essentially new watches in pristine condition.

However, when it comes to vintage Rolex watches, its condition is a tricky thing when looking to sell your Rolex. Certain signs of aging, such as tropical dials (when the dials turn a different shade over time due to a production defect) and patina (color change of the hands and hour markers) are actually sought after by collectors. Also, vintage Rolex watches should not be polished when serviced as this actually devalues a watch. The more original components a Rolex has, for instance, the original bracelet, dial, and bezel, the more valuable it’ll be.

5. Box & Papers

Selling A Rolex

Complete Rolex box and papers

Accompanying boxes and papers will increase the value when you are selling a Rolex. These are items that watch buyers look for when purchasing a pre-owned Rolex watch. Not only do the original box and papers confirm the authenticity of a particular Rolex, but also, if the watch was stored in its box when not used rather than just placed loosely in a drawer, chances are that the watch is in better condition.

When you’re ready to sell your Rolex, take advantage of our useful tools at Bob’s watches. The Rolex Exchange, in addition to our Serial Lookup database, will help you understand the value of your Rolex watch.

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    Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, S.A. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned Rolex watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. Rolex, www.rolex.com, is under no obligation to warranty-service watches sold by Bob's Watches. Rolex Datejust, Rolex Day Date President, Submariner, Presidential, Explorer, Sea Dweller, Super President, GMT Master, GMT, YachtMaster, Prince, Milgauss, MasterPiece, Air King, Cosmograph Daytona, and PearlMaster are all registered trademarks of the Rolex Corporation ( Rolex USA, Rolex S.A.) To buy a new Rolex watch, please visit rolex.com for a list of authorized Rolex dealers near you.
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