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Rolex Trade-In – It’s Time for an Upgrade!

Paul Altieri

Throughout its life, a truly fine luxury watch will very rarely be owned by just one person, and many Rolex watches have multiple owners throughout their lifetimes. Whether they get handed down to subsequent generations within the same family or sold on the open market, most high-end timepieces are likely to pass through a number of hands along their journey.

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on Rolex watches.

Rolex Trade-in Upgrade Platinum Daytona Diamond Dial

Trade-In Your Rolex and Upgrade

Style, as they say, never goes out of fashion, meaning a vintage Rolex model from 30 years ago is today just as relevant design-wise as when it was first made. And, in the case of Rolex especially, the quality of manufacture is so high, the brand’s timepieces tend to outlive their owners – and generally look a lot better while they’re doing it!

Longevity and timeless looks add up to watches that hold their worth extremely well, and in many cases, appreciate in value. It’s what makes the vintage and pre-owned industry so strong, with some estimates putting Rolex’s slice of the pie at around $100 billion.

This is all great news for both buyers and sellers, with a virile market waiting and willing to pay top prices for watches whose owners are looking to sell theirs or upgrade. Plenty of the customers we cater to at Bob’s Watches trade in their current timepiece in order to purchase either a newer version or potentially a much older one if they collect vintage Rolex watches.

Rolex Trade-in Submariner Date 116610 Black Dial

A Cost Effective Way of Upgrading Your Rolex Watch

The Rolex Submariner is one example of an iconic model that has gone through countless tweaks and updates, both significant and superficial, over its nearly 70-year career as the world’s favorite dive watch. A key update took place in 2010 when the ref. 116610 acquired an updated case design and a bezel made from Rolex’s proprietary ceramic bezel, known as Cerachrom. Additionally, in 2020, Rolex increased the size of the Submariner from 40mm to 41mm, and updated it with a new generation of in-house movements.

Many owners of the older model from the 1990s and early 2000s, the stainless steel ref. 16610, decided to sell their watches or trade them in, opting for a more modern version with a ceramic bezel. Given the strength of the pre-owned Rolex market, this makes an extremely cost effective method of upgrading your watch.

The difference between the trade in cost of the older model, which has a strong following of its own due to its more graceful proportions and elegantly fading patina, and the cost of a newer version is far less than the price of buying another watch. Therefore, customers are able to wear the latest Cerachrom Submariner for a fraction of what it would cost to normally buy one.

In addition to trading up to a more expensive watch, it is also possible to trade down, realizing some cash on your watch by swapping it out for one that costs less, and pocketing the difference. It is a time-honored and very efficient way of improving your personal finances, while also getting a chance to experience different watches.

Rolex Trade-in Gold Day-Date President Diamond Dial

Trading In: Where and How?

There is no shortage of places to trade in or sell your Rolex. Many high street jewelers offer the service, as do local pawn shops. Online, the possibilities are almost endless, with a host of vintage watch websites springing up to accommodate eager sellers.

The trouble with both the physical bricks and mortar stores and their internet-based equivalents is a question of specialization. The prices of pre-owned Rolex watches, and particularly precious metal versions, are in a constant state of flux. Platforms that deal with all kinds of goods, and even those that only buy and sell several different makes of luxury watches, don’t have the specialist knowledge to be able to ascertain the best price for your specific model.

At Bob’s Watches, while we stock exceptional examples from some of the world’s finest watchmakers, we are first and foremost Rolex experts. With decades of professional knowledge behind us, we are able to keep ahead of the current market trends and take into account the sort of minutiae for which Rolex is famous, and that puts added value onto certain references that most non-specialists would miss.

The Swiss giant has an output of around one million watches annually, and the company’s history stretches back over a century, meaning keeping abreast of everything there is to know about the brand is a full-time job. That’s why we make it as easy as possible to work out the sell and buy prices of your watch by publishing them both on our website. At Bob’s Watches, it doesn’t matter what your level of Rolex expertise is, all the information you need is right there on your screen.

Rolex Trade-in GMT-Master II Pepsi 126710BLRO Jubilee Bracelet

Rolex Watches: Always Solid Investments

The strength of a Rolex as an investment is built on the brand’s unassailable reputation. Everyone knows the name and its products are the definition of the word aspirational. It’s those qualities that give its watches an incredible ability to retain their value and makes them such a solid financial asset.

Trading your Rolex up or down, to either secure a more recent model, a longed-for grail watch, or just to free up some money, is one of the soundest investments you can make. It brings otherwise inaccessible pieces well within reach and gives the opportunity to wear the latest releases for a minimal outlay.

Check out our ‘Sell Rolex’ page to find out how easy it is to trade in your current watch and put its value towards that special timepiece that you have had your eye on for years!

Rolex Trade-in Yellow Gold Yacht-Master II 116688

Paul Altieri

Paul is the company's Founder and CEO. He is responsible for all the day to day activities from purchasing, receiving, marketing and sales. Paul is a graduate of Boston College 1979 and resides in California with his family.