Buy from a reputable dealer. Get the box and papers, whether buying second-hand or new. Resale value is correlated with how degraded the package/watch is. Buy one of the more popular models, according to your budget.
Rolex is the most famous luxury watch brand in the world. I doubt most people could name three more off the top of their heads.
A watch is one of the few items of acceptable male jewellery, and Rolex make a very high-quality one. This makes it a status symbol amongst successful men.
It’s also a useful investment. It’s likely to hold its value overtime, adjusted for inflation, and may increase in value over the rate of inflation if it’s in good condition and has the original box and paperwork.
Buy from a reputable dealer
Check their review on Trustpilot and Google. Look at the negative reviews and see if there are common themes, if they are detailed and if they seem to be written by reasonable people.
A percentage of reviewers nowadays are mad, ignorant, unreasonable or looking to extort the vendor.
Then there are the other kind, who coolly leave devastating reviews documenting genuinely bad service. These people do us all a good service. If, say, 12% or more of the reviews are bad, move on.
Your local pawnbroker may have paid a lot of money for a fake. A pawnbroker which is part of a chain may have put someone ignorant on the counter, who has bought in a good fake. A bargain hunter (you) may make an expensive mistake.
You may have trouble getting your money back later. Low-end pawnbrokers are used to dealing with irate customers.
A reputable dealer will take great pains if he’s paying £6.5k for Rolex to sell on for £9k later. It saves time, money and his reputation if he buys in the real thing.
Get the box and papers
Collectors want a watch that’s as good as new. It’s much easier to resell. High-end watches come with nice accoutrements. It’s careless to discard these after purchase, but some people do, or, they put them away somewhere and then can’t find them later.
Too bad. It takes hundreds off the value of The Precious.
Check the quality
– The second hand of a Rolex, unlike a cheaper watch, should not stutter and its movement should be smooth.
– The tick of a Rolex should be almost silent. You should barely be able to hear it if you put it next to your ear.
– It should feel heavy, substantial.
– The magnifying date bubble (cyclops) should feel raised to the touch. It should very obviously magnify the date beneath it. It should be dead-centered above the number.
– The case, crown, hands, bezel, bracelet and clasp should all look perfect. A great deal of work and high quality metals go into a Rolex.
A faker simply won’t have the time, money and heart to duplicate a Rolex perfectly. They’re selling to crooks, the poor and pretenders, so they know they don’t have to!
– On newer Rolex watches, there is a small coronet (crown) insignia, micro laser-etched, on the 6 o’clock side of the crystal.
– The serial and model numbers on a genuine Rolex are deep and perfectly marked in very fine lines that will shine when held in the light at an angle.
– The back: Genuine Rolex model case backs are smooth and completely free of engravings.
– The metal: A real Rolex is either stainless steel, 18k gold, or platinum. Rolex does not make 14k gold or gold-plated watches or bracelets.
– The winding crown on the side of the watch at the number ‘3’ should have engraving and grooves that are a finely-crafted and can be felt by touch.
Note: Older models (pre-2002) or individual, unusual models may not have all of the above features.
Do your research on the particular model you want before you buy, then buy from a reputable dealer.