Updated: Apr 30
As the stock market seems to be slowly recovering, many folks have been speculating when to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase stocks at a significant discount. Among watch enthusiasts, I’ve been hearing a similar conversation around the question “Is it a good time to buy a Rolex?” , "Should I wait a little longer?" or "When will Rolex prices go back up?".
There is currently an interesting forum discussion on Watchuseek on these very questions and although there are dissenting opinions on whether or not to make a large purchase during a global pandemic, there are certainly a fair amount of people that see the current market condition as an opportunity.
That being said, the logical initial answer to those questions are of course… "It depends" … If you are at risk of losing your job, you have little to no savings or you carry financial responsibility for others, the answer is probably “NO”... However, if you are confident that your financial situation is secure and you've already been placing money into a dedicated "watch fund", then it may be a good time to buy.
So, if you are convinced that a Rolex purchase remains in your immediate future, there are two ways you can do that. You can purchase the watch from an Authorized Dealer (AD) or on the secondary market (new or pre-owned). I know that not all of us are comfortable purchasing watches, especially Rolex, on the secondary market and so I thought I'd start by briefly touching on ADs.
As you are probably aware, most ADs have waiting lists for several Rolex Steel Sports Models and some of those have become as long as 12 years according to the WatchPro. While some recent posts on the Rolex Forums claim that people were receiving phone calls from their AD asking them if they wanted to purchase certain desirable models, I can’t confirm whether or not those claims are true. If you are convinced you only want to purchase from an AD, I would start by reaching out to the closest one to you, and I’m sure they will be able to provide an answer. That being said, before you pick up the phone, I recommend finishing the article. Your grail watch might be available for a discount.
When we examine the secondary market, there are a few things to take into consideration. The first thing is the demand, which at the current time is decreasing. The second is, that individuals and secondary market dealers are still trying to sell, and in some cases with increasing volume. Individuals may need the cash and watch dealers certainly depend on the revenue. These factors indicate that prices will likely drop and after spending some time on chrono24, I found some compelling results:
So what does this tell us?
You can still purchase a Rolex Steel Sports Model for below MSRP and we have seen further price decreases in the last month for some models!
While the Sea-Dweller, Explorer, and GMT Master II didn't see much change as far as the low end of the price range, there were several that did.
The 16570 Explorer II (black dial) dropped an additional 3% on the lower end. The no-date 14060 Submariner and the 116520 Daytona dropped an additional 4% on the lower end.
It seems that there are still deals out there to be had and while for some of us the answer to the question "Is it a good time to buy a Rolex?", maybe still "YES!", I would strongly caution good judgment for most of us in an uncertain time, as this is. Remember, unlike stocks, I wouldn't recommend viewing watches as investments, so please don't treat them as such!
If you want to find out more details about purchasing Rolex watches, check out our Rolex Purchase Guide.
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