The second-hand watch market can be an opportunity to purchase a watch many could only dream of, for an excellent price. But is it a good opportunity to make a profit on some of the biggest watch brands in the entire world?
Is a second hand Rolex a good investment or are you best served buying fresh out of the factory? Gain insight and expert buying tips to help make sure that you’re able to buy a pre-owned Rolex with security and confidence.
Who Buys Second Hand Watches?
The second hand watch market is full of people of varying backgrounds, with totally different motivations and stories that lead them to choosing to go pre-owned. From enthusiasts looking to add to their collection, to vintage lovers seeking a retro piece and the budget-conscious seeking an entry level dream watch, second hand watches are a great option for all budgets.
So, who buys second hand watches? Some of the most common people who might opt for a second-hand watch, as well as some of the main reasons behind their choice includes:
- Watch Collectors: A watch enthusiast appreciates a timepiece’s craftsmanship, history, and design. They are unlikely to just want the latest model. Collectors are always looking to pick up rare or vintage pieces, watches that are no longer available on the market.
- Investors: Certain luxury watches can hold or even appreciate in value over time. This is particularly true of the most prestigious names in the industry. Investors may view a second hand watch as an asset that could yield a return down the line.
- The Budget-Conscious: Watches can be expensive, especially if you’re eyeing one of the top brands (Rolex, Patek Philippe, etc.). A second hand watch can be a more affordable option compared to buying new.
- Vintage Enthusiasts: Watches never go out of fashion. It is for this reason that vintage watches are often highly sought after. Lovers of the retro are unlikely to want to buy their watch brand new.
- Eco–Aware Consumers: Purchasing second-hand will have a much better impact on your carbon footprint than buying new. By going down the pre-owned route, you can recycle, upcycle, and minimise waste.
- Dream Watch Hunters: Some watch models are discontinued, or can be incredibly rare to find in a retail store. So those looking for a specific model or edition are likely to turn to the second-hand market to find what they want.
Ultimately, the question of ‘who buys a second hand watch’ is answered by more questions — what is your personal preference? What are your financial considerations? And what are the motivations behind your purchase?
Regardless of whether you’re driven to the second hand luxury watch market by a passion for all things horology, a desire to cut costs, concerns for your impact on the planet around you, or are looking to make money in the future, a person can find excellent value and satisfaction in the second-hand market.
Is Buying a Rolex a Good Investment?
In short, yes, buying a Rolex can be a good investment — this brand has been popular as such amongst collectors and investors alike for decades. This comes because, if you buy yourself a Rolex, there’s always a decent chance that its value will increase — so when the time comes to sell, you may be able to make a healthy profit.
There are a number of important factors that go into making buying a Rolex a good investment. First of all, it is a highly respected name, one with a long history of producing extraordinary works of art for generations.
Despite this long history, there aren’t as many Rolexes out there as you might think. The Swiss brand limits the number of watches produced under its umbrella each year. This is done to increase rarity and exclusivity, which in-turn will boost scarcity and make each timepiece that bit more sought after.
The company has a sterling reputation amongst watch enthusiasts due to factors like the brands’ commitment to precision, innovation, and luxury. However, this reputation often transcends merely the watches themselves.
Rolex is synonymous around the world with success, prestige, and luxury. If you have a Rolex on your wrist, you are often seen to have status.
While there are a myriad of reasons why the Rolex brand is a good investment, the logo isn’t always enough. Not all Rolex watches are created equally from an investment perspective. The actual investment potential of a Rolex will depend on various factors, including:
- The Model
- Intact Box & Papers
- Market Demand
For more information on some particular models of Rolex to keep an eye out for, view our dedicated blog: Top 5 Rare Rolex Watches for Collectors.
Investing in a Rolex, much like any other type of investment you could think of, will naturally come with its own set of considerations and risks. If you want to invest in Rolex watches safely, it’s important that you educate yourself, double check authenticity (of the watch and the seller), only purchase from a reputable seller, and understand the risks.
If you’re looking for a second hand Rolex as an investment, it’s important that you educate yourself so you can do it securely. Things to keep in mind include:
Do Your Own Research
Before you make any investment, no matter how big or small it may be, you must conduct your own research. Find out as much as you can about Rolex watches, their top models, factors that can influence their value, the brand’s history, and beyond.
Additionally, it’s important that you stay well-informed on the current trends when it comes to the market you’re looking to get into. Get to grips with the in-demand models when you’re looking, consider any sought after limited editions/discontinued models at the time, etc.
If you’ve found the ideal Rolex investment piece, there are some important checks you need to undertake prior to any money changing hands.
You should verify the serial number and model number, as well as the additional packaging and paperwork, with a reputable third-party expert. Counterfeit watches do exist, and they can be hard to spot if you don’t know what to look for.
The condition of the watch is one of the primary variables that can affect the value. A well-maintained timepiece, with all of its original parts as well as minimal wear and tear, will generally command a much higher price than one that has been left in a drawer for years on end to fall into disrepair.
Inspect your potential watch for any notable damage as well as sure-fire signs of modifications being made that could impact the item’s original features.
If you purchase through a respected and reputable second hand watch dealer that you know you can trust, they will usually handle the burden of ensuring that their timepieces are in ideal selling condition — saving you time and money were you to outsource the job to another expert.
Diversify Your Investment
It’s not generally recommended to put all of your money into one singular investment. Therefore, it is worth considering spreading your seed money and purchasing more than one item.
Diversifying your investment can spread the possible risks as, if you did spend all of your money on one item and the market shifted against you, you could find yourself in a tricky position.
Additionally, if you’re starting out on your luxury watch investment journey, consider spreading your money around with subsequent purchases. If you bought a Rolex around, consider a different brand the second time around — there are plenty of options, including Patek Philippe, Tudor, Panerai, OMEGA, and much more.
Not putting all your eggs into the one basket will ensure that, were the Rolex market to see a decrease, you could still continue to make money through other watches while you wait for the Rolex market to increase.
Understand the Risks Involved
Attempting to make a profit when buying second-hand watches, much the same as when purchasing cryptocurrency, stocks, or any other type of investment, comes with potential risks involved.
Prices of luxury watches can fluctuate, regardless of the logo. It’s important for this reason to be acutely aware of all of the risks involved. Never invest more than you could afford to lose, and try to keep your expectations realistic when it comes to the potential returns.
After all the necessary checks are complete and you have your hands on the Rolex you’ve been pursuing, it is recommended that you get it insured.
Luxury watch insurance is an excellent way to protect your investment against theft, loss, damages, etc. For information about how to insure a watch, read our dedicated blog on the subject.
Only Deal With Reputable Sellers
To ensure maximum authenticity and quality when purchasing a Rolex, it is imperative that you only work with authorised dealers or reputable sellers with a proven track record.
You should always be cautious when looking to buy from an online marketplace, and should carefully verify the credentials of any seller.
Choosing where to take your money is likely the most important stage in this process, if you get this wrong you could quickly find yourself out of pocket and with nothing to show for it.
Where to Buy Second Hand Rolex
If you’re trying to work out where to buy a second hand Rolex, it’s vital to select reputable sources if you want to ensure maximum authenticity and quality. There are options out there for you that would be much safer than a mysterious online seller. Consider authorised Rolex dealers, physical retailers, and trustworthy sellers.
A small selection of the top places to buy second hand Rolex watches are:
- Brick-and-Mortar Luxury Watch Sellers: Find a well-established seller of luxury watches, ideally one with expertise in the second-hand market.
- Authorised Dealers: Rolex does have a small selection of authorised dealers in the UK. While not all do, some do offer pre-owned Rolex watches.
- Auction Houses: Whether online or a more traditional in-person location, some trusted auction houses can have experts onsite that authenticate every watch sold.
- Trusted Online Stores: There are a number of companies out there that offer premium luxury watches online at excellent prices. The best of these businesses will have measures in place to protect buyers.
Shop Securely and Safely With Blowers Jewellers
When embarking down the road of second-hand luxury watches, it’s important that you’re prepared. Blowers Jewellers is here to assist you throughout your search and ensure that you come out the other side happy with your purchase.
Our carefully curated collection of preowned luxury timepieces from brands like Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Philippe, embraces the notion that buying a watch can be the encapsulation of any number of journeys: Whether that’s a long quest for a dream watch to take pride of place in a collection, an ideal first timepiece you can wear every day to impress your friends and family, or a careful search for an investment piece that can gradually rise in value.
Our wide selection of second-hand luxury watches is available to view today, ensuring that you’re almost certain to find the ideal timepiece to suit your needs. If not, contact us today and let an experienced member of our team assist you.