Rolex: Best Pre-Owned Value


Rolex value: Explorer ad

As a professional valuer, people often ask me what is the best value pre-owned Rolex.  To be honest, there’s no simple straightforward answer – there are so many variables to consider.  Your budget, the age and condition of the watch, whether it has box and or papers, and whether you’re looking to buy as an investment or for something to wear daily.  All of these aspects will bring you a slightly different answer . . .

Recently, I had a Sea-Dweller Deepsea on my desk for insurance valuation. My client intends to replace it with a pre-owned Rolex in the event of a claim, as he isn’t keen on the newer version.

Deepsea -pre-owned Rolex value? So I did my research. I was astounded at how much a pre-owned Rolex Deepsea costs. Which got me wondering, in terms of buying pre-owned, could the Deepsea be the best value Rolex professional currently on the market?

The Deepsea I valued was a 2012 edition. It in a very good condition for its age, and had its original box and papers. So the criteria for my comparison were as follows.

– Comparable watches had to be stainless steel, with no precious metals
– Comparable watches had to have been produced in 2012/13
– Comparable watches had to have box and papers
– Comparable watches had to be in a similar condition
– The Pre-owned value would represent the Modal figure of the market data researched

As you can see from this chart below, the results makes for interesting reading.

Rolex pre-owned value chart

Rolex value chart 2

So is the Rolex Deepsea the best value for money pre-owned Rolex professional on the market?

Well, if you’re after something that will cost you only a fraction more than it cost new, then absolutely, it is. However, with an increase of only 8.6% between the original list price eight years ago and the current pre-owned price for the same watch, the Deepsea is the worst performer in terms of investment.

Rolex Daytona

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know which Rolex has performed the best over the same period. With an increase of 151%, the Daytona was always going to come out on top.

But for me, based on the search criteria, the best value for money professional Rolex is the Explorer I, ref 214270.

Rolex Explorer (courtesy

It’s a timeless design, incredibly robust, perfect for almost any occasion, and with an increase in the value of nearly 28% over the past eight years, it’s a pretty solid investment.

Best of all, it will only set you back around £5,500, so you won’t have to sell your firstborn to afford one. And it’s only £300 more than the current list price, so you get the best of everything.

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  1. Interesting, as this is the Rolex I’ve been eyeing the last couple of weeks as well. Although I prefer the 36mm version, so most likely going for the 11470.

  2. Hi Tom, Irrespective of which version you’re thinking of, you really can’t go wrong with an Explorer. For me personally, the 36mm case is just a little small. But saying that I had a 39mm Explorer on the other day and that felt small. But then again most of my watch are 40+mm cases, so I guess it’s what I am just use too. I am glad you found the article of interest.



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