Do Vintage Rolex Watches Hold Their Value?

Recently, you came into the possession of what was described as a vintage Rolex. After having the watch appraised, it was confirmed that it is indeed a vintage watch. Now you’re wondering what the future holds for you and your journey with the Rolex. Can you expect it to hold it’s value, or maybe even increase in value over time? What factors impact the market value of the watch? Here is some information that will help you understand more about the asset that you’ve acquired.

Understanding What’s Meant by a Vintage Rolex

So what is considered a vintage Rolex? In general, everyone tends to agree that luxury watches that are at least a quarter-century old would qualify for this designation. You will find some experts who place the time frame a little lower; they tend to view any luxury watch that is more than two decades old as being vintage.

This means that if you have a Rolex that was released fifteen years ago, it’s highly unlikely that anyone will consider it to be a vintage timepiece yet. Instead, it will likely be referred to as old or possibly referred to as a classic. Generally, classic has more to do with the style than with the actual age, but it can be applied to watches that are well on the way to becoming vintage timepieces.

How a Vintage Watch Differs From an Antique Watch

Is vintage the same things as an antique watch? The answer is no. It’s true than an antique watch meets the qualifications for being a vintage timepiece, but not all vintage watches can qualify as antiques.

The difference has to do with the age of the watch. In order to be considered an antique, many experts require that a watch be at least one century old. There are watches that are several decades old, but they have not yet reached that century mark. The result is that as long as the watch is less than a hundred years old but also happens to be older than a quarter-century, it will be considered vintage rather than an antique.

Assessing the Current Value of a Vintage Rolex

It’s no secret that Rolex watches tend to appreciate in value. What’s not as commonly known is that not all Rolex watches appreciate at a uniform rate. A number of factors can influence how much value a watch gains over time. For this reason, it’s usually a good idea to have a vintage Rolex appraised rather than make any assumptions about how much it’s currently worth.

Perhaps you’ve done some checking around and find that some vintage Rolex watches are a lot less than others. Why are some vintage Rolex so cheap in comparison to others? Supply can have something to do with it. If the market is currently glutted with a large quantity of the same year and model, it will likely not be worth as much as a year and model that is difficult to find.

Another factor that can influence the value is the type of material used for the casing. Some watches use what’s known as Oystersteel, a special material that Rolex has used for specific collections. Others may use white gold, rose gold, gold, or platinum. Since those materials vary in terms of market value, a watch made with a casing and a bracelet in certain metals or alloys is likely to be valued in kind.

The Demand for Vintage Rolex Watches

The good news is that the market for vintage Rolex watches shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. In fact, that demand has been consistent through a number of economic shifts and is likely to continue being a relatively sound investment. That’s good news for you if the plan is to hold on to the vintage Rolex that has come into your possession.

In a way, the presence of a market for imitations has helped to keep the demand for authentic vintage Rolex watches a little higher. No one wants to spend good money on what seems to be a Rolex and later find out that it’s nothing more than a well-crafted fake. The result is that serious buyers and collectors are more likely to only do business with retailers who are authorized to sell Rolex watches.

In order to keep up with the demand, Rolex does ensure there are authorized retailers found around the globe. At the same time, receiving this type of official recognition from Rolex requires more than a request on the part of the retailer. There are stringent qualifications that must be met in order to earn and maintain this coveted recognition. You can bet that authorized retailers ensure they remain in full compliance with those qualifications so they can continue to participate in the market and retain their reputations. 

Durability, Accuracy, and Rolex Watches

Another quality that has helped Rolex build such a strong reputation is the durability and accuracy of the watches. Only the finest materials go into the creation of a Rolex. Everything must be tested carefully before it enters into the manufacturing process. Even once a watch is finished, it must undergo a series of tests before it’s shipped to any retailer. Thanks to these rigorous standards, Rolex is known for creating timepieces with exceptional accuracy as well as a high level of durability.

That sounds great for new watches, but how do these factors impact their vintage counterparts? Are vintage Rolex reliable? The answer is yes. You can depend on a vintage Rolex to keep accurate time and to continue to hold it’s appearance and quality for decades. In fact, there are antique Rolex watches that are still in circulation and continue to work perfectly. 

Keep in mind proper care and maintenance is essential if you want to ensure your vintage Rolex retains that reliability and durability. This is not a timepiece you can take to a local watch repair service for a cleaning. Just as Rolex authorizes certain retailers to sell their watches, they also certify specific services to take care of cleanings and repairs. In some cases, the local official retailer is also the site where you can take the vintage Rolex in for cleanings and maintenance.

What Documentation and Packaging Mean for the Value of a Vintage Rolex

Right now, you’re focusing primarily on the vintage Rolex proper as the way to ascertain the value. What you may not realize is that the documentation and packaging that come with the watch also makes a difference. When you have the originals to go along with the watch, you can expect the market value for it to be a little higher.

This is because those additional elements help to reinforce the fact that the vintage Rolex is authentic. Rolex numbers each watch and prepares documentation that’s difficult to forge. Even faked documents that seem to be authentic at first will lack some of the qualifies found in the real thing. The same holds true for the packaging; what Rolex chooses for their packages is difficult and in come cases impossible for a forger to replicate.

Assuming you have the original documents and packaging to go with the watch, make sure you keep them in top condition. It’s not going overboard to make sure everything is protected from shifts in temperature, humidity, and direct sunlight. Just as the condition of the watch matters, the condition of the box and the documents are important.

The Future Prospects for Investing in Vintage Rolex Watches

Is a vintage Rolex any good for investment? Yes, you can depend on that watch to be a worthy investment. You can get an idea of what to expect based on the history of the year and model involved. When you see that it has a long history of appreciating in value, there’s a good chance it will continue to do so in the future.

Combine what you know about past performance under different market conditions with the current value of the watch. Together, you can create a reasonable projection of what it will be worth in five or ten years. If you like the direction of those projections, the watch is worth keeping.

Making the Choice That Works Best For You

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what happens with your vintage Rolex. Keep it and wear it from time to time. Take proper care of the watch and it will serve you well for decades. In the event that you do need to sell it in the future, rest assured that the watch is likely to be worth more then than it is worth today.

If you never need to sell it, pass it on to a loved one as part of your estate. You can bet that whomever receives the watch will appreciate that you chose them to receive such an important and valuable asset.

Contact us today and ask us about the vintage Rolex watches that we currently have in stock. There’s bound to be something that’s ideal for you.