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Official Rolex Buyers Guide | New & Used Rolex Watches

Discover the differences of buying a new and used Rolex and what the benefits are to each in our official Rolex buyers guide.

The Complete Guide To New & Used Rolex Watches

Rolex is the largest seller of luxury watches in the world. Buying Rolex watches requires knowledge and expertise to do it the right way. In our official Rolex buyers guide we discuss everything from how to compare new & used Rolex watches to how to consider them as investments.

Wrist Advisor is the authority for Rolex and the topics surrounding the brand. In this article we’ve included many links of supporting articles that will assist you in you decision to buy either a new or used Rolex.

Official Rolex Buyers Guide: Table Of Contents

Comparing New & Used Rolex Watches

When comparing new & used Rolex watches, there is much that you need to know. The most important aspects to compare are their availability, pricing, and condition. Each explained will contribute to a well rounded education that will provide a unique understanding of the differences and similarities between new and used Rolex watches.


The most talked about topic in the Rolex community is the availability of watches. In todays environment, Rolex authorized dealers cases are completely empty. The demand is so large that the Rolex waitlist encompass every collection and last as long as 5+ years. This issue has become part of the Rolex brand and has pushed many fans away from the brand. Just because it’s almost impossible to buy Rolex watches new doesn’t mean that you cant buy one today. The used Rolex market is flourishing. With the heightened presence of the grey market, individual buyers are now having to compete with big business when trying to buy new Rolex. Often the grey market is getting their hands on the hottest models and selling them for a large profit. Although this isn’t the case all the time, its enough of an issue that Rolex has had to step in to try and fix the problem.

The recommended strategy to acquiring a Rolex at the right price is going through authorized dealers. This process takes longer but you are assured to get a genuine Rolex at the best price. If you’re new to buying new or used Rolex watches, check out our tips for buying Rolex article.


It may come as a surprise but used Rolex watches cost more than the new ones. In todays market the demand for Rolex is extremely high. This has caused a shortage which have left many empty handed. For those trying to buy new Rolex but can’t, their next best option is pre-owned. Rolex owners understand the premium of ownership and and only part ways with them if the price is right. This has lead to the massive gap between new Rolex pricing and used Rolex pricing.

People always ask “How Much Is A Used Rolex” and it’s difficult to answer because the market is always changing. What we can say that pricing are only increasing and the increase in premium differs from collection to collection. For example, let’s take a look at the Datejust, Submariner, GMT Master II and Daytona collections. The collection of this group that has the smallest increase in price is the used Datejusts at roughly 20%, following that is used Submariners at 75%, next is used GMT Master II at 100%, and the leader is used Rolex Daytona’s selling for 200%+ MSRP.

With market conditions like this, it’s no wonder why Rolex is now considered an investment. For more information, check out our list of Rolex investment watches.


You might be shocked to hear that the condition of new and used Rolex watches are likely not that different. The durability and longevity of Rolex watches has been one of the pillars that have allowed the brand to ascend to the top of the watch world. It’s not uncommon to see a 20 year old Rolex function and appear as new if it’s been maintained properly by Rolex service centers.

The condition of vintage Rolex watches is so good that many references sell more used today than what current new ones cost. That is very impressive.

Obviously watchmaking technology has changed over the years but the standard of Rolex hasn’t. Even though Rolex movements like the 3230, 3235, and the 3285 are the pinnacle of production movements, their predecessors where all COSC certified. It’s safe to say that when you buy a Rolex watch that it’ll last a lifetime.

Where To Buy New or Used Rolex Watches

There are three different options buyers have when purchasing a new or used Rolex. For our official Rolex buyers guide we’ve included 3 different channels to purchase a new or used Rolex watch. The best option is to purchase new from an official Rolex authorized retailer. The next best options are purchasing pre-owned Rolex watches through alternative dealers and online marketplaces.

Purchasing Rolex through authorized dealers is the best option because you are guaranteed a genuine Rolex watch. Buying outside of that channel can present risks due to the sizable market of fake Rolex watches. Trust is the most important factor to consider when buying a used Rolex through non-authorized Rolex watch dealers and online marketplaces. Fake Rolex watches have become almost indistinguishable from the real thing so who you buy from has become even more important.

In our official buyers guide to buying new or used Rolex watches we have broken down each channel and have added suggestions to reputable places to buy new and used Rolex watches.

Official Rolex Retailers

The best place to buy a Rolex is through the authorized dealer network. The benefits of buying from Rolex Authorized dealers is that you get the best pricing and guaranteed genuine Rolex watches. The downside is that it’s very difficult to buy new and even more difficult to get the exact model you desire.

Non-Authorized Rolex Dealers

This channel is comprised of physical and online dealers across the world. There are different tiers of dealers that differ in trustworthiness, inventory selection, and pricing. When selecting a watch dealer that focuses on used Rolex inventory it’s important to interview them before you buy to make sure they are a company you trust. We’ve found dealers like Moyer Fine Jewelers and Delray Watch to be excellent places to buy genuine pre-owned Rolex watches.

Online Marketplaces

The fastest and easiest place to find the exact used Rolex watch you desire is through the online marketplaces. Website like Chrono24, Ebay, and Chronext have a large inventory of pre-owned Rolex watches but at large asking prices. Although these websites have added layers to ensure authenticity, many other haven’t. Approach e-commerce marketplaces with caution when buying a Rolex.

What To Consider When Buying A Used Rolex Watch

You’ve taken the best first step by reading our official Rolex buyers guide. Educating yourself on all aspects of buying a Rolex is the best thing you can do for yourself.

When buying a used Rolex it is important to consider the market price of the watch, condition, long term value. Obviously the pre-owned Rolex marketplace is going to be more expensive so it’s important to buy at the right price. Try to find the watch you desire from a reputable source that is in great condition. This will help with long term value retention and wearability. If you can buy the used Rolex you want with achieving all three suggestions, you’ll be in great shape.

Used Rolex Submariner

The most popular watch Rolex sells is the Rolex Submariner. This watch is the king of dive watches and is the most recognizable watch in the world. The Submariner is mostly reserved for top clients at authorized dealers so for many purchasing a used Rolex Submariner is their only option. The price of used Rolex Submariners range between $13,000 and $23,000 for stainless steel & two tone references.

Used Rolex Daytona

It’s hard to find a watch that sells pre-owned for 2.5 times more than it costs new. If you’re not familiar with the Rolex Daytona, now you will be. Used Rolex Daytona watches command a hefty price tag on the pre-owned market because of their high demand and desirability. Rolex simply doesn’t make that many stainless steel Daytona watches, roughly 2% of estimated Rolex production. This scarcity has given way to one of the best investment watches in modern history.

Used Rolex Datejust

Rolex Datejust watches do not command the highest premium on the used Rolex watch market but there are plenty of them to buy. The Datejust is right up there with the Submariner has being one of the most iconic watches in history and Rolex produces a ton of them. Buying a used Rolex Datejust is a solid choice, especially if you can find the exact configuration that you’re looking for.

What Are The Hardest Rolex Watches To Buy New

Without a doubt, stainless steel sport watches are the hardest Rolex watches to buy new. More specifically the stainless steel Daytona references are the most difficult to buy new. Stainless steel watches are the most entry level priced watches that Rolex offers which makes sense why they are they hardest to acquire new.

How To Buy A New Rolex

You have two choices when buying a Rolex, which is new or used. Buying new is always preferred because your getting the best price but it’s often hard because inventory is severely constrained. Your second option is buying a used Rolex, which is completely fine but be aware of fakes and price gouging.

Can New & Used Rolex Watches Be Considered As Investments

Both new and used Rolex watches can 100% be considered investments. If bought at the right price, Rolex watches can fetch a greater return than many stocks on many of the popular exchanges across the world. This has drawn many investors into the watch market, which has fueled the grey market speculation.

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