While it is becoming more and more difficult to buy a new Rolex, the second-hand market has developed very strongly in recent years. And while this may irritate part of the community of watch enthusiasts, of which we are a part, it must nevertheless be admitted that the Swiss brand leaves the field open to the various players in the world of the Web to "organize" the market for sale of second-hand Rolexes. What are the brand's watch models in which to invest this year? Answer in our buying guide!
Rolex: a safe haven in watchmaking
According to the latest figures from the American investment bank Morgan Stanley, Rolex remains this year again, with nearly a million watches produced, at the top of the podium of the most popular luxury watch manufacturers on the planet. only 29% market share. This represents a volume of business in 2021 close to 7.8 billion euros! Rolex therefore does not experience the crisis (neither health nor financial). In 2019, Rolex was already approaching 5 billion euros. By way of comparison, Cartier rises to second place in the ranking in 2021 with a turnover (+40% in one year) of 2.3 billion euros against "only" 2.1 billion for Omega which therefore left behind to reach third place.
The Rolex brand therefore remains a safe haven that interests both watchmaking enthusiasts and (and sometimes “especially”?) investors. You still need to know about it to choose the right model that will keep its value as much as possible, or even increase in value over the years. That's what this buying guide is all about. Mr Montre has selected the 5 Rolex watches that we believe are the most popular in 2022.
1. Rolex Datejust
It is both one of the most financially accessible and highly prized models of Rolex watches. Created in 1945, this range of Rolex watches became known among other things because it was the first waterproof automatic wristwatch displaying a date window at 3 o'clock (in addition to the Chronometer indication). A few years later, it is thanks to the Cyclops magnifying glass which makes it possible to enlarge the size of the date that it has become emblematic.
Interesting detail, if it was possible to acquire a new model of Rolex Datejust in steel around 1,400 € in 2003, it is not uncommon to find it now on the second-hand market around 5,000 €, that is an inflation of more than 250%! We advise you to invest in the most popular Datejust models with the references 1601, 1603 or 16014.
2. Rolex Daytona
It is IMPOSSIBLE to make a buying guide of Rolex watches in which to invest without mentioning the Daytona which, like gold, has been increasing in value from year to year, and has been for more than 50 years. Made famous by Paul Newman or Jean-Paul Belmondo, this watch from Rolex's professional range is simply impossible to find in stores, whether in Paris, Dubai or Beijing. Hence its unparalleled popularity on the second-hand market.
The most popular Rolex Daytona chronograph, and therefore the one with the best chance of seeing its price rise, has the reference 6239. It is THE model popularized by Paul Newman at the end of the 1960s. years, it was possible to acquire one for around €30,000. At the beginning of 2022, it is not uncommon to see, depending on the condition of the model on offer, prices exceeding €300,000! Funny detail, the “real” Daytona 6239 of Paul Newman was sold at auction… 17.8 million dollars!
Other Daytona models are also popular, including references 16520, 6262 and 6263. And it's obviously not about to stop. The more time passes, the rarer the NOS models (new old stock = new and never worn). Count on a rating that climbs by about 10% each year…
3. Rolex Submariner
It is THE diver's watch, which has become by extension Rolex's most popular sports watch. Launched in 1954, the Rolex Submariner 6204 was then already water resistant to 100 meters, in steel. The Swiss manufacturer has declined its Submariner over the years in various materials (including gold) but the most popular models are not necessarily those covered with this precious metal.
There are indeed many Submariner references that have prices that have skyrocketed in recent years. Note the Submariner 6204 but also the 5514 "Comex" (in reference to the Compagnie maritime d'expertises), the 1680 "red" or the Submariner 6538 "Big Crown", made famous by the actor Sean Connery who wore it in many James Bonds including James Bond against Dr No, Good Kisses from Russia or Goldfinger.
The price of the various Rolex Submariners has increased by nearly 250% in twenty years, i.e. a growth of nearly 8.5% per year. But to manage to maintain its rating, it is better to keep it in the trunk than to wear it daily... The Submariner 6538 "Big Crown", for example, is sold, depending on its condition, between €70,000 (fair condition) and nearly €250,000. € (good condition).
4. Rolex GMT-Master
An emblematic figure in the Rolex range, the GMT-Master sees its prices constantly climbing, mainly for two reasons. The first is linked to its history: it was designed in 1954 for airplane pilots of the American airline Pan Am. The particularity of the watch, hence its name, is that it can display the time at the same time of two time zones. And the second is linked to Rolex's choice to produce the GMT-Master "only" for 26 years: from 1954 to 1980. Hence a watch that has become almost impossible to find today) except for specialized sites which allow buy a Rolex GMT Master online.
Result: the price of the Rolex GMT-Master has soared by nearly 15% per year for the past 15 years. A record! A GMT-Master reference to follow? The 6542 made famous because worn by the James Bond Girl Honor Blackman in the movie Goldfinder. It is a so-called “Pepsi” model with its blue and red bezel. The GMT-Master 6542 currently costs (all the same) between €70,000 and €150,000. The GMT-Master “Coke” with its red and black bezel is also increasingly popular. A model to follow...
5. Rolex Explorer
In this guide, we have chosen not to talk about the Sea Dweller because its rating is already very (too?) high in our opinion, so let's focus on one last Rolex watch in which to invest: the Rolex Explorer. No less than fifteen references of this sleekly designed watch have seen the light of day since 1953 when it became famous for accompanying mountaineers who climbed to the summit of Everest, the roof of the world.
This watch that some describe as minimalist in the professional range of Rolex is still very popular with collectors around the world. Over the past fifteen years, its selling price on the second-hand market has jumped by around 250%, or an average of 9% per year. The most well-known reference of the Rolex Explorer is the essential 1016, which still trades for more than €20,000 today.