Current Market Values for Rolex Watches in Q3 2022
Is it a good time to sell, buy, or keep pre-owned Rolex watches?
Celine SimonAug 16, 2022
Like all markets right now, the pre-owned high-end watch market is going through some volatility. After all, luxury goods are not immune to factors such as inflation, a possible recession, and global supply shortages. It can even be argued that luxury items are the most vulnerable during times of economic uncertainty.
While Rolex boutiques are still empty and demand strong, there’s no question that the secondary watch market is going through a correction. Some Rolex prices have plunged quite a bit since the peak prices we witnessed earlier this year in March and April 2022.
So, we thought now is a good time to take a closer look at the current market values for some popular Rolex watches and see how those prices compare to both retail prices (spoiler: they’re still much higher) and the peak prices that we saw five short months ago. If anything, a clearer understanding of the data (note, all prices are in US Dollars) can help you decide if now is a good time to hold on to, sell, or buy pre-owned Rolex watches.
The newest generation of the steel Rolex Daytona chronograph was released in 2016, featuring a new black Cerachrom ceramic bezel on its 40mm case and the option between a black dial and a white “Panda” dial. This steel Daytona ref. 116500LN became the poster child for inflated Rolex prices on the secondary market, and it continues to be the most coveted modern sports watch in the brand’s catalog. The full yellow gold Daytona models are also performing strong on the market, particularly the green dial “John Mayer” version.
Market price has decreased by 32% since March 2022 but is still 109% above MSRP
Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex began rolling out the newest generation of the Rolex GMT-Master II in 2018, featuring new case metals, bezel colors, and movements. New GMT-Master II models have continuously joined the lineup since, each becoming so popular that buyers are willing to pay high premiums on the secondary market to own one. You’ll often hear these GMT-Master II watches referred to by their bezel colors, whether it’s the blue and red “Pepsi,” blue and black “Batman,” or black and brown “Root Beer.”
Market price has decreased by 25% since March 2022 but is still 20% above MSRP
The newest generation of the Rolex Submariner was released in 2020, complete with larger-than-before 41mm cases, new movements, and revamped colorways. As expected, these famous Rolex diving watches became must-haves immediately and prices skyrocketed on the secondary market.
Market price has decreased by 22% since March 2022 but is still 86% above MSRP
On the 50th Anniversary of the Sea-Dweller in 2017, Rolex introduced a brand new model with a larger-than-ever before 43mm case, red text on the dial as a nod to the original reference, and a new movement. Two years later, a brand new two-tone yellow gold and steel Sea-Dweller joined the catalog — a first for Rolex’s professional saturation diving watch collection. While the Sea-Dweller is much more of a niche product than its famous sibling, the Submariner, it still is a popular Rolex sports watch that has a market value that’s higher than retail prices.
Market price has decreased by 13% since March 2022 but is still 20% above MSRP
Rolex has been focusing a lot of attention on the nautical inspired Yacht-Master collection in recent years by adding new sizes, case materials, and bracelet options. However, the 40mm Yacht-Master remains the flagship option and its sporty yet luxurious good looks has helped to propel it as popular Rolex sports watch to own.
Market price has decreased by 14% since March 2022 but is still 21% above MSRP
Rolex Explorer & Explorer II
While they share almost identical names, the Explorer and Explorer II are far from similar. The first, the Explorer, is an understated and compact 36mm watch that houses a minimal time-only dial with oversized Arabic numerals at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. The latter, the Explorer II, is a generously sized 42mm GMT watch that displays two time zones, along with a date window. Yet, these are both adventure-ready Rolex watches that command premiums on the secondary market.
Market price has decreased by 12% since March 2022 but is still 43% above MSRP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual
The Oyster Perpetual has been a mainstay of the Rolex catalog since 1931 and features two of the company’s most important innovations: a waterproof “Oyster” case and an automatic “Perpetual” movement. Among all of Rolex’s watches, the entry-level Oyster Perpetual was never the star — well, until 2020 that is, when a batch of new Oyster Perpetual watches with super colorful dials were released. The Oyster Perpetual is now one of Rolex’s hottest watches, particularly those with turquoise dials.