Rolex Roulette: Why Are Prices Dropping? Don’t Bet Your Watch On It!

Rolex is a luxury brand that has stood the test of time, literally. With over a century of watchmaking expertise, owning a Rolex has become a status symbol for many. However, in recent years, the prices of some Rolex models have been fluctuating, leaving many watch enthusiasts scratching their heads. This article aims to explore the reasons behind the dropping prices of Rolex watches.

The Rise of Pre-Owned Market

One reason why Rolex prices are dropping is the emergence of the pre-owned market for luxury watches. The pre-owned market has exploded in recent years, with online platforms like Chrono24 and WatchBox making it easier for buyers and sellers to connect. Pre-owned Rolex watches are being sold at lower prices compared to their brand-new counterparts. This trend has made it more challenging for Rolex to maintain the value of their watches.

Economic Factors

The economy is another factor that is contributing to the dropping prices of Rolex watches. When the economy is strong, people are more likely to invest in luxury items like watches. The more money people have, the more they are willing to spend on luxury watches. However, during times of economic uncertainty, people tend to be more conservative with their spending. This means that fewer people are willing to invest in luxury watches like Rolex, leading to lower demand and, consequently, lower prices.

The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the global economy. With many people losing their jobs or having reduced income, consumer confidence has plummeted. Luxury items like Rolex watches are among the first things people cut back on during tough economic times. Additionally, the pandemic has caused global supply chain disruptions, leading to slower production and delivery of watches.

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Rolex Production

Rolex is known for meticulous production standards, which means that they take their time to ensure each watch is of the highest quality. However, this also means that Rolex watches are produced in limited quantities. When demand exceeds supply, prices go up. Conversely, when supply exceeds demand, prices go down.

New Rolex Models

Rolex is known for releasing new models every year. While this keeps the brand fresh and relevant, it can also contribute to dropping prices of older models. When a new model is released, people flock to buy it, making the older model less desirable. This leads to a drop in demand and, consequently, a drop in prices.

Grey Market Dealers

Grey market dealers are another reason why Rolex prices are dropping. Grey market dealers refer to retailers that sell watches outside of the official distribution channels. These dealers are not authorized by Rolex to sell their watches, and as such, they can sell them at lower prices. Grey market dealers are also not bound by Rolex’s strict pricing policies, meaning they can sell the watches at prices that are lower than what authorized dealers are selling.


In conclusion, there are several reasons why Rolex prices are dropping. The pre-owned market, economic factors, Rolex production, new Rolex models, and grey market dealers all contribute to the fluctuations in Rolex prices. While it may be tempting to buy a Rolex now that prices are dropping, one should not bet their watch on it. Rolex watches are still a long-term investment, and their value will eventually go up again.

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Table: Prices of Popular Rolex Models

Model Retail Price (USD) Pre-Owned Price (USD)
Submariner $8,100 $7,000
GMT-Master II $9,700 $8,500
Daytona $13,150 $11,500

2 Lists: “Top Rolex Models for Investment” and “Best Pre-Owned Watches for Rolex Beginners”

Top Rolex Models for Investment

  1. Rolex Daytona
  2. Rolex Submariner
  3. Rolex GMT-Master II
  4. Rolex Day-Date
  5. Rolex Explorer II

Best Pre-Owned Watches for Rolex Beginners

  1. Rolex Oyster Perpetual
  2. Rolex Air-King
  3. Rolex Datejust
  4. Rolex Yacht-Master
  5. Rolex Cellini


  1. “Why Is the Rolex Market in Shambles?” Robb Report, Robb Report, 22 Oct. 2020,
  2. Steiber, Zachary. “The Real Reason Prices On Vintage Rolex Watches Are Dropping.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 6 May 2016,