If you’re new to watch collecting or just curious, you might wonder why Rolex watches are so popular. Rolex has evolved from a watch for professionals and explorers to a highly sought-after status symbol over the last few decades. The iconic crown logo appears in all forms of media to represent wealth, power, and the fruits of success and hard work. But what makes this watch so unique and expensive?
A History of Breakthrough Innovation
Rolex has a history of challenging the status quo in watchmaking techniques, achieving an impressive number of horological “firsts.” With each new innovation, Rolex solidified its position as an industry leader, setting the bar for the rest of the watchmaking world.
The first water-resistant wristwatch, the first self-winding watch, the first dual-timezone complication, and the first chronometer wristwatch certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres are among the impressive milestones.
Rolex timepieces are frequently found on the wrists of some of history’s most accomplished explorers as a result of their successes. Rolex has been there every step of the way, from the deepest depths of the ocean to the highest peaks on the planet. Sir Edmund Hillary wore a Rolex Oyster Perpetual when he became the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. The Rolex Deep Sea Special then accompanied the first and then deepest dive to the Marianas Trench in 1960.
Quality, style, and value that is timeless
Flagship models such as the Day-Date, Submariner, and Datejust have remained true to their original designs despite decades of design and technical refinement. You won’t have to worry about your favourite watch going out of style if you buy a Rolex. Timeless design combined with high-quality materials and production have made even vintage Rolex models valuable and sought-after by both serious collectors and casual headwear.
While iconic Rolex models hold their value well in comparison to other watchmakers, certain models command a high asking price on the secondary market. Due to limited production and long waitlists, the 2016 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (ref.116500LN) has become a collector must-have. Rolex sold the watch for $12,500 when it was released in 2016. In 2019, this watch usually sells for around $24,000 on the secondary market – a nice return on a three-year investment.
There is no shortage of novel and rare watches with such a distinguished and extensive history in watchmaking. Rolex watches have fetched some of the highest auction prices in history. A one-of-a-kind Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona sold for a record-breaking $17.75 million at auction. While not every collectible Rolex will fetch that much, pieces with small details and intricacies stand out to collectors and raise the value of difficult-to-find watches.
The brand’s illustrious history has undoubtedly added to the intrinsic value of a Rolex timepiece. A Rolex timepiece is imbued with a spirit of adventure and achievement, and it is built to the highest watchmaking standards. When these characteristics are combined, a Rolex becomes a commemorative symbol of an individual’s personal accomplishments and success.