Rolex is easily one of the world’s most recognized watch brands. They cost thousands of dollars to own and, unlike most other things you would wear, they may even rise in value over time. Does this make owning a Rolex into a good investment?
A Sotheby’s auction titled Fine Watches closed on March 8, 2022 and the entire auction seems to have gone quite well against the Sotheby’s issued price estimates. As for the Rolex watches in that auction, there were 9 different auction lots that blew through those estimates. Some even went well above the higher-end of those price range estimates.
Watch collectors will want to pay attention to one key element here — many of these were not antique watches that were sold above estimates! The sales prices are reflective of the robust demand that was present in 2021 and that has carried over into 2022. It also sets the stage for continued demand trends.
Collectors Dashboard evaluates high-end collectibles as an alternative asset class. Watch brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe and others can easily cost $10,000 or $20,000 (or much more). Whether or not these are vanity purchases or “investments” may depend a lot upon who the buyer is. Either way, that same capital could have easily been invested into stocks or other traditional assets.
We have gone through the Rolex lots that broke through estimates. Images below are courtesy of Sotheby’s. These are 9 of those lots listed below, and there may be others (and there were other makes and brands) that will be updated:
Lot 4. Reference 277200 Oyster Perpetual, A stainless steel automatic wristwatch with bracelet, Circa 2021 with an estimate of 10,000.00 to 15,000.00 USD — sold for $18,900.00 USD.
Lot 6. Reference 116710 GMT-Master II ‘Batman’, A stainless steel automatic dual time wristwatch with date, bracelet and ceramic bezel, Circa 2018 with an estimate of $18,000.00 to $24,000.00 USD — sold for $23,940.00 USD.
Lot 7. Reference 216570 Explorer II, A stainless steel wristwatch with date, 24 hours indication and bracelet, Circa 2016 with an estimate of $4,000.00 to $6,000.00 USD — sold for $11,340.00 USD.
Lot 8. Reference 1655 Explorer II, A stainless steel wristwatch with 24-hour indication, date and bracelet, Circa 1983 with an estimate of $12,000.00 to $18,000.00 USD — sold for $22,680.00 USD.
Lot 11. Reference 6240 ‘Small’ Daytona, A stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with bracelet, Circa 1965 with an estimate of $40,000.00 to $60,000.00 USD — sold for $63,000.00 USD.
Lot 12. Reference 1675 GMT-Master, A stainless steel dual time wristwatch with date, tropical exclamation mark dial and bracelet, Circa 1961 with an estimate of $20,000.00 to $30,000.00 USD — sold for $40,320.00 USD.
Lot 13. Reference 1675 GMT-Master ‘Pepsi’, A stainless steel automatic dual time wristwatch with date and bracelet, Circa 1970 with an estimate of $12,000.00 to $18,000.00 USD — sold for $27,720.00 USD.
Lot 16. Reference 18038 Day-Date, A yellow gold and diamond-set automatic wristwatch with day, date, bracelet and bloodstone dial, Circa 1986 with an estimate of $15,000.00 to $25,000.00 USD — sold for $44,100.00 USD.
Lot 23. Reference 6719 Oyster Perpetual, A yellow gold automatic wristwatch with bracelet, Circa 1978 with an estimate of $3,000.00 to $5,000.00 USD — sold for $6,048.00 USD.
The published price results listed above included the Sotheby’s Buyer’s Premium and Overhead Premium but were exclusive of any applicable taxes, duties, shipping and handling and insurance costs.
Some truths to come from this auction are that not all the estimates broken were by Rolex, but none of the estimate ranges proved to be disasters either. And while not all the watches were modern releases from Rolex, many of these watchers are still worn today and they are obviously in high demand by watch collectors and watch investors of sorts.
Categories: Watches & Jewelry