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Is It a Good Investment to Buy a Rolex watch?

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Rolex--Should You or Shouldn't You?

These days it is more important than ever to know where to put your money. What are some great investments to make? Some would say to invest in real estate, while others may buy jewelry or gold. However one investment stands out among the rest particularly in the luxury watch section. It's true, a lot of people decide to invest in a Rolex.

At these times of the 21st century, there are so many choices available to us, in terms of investment. We can choose to invest in land, transportation, stocks, paintings, bags, luggage, shoes, clothes and jewelry. Many varieties of brands, styles and trademarks are within reach and can be easily purchased at a click of a button. Over the years, products have been researched, developed, refined and marketed to an extreme level extending its influence throughout the globe.

A worthy investment today is investing in watches. There are so many assortments to choose from and knowing your lifestyle, plus history of the product you decide on, can help plenty in making decisions.

I believe that a good and sound investment when choosing a watch is investing in a good and solid brand. I believe that the Rolex watch is a wise choice for any beginner or practiced watch buyer.


The Rolex brand came about in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law Alfred Davis(the founder), originally known as Wilsdorf & Davis. This company started in England, by importing Herman Aegler’s Swiss movements. These Swiss movements were then distributed to local jewelers to design watch cases. At this particular point in history, pocket watches were the custom aside from the stand clocks and table clocks. Wilsdorf had a dream and vision of developing time pieces worn at the wrist to be both reliable, convenient and the new sense of fashion. The first wrist watches carried the mark “W&D”.

In 1919 Rolex moved its headquarters to Geneva,Switzerland due to the heavy import duties on gold and silver, as well as,heavy taxeson luxury goods during the war. Prior to this, the trademark Rolex was registered in 1908, and in 1915 - Rolex the company known as Rolex SA.

Again, the vision of Hans Wilsdorf created the name Rolex due to unfamiliar reasons and is still left up to discussions. The official reason for the title Rolex being it is easy to pronounce in any European language plus all letters are elegant and fit the watch face symmetrically. In 1905, it was unheard of to have the manufacturers name on the watch but instead, the importers name should appear. Wilsdorf , being such a forward - thinker , spent 12,000 pounds a year for name recall and branding.

Many breakthroughs in the history of watches were first achieved by Rolex. Here are to name a few of the following:

  1. Chronometric Precision- Rolex focused on the precise movements of the wristwatch’s chronometer and received the distinct award for the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision granted by the Official Watch Rating Centre in 1910. Another distinguished panel, known as the Kew Observatory of Great Britain, awarded Rolex with the distinction of a class “A” precision certificate giving the brand the its gold stamp in 1914. From then on, Rolex was known for accuracy.
  2. The Oyster Case- The first waterproof wristwatch introduced to the world in 1926. Oyster case was the term used meaning impenetrable to dust, water and temperature (heat and cold) owing to the watch case being so tight. To prove the Oyster Case‘s qualities, the Cross-Channel challenge was created by Rolex. A young woman named, Mercedes Gleitze, wore the Rolex Oyster across the English Channel and swam over 10 hours. The watch was in perfect condition. This event also created the Testimonee concept. The standard too many sport watches today came about the creation of the Rolex Oyster Case.
  3. The Perpetual Movement – The self-winding mechanism with a perpetual rotor was introduced and patented in 1931. Before this, watches required winding by the wearer. Rolex found a way to create a system wherein the winding is automatic, hence the Rolex Oyster perpetual. It was not invented by the company but they were the first to perfect and patent this semi- circular rotor weight that pivots around its axis and automatically winds itself with the slightest movement of the wrist. This unique system is the foundation today of most modern watches.
  4. Breaking Records- In 1933, the crew wore Rolex Oysters as they flew over Mt. Everest. On September 4, 1935 Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the record for going 300/mph wearing the Rolex and “it is keeping perfect time under somewhat strenuous conditions.”
  5. The DateJust was introduced in 1945 which automatically changed date to the day. The Rolex came up with a window on the dial showcasing the date. This watch was created with a special bracelet and fitted with a fluted bezel making it distinctly recognizable as a Rolex.
  6. The Pioneer Series – The 1950’s brought about the creation of watches suited to professionals with functions aside from telling time and date. These watches were geared towards specific achievements such as deep sea diving, scientific exploration, mountain climbing and aviation.

The Oyster Perpetuals was used by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay as they peaked Mt. Everest in 1953. Because of the success of the use of the Rolex during this climb, the Explorer series was launched.

This same year, the Submariner was also introduced reaching depths of 100 meters and consists of a rotatable bezel that also provided the diver with immersion time.

The GMT Master of 1955 was created for pilots travelling different time zones. This was unique with a two tone bezel that was able to decipher daytime from nighttime.

The Day-Date – First watch to spell out the full day on the dial.

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The Milgauss – Fabricated for scientific purposes, this watch can withstand magnetic fields up to high interference.

Some facts about Rolex watches that elevate this timepiece from the rest:

  • The movements of Rolex pieces are all hand assembled and tested. Machines are used to tighten, pressure tests and applying of pins. Though some pieces are hand- made, they go through a series of rigorous tests again and again that ensures the highest standard of quality at all times. The special thing about the Rolex , is that their chronometers are built to last and to outlive! COCS certified.
  • Every Rolex is pressure tested after assembly and goes through a condensation test as well. Failing these inspections, the watch will be scrapped which guarantees undeniable quality.
  • Rolex comprehensively contributed and invested in the development of the original Quartz movement in the early 1960’s and 1970’s. Although they make use of the Perpetual Movement, as patented, the Rolex Oysterquartz series is valued as a collector’s item.
  • A science lab is an integral part of the Rolex facilities. They boast of their own research and development laboratory. Aside from creating new brand and watch innovations for Rolex, the lab’s purpose is also to provide a venue for more efficient and effective manufacturing techniques. A chemical lab exists also for creating oils and lubricants for the specialized machinery that creates the watches.
  • Amazingly, Rolex has its own foundry. They melt their gold into specific sheens to create the cases and bracelets that are completely unique to Rolex. Large vats and kilns compromise the foundry, which is another added bonus to what makes Rolex a cut above the rest in terms of branding and quality.
  • Use of the 904L steel which is more resistant to corrosion and rust. It is produced by a special machine and polishes well due to the higher grade of nickel and chromium. The use of this steel was first introduced in 1988. It is more expensive to produce which is unique to the Rolex watch.
  • Rolex chooses top valued materials that compromise the watch. Aside from the creation of its own metals and gold, Rolex introduces other precious materials such as high resistant ceramic, mother of pearl and exquisite stones.
  • Rolex is the single leading brand in luxury watches able to produce 2,000 watches per day.
  • The brand has been an ambassador of encouragement to top leading sports and cultural events all over the world. Some sports and cultural events include: golf, tennis, motor sports, equestrienne, yachting, mountain and water exploration, architecture, music and arts.
  • Rolex Awards for Enterprise provides a social facet to this watchmaker’s company. This awards groundbreaking work in health and science, cultural heritage, applied technology, exploration and discovery and to the environment.

Knowing all this about Rolex SA, it is safe to say that investing in one of their watches is not only a good bet, but is a great and worthy investment.

Why do we invest in something aside from making us more money at the time we decide to let go of the purchase? I personally invest in things I would like to have and make me look and feel good. Leaders and innovators have been wearing this timepiece since the wristwatch was invented. The Rolex wearer exudes prestige, competence and confidence. People know the brand no matter what part of the world you are in. The Rolex is simply timeless and classy. It is great piece to add to anyone’s wardrobe. It spells success for anyone wearing it and it is admired and respected. As a businessman, sports person or scientist, there is a Rolex suited for everyone in their respective fields.

Spending on a Rolex can actually earn you good money and you get to wear it at the same time! This gives you the best of both worlds. Buying a brand new piece can be really expensive and draining to one’s savings. But if you do your research and find previously owned Rolex’s on ebay or antique shops, you can purchase it quite reasonably. Wear this purchase for a couple of years and let go of it later on you could earn up to $1,000 dollars. Pawnshops are a great place to look for good deals for this brand. Rolex were originally affordable until the 1980’s. At this time, the brand gained popularity and the yuppie class emerged. This class liked to buy flashy products to showcase their status of opulent status. Rolex was the brand of choice for watch pieces. So when the demand for the product increased, so did the price.

Tips for buying a second hand Rolex:

  • Check the mechanism
  • Buy from reliable shops with a good reputation decades of experience to back them up
  • Make sure the bracelet matches the watch and the links are hanging nice and smooth
  • To spot a fake Rolex , check the bubble window that magnifies the date. The number should be aligned and centered
  • Buying on line… please make sure of the website address and ask the following questions regarding the Rolex watch you would like to purchase- what is the serial number? Where did it come from? Is it keeping good time and when was it last serviced?
  • Take your time to not make an improper purchase. Research, research and do more research!
  • Consult an expert in Rolex or watches

It makes sense to buy vintage Rolex pieces over brand new ones just by the mere fact of the law of depreciation. We all know that once you buy a brand new car, the minute we drive it off the show room, the car has depreciated 15% of its original cost. The same law applies to watches. To make money on a Rolex investment, best to buy second hand or vintage pieces.

Quality of a product is also something we regard highly in terms of deciding if the investment is a go or not. As discussed earlier the history and many facts about how the watch came to be and evolved boasts of top notch quality that is indisputable. Pioneer of many firsts, the Rolex can guarantee it will never fail you in terms of quality and precision. These models have been refined through years of expertise but carry minimal changes. With that, I can say that the first models were way ahead of their time and that the manufacturers are genuinely knowledgeable at creating the best watches for everyone.


FlourishAnyway from USA on January 26, 2015:

I would definitely buy insurance in case of loss or theft. It would be crushing to lose this investment! This is something I've never considered.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 24, 2015:

Really good information about the history and development of the Rolex. I also appreciate the tips for buying second hand. Thanks for doing the research and making a good presentation.

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