So, you're planning to go into that prestigious bright green fancy shop with a crown logo? Well we've done just that and whilst everyone will have their own unique experiences, based on many varying factors, most first time buyers eventually find themselves feeling at least a tinge of 'buyers remorse'. We've conducted a survey with several experienced collectors about some tips they might be able to share with first time buyers.
When considering a classic timepiece like a Rolex for investment and protection, it's important to be well-informed before making a purchase. Below are 10 essential points to consider when buying a vintage Rolex to ensure you are happy with your dream timepiece!
1. Understanding Vintage: The term "vintage" can have varied meanings when used in reference to a Rolex watch. While technically a watch must be at least 20 years old to earn the label of "vintage," sellers often use terms like "pre-owned," "used," "new in the box," or "new old stock" to describe their timepieces. It's crucial to discern these distinctions to make an informed decision.
2. Investment Potential: Vintage Rolex watches have a history of increasing in value over time. Unlike brand new Rolex watches that initially depreciate due to retail mark-ups, vintage Rolex watches have already built up equity, offering a higher probability of continued appreciation over the years. Additionally, Rolex styles have remained consistent, making vintage options appear timeless and elegant.
3. Reputation of Seller: With counterfeit Rolex watches prevalent in the market, conducting thorough research on the seller is imperative. Inquire about the watch's history, previous owners, and origin, and if purchasing from an independent dealer, seek testimonials or referrals to ensure credibility.
4. Online Purchases: When buying a Rolex online, meticulous examination and verification of authenticity and condition are crucial. Take time to review detailed pictures, descriptions, and inquire about specific qualities before proceeding with the transaction. Research the seller's reputation and feedback, particularly on search engines like Google.
5. In-Person Transactions: Discovering a vintage Rolex in person, such as at an estate sale or antique store, can be an exciting find. Prioritize examining the watch thoroughly, asking relevant questions, and considering professional appraisal before finalizing the purchase.
6. Authentication: Genuine Rolex watches feature both a serial number and a model number, typically engraved near the 6 o'clock position. Identifying these indicators of authenticity, along with the presence of a tiny engraved crown near the number six, aids in distinguishing genuine pieces from fakes.
7. Condition Inspection: Careful inspection of the Rolex is essential to assess its condition, checking for damage, rust, oxidation, and noting the severity of any scratches. Authentic vintage Rolex watches should exhibit signs of age, and overly pristine appearances may signal potential issues.
8. Service History: Inquire about the watch's service history and any replacement parts, as these factors can significantly impact its value. Additionally, consider budgeting for professional servicing if the watch has not been maintained in the last decade.
9. Pricing: Align the price of the watch with its intrinsic value, and exercise caution if the seller offers an unusually low price. Low pricing could indicate potential counterfeit, stolen goods, or undervaluation by the seller.
10. Sales Policies: Clarify the watch's guarantees, return policy, and documentation, including serial and model numbers. By conducting thorough due diligence before making a vintage Rolex purchase, you can be confident in acquiring an authentic, well-maintained timepiece with strong investment potential for the future.
And there you have it! You should now be well equipped with enough know-how as to what to expect and do when entering an authorised Rolex dealer's shop. Perhaps consider covering that newly coveted luxury watch of yours with STYX Watch Protection Films, it could save you the hassle of a polish or even the notoriously expensive ''Full service'', only available at designated Rolex repair centres.
Stay tuned for more tips & stories from experienced watch professionals and collectors!