After months of speculation and anticipation Rolex have announced an increase in their UK Recommended Retail Prices from the 1st October. But what effect will this have on their second hand value?
It has been the talk of the trade and Rolex enthusiasts for months: when will Rolex increase the UK prices? Since the decline of the value of the pound against the Euro that began in 2016 the UK has been the cheapest place in Europe and one of the cheapest in the world to buy new Rolex watches; depending on the exact exchange rate prices have been 10-15% lower for UK buyers.
As of the 1st of October the Recommended Retail Prices (RRP) have gone up by on average of 5%, still not bringing us in-line with the rest of Europe and less than most people were expecting but closing the gap a little. Rolex are not known for sharing their marketing policies so their reasoning is only known by them, but most people in the know are speculating that it is to allow further adjustment depending how the value of the pound fares post-Brexit.
So will this cause the second hand values to go up too? It’s difficult to predict but we think it’s unlikely on the models that you frequently see in Rolex stockists windows; we certainly don’t have any immediate plans to adjust prices.
Because so much business in pre-owned watches is conducted online, UK pre-owned prices have been aligned to new prices in Europe for some time now. Basically this means that, for example, if a 1 year old watch was offered for sale at 20% less than its Euro RRP before it still will be, it will just look better value against the new higher UK RRP.
Of course that isn’t the whole story. Certain Rolex models sell for far more on the second hand market than their RRP because of supply and demand. The word is that most authorised Rolex stockists get 10+ times more enquiries for the most sought after models each year than they get watches. Unless Rolex decide to change policy and increase production of these models then demand will continue to outstrip supply and the “grey market” prices will be likely to continue to increase.
To further complicate things some “classic” Rolexes are preferred to their modern counterparts by some enthusiasts. This can mean that a 30 year old watch can demand substantially more than its new equivalent. In this market small detail and condition are key, and it can be hugely confusing to the uninitiated!
If you are considering purchasing a pre-owned Rolex we currently have a number in stock and can often help track down the perfect model through our network of suppliers.
If you have a watch that you would be interested in selling we’re always happy to advise and offer either for a straight sale or part exchange.