What are the impacts of Pre-Owned Rolex’s “officially certified” second-hand watches?

We know that in the automotive field, many manufacturers are focusing on officially certified second-hand car services, aiming to provide cost-effective choices with reliable quality and affordable prices. Similarly, for second-hand watches, if they can have “official certification” endorsement, I believe they will also be favored by many players. In December 2022, Rolex announced that it would sell officially certified second-hand watches at designated retailers, marking the brand’s official entry into the second-hand watch field. Rolex, known as the market leader, sparked heated discussions among watch friends as soon as the news came out. Today we will talk about the impact of Rolex’s official second-hand watches.

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Why Rolex wants to enter the second-hand market

Nowadays, second-hand watch transactions account for a considerable share. According to relevant data, the global luxury second-hand watch market is expected to grow to US$35 billion by 2030. In fact, long before Rolex, there were already manufacturers launching officially certified second-hand watches. For example, Richard Mille’s authorized second-hand boutique is a good example. As the Swiss watch brand with the largest annual output, Rolex has huge holdings and circulation in the secondary market, so the brand naturally does not want to miss this piece of cake.

Pre-Owned Rolex’s “officially certified” second-hand watches
Pre-Owned Rolex’s “officially certified” second-hand watches

Advantages of officially certified second-hand watches

For a long time, there have been some ambiguities in second-hand watches, making players extremely cautious when trading. The officially certified second-hand watches launched by Rolex this time are aimed at these pain points to solve consumers’ worries. First of all, users do not need to worry about the authenticity and legality of second-hand watches. Secondly, these watches have been professionally inspected to ensure that all performance parameters meet the original factory standards.
In addition, Rolex will issue a “Certified Pre-Owned” hangtag for certified second-hand watches and enjoy a two-year warranty from the date of purchase. The watch is stored in a dedicated watch bag, and comes with a maintenance manual and warranty manual.

where to buy

Officially certified Pre-Owned Rolex watches are only sold through authorized dealers. The first list includes the long-established jewelry retailer Bucherer. It is currently launched in 6 countries: Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, Denmark and the United Kingdom, and is expected to be launched in 2023. Later it came to more countries and regions. Like new watches, there are no online sales channels for officially certified Pre-Owned Rolex watches, and consumers can only purchase them through offline stores.
Although it is not possible to purchase online, we can still find relevant price information on Bucherer’s official website. In addition, the golfwatchs quotation library has now added a Pre-Owned price inquiry for Rolex watches, providing watch lovers with a more detailed and comprehensive price reference.

Risks to be aware of: Pre-Owned Rolex watches market plunge

However, the current chill in the second-hand watch market has not been transmitted to the first-hand watch market. Contrary to the decline in second-hand watch prices, brands such as Rolex have completed multiple rounds of price increases in recent years.
According to “Luxe.Co”, Rolex raised the price of its products again in January 2024. Among them, the price of a Rolex Submariner has increased from US$10,000 to US$10,999 in January 2023, an increase of approximately 7%.
As for the reasons for the price increase of first-hand watches, Zhou Ting, president of Yaoke Research Institute, analyzed to Times Finance that it is more to promote sales. “The first is to create a price increase gesture and give customers the illusion of value preservation; the second is to further improve the brand image. The higher the price of high-end watches, the more for the sake of sales and profits, and the purpose is to quickly realize cash.”
She also revealed to Times Finance that although pricing has increased, a certain high-end watch brand’s store discounts and the brand’s support for dealers are increasing. In addition to some popular products, many styles are actually being sold at reduced prices in disguised form. Zhou Ting believes that this will also have a great impact on second-hand market prices.

Bain Consulting mentioned in the “2022 China Luxury Goods Market Report” that that year, the Chinese watch market shrank by 20%-25% compared with 2021. Data from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry also shows that Swiss watch exports to mainland China decreased from 2.967 billion Swiss francs in 2021 to 2.569 billion Swiss francs in 2022. In 2023, monthly data on Swiss watch exports to mainland China also recorded year-on-year declines many times.

High-end watch collectors aged 18 to 34 account for 42% of this group. They are an important consumer force in the second-hand watch market. In the context of rapid economic growth, young people have expectations of wealth growth, and they are certainly not reluctant to buy. However, as economic growth slows down, their ability to resist risks is weak, which affects their willingness to consume. In addition, the price increase of high-end watches in the second-hand market after the epidemic has been divorced from actual consumer demand. The influx of many speculators has created a lot of bubbles in the market.

Watch consumers are returning to rationality. “The watch itself is an industrial product, and its wearing properties are the essence of the watch. However, due to excessive marketing, high-end brands promote mechanical watches as works of art, and their prices far exceed the price of the watch itself.”

Rolex once stated to the media: “Product scarcity is not our strategy.” In March last year, the company announced that it would create three temporary production bases in Switzerland to increase watch production. In September of the same year, Audemars Piguet built a new factory in Merlin, Switzerland. François-Henry Bennahmias, then CEO of Audemars Piguet, told the media that the brand was increasing production by double-digit percentages every year.
The popularity of high-end watches is gradually fading, and consumers are beginning to flock to mid- to low-priced watch products. Recently, Swiss watch giant Swatch Group has reported double growth in revenue and profit in 2023. Data show that the group’s net sales last year increased by 12.6% year-on-year to 7.888 billion Swiss francs, and net profit increased by 8.1% year-on-year to 890 million Swiss francs.
Swatch Group management pointed out that the group’s mid- to low-priced watches have “extra strong demand” in the Chinese market.

What models can you buy?

According to Rolex’s official introduction, a more accurate term should be “Mid-age certified watches”. These products must not only be sold for more than 3 years, but also must be vintage models. To put it simply, it is a discontinued model that is not included in the official website. The brand seems to be intentionally avoiding any overlap with the models on sale, and therefore the prices of current products.
Therefore, we can see that the “Green Disk Green Water Ghost” Ref. 116610LV, which was launched from 2010 to discontinued in 2020, appears on the product page of officially certified second-hand watches. As for the “green glass” Ref. 116400GV and other models that were launched in 2007, they do not fall into the category of “second-hand watches” because they have not been taken off the official Rolex website.

Impact on market prices

When Rolex sets the price of certified second-hand watches, it not only refers to market prices, but also has a “feedback” effect on the market. Officially certified second-hand watches provide an important reference for the price of watches in the secondary market. It is equivalent to the brand setting a price ceiling for these watches. In a sense, it is also a “public price”. Rolex has regained the pricing power in the secondary market. In the future, the market price of second-hand watches will be deeply affected by the official.
Although it is well known that Rolex watches have a premium, in the past, the only information the brand could provide to consumers was the public price, so consumers did not have a clear understanding of the true price in the secondary market. Taking the most popular “green dial green water ghost” Ref. 116610LV, the official certified second-hand watch is priced at 24,000 Swiss francs, which is higher than the last public price before the discontinuation of production of 9,550 US dollars; similarly, the “blue and black circle” price is also 24,000 Swiss francs. 21,000 Swiss francs. The launch of this officially certified second-hand watch notifies consumers of another price besides the public price, which actually acquiesces to the fact of premium.

Rolex is the world’s most popular luxury watch brand, yet it’s not involved in many of its own watch sales. Surprisingly, some used Rolex models cost more than the new ones.

Things to note when buying a second-hand Rolex

Don’t be greedy for cheap

Rolex’s second-hand watches, especially some popular watches, do not have much price reduction compared to new watches, such as Green Ghost, Gangdi, etc. This is in contrast to the price of second-hand watches of many brands, which often drop by more than half, or even 20 or 30% off. Big contrast. Therefore, don’t expect the price of half of the popular second-hand Rolexes to drop significantly. Sometimes it is easy to buy fakes if you are looking for cheap.

Before buying, you should understand the market conditions of the watch you want to buy, and be wary of prices that are too high or too low.

2. Make sure it is a genuine Rolex  because Rolex is well-known, many merchants on the market will start to fake it. When buying a watch, be careful to avoid things that are fake, such as genuine watch cases and fake movements.

It is best to purchase from formal and reputable channels; secondly, it is best to have complete second-hand Rolex original sales receipts, warranty cards, watch boxes and other accessories. Generally speaking, the more complete the accessories, the more expensive the watch will be.

Of course, not all accessories are present to prove that it is not a fake, nor is the absence of these accessories to prove that it is not genuine. Because some people accidentally lose the accessories after buying the watch, or they are in a hurry to buy the watch and the accessories are not with them.

Check the details of the watch carefully to see if they are all genuine and original.

3. Check the movement
  If permitted, the merchant can be asked to open the back cover of the watch and inspect the movement to see if the movement has been damaged due to improper use, and to check the authenticity of the movement. The genuine movement has fine parts and clear lines, while the fake movement is rough and dark.

3. Understand the numerical numbers of Rolex watch models

(1) Rolex 116233, the last “3” means that the material used in this watch is “inter-gold” or semi-gold.

(2) Rolex 116610, the last number “0” means that the material used is stainless steel.

(3) Rolex 218238, the last number “8” means that the material used is 18K gold.

Are there many risks with second-hand watches?
 Are there many risks with second-hand watches? Nowadays, many people buy second-hand watches, and some friends who dare not buy are worried about the risks of second-hand watches. In fact, everything you buy carries certain risks. Second-hand watches are no exception. Are there any risks with second-hand watches? Next, I will tell you about two risks of second-hand watches:

1. The question of authenticity
After all, it is a second-hand watch. It is something that has been worn by others. The “conscientious” seller only “replaces” the parts inside, while the “unscrupulous” seller directly prints the logo on an unrelated watch. For consumers who don’t know much about watches, they really can’t tell the difference. There is also the issue of authenticity when it comes to new watches, let alone second-hand watches.

2. Price issue
The price problem is mainly reflected in buying a second-hand watch at a high price that is actually “not worth” that much money. For example, if you spend 100,000 to buy a second-hand watch, maybe some people who often pay attention to the second-hand market price will say after seeing the current “market” of your watch, or that this watch is often “traded” in the second-hand market. “The price may be only 80,000 or less.

Things to pay attention to when buying a second-hand Rolex watch
What should you pay attention to when buying a second-hand Rolex watch? As a well-known watch brand, second-hand Rolex watches should first be considered in terms of price. The price of second-hand Rolex watches is relatively transparent in the second-hand watch market. If there is a very low-priced second-hand Rolex watch, there must be something wrong. Don’t buy watches with the mentality of picking up leaks to avoid being deceived.

  In addition, every style of Rolex watches is very classic, so before buying a second-hand Rolex watch, you need to know the warranty period, usage time, whether there is a warranty card or proof of purchase, etc. for your convenience. Understand the history of this second-hand Rolex watch. If none of the above are present, then it is possible that the watch is “dirty”.

How is the condition of the Rolex? How to identify the authenticity of a Rolex? Choose a regular second-hand Rolex.

Core tip: When buying a second-hand Rolex, condition is the key thing you need to pay attention to. Choosing a regular seller is the best guarantee for buying a second-hand Rolex. It is best to buy from a regular second-hand watch store so that you can more easily check for fake Rolexes. How to determine a reasonable second-hand Rolex price is very important. When buying a used Rolex, the warranty period is very important. Before buying, find out if the used Rolex comes with a warranty.

  Rolex is a very popular brand, so there are many second-hand watches on the market. When buying a used Rolex, condition is the key thing you need to focus on. You need to make sure that the dial, case, and strap have no visible wear or scratches. Pay special attention to whether the watch glass is scratched. In addition, you also need to check whether there are cracks in the glass and whether the waterproof performance is normal.

  Rolex watches are made in Switzerland, but there are also some fake Rolexes on the global market. Therefore, you need to make sure that the Rolex you buy is Swiss-made. In addition, the date and year of production are also important. Before buying, you should know the model’s production time and year to avoid buying a used or returned Rolex.

  Choosing a regular seller is the best guarantee for buying a second-hand Rolex. It is best to buy from a regular second-hand watch store, which will make it easier to detect fake Rolexes. You can judge the authenticity of a Rolex by observing whether the identification mark is complete and whether there is a red flag mark.

  It is important to understand the repair history of your Rolex watch. It is best to get Rolex’s certificate and maintenance records. You can also ask the seller about the watch’s usage and maintenance history. This can help you understand the condition of your watch and the quality of its repairs.

  How to determine a reasonable second-hand Rolex price is very important. You can do research online and at some second-hand watch stores to get an idea of ​​the market price. Don’t just look at the price, though, also consider the condition, age and repair history of the watch. At the same time, you want to make sure that the Rolex you buy comes from a legal source to avoid the risk of buying from an illegal source.

  When buying a used Rolex watch, the warranty period is very important. Before buying, find out whether your used Rolex comes with a warranty. If there is no warranty, you can ask the seller if they offer repair and maintenance services. If the seller can provide such services, then you can buy with confidence.

The popularity of Rolex watches in the second-hand market

  Rolex is not only popular in the counter market, it is also very popular in the second-hand watch recycling market. After all, the price of Rolex watches is very high. Some people like to go back and buy second-hand watches if they cannot afford them in Rolex counters. Compared with the price of second-hand watches, It is still much cheaper in the counter, so there are still more people buying it. So what is the point of buying a second-hand watch? Because second-hand watches have been used by others, they cannot be compared with watches at counters, which is why the prices are cheap.

  Rolex watches are so popular around the world. Even second-hand watches are bought by many people. Rolex watches cost tens of thousands, so you should pay attention when buying second-hand watches. There are many imitation watches on the market now. Be sure not to buy a fake watch, otherwise tens of thousands of dollars will be wasted. Therefore, you must pay attention to the channels for purchasing watches. It is recommended to buy from some regular and professional watch recycling companies, because they are engaged in recycling and recycling. When selling second-hand watches, you will definitely not accept fake watches for sale. After all, most companies will also provide a warranty period, which makes them more trustworthy.

  You should also pay attention to the quality of second-hand Rolex watches. The appearance of the watch is unavoidable. Consumers will definitely not wear a watch with a severely damaged appearance. The other is the condition of the movement. Generally, when buying a second-hand Rolex watch, you need to confirm whether it keeps accurate time and whether it has been repaired, etc. If the watch has been repaired, you should pay attention to whether it has been repaired majorly or minorly. We all know that major repairs can cause serious damage to the watch, so try to buy a watch that has not been repaired.

  If the price is the same, it is recommended that you buy a watch with a full set of accessories, an insurance card and an invoice. Generally speaking, 80% to 90% new is better. If the watch is too worn, it is not recommended to buy it unless you like it very much. Sometimes the inside of the watch The damage is far more serious than the appearance of the watch, so the condition is a big factor in determining the price. There is also the need to sign a purchase agreement. For safety reasons, when buying second-hand Rolex watches, you must sign a purchase agreement, whether it is a single watch or a complete set, and include the detailed number, case number, movement number and other important information of the watch. Rolex watches enjoy a great reputation around the world, and naturally their prices are constantly rising.
 A large number of watch thefts and robberies occur around the world every year, and these watches will eventually flow into the secondary market.Once you accidentally buy this kind of “dirty stuff”, at least the watch will become a blacklist. The brand’s official after-sales center will refuse warranty and paid maintenance, and will not even sell you spare parts. Watches that are slightly heavier will be detained by the public security organs. They were detained, even arrested, and sentenced to jail. Most of the watches stolen and robbed are single watches, because criminals rarely get a complete set of accessories by chance. Therefore, if you choose a second-hand watch with a complete set of accessories, the possibility of buying a dirty watch is lower. In addition, there is almost no difference in configuration and movement between some special style watches and ordinary style watches. However, due to quantity, history and other reasons, the second-hand price difference between the two is as much as tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands. Therefore, there are also profiteers who transform ordinary models into special models and sell them to make huge profits. At this time, if you have a warranty card and original sales receipt, you can check the code to verify the authenticity.

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