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How to Calculate a Rolex Valuation

When looking at creating a Rolex valuation there are essentially two types of appraisals that would give two different values. Which one you use would depend entirely on the purpose you are using the valuation for.

Insurance Valuation

For purposes of replacement should your watch become lost or stolen, most insurance companies require you to have an insurance valuation which is usually based on ‘replacement cost value’. For the purposes of most new Rolex watches this would be the current Rolex retail price. If this is the kind of Rolex valuation you are interested in please click here to find out more about watch insurance and contact us about an appraisal.

Sales Valuation

For the purpose of this article we are looking at the ‘sales valuation’. Whether you’re thinking of selling your Rolex or you’re just curious to know the value this guide will help provide a few tips to help you arm yourself with the skills needed to calculate your own Rolex Valuation.

Creating a Rolex valuation is a subjective matter and the result is essentially an opinion, not a fact. Given this, there are different methods used by different valuers. These methods can’t be judged to say which way is right and which way is wrong, they are just different. At the end of the day the market will decide how realistic any Rolex valuation is. Rolex valuations are very much a moving beast. They can be thought of in a very similar way to the valuation of stocks, share and commodities and many of the same principles can apply. How many buyers and how many sellers exist in the market for any particular piece will underpin supply and demand. External factors like currency exchange rates also effect the value.

How to Calculate a Rolex Valuation Global Watch Shop

Where to Start

If the Rolex you are valuing is a current model produced by Rolex, or has an updated version of the same model in production, then the place to start is with the Rolex retail price - you can view our UK Rolex retail price list here. Let’s take for example the Rolex Submariner in steel and gold 116613lb. We can see from the table here that at the time of writing the UK retail price is £9,900, so assuming for the moment that you can walk into a Rolex Authorised Dealer (AD) and buy this watch we can surmise that the market is willing to pay £9,900 for the watch in question. This is a great baseline from which to start our valuation and we can work back from here.  It is also possible to buy this watch from a number of resellers in the market at prices that vary and at time of writing these seems to be between £9,250 and £10,250. We can assume that the price on offer from resellers considers the supply and demand factors as well as any currency fluctuation (these factors may have changed since this article was created so if you are creating your own Rolex valuation you will need to check these figures again).

Considering our initial research found that one reseller is selling this watch above Rolex retail price, this may indicate that this watch is hard to find so one may not be able to walk into an AD and purchase immediately, although having found resellers that are selling this watch today at £9,200 this is the figure that we can use as the price that the market is currently willing to pay for this watch in new condition.

Factors Effecting Your Rolex Valuation

Unless the watch you are trying to evaluate is in new condition as per the baseline example then there are several other factors to consider in relation to the valuation you are trying to create. The major aspects that can be detrimental to value are: -

Watch Condition

Normal wear and tear is to be expected, but the following factors can have a significant impact on value:

  • Bracelet – is the bracelet still tight or does it suffer from ‘droop’. Does the clasp function properly?

  • Gouges – surface scratches will nearly always be present, and can be polished out, but are there any deeper cuts

  • Glass – are there any scratches on the glass, if so a new glass may be required.

  • Ceramic – the ceramic bezel is very difficult to tarnish, but if it has been it is very expensive to replace

  • Movement – how well is the engine running? Does it gain or lose time? What ‘feedback’ do you get from the crown when winding the watch.

The above issues will generally come with a cost to repair, which should be deducted from the baseline valuation.

How to Calculate a Rolex Valuation Global Watch Shop

Box and Warranty Card (papers)

The impact on valuation of the watch being without box and papers is usually approximately £750, so this is a good baseline to use. The valuation would be impacted more for a new piece slightly less as the watch gets older. If the watch is less than 5 years old it will usually be supported by the remainder of the 5-year warranty, but if there is no warranty card then this is invalid.


Much like driving a car off the dealer forecourt, the initial depreciation of a watch is greatest at the point of purchase from new. There will be depreciation year on year vs new price, but the valuation will however benefit if there has been a price increase since the watch was initially purchased when new (as our baseline for the valuation is the current retail price rather than the retail price at time of purchase). Market forces will ultimately dictate how much any individual model will depreciate over time, where the number of buyers in the market will dictate how much of a discount they would want to purchase a preowned watch, rather than a new.

Finalising Your Rolex Valuation

So lets assume our baseline Rolex Submariner 116613lb we are valuing is a 2011 model. The watch comes complete with original box and papers and the watch condition just shows signs of normal wear and tear. At the time of writing the current retail price is £9,900. It is also possible to buy the watch in new, unworn condition at £9,250. As there are no adverse factors in the watches condition we need to make an assessment of the current market prices, and establish how much discount a buyer would expect in the current market to purchase a watch of this age Vs a new 2017 model. This is where the valuation becomes a little more subjective and you have a few options of how you would like to sell.

Private Vs Dealer Sale

Selling a preowned watch can be very similar to selling a preowned car. You have the option to sell privately which will probably give you the best return, but this is likely to take you longer, and in most cases, would not be as convenient. A dealer is likely to ask a higher price upon resale than a private buyer as they will generally undertake a refurbishment of the watch to return it to ‘like new’ condition.

A quick search online shows that a watch of this age and condition can generally be purchased in the region of £7,500 - £8,000 range, there’s also the possibility of getting a discount from the price offered for sale so it can be reasonably expected that one could be purchased in the region of £7,300. As you should expect to be able to buy privately for a bit less so a private sale price could be in the region of £7,000. Given that we expect a dealer to be selling in the region of £7,300 - £7,500 we will need to make some assumptions on both the costs and the margin the dealer would want to mark the watch up by. This may vary greatly from company to company, so I’m going to assume costs of a few hundred pounds for refurbishment, servicing and provision of a warranty and a range of profit margins would give a purchase price of somewhere between £6,000 - £6,500. This would give an overall valuation of this watch as between £6,000 - £7,300.

Are you thinking about selling your watch? At Global Watch Shop we offer a fast, free quotation service with settlement within 24 hours of receipt of your watch. Click here now to get a free no obligation quote and find out how much you could get as cash in your pocket or as part exchange against your next dream timepiece.

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