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Rolex Steel Sports No Longer Investment-Class Assets

Updated: Dec 5, 2019

At last! The only reason for buying a Rolex steel sports watch today is (thankfully) for the love of owning and wearing it (that's if you can get one).

A multi-faceted mission to rid the market of sellers who buy these jackpot watches only to sell them immediately on the second-hand market is reaching its final play.

Market forces have made scouring the world for the likes of Rolex’s steel Submariners, Daytonas and GMT Masters as investment-class assets almost pointless in three significant ways.

Firstly, selling prices have taken a downturn by 10-15% in the last six months for these models on sites like Watchfinder, Chrono24 and WatchBox. Secondary market sellers have been scrambling to source these watches on such thin margins in recent years. This drop in selling prices means they are making losses on significant parts of their inventory. Hence, the buy prices being offered are falling even faster.

Secondly, waiting lists to buy these watches new from authorised dealers are staggeringly massive. At Dubai Watch Week, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, the biggest multi-brand watch retailer in the Middle East, said some waiting lists are over a decade long for some models, and there is zero chance of getting to the top of them (unless customers are regularly buying watches). It's no secret that there is favouritism in the watch game. “Some references have a 12 year waiting list … customers buying one, two, three, four, five watches might get a Pepsi as a Christmas present,” the company’s chief commercial officer Mohammed Seddiqi said in an open forum session.

This means that even though a £6,950 (RRP) 'Hulk' (116610lv) is advertised today for 2x that price on the used market, it is almost impossible to be the person who makes a profit.

Thirdly, people that do manage to buy an investment-grade watch and flip it are being hunted down and blacklisted by retailers and brands. Serial numbers are traced back to ADs that sold a watch in the secondary market. The customer can be identified and, “They will never get a watch from us again,” Mr Seddiqi revealed.

So, it's only the genuine collectors that have a real chance of purchasing these rare watches. If they flip them, there is a risk that the AD will find out via their serial numbers.

Pro flippers have no choice but to move onto other brands and models. There isn't much profit or availability left in buying for the sake of flipping. Therefore, it's likely that the Rolex bubble has finally burst (or it's at least deflated somewhat). So, hopefully we can expect a brighter future for those who want to get hold of these unicorn watches.

Why not hire a Rolex watch for an upcoming special occasion? Perhaps this is a better choice if you're not sure about the future value of luxury watches.

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The points made in this article are merely opinions of WatchVIP and in no way intended to be strict rules for your spending choices. Please seek professional advice should you need assistance with your finances.

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