Even people who aren’t familiar with watches probably know Rolex. It’s the world’s biggest watch brand and one of the most recognisable brands on the planet. It’s a by-word for success, prestige and luxury – which means big dollars.
Speaking of big dollars, people who are familiar with watches have long known that investing in Rolexes is a good move. Demand is so high for the high-end timepieces that virtually every model they sell either resist depreciation or quickly start appreciating as soon as you leave the boutique – with popular vintage models such as the legendary ‘Paul Newman’ Daytona ranking among some of the most sought-after watches on the planet.
But even seasoned watch collectors might be surprised as to how well Rolexes perform as an investment when you actually sit down and crunch the numbers. Thankfully, leading vintage Rolex dealer Bob’s Watches has indeed crunched the numbers for us, and their results are truly astounding.
The gist? Over the last decade, not only have Rolexes outperformed the US property market as well as proven to be a better investment than gold, but they’ve offered better returns than even the bloody Dow Jones.
“Evaluating percentage increases for gold and real estate, based on inflation-adjusted values for gold from macrotrends.net and median sales price data for houses sold in the U.S. from the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) database, Rolex watches significantly outperformed both,” Bob’s Watches’ report relates.
Moreover, “when it came to the Dow Jones Industrial Average… returns were comparable over the decade, but Rolex produced significantly higher appreciation percentages over the past five years.” That means that over the next decade, Rolexes will more than likely eclipse the Dow Jones… That is, they’re a better bet.
“Even compared to traditional investment classes, such as gold, the stock market, and real estate, the 10-year appreciation that can be observed in the average price of pre-owned Rolex watches is still incredibly impressive.”
The report also reveals how the COVID-19 pandemic has supercharged Rolex prices, with Bob’s data revealing that the average price of a used Rolex watch has skyrocketed from less than US$5,000 in 2011 to more than US$13,000 by the end of 2021.
That alone is an impressive rise, but when you consider that the price growth since the beginning of The Spicy Cough in 2020 is nearly equal to the total price increase over the last five years – and that this trend shows no signs of slowing as we enter 2022 – the business case for investing in Rolexes gets even more compelling.
Unsurprisingly, the in-demand Daytona is the highest appreciating Rolex model. The average price for one of these coveted chronographs has more than tripled in value during the past 10 years, with Bob’s reporting an average pre-owned price of more than US$30,000 for 2021.
Annoyingly, you can’t actually invest directly in Rolex as a company. Like many of the watch world’s biggest players, Rolex is a private company, owned by the charitable Hans Wilsdorf Foundation. We’re sure many investors would love to own a piece of Rolex, but the best you can do is own a Rolex timepiece.
Of course, the other big advantage of investing in Rolex watches is that they’re an investment you can actually enjoy. You can’t wear an ETF or a gold nugget on your wrist, but you can certainly wear a gold Rolex Day-Date ‘President’. Although you’ve got to be careful with Rolex thefts on the rise…
Check out Bob’s Watches Rolex report in full here, and watch our list of the world’s most expensive watches of all time below.