How popularity and scarcity affects Rolex watch prices

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Rolex watch prices - private collection

A recent luxury watch shortage has affected new and pre-owned Rolex watch prices but the company insists it simply cannot meet demand.

The exclusivity of Rolex watches is nothing new. The Geneva-based manufacturer has dominated the luxury timepiece sector for around a century and a scarcity of supply has only made them more desirable. With recent reports of a luxury watch shortage, the Swiss company insisted that the rarity is not a deliberate strategy on their part, but that they simply cannot satisfy demand without compromising on quality. However, the availability and actual production numbers of their models remains shrouded in secrecy.

Rolex popularity

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In recent times, demand for Rolex watches has hit new highs. Getting your hands on a new one is more difficult and more expensive than ever before. Pieces are sold by the company’s authorized dealers to their exclusive lists of regular customers before they are even released. Getting your name on a waiting list is no easy task with new places rarely available. It is estimated that more than 1,000,000 are made and sold in a year, a figure that falls well short of demand.

Pre-owned Rolex watch prices

As a result, the pre-owned market is also experiencing a boom. A host of start-ups backed by large investors have appeared offering pre-owned watches from premium brands including Rolex. New models are often flipped at a profit and prices in the secondary market are still rising. Soaring global wealth driven by cryptocurrency investors and multi-millionaire social media influencers has created a new generation of collectors.


Private Rolex collections

The search for exclusivity and authenticity has led many buyers to shop directly from private collections. This personal touch adds extra provenance and gives the buyer added confidence that the watch has been in good hands. A mint condition Rolex with a box and papers from a private collector can be just as desirable as a new model. The fact they are instantly available and often go up in price makes them a solid investment as well as a stunning piece of time-keeping jewellery.


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