Learn to know the value of your Vintage Rolex
One of the most common questions I receive on a daily basis is how much is my vintage Rolex worth or what is the price of my watch? Since this question has been discussed in-depth on every Rolex Pro forum for years, I am not trying to undermine those conclusions with this report, but simply to add more information on how to determine the value of your vintage Rolex. How can I find out the value of my Rolex? And then, what is the best way to sell it?
The most common way to arrive at the correct pricing is by properly comparing replica watches. If you want to compare, you first need to know exactly what you have so that you can check it precisely against other examples known on the market. My previously written “Rolex Vintage Buying Guide” will help you determine the originality of your watch. Today, almost any Rolex collectible from the past is worth buying, as long as it still has all the original parts that Rolex had when it was delivered and the case has not been heavily polished. Glossy and matte finished case parts in their original form, sharp edges, and screw threads need to be unharmed in order to be called a potential collector’s item.
Once your vintage Rolex has had its parts replaced, even if they are later original Rolex parts, its collector’s value will quickly decline. Of course, if it’s just the bezel that’s been replaced, you can still find period-appropriate parts on the market to replace it back to its original condition. However, it is much harder to find a correct dial, as Rolex dealers around the world perform replacements as part of the many services offered to restore water resistance and durability to your Rolex.
When people send me photos of their Rolex, what I often see is that the hands, crown, and crystal have been changed. The altered hands are immediately visible through the luminescence of the dial and hands that do not match. Underneath you can clearly see the mismatched luminescence on the dial, the hands have an almost greenish hue while the dial is more yellowish. In addition, the 24-hour hand is incorrectly mounted. This should immediately ring your alarm bells and tell you that something unoriginal has happened and that someone has repaired it incorrectly….
During the repair process, Rolex cleaned the movement, pressure tested the case, replaced the gasket, and often replaced the hands to make them shine again. Radium watches were banned after 1964, and later tritium watches lost their luster within 15 years. Therefore, before you start comparing your Rolex with other Rolexes, it is useful to double-check that all parts are original. There are hardly any stable rules when it comes to collecting Rolexes. As you delve into the world of Rolexes, you will find that there are always exceptions.