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 watches. If you want to make a comparison, you first need to know exactly what you have so that you can check it against other examples known on the market for accuracy.
Once your vintage replica Rolex submariner 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 only the bezel that has been changed, 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.
For some of the early models from the 30s and 40s, you will see references added to the case back. If you know the reference, you know what model it is. Since most replica Rolex models have small holes in the case where push pins hold the bracelet tightly to the case, it is easy to remove the bracelet and write down the Rolex serial and reference numbers by using the small pins. At the end of this report, I will summarize for you the most commonly used Rolex reference numbers.
Since Rolex is a smart company and since they have produced many Rolex models over the years, they have done a really good job from the beginning by having a system of marking the serial number on the date of production.