An expert's take on the 2020 Rolex price increase

An expert's take on the 2020 Rolex price increase

Rolex has increased its retail prices 7.4% and around 10% for sport models in 2020. No doubt this will also increase prices on the secondhand market. We asked our local expert for his take on the price increase.

"The demand is outpacing supply," said Todd Broadbent, general manager at Clarkson Jewelers in St. Louis. "Quite simply you won't be seeing many of the most popular Rolex models in the cases of jewelers across the board."

We turned to Broadbent to lend his perspective on the Crown's price increase and he advised those searching for a popular Rolex model to remain patient and develop a relationship with a jeweler.

"Rolex hasn't had a value change in eight or nine years," recalls Broadbent. "It's certainly something that has been warranted, especially when you look at the prices on the secondary market."

As Bob's Watches wrote on its blog: “A stainless steel Rolex Daytona ref. 116500LN had a retail price of $12,400 in 2019. Although that exact same watch in 2020 will now be accompanied by an official retail price of $13,150, this is still significantly below the open-market value for the watch, which is currently sitting just above $20k.”

This almost absurd bump in the secondary market has create a frenzy for models like the steel Daytona and other sought-after sport models. But as we all know, sometimes being at the right place at the right time can pay off when it comes to acquiring a Batman, GMT or Hulk.

Broadbent also mentioned that the notion that only the customers who have spent top dollars a certain store are the only ones who get first rights to certain models isn't always true.

"We certainly have made exceptions in certain situations to help a customer get a watch they wanted," said Broadbent, stressing the importance of forming a relationship with an authorized dealer. 

But the price increase will hardly deter anyone who has been on a waiting list for years. And the rising prices just further the notion that Rolex watches are good investments as far as watches go. 

The conclusion: Get to know your dealer. Deepen that relationship and create your own luck by searching high and low for that coveted Rolex model. 

Our hopes that you will get that call!

1 comment

  • ArtW

    The scarcity created by Rolex’s limited release of product may continue to boost prices in the resale market, but does little to boost the bottom line for their Authorized Dealers. Walking around Manhattan’s jewelry stores, one can find many 116500LN’s just north of $23K. Hence, the SS Daytona isn’t really that rare, just artificially inflated in value. Strategy Analytics, a consumer/market research firm reports Apple shipped almost 31 million smartwatches in 2019 compared to 21 million for all Swiss watch makers combined. Rolex’s strategy may hurt them in the long run by losing market share and offending and not meeting the needs of their loyal customers…the ones who buy a Daytona to put on their wrist, not the ones who buy a Daytona to flip on the open market for a tidy profit.

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