Image Source: WatchReviewBlog
If you haven’t checked out our last article on the differences between the Tudor Black Bay 58 and the Rolex Submariner please check it out here! But now onto the big question, which is the better investment?
To begin, we have to consider the availability of the watch. Both the Tudor Black Bay 58 and Rolex Submariner are watches that are currently in production and theoretically available at MSRP. The reality is that’s not necessarily the case, especially for the Submariner. In the following graphs, the yellow line represents the Tudor Black Bay 58, the green line represents the current production Submariner no date (124060) and the blue line represents the recently discontinued Submariner no date (114060).
In our first graph we can see that the price of the newest sub is, as we expect, the highest out of the three. This is most likely due to the novelty of the watch and how few of them are out there, both in collector’s hands and the grey market. Next, we can see that the price of the recently discontinued Submariner tracks relatively closely to the price of the new Submariner. Although the new Submariner does have a few aesthetic differences to the recently discontinued Sub, including an updated case with slimmer lugs, shorter crown guards, and a larger dial, at a glance, it’s mostly similar to its predecessor.
To grey market sellers, or even collectors, this makes the old Submariner mostly interchangeable with the new Sub, meaning consumers may be indifferent to purchasing a newer Submariner over an older one. Being offered at a lower retail price, but also being easier to obtain, causes the Black Bay 58 to trade below both Submariners albeit still above its own retail price, on the secondary market.
In this next graph we can see the returns of the three watches over their retail price. At the beginning of the graph we see a huge drop in the returns of the 2020 Submariner, this is because returns spiked in September when the watch was first released as grey market sellers and collectors fought over the first few watches to be delivered into the hands dealers. The Submariner, being one of the most iconic watches in the Rolex lineup, is likely to drum up a great deal of demand when it’s updated. However, as the market started to stabilize, prices for the 2020 Submariner started to come down and the returns over MSRP minimized.
Interestingly enough, around January of 2021 the returns of the now discontinued Submariner started to outpace returns of the 2020 Submariner and remain elevated to this day. This may be due to a few factors. The first is that the outgoing Sub had a lower retail price than the 2020 Submariner being $600 cheaper. This would make returns higher for the old Sub when compared to the same price of a new 2020 Sub.
Another reason may be, as mentioned previously, that demand is constantly increasing for these highly sought after stainless steel Rolexes and a rising tide lifts all ships. As demand increases, both prices of the new 2020 Submariner and the old Submariner increase, allowing the old Sub to remain competitive in performance.
Image Source: Swisswatches Magazine
Additionally, the BB58 returns appear to be hovering steadily at a 20% premium over retail demonstrating not only the still hard to find nature of the BB58, but also the sheer unsatisfied demand for the Rolex Submariner.
Regardless of which watch you choose, they should all be safe near-term investments. All three watches trade above retail price. It will be interesting to observe the dynamic between the 2020 Submariner and the outgoing Sub as time goes on. Will the 114060 eventually lose out as a greater supply of 124060’s enter the market to satisfy demand? Time will tell, and as always we will keep you dear readers of Everest Bands Blog updated on any changes to the Rolex market.
By: Joshua Jiang