Are we at peak Rolex inflation? If you were able to buy a Hulk Submariner 116610LV at retail just below $10K, would you sell it now for around $20K? With the secondhand market actually fetching the asking prices, is it worth it to make a cool $10K?
Recently on Hodinkee, author Danny Milton wrote about his inner dilemma on whether he should sell his Rolex GMT-Master II "Batman" 116710BLNR? The ceramic blue-and-black bezel watch is incredibly popular and asking for almost double its original retail price currently.
Photo by Watch Advice
The short answer is no. Why? If you love your Rolex watch, it may be very hard to get one back in your collection after it’s left the nest. Watch collecting, after all, isn’t a hobby for the rational minded. It’s an emotional quest to find watches that make you smile every time you wear them. There’s really no price to place on how a watch makes you feel. If it boosts your confidence, then by all means it’s worth the money you spent on it.
Photo by DMARGE
Also consider that prices for popular steel sport watches may not have even hit the ceiling yet. The fever to get one these days has not cooled off at all.
But more importantly, consider the watches you have in your collection for what they add to your collecting goals. The Hulk, for example, could be filling that slot for your splash of color. The BLNR could be your travel watch. Think of your collection as a whole, with each watch satisfying a certain craving as a collector.
That said, if you have a Rolex model that you consider duplicative (Sea-Dweller and Sub?) or at least overlapping into another model, then it could be wise to sell the piece in order to fund a watch that you’ve been really wanting to try. Part of fun is trying out different models. Or maybe you have been eyeing a dress watch?
The selling price could now put you into a category that wasn’t at your previous watch budget. Maybe sell a few pieces to consolidate your collection if you feel the need to refocus. Also if you’ve only owned newer Rolex models, a sale would allow you to test the vintage waters. It all depends on where you want to head in your journey.
Whatever you do, be strategic and picky about your decision to sell or hold your steel Rolex sport watch. Take your time, trust your instincts, and do your homework. Another reason to sell may be to fund another hobby (maybe a custom bicycle) or that dream trip (to surf Tahiti). But if you love the watch you are considering selling, don’t do it. Only you know whether or not it’s true love.
Instead of selling your watch, give it fresh life with a new strap. Explore our collection.