Rolex’s rising price and market movement | JEWEL CAFÉ Singapore

Date published: July 7, 2022

Rolex’s rising price and market movement | JEWEL CAFÉ Singapore


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In the past, Rolex watches were once something that the average working person could buy by working hard, and because of their excellent performance and practicality, many people saw them as the entry point to mechanical watches.

Nowadays, a highly popular sport series Rolex watch can cost hundreds of thousands or even above, it can no longer be called as an entry-level model.

Rolex watches’ price have only been rising for a long time. We will share about the price trends we have observed and the future direction of these prices.

The actual price of Submariner Date has doubled in 10 years

The rising price of Rolex watches has upset many watch enthusiasts, but when did all this started?

During the mid of 2000s, many parallel imported Submariner Date’s price exceeded 500,000 yen, many might still have fade memories about this, but is helpless about it.

But now, the price of the latest model has exceeded 1 million yen. In our daily life, there aren’t many items that can have their price hike to this extent within 10 years, so it is worth taking a look in the price increase of Rolex.

The discrepancy between the actual product and feelings of using it

Submariner Date was revamped in 2010, and set their grades apart from other ordinary watches through key aspect such as Cerachrom bezel, Glidelock Clasp etc., moving towards a product with more fulfilling feature.

Changing the part that are necessary for improvement, while other parts that do not need to be changed remain as they are. These traditional ways of Rolex allow their modern products to blossom with great charm. However, due to its almost unchanged appearance, many owners feel that the watch is still the same as the original. On the other hand, if taking into account of the quality of the latest model, and compare the price difference throughout the years, many will consider the price changes to be unreasonable.

The price of the new model is largely affected by the overall market price

There is one very interesting phenomenon here, that is, if the new model’s price is increased, the older models will follow, and of course, the antique watches as well.

Antique models, which are already scarce in the market, have frequently reached record high prices and have been very popular at international auctions, which is closely related to the overall price increase.

The military Submariner has reached 40 million yen, and the Oyster 6263 has exceeded 100 million yen.

In addition to a series of amazingly priced auction sales, it gives the watch enthusiasts a deep-rooted impression of soaring price of Rolex.

So, it’s no wonder that the long-term Rolex’s fans are reluctant to buying new model.

2021The market price trend of Submariner Date

The following is an example of the actual price trend, with reference to the market price movements published in the Rolex catalog in Japan. The focus here is on the Submariner Date, which has maintained a certain level of popularity for a long time.

Around 1995, 401,700 yen, era of 3% consumption tax

Around 1997, 451,500 yen, consumption tax rise to 5%

Around 2000, 462,000 yen

Around 2003, 512,400 yen

Around 2007, 588,000 yen

Around 2010, 735,000 yen, launching price for the new 116610LN

Around 2013, 787,500 yen

Around 2014, 810,000 yen, consumption tax rise to 8%

Around 2015, 874,800 yen

Around 2019, 898,700 yen, consumption tax rise to 10%

Around 2020, 943,800 yen

Around 2021, 1,816,000 yen

For the Submariner 126610LN in the Submariner Date, the price trend after 2021 is as described below. The price used here is the average price of the product together with the box and guarantee card.

First, the market price in 2020 was 2,000,000 yen, it dropped to 1,590,000 yen in February, reverse back to 1,708,000 yen in May, rise to 1,766,000 yen in August, and reach 1,816,000 yen in November.

The price of 126610LV model also dropped in February 2021, but reverse the trend in May. The price in November, which is 2,310,000 yen, is slightly lower than the 2,315,000 yen in August. Usually there will be a price hike in the summer due to it being a dive watch. The 116610LN and 116610LV have continued to rise over the past five years since 2017, demonstrating their high popularity.

In the other hand, the price of Submariner Date in parallel import store has maintained a relatively stable balance between supply and demand, with variations of roughly 5-10% of the fixed price.

The high popularity for Rolex Sport Series emerged in Japan at late 1990s. Some even says that about half of Sport Models produced by Rolex are sold in Japan. Despite its credibility, we can know that Japan is a major buyer of Rolex watches.

In the autumn of 2016, Rolex overall started to running out of stock, many parallel import stores consistently lack of adequate inventory, which cause the uptrend of price.

Looking only from the brand itself, Rolex is still ranked no.1 in term of global sales, so it is hard to imagine that they will reduce their production. Therefore, the shortage should be due to the increase in demand of other countries, resulting in the decrease of available goods from parallel importers.  

In fact, during the mid-2000s, GMT Master was a big hit in Italy. The bulk-buying by China tourists does not limit to only other countries, and its easy to come up with various reasons for this. The current standard price in parallel import stores is 1,080,000 yen, which is 123.46% of the fixed price.

As for the price of black Submariner Date as a new product, it is still maintaining on a different trend than the fixed price, but such situation is no news. Although it is arguably an anomaly, it can be attributed to increased demand from other countries

As long as there aren’t any drastic changes internationally, this situation should remain unchanged. We can only hope that Rolex watches will not become untouchable beings to watch enthusiasts.

Overall Rolex’s price drop

Even though price of some of the Rolex’s model have dropped, but they are still mostly up overall.

Looking at the trend of latest 4 to 5 years, most of the price of Rolex’s models increased drastically. The main reason that contributes to this long-term price hike is the increase in demand which is relatively rare in recent years.

Despite that, some of the models still experience price drop since July of 2021. The price drop after the release of new model is quite rare, so it could be a retracement of consecutive 5 years of price hike.

At first, the price increase was thought to be temporary. Yet the fact is completely opposite, all model’s price is still rising. So, the price drop is considered to be a backlash against the long-lasting price hike.

The future price of Rolex

Though it is unclear how the price of Rolex will perform in the future, but there are quite some numbers of opinion stating it will “continue to rise” and “will not drop”.

The main factor influencing the movement of domestic market is the exchange rate. Since Rolex is an international brand, so the depreciation of Japanese yen in recent years is also considered to be related to the domestic prices increase.

In addition, the main reason that cause the soaring price recently is the pandemic of Covid-19. The trade between nation shrinks, causing the trading volume of Rolex to reduce, but the demand remains the same, which result in the market price to increase.

Even though the prospect of foreign exchange market and Covid-19 remain uncertain, but most opinions still expect the shortage of supply to be continue, and the market price to rise.

If you wish to get rid of your unwanted items, it is advisable to sell it when the price of most models on market has increased.  


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