Rolex purchase - the Ultimate Guide  

Die Rolex Oyser Perpetual Dytejust

Rolex must be the most famous producer of luxury watches of the world. Only few brands in the industry manage to polarize as much as the watch-manufactory from Geneva.  

The brand maintains a wide portfolio of diverse watches, wich are incredibly sought after and desired. That reaches from classic Datejust models over diving watches like the Submariner to the legendary Daytona with it's chronograph.

But how does one purchase one of these treasured wristwatches from Geneva?  

In the following we present all imaginable ways, to purchase a Rolex watch.  

You can buy regularly with a concessionaire, by letting him place you on a waitinglist. Additionally there is the possibility to buy a Rolex on the gray market to a higher price, immediately or you purchase a Certified Pre-Owned watch with an official dealer.  


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The regular way

First, lets look at the official, regular way, to purchase a Rolex watch.

The Brand determines themselves which and how many watches they give to the dealers.  

In doing so exclusively certified and selected dealers are authorized from Rolex to sell watches under certain conditions  

These merchants are called concessionaires. They're official jewelers, who sell the chronometers from the brand with the golden crown to retail conditions. Among the best-known concessionaires are jewelers like Bucherer, Rüschenbeck or Wempe.

How to buy a Rolex watch? Bucherer is one way to buy Rolex watches
Source: Pexels

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Now, you can't just visit one of these jewelers without further ado, in order to buy a Rolex watch. Because you should know, most Rolex models are so much in demand, that you'll have to put your name on a waitinglist, to purchase them.  

The waitinglists for Rolex watches are incredibly long, so that you have to count with one or two years of waitingtime for some less favoured models. But with popular models like the Daytona you surely wait for ten years or more, if you manage to receive a spot on the list at all.

To blame are the low quantity in relation to the colossal demand. Actually, the brand doesen't produce so little watches, considering that they produce an estimated one million watches a year. But this amount wont cover the demand by far.

Rolex is trying to counteract this issue, by offering and scheduling Pre-Owned watches.  

But the status quo isn't changed through that afterall.  

Now, how can you purchase a Rolex watch via an concessionaire? 

Essentially it workes like this: first, you look for a jeweler close to you, which is an official retailer of Rolex. Here's a little insiders' tip, choose a concessionaire who isn't too popular. He therefore hasn't too many regular customers and you have better chances Perhaps you have a narrow home field advantage.

In the beginning you try to build a good relationship with the jeweler. This works best if you convey your general interest in luxury watches. You have to convince him, that you have no intention on reselling the watch but that you want to purchase it for personal use.

Because to concessionaires selling on the watch on the gray market is a big red flag. Since Rolex investigates, wich models end up on the gray market. the manufacturer hates to see that watches, which he delivered to concessionaires, shortly after surface on the gray market costing many times more than before.

Also, it's very important to not go like a bull at a gate. Every second potential customer wants a space on the waitinglist for a popular watch. You rather pay the jeweler multiple visits to proove your overall interest in watches and jewelry, insted of your intend to grab a Rolex asap. 

If you play it smart and make sure the concessionaire finds you likable, you have a good chance to get on the list. Though it's best not to be too picky, for which model you like to enlist. No concessionaire will put you on a waitinglist, for the sought after Daytona ,without further ado. The Lists for those models are too long anyway, so that the retailer won't have to take new people on it, since he's going to sell to regulars in any case.

Eine Rolex zu kaufen ist nicht einfach
Source: Rolex

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Is your watchknowledge up to date?

Here is our list of must-know watches!

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Accelerating measures  

One thing you can do anyway is to ask around in your circle of acquaintances.  

Since you are familiar with the luxury scene, there is a high possibility, that there is someone in your close circle who cherishes a connection to a concessionaire. Pehraps you can purchase your Rolex watch through this Contact. Of course this depends on you. Vitami B can open doors for you in the business world aswell as in the world of luxury watches.

An individious trick  

There is one more possibility to speed up this procedure. The keyword is money.

For if you start by going shopping at your retailers independent of the Rolex watch, for example to buy a different watch or jewelry for your signicifant other, there is a good possibilitym that the concessionaire sees you with different eyes. Like magic your name is going to climb on that waitinglist to a more interessting spot.  

You shouldn't forget: Rolex has no saying when it comes to the waitinglists. The concessionaire has some margin of discretion, to whom he likes to sell and who has to wait.  

And if you prove yourself to be a loyal customer, there is a high chance, that you can profit from that in the matter of Rolex waitinglists.  


Der Grand Prix der Armbanduhren, die Tag Heuer Monaco

Is your watchknowledge up to date?

Here is our list of must-know watches!

Bet you'll find a watch on it that you've never seen before.


The quick, uncomplicated way

However, there is an alternative which avoids this waitinglist spectacle.  

The solution is called: buy a watch on the grey market, at a higher price.

On the grey market they trade almost all Rolex watches imaginable. You can also find models which were discontinued a long time ago and nowhere to be found in the current array of products, like Vintage watches.

You have way wider choice.  

The problem with the gray market is, that the prices are much higher than the actual list prices. How much of a difference in price there is depends on the model. The range is in between a few thousand euros above list price up to a multiple of it.

Additionally you have to be very careful, not to be caught by scammers, who want to push fake watches on you. If you're interested in knowing exactly what to look for, in order to recognize a fake Rolex watch and how you avoid to be scamed, check out our article about exactly that.

It's best if you only purchase with marketplaces who guarantee the authenticity of the watch. Provider like Chrono24, Chronext or Watchfinder are pretty secure trading places on the internet, with whom you can shop without hesitation.

Another option is to have a look at auction-sites like Ebay. More often than not, you'll find Rolex watches with fair prices there.  

Maby you manage to get in contact with a private individual, interested in selling their watch. Like this you generally receive a better offer pricewise. But you have to be even more careful, on the subject of scams.

In the end it is your choice, whether you are ready to pay the higher price in order to receive the Rolex immediately, of if you preffer to wait.  


Der Grand Prix der Armbanduhren, die Tag Heuer Monaco

Is your watchknowledge up to date?

Here is our list of must-know watches!

Bet you'll find a watch on it that you've never seen before.


Certified Pre-Owned watches

Certified Pre-Owned Uhren sind ein sehr spannendes Geschäft für Uhrenfans
Source: Rolex

In addition there is the option to buy a Certified Pr-Owned watch. 

In essence it is a mixture of the official buying process and the purchase of a used chronometre on the gray market. 

It's a quiestion of second-hand watches, which where maintained and offically certified by Rolex and are being reoffered from a concessionaire.  

Thereby you enjoy all the advantages from a regular purchase with the concessionaire including the guarantee, certificate, et cetera...  

However, these watches are normally a bit more expencive as if you'd buy them on the secundary market. 


Der Grand Prix der Armbanduhren, die Tag Heuer Monaco

Is your watchknowledge up to date?

Here is our list of must-know watches!

Bet you'll find a watch on it that you've never seen before.


Conclusion

The bottom line is, it is your choice how you acquire your Rolex watch. You could either go the official route including the waitinglist, you could purchase it immediately on the gray market or you could buy a Certified Pre-Owned watch. 

If you think about it, you are always going to have to pay extra if you want the process to be sped up. Either you eave money on the table with the jeweler, or you buy directly on the grey market. 

From a fiscal perspective is the first methode more profitable, after all you receive something for your money. While in the other example, the difference to the list price disappears in the pocket of the vendor.  

Scource cover image: Rolex

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Der Grand Prix der Armbanduhren, die Tag Heuer Monaco

Is your watchknowledge up to date?

Here is our list of must-know watches!

Bet you'll find a watch on it that you've never seen before.



About the author

Autor bei Gentleman-watches

Alexander Weinberger

For me, the most fascinating thing about watches is the interplay between precise craftsmanship and artistic development. In a watch movement, hundreds of small parts have to be put together precisely so that they form a large whole.


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