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The Life of a Collector Video: Modern Pre-Owned Rolex

Discover the pre-owned luxury watch market as it relates to Rolex. The Rolex model line, sports watch or dress is extremely versatile. Sports watches can be worn both in the water with their 100m water resistance or with a tuxedo, a la Sean Connery in James Bond.

Instantly Recognizable Watches

As you’ll see in the video, Rolex produces watches that are instantly recognizable. Whether you’re wearing an older Submariner or a newer production, you’ll know they are related. There are small tweaks to recent productions but the DNA of the model is still fully intact.

Can’t watch the video? Read the transcript below or watch it on our YouTube Channel: Govberg Watches:

Tim Mosso:
Hi, I’m Tim Mosso, watch specialist, Govberg Jewelers.

Josh Srolovitz:
I’m Josh Srolovitz, senior watch buyer from Govberg Jewelers.

Tim Mosso:
Now, today, we’re here to talk to you about pre-owned luxury watches, but specifically the modern phenomenon of the pre-owned luxury watch market as it relates to Rolex. Now, undoubtedly, Josh, Rolex is a brand that transcends the watch industry. It’s a household name.

Could we talk a little bit, maybe, about how, yes, every new watch is going to take a depreciation hit, but Rolex is going to stabilize sooner, act as a better store value and ultimately be a better long-term investment, if you are to invest in watches, than perhaps any other brand in pre-owned?

Josh Srolovitz:
Absolutely. Since the beginning of its tenure, Rolex has been producing iconic watches which have changed very minimally over the decades and in production. Because of this, you have certain pieces which are just foundations of the watch-making world and include advancements in horology which are unrivaled by any other manufacturer.

When purchasing a new watch, undoubtedly you will lose some value, some brands more than others. Rolex is special in that even when purchased new, the amount of depreciation is minimal. Because of this, when you buy one pre-owned at a lower price, you’re really investing in a staple piece that will treat you well down the line and give you something to enjoy.

Vintage Submariner on the Left vs New Model

Tim Mosso:
Yeah. The nice thing about Rolex is I find that if you are buying pre-owned, you’re going to get good value up front because, again, the depreciation hit is taken. Unlike, for instance, a European vacation, purebred dogs, a night out of dinner all year, the thing is when you invest in a Rolex, it never depreciates to nothing, so you have a store value, but even beyond that, if you ever wanted to sell, there’s a constant market for Rolex watches. It’s not a specialist piece. Someone is always willing to buy a Rolex.

Josh Srolovitz:
Absolutely. These pieces are watches, of course, but a watch like a Submariner or Daytona serve as more as a commodity than anything else, something that’s recognizable around the world and has a set value, a value that people are willing to pay no matter what the age of the watch.

Tim Mosso:
I think it’s also important to note that although Rolex, for the most part, is known for making sports watches, and every model that we have here in front of us is technically a sports watch, just about every watch here can be worn with any kind of attire. That’s the versatility of Rolex.

Josh Srolovitz:
That’s the beauty of the brand. If you look back, Sean Connery wearing a tuxedo as James Bond with a submariner on his wrist, it doesn’t get any cooler than that. That’s still something you can do today and not lose any sense of style or recognition.

Tim Mosso:
Yeah. The Rolex model line, whether it’s a dive watch or not, for the most part, the Rolex sports watches are water resistant to at least 100 meters. In a very real sense, because of the versatility of the Rolex look across model lines, they can go with a bathing suit or a business suit and anything in between.

Josh Srolovitz:
Absolutely. Being that there’s only minor changes of these watches for each model line over the years, there is a really strong lack of obsolescence, which serves to keep an allure and a cult appreciation for these pieces which I don’t see ever going away.

Tim Mosso:
That’s one of the things that really strikes me about Rolex compared to other brands. There are some watch brands that are so self-conscious about restyling every two to three model years that you can literally say, “Oh, that’s generation one, that’s generation two, that’s generation three,” from across the room.

With Rolex, let’s just use these Rolex Submariners as an example, just jumping to our macro camera, this is why planned obsolescence and Rolex never belong in the same sentence. The 5508 is of the Sean Connery James Bond era. Two watches built about 25 years apart, and these two timepieces are both instantly recognizable as a Rolex Submariner.

Vintage SeaDweller vs New Model

Josh Srolovitz:
The cool part about collecting Rolex is that, when you get down to the real nitty-gritty of these pieces, it’s all about little nuances and characteristics. That’s what makes collectors thirsty and sets them to hunt to find a really special piece to them that is important. It’s the beauty of the nature of collecting Rolex.

Tim Mosso:
Yeah. You’ve got watches that are always of that iconic description. The Sub is always going to look like a Sub. 20 years later, the Sub you buy today is still recognizable as a Sub two decades forward, and the same is true of the GMT, of the Sea-Dweller, of the Daytona. You never feel like you’re wearing a dated watch. Rolex pretty much goes from new to classic.

Josh Srolovitz:
Absolutely. To those who really don’t know, they would never know the difference. Tor someone who’s starting out into collecting, you really don’t have to go in and buy the brand-new watch to get the iconic Submariner or a GMT or whatever you’re interested in.

You definitely have a lot of options, and you don’t have to spend top dollar either. All these watches are of obtainable price points, and they’ll serve as strong investments should you want to trade up or move on to different pieces in the future.

Tim Mosso:
Absolutely. Just take a look at, for instance, these two Rolex Sea-Dweller models. Now, on the left, I have a watch that is a relatively recent debut that came out at Baselworld 2014. It’s the Sea-Dweller 4000. In my right hand, I have a Sea-Dweller Triple Six, a 16660 from the early ‘80s.

Now, these two watches are separated by the better part of 30 years, and yet it’s the iconic look, and it’s the resistance to restyling on a whim, frivolous re-stylings, that really makes a Rolex almost from any model line such an enduring piece.

Josh Srolovitz:
Absolutely. This is a quintessential look to Rolex, a certain brand DNA that no matter how they have changed the watches, it’s never been lost. That’s the beauty of what they’re doing. They don’t try to do something too outrageous, and they don’t ruin themselves. It’s done properly and with care.

Tim Mosso:
Yeah, and they are actually a foundation, correct? They are a foundation. They are privately held.

Josh Srolovitz:
Absolutely.

Tim Mosso:
As a privately-held foundation, they’re never going to be sold public. They’re never going to have to worry about stockholders. They’re never going to have to worry about making it for the quarter. That’s why there’s an integrity to the watches that Rolex makes and that enduring commitment to quality, to specific styles that evolve rather than change radically. Maybe it would be also even better to explain how the security that you get in buying pre-owned Rolex kind of goes hand in hand with buying pre-owned from Govberg.

Submariner is a versatile watch

Rolex.com

Josh Srolovitz:
Absolutely. When you look at the most iconic watch in the world, it’s also, not coincidentally, the most counterfeited watch in the world and for good reason. When you’re purchasing a watch of this price point pre-owned, of course you want to make sure you’re getting what you pay for and an authentic piece that’s not like a Frankenstein watch or something that’s just 100% not authentic.

To do this safely, you always want to search through an authorized dealer. An authorized dealer is a dealer in which they’re able to sell new Rolexes which are sourced directly from the manufacturer. There’s no middle man. Everything is done by the books, and everything’s pure.

When you buy a pre-owned watch from an authorized dealer, you also get that sense of security, that piece of mind that when I spend whatever amount of money on this watch, I know it’s going to be 100% legitimate. It’s backed by warranty. It’s backed by the brand. That goes a long way, especially for someone looking to build a collection and get into the high-end world of watches.

Tim Mosso:
Yeah. It’s important to know that pre-owned from Govberg is really no compromise. First of all, you have 100% assurance of authenticity. You have a 15-month pre-owned luxury watch warranty from Govberg, and Govberg, as an authorized dealer, also has access to proper factory service channels.

Josh Srolovitz:
Absolutely. Just to touch on that, in addition to being an authorized dealer for Rolex, we’re also an authorized service center. Should your watch under warranty need any attention, we’re able to get the genuine OEM Rolex parts and treat everything properly so that no pieces are lost along the way and your watch stays 100% Rolex, which is worth every penny.

Tim Mosso:
That’s the final missing piece of the puzzle in buying pre-owned Rolex. You have the watch that retains more value, that retains relevance because the style doesn’t change, that has the versatility to wear with almost anything. Again, that last piece of the puzzle is the trust and certainty that comes with buying pre-owned Rolex from an authority and authorized dealer in new Rolex.

Josh Srolovitz:
Absolutely. Just Govberg as a whole, it’s our hundredth year in business this year. We’ve been doing this a very, very long time. You don’t get to be where you are for so long by messing around with watches doing things you’re not supposed to do. We’re all watch people here. We’re watch nerds. We take it very seriously and very personally. These watches are just very special to us, and we love just bringing new people into the watch world. It’s fascinating.

Tim Mosso:
Basically, to sum up, Rolex offers perhaps the best store value in pre-owned luxury watches. It’s important to note that Rolex watches are enduring. The model lines do not change radically, and the watches are versatile to wear. Finally, just as the best way to buy a pre-owned Rolex is to go to a dealer who is versed and authorized in selling new Rolex, so is it preferable for enthusiasts of luxury watches to buy from enthusiasts. We’re definitely that at Govberg. Josh, thanks so much for joining us today.

Josh Srolovitz:
Thank you, Tim. It was a pleasure.

About Govberg Jewelers
The Govberg Jewelers legacy began in 1916 on South Street in Philadelphia, opened by Albert and Sam Govberg. 100 years later, Govberg Jewelers is celebrated as a true Philadelphia icon, bringing exquisite timepieces, beautiful jewels and exceptional service to the people of a city rich in history and tradition. Govberg Jewelers’ collection of esteemed timepiece brands represents one of the largest selections of Swiss timepieces on the entire East Coast and expands internationally.

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