How To Sell A Rolex

Dealing in the Rolex aftermarket, Jonathan’s Watch Buyer knows that the demand for pre-owned Rolex watches is high. In fact, we sell them as fast as we can get them. Today we want to talk to you about how to sell a Rolex. And, by the way, if you happen to have one you want to sell, please contact us!

People sell a Rolex for all different reasons. They might need the money, or they want to upgrade their watch. No matter why you might want to sell a Rolex, there are a few things you should know.

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, make a list of any questions you might have, and if we don’t answer them, please ask them in the comment section below.

How Much is My Rolex Worth?

Sell a Rolex Houston

Ah, the ultimate question. There are so many factors that can control what anyone will pay you for your Rolex. First, the market value matters. The market value is what you will get from a reseller or even an individual buyer for your watch, and there isn’t a one size fits all for Rolex. This can be more or less than retail, depending on many factors. Let’s look at some of the things that can increase OR decrease the value of your Rolex.

  • The Model – Is the model an ‘in demand’ model? Is it vintage?
  • The Condition – This refers to the overall condition of the watch. It is pristine? Does it look like it’s been worn out? Are you still getting compliments on how great it looks? 
  • A working movement – Does your watch keep time? Does the minute hand still sweep? If you have a date on the watch, does it move automatically? How long can you not wear your watch before it stops running?
  • A Bracelet or a Strap – Is your band a bracelet or strap and is it original? If it is a strap, is it watch or leather and what is the condition? Is the bracelet solid or hollow? If it is a bracelet, how much stretch does it have? You can tell this by holding the watch by the top and bottom edges of the face at a 90-degree angle. If the strap droops…it’s pretty stretched out.
  • Materials and finishes – Is your Rolex made with precious metals or stainless? Does it have jewels on the bezel or dial? And, if you have diamonds or a fancy face, is it aftermarket or factory?
  • The Glass – Is the glass genuine? Are there chips or scratches in it? Cracks or marks?
  • Original Box and Papers – Do you have the original box and papers?

Fact Gathering to Sell a Rolex

Houston Rolex

Now that you have a general idea of what affects the value and you’ve done your research on what some people are selling their watches for or that other resellers have them listed for, it’s time to do a bit of fact gathering to sell a Rolex. Here is what you should be looking for:

  • Reference Number (Note: Reference Number, Model Number, and Style Number mean the same thing) – The Reference number is a string of digits that are the key to understanding and knowing the exact model you have. Sometimes the number can be followed by letters, which are codes for bezel style or sapphire crystal color. The reference number also can tell you the metal of the watch.

There are two main ways to find the reference number of your Rolex. The first is to look at the paperwork if you have it. It will be on the warranty card, receipt, service records, etc. If you don’t have the paperwork, the reference number is engraved on the 12 o’clock side of the watch case. Usually, it is in between the watch lugs where the bracelet meets the case, which will require you to remove the bracelet.

  • Serial Number – The serial number determines the year your Rolex was manufactured and is unique to each watch. There are some things that you need to know before you go and look for your serial number.
    • In 1954, Rolex reset their serial numbers after they reached 999,999, so a Rolex from the 60s could have an identical serial number to one from the 50s. If that’s the case, you need to open the case back to check the date code located on the interior of the case back.  
    • Around the end of 2010, Rolex started to use random serial numbers instead of chronological numbers. If your Rolex has a random serial number, it is impossible to date it other than to know it was made after 2010.

To locate your serial number, you can look at the paperwork you have, just like it would have the reference number listed on there. If you don’t have the paperwork, the serial number will be located on the side of the case at the 6 o’clock location under the watch band. Here are some exceptions to this rule:

  • In the mid 2000’s Rolex started to engrave the serial number on the space between the dial and the crystal on the 6 o’clock side.
    • For a few years, the serial number was engraved on both the watch case and on the space between the dial and the crystal, but in 2008 Rolex stopped engraving the number on the watch case.
    • If your watch is post 2006 you can find the serial number on the bottom portion of the face and won’t have to remove the bracelet.

Prepare Your Rolex for Viewing

View Houston Rolex

Now that you have done your market research and gathered all the facts, it’s time to prepare your watch for viewing. One thing is to consider cleaning your watch. Take a damp soft cloth and start with the inside of the band and the case back. Then gently clean the outside of the band and the glass. Don’t worry about perfection, just get some of the dirt out of the band.

The next step is to take some quality pictures of your watch. The reason for this is that no matter what route you go to sell it, if you start with a call, they will ask you to text them pictures.

Where to Sell a Rolex

Sell Rolex Houston

This is super important. When you are selling something like a Rolex, you need to go to someone who buys them often, understands the value, knows what to look for to ensure it is not a fake, and someone who has a very good reputation. Here are some things to look for when trying to find someone to sell a Rolex to:

  • How long have they been in business and are they registered with the BBB, recognized by the JVC, JBT and have other accreditations and memberships that are highly regarded in the jewelry trade? (Check out the bottom of this page to see ours)
  • Look at their reviews on Yelp, Facebook, and Google. (Check out ours here, here, and here)
  • Do they have a physical location and what is the security like? (Check out this video to see ours)
  • How do they pay? (We pay cash or check)
  • Can they do sales over the phone? (We can, but we do like to see the watch in person, so we can authenticate it. Of course, if you have papers and the box, that helps if you outside the Houston area.)

Ready to Sell a Rolex?

Sell your Rolex in Houston

We are always in the market for Rolex watches. We buy them from all over the country. If you are ready to sell a Rolex in a safe and secure environment with a company that has an amazing reputation, contact us and we will give you a no obligation appraisal. You can fill out our online form, contact Sergio Nuncio via email, or stop by if you are in the Houston and surrounding areas. We know that we can give you the best price for your watch, and we are the best Houston Rolex reseller!


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