When Rolex announced its certified pre-owned watch program last December, one big question on collectors’ minds was how much this authentication would affect prices.
The answer? A lot. Used watches that have the official stamp from Rolex currently command a 25% higher price on average across the portfolio, according to data from WatchCharts, a price-tracking platform for luxury watches.
In other words, the inspection, certification, and two-year warranty — not to mention the confidence that it conveys for buyers — is worth a 25% premium over the price they would pay a traditional reseller for a similar watch.
The CPO program arrived in the US a little over a month ago at select Tourneau Bucherer boutiques, following an initial phase in Europe, and WatchCharts estimates several hundred certified watches have been sold.
There are more than 1,100 CPO Rolex listings currently available online, which WatchCharts compared against the average prices for the same models from non-certified sellers to calculate the CPO premium.
The CPO markup does not apply uniformly across all models, however: more popular watches appear to have a lower relative increase than less popular ones.
There are 42 CPO listings for the highly coveted Daytona available via Tourneau, and the markup is just 4% over the price for non-CPO models. Of course, demand for the Daytona has had used models selling for prices well over the retail cost.
Less popular models, like the Date, Datejust, and Air-King have much steeper CPO premiums of around 40%, in part because those models tend to sell at or below their retail prices on the secondary market.
The classic Submariner comes in with a comparatively moderate CPO markup of 17%, and there are quite a few (192) available to purchase directly.
With extremely constrained supplies of new watches and yearslong waitlists for certain models, the CPO program is essentially the only way to buy a Rolex on-demand from an authorized dealer.
Better prices can certainly be found from other sellers, and several of those have developed their own processes and strategies to earn buyers’ trust, but for now there’s only one option for buyers who want the full backing of Rolex itself.
Source : Business Insider