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Are All Rolex Watches Valuable?

Debbie Porter

We sell many different types of Rolex watch at auction at Potteries Auctions with some Rolex models commanding huge prices at auction, and others much more modest sums. Pictured here is a Rolex Tudor Royal 9ct gold ladies’ watch and bracelet auctioned in December 2019.

It would be safe to say that investing in a Rolex is always going to be a sound investment with the brand of luxury watches holding their prices very well indeed no matter what vintage of watch you have in your possession.

We have auctioned many Rolexes over the years at Potteries Auctions and this blog will help guide you on spotting whether your Rolex is highly sought after or not.

Now, not ALL Rolex wrist watches have shot up in value in dramatic form, but quite a few have, and the rare ones by more than a local house can be worth here in our home in Staffordshire. No, that’s not a typographical error… yes, some of these watches are now worth more than a house costs here locally!

Some Rolex watches now fetch £100,000 – £300,000, but these are rare items, hence the price.  However, there are still plenty of old Rolex watches worth in the £2,000 – £15,000 range, and their owners are completely unaware that their old wrist watch from the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s is worth that much. 

We sold a watch recently for a gentleman from Stafford for £8,900, his comment to us on presenting the watch to us on valuation day was that he had never liked it since he bought it back in 1969, and if he got a couple of hundred pounds he would be quite happy.  Let’s take a look at the sort of prices that some of the rarer Rolex watches have been selling for recently at auction.

Here we have two examples of gold Rolex watches that we’ve sold at auction.  The Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch on the right is an example that has an 18ct gold bracelet and was auctioned boxed and with full valuation and service history. It fetched £2500 at auction.  The Rolex Oyster Datejust ladies’ gold wristwatch on the right fetched £2800 in our July auction.

On the left here is a Rolex Oyster stainless steel Perpetual Date Superlative Chronometer with black dial and stainless steel strap that came boxed and with original purchase certificate dates 1977 and sold for £2600.  On the right is a Rolex brass shop sign advertising that used to be positioned outside a jewellers in Picadilly.

In terms of prices out there for other models, there is a huge range of prices your Rolex will achieve at auction.  Here are some of the record breaking prices that have been achieved, so if you have one of these, then take extra special care of it:

  • A vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Brevet 6204 watch sold for £30k at auction
  • A Rolex with a rare stainless steel manual wind chronograph bracelet watch with exotic Paul Newman dial is valued at auction for £90k
  • An extremely rare stainless steel automatic calendar bracelet Rolex watch.  Model Comex Submariner reference 16800. Circa 1984 fetched £32k at auction
  • A very rare stainless steel automatic calendar bracelet watch. Model: Comex Sea Dweller. Reference 1665. Date 1979 acheived £80k at auction
  • An extremely rare stainless steel manual wind chronograph bracelet watch with ‘Khanjar’ dial.  Model Cosmograph Daytona. Reference 6265/6263.  Circa 1980. Movement: 17-jewel Valjoux Cal.727 manual wind, column wheel –  will fetch £300k at auction
  • Rare Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master stainless steel gentleman’s bracelet watch, ref. 1675, circa 1966 – Value at auction is £16k

Gold watches will usually fetch more than stainless steel cased watches, but some of the older stainless steel Rolex watches from the earlier period will fetch far more than a new solid 18ct gold Rolex watch, encrusted with diamonds.

So how do you know what you have, what it’s worth, and more importantly, how do you cash in on this collecting phenomenon bubble that will surely one day, burst?  The answer is to speak with us. Don’t worry if your watch is not a Rolex, there are many other well-known and sometimes obscure makes that are fetching thousands of pounds too.  Let us see if we can make your day, week or whole year!

Talk to our team of experts who will be able to give you an accurate auction estimate on this brand and other luxury modern watch brands.  You can join us at one of our valuation days, email us for an appointment to or call us on +44 (0)1782 638100 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. 

Selling Watches at Auction

If you have watches pieces you’re looking to sell, their pieces consistently perform well at auction and our staff is well-placed to provide valuations and advice on selling your items. Call 01782 638100 or to book a valuation appointment to attend one of our Tuesday valuation days. We also provide valuations via WhatsApp, simply send some clear photographs of your items via the app to 07864 667940. Additionally, we can send you links to our catalogues via WhatsApp–message the above number via the app and ask to receive our catalogues. Make sure you are subscribed to our email newsletters, too!