How To Sell Old Rolex Watch

by Barbara Wilson

Selling a Rolex watch can be a rewarding process, provided you take the right steps to ensure you get the best value for your timepiece. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential steps, from preparing your watch for sale to choosing the best sales channel and understanding the market value of your Rolex. By following these guidelines, you’ll not only ensure a successful sale but also have peace of mind knowing you’ve done a thorough job.


Prepare for Sale

Preparing your Rolex for sale is a crucial step that involves several key actions. Ensuring your watch is in optimal condition will not only attract potential buyers but also help you achieve the best possible price.


Clean and Service Your Rolex

Before listing your Rolex for sale, it’s important to have it thoroughly cleaned and serviced. A professional service will ensure that your watch is in the best possible condition, both aesthetically and mechanically. This includes:


Cleaning: A professional cleaning will remove any dirt or grime that has accumulated on your watch, restoring its original luster.


Servicing: A complete service includes checking the movement, replacing worn parts, and ensuring the watch is keeping accurate time.

Gather Documentation

Having the original documentation that came with your Rolex can significantly increase its value. This includes:

Original Box and Papers: The original box, warranty card, manuals, and any other paperwork.

Service Records: Receipts and records of any services or repairs done on the watch.

Inspect for Authenticity

Ensure that your Rolex is authentic. Counterfeit watches are common, and potential buyers will want proof of authenticity. If you are unsure, consider having your watch authenticated by a professional.

Identify Your Rolex

Knowing the exact model and specifications of your Rolex is essential for accurately describing and pricing your watch.

Find the Reference Number

The reference number, also known as the model number or style number, is crucial for identifying your Rolex. This number can usually be found between the lugs at the 12 o’clock position or on the paperwork that came with the watch.

Check the Serial Number

The serial number, found between the lugs at the 6 o’clock position, can help you determine the production year of your Rolex. This information is valuable for both you and potential buyers.

Determine the Model and Specifications

Research the specific model of your Rolex to understand its features and variations. This includes:

Model Name: The specific name of your Rolex model (e.g., Submariner, Daytona).

Case Material: The type of material used for the case (e.g., stainless steel, gold).

Dial Color and Design: The color and design of the dial.

Bracelet Type: The type of bracelet or strap on the watch.

Understand the Market Value

Researching the market value of your Rolex is a critical step in setting a fair and competitive price.

Compare Similar Models

Look at recent sales of similar Rolex models to gauge the current market value. Pay attention to:

Condition: Watches in better condition will fetch higher prices.

Age and Rarity: Older or rare models can be more valuable.

Market Trends: The demand for certain models can fluctuate over time.

Use Online Resources

There are several online platforms where you can check the market value of Rolex watches, such as:

Chrono24: A global marketplace for luxury watches.

WatchCharts: Provides market data and trends for luxury watches.

eBay: Check completed listings to see what similar watches have sold for.

Consult Professionals

Consider getting an appraisal from a professional watch dealer or appraiser. They can provide an expert opinion on the value of your watch.

Research All Selling Methods

There are several methods available for selling a Rolex watch. Each method has its pros and cons, and the best choice depends on your priorities, such as speed, convenience, and maximizing profit.

Professional Watch Shops

Selling your watch to a professional watch shop or jeweler can be quick and convenient. They offer:

Immediate Payment: You can receive payment on the spot.

Professional Assessment: They can quickly assess the value of your watch.

Less Hassle: They handle all aspects of the sale.

However, watch shops may offer lower prices compared to other selling methods as they need to resell the watch for a profit.

Auction Houses

Auction houses can be an excellent option for selling rare or high-value Rolex watches. They provide:

Access to Collectors: Auctions attract serious collectors willing to pay premium prices.

Professional Promotion: Auction houses professionally market your watch to potential buyers.

Competitive Bidding: The auction format can drive up the final sale price.

Keep in mind that auction houses charge fees and commissions, which can reduce your net proceeds.

Online Platforms

Selling your Rolex online can reach a wider audience and potentially higher prices. Popular online platforms include:

Chrono24: A dedicated marketplace for luxury watches.

eBay: A well-known platform with a large user base.

WatchUSeek and Rolex Forums: Enthusiast forums with a focus on watches.

Selling online requires more effort on your part, such as taking high-quality photos, writing detailed descriptions, and handling transactions and shipping.

Choose Your Preferred Sales Channel

Selecting the right sales channel is crucial for achieving the best outcome. Consider your priorities, such as speed, convenience, and maximizing profit.

Private Sales

Selling privately to a collector or through watch enthusiast forums can yield the highest prices. It requires:

Direct Negotiation: You negotiate directly with buyers.

Detailed Listings: Creating detailed listings with high-quality photos.

Handling Transactions: Managing payment and shipping.

Watch Classified Websites

Websites like Chrono24 allow you to list your watch and reach a global audience. Benefits include:

Wide Reach: Access to a global market of potential buyers.

Secure Transactions: Many platforms offer secure payment options.

Market Data: Tools to help you price your watch competitively.


Some watch dealers offer consignment services where they sell your watch on your behalf. This option provides:

Professional Selling: The dealer handles all aspects of the sale.

Potentially Higher Prices: Dealers can often get higher prices through their networks.

Consignment usually involves a fee or commission, which can reduce your net proceeds.

Final Considerations

Before finalizing the sale, there are a few last steps to ensure a smooth transaction.

Ensure Proper Documentation

Make sure you have all necessary documentation ready, including:

Proof of Ownership: Ensure you can prove that you legally own the watch.

Service Records: Any records of maintenance or repairs.

Secure Payment

Ensure you receive payment through a secure method, such as:

Bank Transfer: A secure and traceable payment method.

Escrow Services: Use an escrow service to hold funds until the transaction is complete.

Shipping and Insurance

If you’re shipping the watch to a buyer, ensure it is properly packaged and insured. This includes:

Secure Packaging: Use a sturdy box and adequate padding to protect the watch.

Insurance: Insure the package for its full value to protect against loss or damage.


After the sale, follow up with the buyer to ensure they are satisfied with their purchase. Positive feedback and a good reputation can be valuable if you decide to sell more watches in the future.


Selling an old Rolex watch requires careful preparation and consideration to ensure you get the best value and have a smooth transaction. By preparing your watch for sale, identifying its specific model, understanding the market value, researching all selling methods, choosing the right sales channel, and taking final considerations, you can confidently navigate the selling process. Whether you opt for a professional watch shop, auction house, online platform, or private sale, the effort you put into preparing and researching will pay off in achieving a successful and rewarding sale.


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