Rolex Appreciation Beat Other Investments Over Past Decade
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Rolex Appreciation Beat Other Investments Over Past Decade

Why invest in the stock market when you can invest in your wrist.

By Laurie Kahle
Wed, Feb 2, 2022Grey Clock 3 min

With 10 years of sales data to draw from, the team at Bob’s Watches, an e-commerce retailer of pre-owned Rolexes and luxury watches, analysed how Rolex values have performed in the secondary market over the past decade compared to stocks, bonds, real estate, and gold. When the results came in, Rolex watches outperformed them all.

“We were surprised by how much the values have appreciated,” says Paul Altieri, founder and CEO of the California-based Bob’s Watches, during a recent interview, noting that few online sources have access to a full decade’s worth of sales data. “We were hoping to come up in the top three, so we were happy that it was number one.”

Evaluating percentage increases for gold and real estate, based on inflation-adjusted values for gold from and median sales price data for houses sold in the U.S. from the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) database, Rolex watches significantly outperformed both.

When it came to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, based on values from, returns were comparable over the decade, but Rolex produced significantly higher appreciation percentages over the past five years.

According to the data, the average price of a used Rolex watch rose from less than US$5,000 in 2011 to more than US$13,000 by the end of last year. Intriguingly, the appreciation of Rolex watches since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020 is nearly equal to the total price increase over the preceding five years.

“Demand is driving that, of course, inflation as well—but inflation only accounts for maybe 20%,” Altieri says. “The vast majority is overwhelming demand. Supply has been constrained and demand just keeps surging globally.”

He added that strong economic growth around the world, and particularly in China and elsewhere in Asia, over the past five years has also helped drive up values.

“Rolex has been a huge benefactor. I would say the same for Omega, Patek Philippe, and Breitling. A lot of brands have had tremendous success the last 10 years, especially the last five, and Rolex is certainly at the top of the list.”

Bob’s Watches also evaluated appreciation by Rolex model. Not surprisingly the brand’s purpose-built sport and tool watches account for eight of the top 15 reference numbers (including the top three positions). While the stainless-steel Submariner 16610 is the single best-selling Rolex reference over the past decade and its two-tone steel-and-gold sibling Ref. 16613 comes in second, Daytona is number one when it comes to the highest-appreciating model with an average pre-owned price topping US$30,000 last year.

“Daytona has always had a broader appeal, a stronger demand,” Altieri explained. “There is at least a five-year waitlist to purchase the new Daytona at retail. It’s a more complicated watch and it has always been a popular model with a higher value.”

As an example, he cites the Ref. 116500 Daytona with a white dial, which sells for around US$38,000 in the secondary market when the official retail price is about US$13,000. “That is the ultimate example of demand and supply being out of sync with each other,” he says.

To illustrate the dramatic shift that has taken place, he said that when Bob’s Watches entered the market in 2010, prices for pre-owned watches typically ran 25% to 40% below full retail in a store. Now, for some models, the pre-owned prices are dramatically higher than retail prices, because those new hot-ticket models are so hard to come by in a store.

Altieri points out that the imbalance has been growing over the last five to 10 years, and he doesn’t predict a correction any time soon. “I don’t see Rolex increasing production substantially to satisfy demand, so quantity will remain limited,” he says, adding that Omega is also surging in demand with unit sales almost doubling last year compared to 2020.

“Watches as a category are really popular today and growing,” he says. “Barring some major recession, I don’t think you will see any change. I know it seems unsustainable, like a bubble, but I just don’t see it changing.”

Reprinted by permission of Penta. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: February 1, 2022.


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Strong performances in Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra lifted the national average.

By Kanebridge News
Mon, Aug 8, 2022 2 min

Following on from the rate rise early last week, the weekend’s auction market remained resilient, despite a lack of listings reflecting the growing unease of sellers.

The national auction market reported a clearance rate of 60.9% at the weekend — lower than the 62.0% reported last weekend and well below the 81.5% recorded over the same weekend last year.

National auction volumes were lower at the weekend with only 1202 listings compared to last weekend’s 1543 and significantly lower than the same weekend last year’s 2100 auctions.

The Sydney market eased at the weekend, following the previous week’s slight uptick.

The Harbour City recorded a clearance rate of 57.8% at the weekend — lower than the 62.5% of the previous weekend and well behind the 83.0& of the same weekend last year.

Auction numbers too were down on the previous weekend – only 421 reported compared to 570 and well below the 532 auctioned over the same weekend last year.

Sydney recorded a median price of $1,470,000 for houses sold at auction at the weekend — lower than the $1,497,000 recorded last weekend and 8.4% down on the same weekend last year’s figure of $1,605,000.

Melbourne’s weekend auction market saw another solid result, with a clearance rate of 62.1% — slightly higher than the previous weekend’s 60.5% but lower than the 71.7% over the same weekend last year.

A total of 550 homes were recorded listed at the weekend in the Victorian capital — significantly lower than the 692 reported over the previous weekend and well below the 1301 listed over the same weekend last year.

Melbourne recorded a median price of $968,500 for houses sold at auction at the weekend — similar to the $970,000 reported last weekend and just 0.9% higher than the $960,000 recorded over the same weekend last year.

Elsewhere around the country, Brisbane failed to reach a clearance rate of 50%, managing to clear only 46% of the 84 listings recorded, while Adelaide and Canberra both performed strongly with rates of 72.5% and 66.2% respectively.

Data powered by Dr Andrew Wilson,