It’s Time: Collectible Rolex Watches

Rolex3Few brands connote luxury more than Rolex. For more than 100 years, Rolex watches have been a symbol of having “arrived” (which has led to increasingly authentic-looking knock-offs).

Their history

The brand began in 1905, when Hans Wilsdorf, founder of a timepiece company in London, wanted to create a watch that could be worn on the wrist, instead of hidden in a pocket. According to the Rolex website, Wilsdorf came up with the name Rolex by chance He wanted a short name that would be memorable, only five letters long, and look good on a watch dial. While riding on a bus one day, the word, “ROLEX” came to him. And the rest is history.

What to look for

If you’re in the market for a vintage Rolex, the most important point is to make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for. Make sure the watch is in excellent condition — and the original paperwork is a definite plus. And remember that top watches in top condition will call for top money. They’re in great demand.50's Rolex

Plus, consider these tips from Alex Barter:

1) The reference number identifies the model. When comparing to other pieces online, you can quickly see if the case design is as expected. (You may need a watchmaker to open up the watch case.)

2) The serial number allows relatively accurate dating of a Rolex watch. By dating your watch you can check that the watch is of the correct style (design-wise) for the period of its production.

3) Check the watch’s caliber number. This will help you determine if the movement is the correct type for the model you are interested in.

Avoid fakes

  • Examine the case, dial, and bracelet carefully. Rolex has survived over 100 years because of its quality and attention to detail.
  • Look for a clearly stamped number and make sure the trademark crown and name are clear and firmly stamped on the face.
  • If you open the watch, you’ll see “Rolex” engraved on the movement. (But it won’t be engraved on the back of the watch case.)

And most important of all, buy from a reputable jeweler or seller and get a guarantee of authenticity.

Rolex1Rolex watches have proven to be a good investment, but most important is to get a watch that speaks to you; that you’ll feel proud to wear and have in your collection.

Contact me if you’d like to set up a “time” to have your heirloom watch appraised. Prices have been rising over the past few years, so for insurance reasons alone, you should have a current appraisal in your files.

Brilliantly yours,




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