Rolexes are a poor vehicle for investment.
You may hear or read otherwise, especially from citizens of any nation whose currency has devalued during the credit-crisis. Such as the UK and USA. If you are English-speaking, and thus tend to read English-language web articles, blogs and fora, you are likely to obtain a biased opinion on this matter. As both the UK and USA currencies devalued against the Swiss Franc, citizens of those countries ( who make up a majority of English-language commentary on the matter ) will have seen prices in their currency of Swiss goods rise. As Swiss watches are not generally cheap, the price rises in nominal terms in other currencies will be large, and notable. This will regularly be misinterpreted by citizens of those countries as the value of their Rolexes increasing, when in fact it is merely the value of their pounds or dollars decreasing.
Plenty of people who came to have an interest in Rolexes in the last 5 or 6 years have “made money” in pounds, but would have made more money had they just bought Swiss Francs. Easier to sell too, and currency needs no servicing nor special handling.
Rolexes for sale in other countries ( here in Japan , for example ) where the currency didn’t collapse haven’t risen in retail price at all. Used models have depreciated just as you’d expect.
A standard Rolex as an “investment”, being a commodity wherever in the world you buy or sell it, is a currency transaction. Albeit one with very high trading costs and ongoing holding costs such as servicing and secure storage. Buying standard Rolexes now with the assumption that “you wont lose money” let alone that it will be “a good investment” will likely end poorly.
[…] Some years ago I posted on my very practical guide to spending $10,000 on a watch that one should buy a Seiko Monster to wear, and another to keep new-in-the-box as an investment. These original Monsters are discontinued now. You can still find new-in-box ones for sale from time to time in Japan, but expect to pay well over $1000. That’s a better return on investment in a few years than any Rolex. […]