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How Rolex is fueling the watch resale industry

For many long years, the resell industry of timepieces has thrived, with Rolex dominating the watch market at an unparalleled feat. Especially when they own around 75% of the pre-owned market and 20% of the new watch market. The total pre-owned watch market is estimated to be valued at $17 billion.

There goes without saying, Rolex has something unique on its hands. Their craftsmanship and detail for every watch they produce are acknowledged with a sense of care as you would expect from a line of professional watchmakers. A luxury watch at that caliber is quite affordable however it is still very expensive, but less so than some others.

Not to mention their brilliant marketing with featured endorsements like Tiger Woods and so many others. On top of that, the demand for vintage timepieces has exploded over the last 9 years, and it continues to do so.

Compare Rolex's strategy to Nike, which is the most comparable single brand that dominates the resale market for its selected category. While Nike has had success with limited-edition releases, it is also prepared to restart production and create additional sneakers if one pair sells well. Rolex however does not replicate this action. They would manufacture a set amount of watches each year, ranging at about 800,000 pieces regardless of how these watches would sell in the market.

Hence, this would cause a limited supply, leading to watch collectors waiting for 3 to 4 years just to get a certain model they desire. With this kind of exclusivity, the resell value would not only skyrocket but the demand from the public as well.