Guide: Is a Rolex Worth The Money?


This video captures the quality of a Rolex nicely:

A Week On The Wrist: The Rolex Datejust from HODINKEE on Vimeo.

Purely in terms of necessity, no, a Rolex is not worth the money; but very few things are (other than food, water, shelter etc.).

In terms of an original (in-house) piece of art that holds it’s value and provides utility, yes, a Rolex is well worth the money.

The materials, processes, and designs used by Rolex are the perfect blend of practical, durable, ascetically pleasing, and timeless. In fact, you will be hard pressed to find any other brand in any industry achieving a comparable balance.

For example, Omega is a great watch brand, but their attention to detail, specifically, on case finishing, is not comparable to Rolex. Also, on average, their designs are not as timeless. Again, Omega makes a solid watch, but they’re generally less expensive and lower quality than Rolex. This is reflected in their resale values as well.

Conversely, a more expensive brand like Patek Philippe has the upper hand on aspects like finishing and complications – and they’re arguably the best watch brand of all time – but their prices are exponentially higher than Rolex. Also, most of their watches aren’t as durable or practical for everyday wear. Understandably, practicality isn’t Patek’s main goal, but it must be considered when discussing value.

Some Specifics

  • Rolex is the only company that uses 904L steel (as apposed to 316L steel). It’s more attractive, but it’s also more difficult and expensive to work with. Rolex had to replace many of their machines and tools to work with it.
  • Rolex has an R&D science lab to explore and test many aspects of their manufacturing and materials.
  • Rolex is obsessive about quality control. All movements are hand assembled and tested extensively. All dive watches are pressure tested in water tanks etc.
  • Rolex makes and melts their own gold in-house. They are supplied with 24k and turn it into 18k yellow, white, or rose; which they use to make their cases and bracelets.
  • Rolex makes almost everything in-house and their systems and technology for doing so are robust (due to demand).

For more details, read 10 Things To Know About How Rolex Makes Watches | ablogtowatch.

Yes, a Rolex is Worth It!

Watches are reflections of personal style that you can wear and use everyday. They can mark special occasions or be handed down as functional heirlooms. Rolex watches aren’t cheap, but in terms of long term value for your money, it’s hard to find a better product. And yes, part of this is due to their excellent marketing efforts; but great marketing is easy with a great product.

At the end of the day, if the price of a Rolex is too steep for you (now or forever), that’s okay. Everyone prioritizes things differently. But in terms of comparable luxury items, Rolex is the epitome of long term value.