I know what you are thinking, ‘Rolex watches always retain their value’, and that statement is indeed true, but are there things that could reduce the value of your watch? Yes and here are seven tips to help you retain the value.

Tip 1: Wear your watch frequently

Now, this might come as a surprise but not wearing your watch can affect the movement over time. Think of it like a car sitting on your driveway for 2 months. On the outside, it will look fine but under the bonnet, the lack of mobility will inevitably lead to parts seizing up or failing. We would recommend cycling your watch collection to ensure all your watches get plenty of wrist time to keep the movement active.

Tip 2: Condition is key

While wearing your watch as much as possible is always good, it is always worth trying to avoid potential hazards which could potentially scratch, dent, or break components of your watch. The most common areas for these occurrences are the sapphire crystal face, the side of the lugs, and the clasp. These areas of your watch are normally close to table edges, door handles, and sometimes concrete floors.  And while it is not the end of the world if you do scratch your watch, it will cost up to £200 to get it polished and back to looking new again.

We would recommend keeping one of our Clam Single Watch Travel Cases with you just in case you are doing anything that might cause you to damage your watch or if you need to secure your watch while in storage.

Tip 3: Keep everything that came with the watch

This might seem like an obvious tip, but you will be surprised at how many people throw away the box, receipt, and even the paperwork for the watch. But if a secondary market dealer was to tell you that the box, papers, and purchase receipt could be worth 10-20% of the value of the watch, you would defiantly think differently!

This is why we would recommend you keep hold of everything that comes with your watch which would normally consist of:

  • The Watch (Obviously)
  • Green Presentation Box (with cushion)
  • Cream outer Box
  • White sleeve with sticker
  • White hangtag
  • Green certified tag
  • All links (If any are removed from the watch)
  • Bezel protector (Sometimes these are excluded)
  • Rolex manual
  • The warranty card with the Rolex green wallet
  • Original Purchase Receipt

Tip 4: Keep it original

Another tip that might be obvious to the seasoned collector but keeping your watch original is vital to value retention.

When we say ‘original’ a secondary market dealer would say ‘factory’. This would mean that all parts of the watch including the bracelet, dial, and hands remain with the watch even if it goes in for a service. Rolex has been known to replace dials, bezel inserts, and original bracelets on vintage models when they come in for a service. While it is nice to have something new and, in most cases, improved on your watch after a service, collectors go mad for original parts even if they are heavily worn.

So, if the watch does go in for a service, be sure to keep all original parts for your watch. This will increase the value by a possible 30% on certain models.

Tip 5: Stay away from aftermarket

Very similar to tip number 4, we would recommend staying clear of anything that is considered aftermarket. This includes adding gems to the watch by drilling holes into the metal itself. Other things we would recommend staying clear from are after-market bezels or dials. While these are not permanent, they are unnecessary and will require you to keep hold of the original parts later.

Tip 6: Beware of water damage

One of the costliest repairs for any Rolex watch is the frequent mistake to not screw the crown down properly before entering the water. I have unfortunately seen many watches that have had water creep into the movement and to put it simply, water and oil do not mix at all. This will lead to an extensive repair cost of around 7-10% of the value of the watch.

Tip 7: Don’t over-polish your watch!

As mentioned in tip number 2, a professional polish can cost between £100-£200 (depending on the metal), and frequent polish can create a domed mirror effect instead of a flat mirror effect. This is one of the few ways you can tell a watch has been over-polished or not polished correctly.

Another unfortunate outcome of amateur polishing is rounding the edges of the lugs. Some secondary market dealers would refer to the watch as being ‘sharp’. This generally means that the edges of the watch are sharp and have either not been polished or had a professional polish.

It’s hard to say if polishing affects the value as some buyers like their watch looking new, however, depending on the model and age, we would advise asking a second opinion before polishing your watch.

In conclusion

The general rule of thumb is to enjoy your watch but be mindful that keeping it in great condition will help you reduce any potential costs later on. After all, no one likes unexpected services or costly repair bills so by following these 7 tips you should be able to keep your watch in top condition for yourself to enjoy or move on to the next potential owner.