Absolutely, you heard it correctly – the era of flipping Rolex watches is winding down, especially for hot-ticket items like the Steel Submariner Date and Non-Date. Dealers are snatching them up at nearly the recommended retail price (RRP). However, don't pack up your investment dreams just yet; there are still opportunities in the Rolex game. The key? Knowing what to buy and gearing up for a bit of a rollercoaster ride.

The Historical Frenzy

So, remember the crazy markups on used Rolex watches? It all started back in 2016 with the ceramic Daytona – that one watch that made everyone lose their minds. Suddenly, there were waiting lists longer than a blockbuster movie marathon, averaging 1-2 years. And boom, that turned second-hand models into gold mines.

But wait, it didn’t stop at the Daytona. The hype trickled down to other cool watches like the Submariner and GMT, making all-steel sports models like rare Pokémon cards for new collectors – impossible to get.

The Now Scene

Fast forward to today, after Rolex jacked up prices more times than we’ve lost our keys. Now, some “hard to get” sports models, like the non-date and date Submariners, and bimetal GMTs, are playing price tag catch-up with their brand-new buddies in the store. Also, other brands like Tudor are doing a 180, turning once-exclusive watches into online shopping bin regulars.

It’s a mixed bag for collectors. On one hand, those Rolex dreams are closer to reality at retail. On the flip side (pun intended), the old hard-to-get Rolex gang is losing some of its cool factor. People are ditching their preowned watches like it’s a flash mob, causing a flood of supply and, you guessed it, a dip in prices.

Dealers' Dilemma: Cheap Thrills

Dealers are in on the action too. They’re snagging watches at or just below the retail price because, let’s face it, there’s a watch flood out there. Even newbies like the Rolex GMT Master 2 – 126713GRNR (aka “The Zombie”) took a nosedive from £30,000 to around £16,000 in just six months. Dealers are playing it safe, avoiding the hype train to keep their wallets from catching fire.

Collecting Wisdom: Don't Rush, Don't Regret

So, what’s our advice in this watch rollercoaster? Stick to the classics: buy a watch you genuinely want to keep for the long haul. Forget the quick cash dreams; think about whether you can stand by that timepiece for 2-3 years or more. If commitment issues kick in during the purchase, take a step back. Patience pays off, and there’s always another watch waiting to steal your heart.

Investing in Style: The Gamble Game

Are watches still investment material? Sort of. But don’t go blowing your paycheck on the latest and greatest. That new model will age faster than last year’s tech. Real “investment” potential lies in discontinued models with a history – the ones not making the rounds anymore. They might fetch a higher price due to rarity, condition, and people wanting them bad. But let’s be real, it’s more of a gamble now than the old Rolex flipping sure thing. Do your homework and be ready for a wild ride.