What Makes Rolex Watches So Expensive?


Rolex is one of the most recognisable brands in the world. It was founded over a hundred years ago in London but is now based in Geneva, Switzerland. What sets Rolex apart from the rest of the pack is its unyielding commitment to the art of watchmaking.

The company produces watches exclusively, but that has not stopped it from becoming a symbol of distinction and sophistication. This is undoubted because it is the preferred brand of the most influential individuals across history, from President Kennedy to James Bond.

It has certainly become a symbol of elegance and exclusivity, which is the reason for the brand’s long-lasting success. In 2018 Forbes ranked Rolex as the world’s 71st most valuable brand, and in this article, we have a look at what makes Rolex so unique (and highly expensive!).

Why Are Rolex Watches so Expensive?

It’s a common sentiment to scoff at the idea of paying a considerable sum for a watch in today’s world, as it’s only real function can also be done by your phone. This begs the question,’ Why are Rolex watches so expensive?’ If you take a look at the extensive process of producing just one Rolex watch, you might begin to wonder ‘Why aren’t they more expensive?’ instead.

The materials that Rolex uses to make its watches compromise a list of the most high-end premium materials unlike those found in modern cheap watches. Steel watches mostly use 316L, a type of stainless steel, in their production process. In contrast, Rolex opts to use 904L steel for its watches.

This type of steel is much more difficult to machine than its 316L counterpart, and the cost of production is significantly higher as well. Rolex’s specialisation in luxury watches and time-tested expertise makes it the only brand in the world to be able to produce its timepieces in this manner. The result is a premium look that stands head and shoulders above its competition.i

In addition, the company has created several research facilities to identify further methods of streamlining and evolving its products. The chronographs are assembled through the use of specialised machines and then polished by human hands to give it a pristine finish.

All of these factors combine to give Rolex watches a premium price tag as well.

How Much is a Rolex Watch Worth?

Rolex watches are intended to be luxury items that can last through multiple generations, and it’s no surprise that a high value is placed on this product. The least expensive models start at around £5,000, but for the vintage timepieces and latest designs, you might have to dish out a whopping £15,000 to land the watch you want.

One of the benefits of buying a Rolex watch is that it is an investment. Most models are likely to hold their value, and some classics designs, like the Submariner or the GMT-Master, are known to appreciate in value over time.

If you are looking to determine the value of a specific Rolex watch, the first step is to identify its serial and model number. You can also get an appraisal for your watch from professional buyers of luxury items.

How to Buy a Rolex Watch?

If you’ve decided to take the plunge and buy your very own Rolex watch, there are several options to explore. If you can afford it, the best option is to buy directly from one of the company’s authorised stores at full price. However, you can also opt to buy a used Rolex at a lower price.

A highly desirable item such as a Rolex has spawned many counterfeits, and a new customer may find it hard to navigate the market. It is advisable to avoid places such as eBay for this very reason.

The best way is to buy from a reputable dealer that has multiple customer reviews for credibility. These dealers specialise in the buying and selling of luxury goods and often have professionals ready to appraise the product so that fair value can be determined. This is well-situated for an individual that may be new to buying Rolex watches, and it is sure to make the entire transaction go smoothly for all parties.


A Rolex can signify many things to the world – an image of distinction, prestige, and luxury are the first things that come to mind merely by the name of the brand. However, what’s more, important is the effect it has on you, the wearer. It is truly one of the most extraordinary items you can get, and treating yourself to a luxury watch is an investment that you can cherish for a lifetime!