Bubble could burst for Rolex watches on secondary market


WatchBox’s chief revenue officer Mike Manjos is a man with an enviable dashboard of data informing him about the slightest twitch in demand and prices for the world’s hottest luxury watches.

WatchBox is one of the world’s largest pre-owned watch traders, with offices in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States, and tracks information across the global CPO market.

Speaking ahead of this week’s new watch launches from Rolex, but already well-informed about the watches likely to be unveiled, Mr Manjos said that prices across the Rolex portfolio had been rising as retailers reopened and global shortages of unicorn watches persisted and, in some cases, worsened.


“Now that [Rolex] retailers have reopened we are seeing global shortages and prices continuing to rise,” he says in his weekly Market Wrap report for WatchBox Studios.

“We have offices all over the world, and everywhere we find empty cases,” he adds.


Mr Manjos says that collectors or investors buying up watches that are being discontinued makes sense, but the balance between demand and supply for pieces that are still being manufactured on an industrial scale by Rolex could shift.

“I understand rising prices for Hulks and Batmans that are no longer produced, but I am nervous about Submariners and Daytonas. These are watches that are produced in decent quantities,” he suggests.

“Yesterday a dealer was asking $11,500 for a stainless steel Sub. This is watch that used to sit in a case. I do not know why people would want that watch when a new one comes out, so it scares me that the air could come out of that bubble,” he predicts.

The ever-rising prices for Daytonas is a particular concern since Rolex production could catch up with demand. That does not mean prices dropping to the official retail sticker, but it could deter flippers who think that prices can only continue to rise, taking further heat out of the market.

“White Daytonas are selling for well over $25,000 and heading quickly towards $30,000. I think that is a piece we might see come back to reality in the coming weeks,” Mr Manjos concludes.

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  1. I have feeling that it is strange why not people buying good quality Kermit with the same price of the new sub green bezel in the HK market US$20000! Kermit is discontinued while Green bezel sub is just started to produce!
    HK Snob

  2. I have no skin in this game but the system is sloshing with liquidity (and growing) and with as good as zero% interest on deposits, rolex grey prices is only one of countless bubbles blowing. It will only burst in harmony along with the other bubbles but it wont be the first to pop which brings me to another question, does the central bankers want all the bubbles to pop or not. Interesting times ahead.


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