Richemont-owned Watchfinder has such confidence in the future strength of Rolex steel watch prices that it is guaranteeing customers cannot lose on their purchases of the timepieces.
In an e-mail last night Watchfinder, which does most of its business in Britain, offers that, “For one week only, we are offering a buy back guarantee on selected Rolex watches. This means that the price you pay will be the price you get back if you choose to sell your watch to us after two years [subject to terms and conditions].
“This gives you peace of mind knowing that the future value of your watch is secure so you can enjoy it to its fullest,” the company adds.
The offer runs until Monday 8th April 2019.
Prices have been rising sharply for pre-owned steel Rolex watches in recent years as shortages at authorised dealers have driven customers towards secondary market sites such as Watchbox, Chrono24 and Chronext where they trade at prices well above the prices fixed by the watchmaker at ADs.
Watchfinder’s buy back guarantee is a not insubstantial gamble because prices are already so inflated. For example, a 2017 Black and Blue Rolex GMT Master II BLNR — a model that has been discontinued this year with the launch of a new version at Baselworld — is being sold by Watchfinder today for $18,695, almost double the retail price at an AD for the 2019 model that will go on sale later this year for $9,580.
Prices for the new Pepsi GMT that launched in 2018 are even higher. Watchfinder has a 2019 piece on sale for $22,045.
Even if prices for these most desirable watches remain well above the official retail price, the delta between full retail and secondary market prices could narrow.
This happened to the old style Pepsi GMT Master II, which was replaced by Rolex in 2018. The older model was being offered for just under $12,000 on Chrono24 before the new model was released, and dipped as low as $9,000 in September last year before rising sharply again to over $13,000 today.