When Rolex delayed the announcement of new watches for 2020 until the pandemic appeared to have subsided last September, it was the upgrade to its Submariner family that grabbed the early headlines.
It was not long, however, before retailers started reporting that it was the colourful dials of a new suite of Oyster Perpetuals — the cheapest of all Rolex families — that customers were calling about.
Roberto Chiapelloni, CEO of Rolex AD Manfredi Jewelers, in New Canaan, Connecticut, put it best.
“It is quite easy to love the new Submariner, but the absolute winner from my clients, and myself, are the Oyster Perpetuals. The colors are a really welcome addition, and I can’t wait to see them in my store,” he told WATCHPRO after seeing the watches last year.
Rolex and its authorized dealers know a thing or two about the desires of their clients, and the 2020 Oyster Perpetuals, a collection that was largely overlooked until last year, has been on fire ever since and joined the list of watches that you will almost never see in a cabinet or window.
Soon the OPs were being traded on the secondary market at over-retail prices, and a combination of flippers looking to make a quick buck and collectors wanting to secure their favourite models generated a feeding frenzy that continues to this day.
Predictably, not all OPs are equal, and there is a vast difference in the secondary market mark-ups being commanded online.
This got WATCHPRO thinking, which colors and sizes have the biggest price hikes?
Apologies for the UK prices, but you will get the idea. It is worth noting that UK prices include sales taxes.
An interesting couple of hours’ research later, and we have the answers.
Firstly, the larger sizes are commanding the highest prices with 41mm pieces on average selling for 94% over their retail values and 36mm pieces being offered for an average mark-up of 84%.
As you get into the more female-friendly sizes the potential profits drop so the average offer price over retail is 39% for 28mm, 46% for 31mm and 20% 34mm.
All these secondary market prices are taken by looking at offers listed on Chrono24, and it cannot be verified what eventual sale prices are achieved.
There are equally stark differences between the different dial colours. It is not possible to perfectly compare each colour to all others, because some are made in only a few sizes (for example, the pale pink dial is only made in female friendly 28mm, 31mm and 34mm), while others skew more male with larger sizes.
The highest mark-ups by far are for the Tiffany blue dials, with an average hike of 148% over retail price. Interestingly, Rolex makes this version in 31mm, 36mm and 41mm, which will be a mix of male and female customers.
The rose pink collection is marked up by just 28% on average, but the candy pink commands 99% premiums.
The most complete collections are the bright blue, black and silver dialed watches, which come in all five case sizes and are among the more moderate mark-ups 42%, 34% and 47% respectively.
So, there you have it. You simply cannot lose money of you are able to buy a Rolex Oyster Perpetual at an authorised dealer’s retail price.
That is undoubtedly reassuring, but most of all, it means you can chose the colour and size you love the most, sure in the knowledge that it will not drop in value (especially if it is Tiffany Blue).