Everything you have to know about the 2021 Rolex Shortage of watches

Early in 2016, we could have seen already the rolex shortage coming..?

The demand for gold and platinum Swiss watches is falling sharply, buyers are predictably guided by price, and this is why this is happening

While many charming timepieces are crafted from precious metals, many buyers would agree that using gold or platinum as a material for a wristwatch is only a means of driving up the price and creating a loss in value. Let’s talk to you about why this is happening and it will help you understand current market trends and buying behavior.

The latest report from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry says that exports of precious metals declined in August 2016. Indeed, the entire industry is experiencing a decline in exports, but it is interesting that there are some areas in which there is either an increase in exports or a less dramatic decline. The decisive factor for the authors of the report was that people who buy Swiss watches are fed up with their inflated price, low supply prices and products depreciating faster than Gelendvagen on the secondary market. In other words, high-quality and inexpensive watches made of steel and titanium are in fashion nowadays.

The Federation, as the watch industry oversight body, is very concerned about the state of affairs that you can see in the report “Swiss watchmaking in August 2016”. There is no need to delve into statistical data, but if there are those among you who want to personally verify everything, you can familiarize yourself with the above report. What is really worth focusing on is the price and the statement from the report that “the fall in value is almost entirely due to watches made of precious metals.” Overall, the number of watches taken out for sale from Switzerland decreased by 8.8% in August 2016 compared to August 2015.

Watches made from precious metals, that is, gold, to a lesser extent platinum and from some other metals, account for a 25% loss in a market that initially did not see growth. Moreover, the Federation reports that the largest drop in exports is for watches over CHF 3,000.

In fact, Swiss-made watches in the price range of 500 to 3000 francs showed some growth depending on the specific price. For example, those watches that cost about 500 francs were sold 11.7% more often. These numbers shed light on several facts. First, smartwatches are not destroying the gem market right now, and consumers still want to buy a watch without spending too much money on it.

This is very much contrary to the logic of the Swiss watch industry, which operates on the basis that the luxury market always remains stable, since in economic disasters, the really rich people still remain rich. Many brands assume that very rich people are supposedly less sensitive to price changes and market fluctuations in general. As a result, these brands have abandoned relatively cheap (by their standards) watches (under $ 10,000) and entered the market with luxury goods aimed at wealthy buyers who are unlikely to limit their demands during a market downturn. In my opinion, this is an absolutely flawed logic that can only be successfully applied by brands that equally invest in both the product and marketing.

Considering the above, gold watches as a luxury item and a symbol of high social status have not disappeared altogether. Such wristwatches are felt in their gut, and luxury consumers are not ready to switch to exactly the same ones, but made of cheaper materials. But then why are sales of gold watches falling so desperately?

One of the reasons is probably oversaturation of stocks in the market. In other words, the watch industry has produced so many gold watches in the past few years that it now cannot sell them. This means that the need to manufacture new watches and ship them from Switzerland is significantly reduced. Hong Kong (the traditional place to buy gold watches) has limited Swiss imports by as much as 30 percent. Thus, with such a huge volume of unsold gold watches, consumer demand for them is predictably reduced.

The more important aspect, in my opinion, is the concept of value. This is what the modern luxury industry is actively fighting against. This is partly due to the fact that many luxury brands are part of corporate groups demanding profit. What does this mean? For the most part, this means that higher production efficiency is required (that is, producing cheaper goods through the use of less expensive materials and lower quality of products) and an increase in profits from each individual purchase (price increase). The situation is quite different in small, independent companies that make a much larger contribution to both the quality of the product and the reputation of the brand.

As already noted, luxury watch brands have focused on co-located buyers who, in their opinion, are less sensitive to price changes and market fluctuations that need to be somehow curbed. And one way is to raise prices. At the same time, the price of a gold watch is always much higher than that of a steel watch. In many cases, if the same watch is made in steel and in gold, then the second differ from the first by 2-3 times. Again, this is not at all because the material itself has suddenly risen in price.

Here’s an example. The Rolex GMT Master II in stainless steel with a two-tone ceramic bezel (Ref. 116710BLNR) retails for $ 9,895. If the same watch is made of white gold and has the same ceramic bezel (Ref. 116719BLRO), then the retail price is $ 38,250. This is about four times more. At the same time, there is no equivalent price increase due to the gold case and bracelet. This is just one example, but it is still not indicative enough, because the price of a Rolex watch can still be called relatively acceptable, since if you manage to find a watch from a cool brand at a cost of less than 40 thousand dollars, then this is a great success, given the prices of gold hours these days.

By examining the secondary market, you will see that watches made of steel and other base metals are sold at prices that are much closer to retail prices than precious watches. This is because watches made of gold, platinum and other precious metals undergo an instant drop in price immediately after purchase. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the devaluation of luxury watches, which occurs almost simultaneously with their purchase, and, in my opinion, this is one of the main reasons for the decline in popularity of gold and platinum watches.

I can also assume that if luxury watches cost less and therefore depreciate less when sold, then their popularity among buyers will increase, because the value of the watch will be lost much less. When I talk about the importance of “value” for the consumer, I mean that every customer wants their watch to be valued at about the same amount for which they were purchased. Many people accuse top brands of being “greedy,” and one of the main reasons for this is the downward trend in value when it comes to price as a function of product value.

Shoppers around the world are now checking the prices of watches they want to purchase in online stores and on the secondary market. They not only want to protect themselves from overpayments, but also to make sure that buying a luxury watch can be a safe investment for them, that is, in the future they will be able to turn watches into money again without losing themselves. If a buyer now takes a watch for 30 thousand dollars and can sell it for 25 thousand in a few years, then he feels that his money is safe. And, conversely, if he wants a watch for 30 thousand, and their average price is 10 thousand, then he will probably refuse such a purchase.

As mentioned earlier, the attractiveness of gold and other precious metals as a material for making watches has not disappeared anywhere, but it exists only if their cost is acceptable. If gold watches keep prices stable in the same way as steel watches, then buyers will have no worries about purchasing them. Right now, the market is punishing many buyers who decide to spend money on gold watches. Consumers often say that retailers are promising them to stabilize watch prices. If these promises remain promises, buyers will lose even more confidence in luxury watches.

My goal is not to discourage people from buying gold watches or suggest that companies will stop making them. In general, I highly value both the watches they produce and the material of these watches. I must say, however, that many watches made from precious materials will never find their customers in the current market due to the low value of the proposal. New money in countries like China and Russia is hugely responsible for the growth in precious watch exports. 

Now that the general education of consumers has increased significantly, this trend, on the contrary, has begun to decline. If the watch industry wants to make watches that are in demand, then there is only one way out, and that way out is to lower prices. 

Of course, this is the most obvious answer that can only be given to most of the questions in the entire watch industry, and I perfectly understand that big brands will be very hard to come to terms with this. But these brands have already created a gigantic price rise problem, and if they can create valuable goods from not the most worthy ones, then the entire industry and the prices of its products must somehow correlate with each other.

Let’s jump on a recent news now that shows us the single and most important Rolex’s Official Statement about this situation of Rolex shortage

In September 7, 2021 Pras Subramanian (Producer/Reporter) published this article:

*** The following article in italics characters isn’t owned neither written by US, we do not own the rights ***

Let’s say you’re a well-to-do businessman or woman or otherwise successful professional. You’ve put in the time to hone your craft, made the right career moves, climbed the corporate ladder, and likely drive home in your German-built, luxury sports sedan.

Yes, you’ve made it, and now you might be thinking to yourself, “It’s time I bought that status symbol that lets everyone else know I’ve made it whenever I walk into a room” — a Rolex.

Well I’ve got some bad news for – you probably can’t get one.

The great Rolex shortage

The Rolex GMT
The Rolex GMT “Batman” (Credit: Bob’s Watches)

There are shortages around the globe these days — from cars to the microchips that go into them, to coffee beans, and even toilet paper. The pandemic supply crunch fueled much of this, and this goes even for high-end wristwatches.

While sales of these wristwatches dipped during the height of the pandemic in 2020, purchases have recently jumped higher. According to the FHS, a Swiss watch industry research group, Swiss watch sales were up 7.6% in July compared to the pre-pandemic baseline of 2019. Sales growth jumped a whopping 48.5% in the U.S. in July compared to 2019 levels, and even 75% in China.

Now overall Swiss watch sales are up, but for privately-held Rolex the situation is more complex. Paul Altieri, CEO of online watch retailer Bob’s Watches, says the story for Rolex in particular has been many years in the making, even before factory shutdowns that crimped supply. 

“Supply to some extent due to COVID, where the factory was closed down for several months, that exacerbated the problem, but the [supply] problem had already existed before,” Altieri said in an interview.

“Global demand has steadily increased the last five years, and supply has kind of stayed constant, it’s a classic supply-demand situation going on,” he said, and this puts an “upward pressure on prices.”

Altieri doesn’t think Rolex is purposefully suppressing supply; it’s just that demand is so strong for a luxury item like Rolex watches, he said.

Case in point: Bob’s Watches use an email alert system for notifying buyers when the watch they are interested in is in stock, and once that email goes out, those watches get scooped up – quickly.

“The new models that do hit the site, can sometimes sell in 15 minutes,” Altieri explains. If you’re too late, within minutes or seconds even, “They can be gone.”

‘A perfect storm’

The Rolex Submariner
The Rolex Submariner “Kermit” (Credit: Bob’s Watches)

Watch expert and journalist Eric Wind of Wind Vintage sees a confluence of factors pushing Rolex prices up and availability down.

“I think it’s really a perfect storm,” he told Yahoo Finance Live. In addition to the supply constraints and overall demand for the product rising, he says, there are now more ways for regular owners, and dealers alike, to sell across the globe.

“There’s many more ways to sell these watches online than ever before – so anyone that could buy, for instance, a [Rolex] Daytona or Submariner can easily do it and sell it for thousands of dollars more than they paid,” he says.

“It’s kind of like the sneaker mentality with StockX and being able to resell sneakers online much easier; the same is the case with watches. [There are] many more players in the market.”

Can the shortage be reversed?

“There’s no one event that caused this [phenomenon],” Ariel Adams, founder of popular watch blog aBlogtoWatch said in an interview.

“Rolex has made it clear that they are not going to increase production of popular watches to meet demand, and that makes sense because they are trying to create long term value for their clients, they don’t want to flood the market and reduce the value of these things,” Adams says. Furthermore the pandemic has reduced watch supply by 70%, and “there really are less watches to go around.”

The supply shortage and demand problem is, from Adams’ point of view, being taken advantage of by both “scrupulous and unscrupulous” dealers.

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual (Credit: Bob's Watches)
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual (Credit: Bob’s Watches)

Certain authorized dealers, or ADs as they are called in the industry, will sometimes ask their prospective clients to buy a less popular watch first, before they can be put on the dealer’s list for desirable Rolex models — like a Submariner, GMT, or Explorer — when the watches become available. This is a common phenomenon in the industry; it’s not illegal but can be very frustrating for a buyer.

The more unscrupulous dealers will take these popular Rolex models, sell them above cost to gray market, or unauthorized watch dealers, who will then sell the watch directly to the consumer at an even more elevated cost, usually online.

And the biggest reason this problem exists, Adams says, is because there is no official list from Rolex of buyers who are on a waiting list. As noted, the dealers have their own list of clients that want certain watches, and when a batch of new watches arrive at the dealer, the dealer sells them to whomever the dealer prefers: long-standing clients, high rollers, etc.

The tricky part is Rolex dealers do not know what watches they will be sent. They are essentially sent a “mystery box,” Adams said, and they must sell what they get — good watches and not so desirable watches. Hence the dealer-level lists of preferred clients.

Rolex could fix all of the frustration from a buyer point of view, Adams said, if Rolex created an official waitlist, or a guaranteed way for people to buy watches they want at retail prices. This would solve the problem, even if prospective buyers had to wait.

“The majority of overspending would go away,” Adams explained.

While an official wait list would be great news for Rolex watch fans, the instant gratification of getting your hands on that Rolex “Batman” GMT, even when you have thousands of dollars in your pocket, is going to be delayed.

Note: Yahoo Finance contacted Rolex for official comment on this story. We received the company’s response shortly after publication:

“The scarcity of our products is not a strategy on our part. Our current production cannot meet the existing demand in an exhaustive way, at least not without reducing the quality of our watches – something we refuse to do as the quality of our products must never be compromised. This level of excellence requires time, and as we have always done, we will continue to take the necessary time to ensure that all our watches not only comply with our standards of excellence, but also meet the expectations of our customers in terms of quality, reliability and robustness. Rolex does not compromise on what it takes to produce exceptional watches.

All Rolex watches are developed and produced in-house at our four sites in Switzerland. They are assembled by hand, with extreme care, to meet the brand’s unique and high-quality standards of quality, performance and aesthetics. Understandably, this naturally restricts our production capacities – which we continue to increase as much as possible and always according to our quality criteria.

Finally, it should be noted that Rolex watches are available exclusively from official retailers, who independently manage the allocation of watches to customers.”

*Rolex Official statement

So… Is Rolex Shortage made on purpose or what?

Every time Rolex introduces new watches, an angry pack of haters, professional haters, is unleashed, shouting “Where’s the PLOT here!?”. Mind you: there are many to understand them because actually the phenomenon that develops may seem difficult to understand at first sight. If you don’t know the market a little, it’s understandable to think badly. But many haters think they know him well because they are smart, they …

What happens? In no time at all, reservations greatly exceed the availability of the most desired models, which however pop up on the market at very high prices. How do we put it, dear Rolex? What are you hiding? Getting to know the market a little, you discover that everything is clear, but it is not an easy problem to solve. Not even for Rolex.

The phenomenon was born in the mid-eighties, with the Daytona chronograph, the one that mounted an elaborate movement on a Zenith base. Why did Rolex use a movement that was not really? Because before this version of chronographs he sold few of them and making a chronograph movement himself would have unnecessarily increased the price to the stars and even less would have been sold. For reasons that sooner or later we will talk about, an unstoppable “Daytonamania” is unleashed – first in Italy and then slowly in the world – which leaves Rolex itself stunned. And rumors start to get around that “Rolex does it on purpose”, as many people are willing to pay crazy prices for a Daytona.

Some crafty ones begin to travel the world to buy Daytona on markets where this model is not so much in demand. It should be borne in mind that at that time Italy was the second largest market in the world for Swiss watchmaking and therefore the demand was truly enormous. Too bad that Zenith delivered just over 10,000 movements a year, which Rolex then subjected to a very long series of modifications, including the replacement of the entire regulating organ. 10,000 specimens that were divided between the versions in steel, steel / gold and gold. For all the world. In those days 10,000 Daytona would not have been enough for the Italian market alone. Rolex decides to produce its own movement, but it will take quite a few years before a new Daytona with Rolex caliber can be obtained.

And in any case, the phenomenon spreads to other models, despite the fact that the shares of the Italian market gradually decrease to current levels. Many are beginning to suspect that the “HIDDEN ROLEX PLAN” is widening due to who knows what interests of Rolex and its dealers. The phenomenon does not only concern Rolex, because from Patek Philippe to Audemars Piguet, from Omega to many other brands, the matter is spreading like wildfire. And the suspects as well. Because a real “parallel” market is born which overlaps the real one, the traditional one. Who cheats? Just a handful of speculators who take advantage of some people’s gullibility to sell them used watches at simply ridiculous prices. Then the bubble deflates and whoever bought the watch at 10 that cost 5 when new remains, as they say, with the match in hand.

It just takes a little bit of arithmetic. Rolex, like all manufacturers, assigns watches according to a rather simple and acceptable criterion: to each market a quantity of watches proportional to imports from Switzerland. If Italy, for example, represented 10 percent of imports, it would be assigned a share of about 10 percent of the market. Italy at the moment represents about 4.5 percent of Swiss watch imports (in reality it would be 4.3 percent, but we abound). It is therefore logical to direct 4.5 per cent of the total production of the Submariner to Italy.

Let’s say that the total production of Rolex is 800,000 watches a year and that Rolex directs 5 percent of its production capacity on the new Submariner (an exaggeration, but we are so much in the field of hypothesis). We are talking about 40,000 Submariners a year (which would trigger other controversies because then other models would be missing from the market). Italy’s share would be 1,800, obviously insufficient to meet the demands on our market. Well, then make more watches, the Skeptical Rolex hater will say. And yes, should a brand invest billions to produce more watches of the same quality and then perhaps collide with a crisis and throw away the new factory and its workers?

The point is that Rolex, Patek and the others do not earn a single cent more and that indeed the parallel market and the fakes are the only ones to benefit from it. It is no coincidence that the brands in question not only trace the watches well, but slightly change some measures and some components to prevent someone from “tarot” the watches by assembling real and fake components together.

Very rare if only because losing the opportunity to represent an illustrious brand means losing sales for sums that make ridiculous what they could get by selling watches to the crafty of the parallel and then sharing the spoils. However, it is understandable that dealers give priority to their best customers, who may buy them 200,000 euros worth of watches every year. Brands do not like this, but when the dealer buys the watch it is not easy for them to send to the devil excellent customers who are still rare and who certainly do not sell anything to earn 5 or 6 thousand dollars.

So where the hell did these blessed watches come from on the parallel market?

#1st reason why

The size of the parallel market is largely a fairy tale. In fact, the real clocks that “advance” in Iceland or in some other remote and not rich country are very few. If anything, those that are difficult to sell “advance”.

#2nd reason why

Many of the watches that say “I found it from a friend who asked a friend who knows a Rolex dealer” are fake watches with fake boxes and even fake warranties. But get paid double the real clock. Just recently I had to tell a person (speaking of acquaintances) that his Patek Philippe Nautilus as beautiful as the sun was fake. Even the movement had been (almost) well falsified.

#3rd reason why

Switzerland produces, overall, a quantity of watches that is not sufficient for the world market, especially as regards the highest quality watches. And there is nothing we can do about this: there are not enough technicians to increase production without decreasing quality.

#4th reason why

mMost of those who protest because they cannot find the watch “of their dreams” would be the first to try to resell it by speculating on it, taking advantage of those who, as we said, are willing to buy a used or fake watch with figures from dizziness. Many fall for it: many years ago I bought a bootleg (disc obtained from a stolen recording) of the Beatles at a high price for a “demanding” amount, only to discover that it had been obtained from the “fake” recording of any disc.

#5th reason why

Can’t you find the watch you would like at that moment? But doesn’t the whole of Switzerland really produce just one other watch that can meet your tastes?

Anyway, something is changing. You will see that over time (because it is neither easy nor quick) brands will be able to better control the second-hand market, helping dealers to ensure certain purchases even for the “second” wrist. We will come back to talk about it if you like. But always remember that the best guarantee of a safe purchase can only be given by a dealer. We should learn to ask ourselves who really earns if a market is dirty and have a little more confidence in brands and dealers. Official dealers, I mean. Who in fact have no interest in ruining their reputation for sums that certainly do not change their lives.

“Rolex fever”: The situation on the current market and some advice for investing

The dark years of watchmaking seem distant. Many will remember that precise historical moment, when mechanical watches lost their appeal and the watch industry was brought to its knees, with the arrival from Japan of much more precise and less expensive quartz movements. Timepiece lovers today are experiencing an opposite drama: the growing desire for these fascinating time machines, available in limited quantities, in some cases very limited.

Specifically, it is not difficult to note the disappointment of the now ‘potential’ Rolex customers who for some years have had to deal with an increasingly small delivery of crowned watches – especially professional steel – at dealerships, with the inevitable consequence of an exponential increase in prices among second-hand watch sellers, the so-called Resellers.

This worldwide policy implemented by the Geneva-based maison was initiated at first with the introduction of the new Daytona Cosmograph reference 116500LN and then involved almost all the sports models of the house crowned by the GMT-MASTER II – now unobtainable – up to the SUBMARINER. (unthinkable until a few years ago).

A strategically perfect move for Rolex, which first and foremost increased – unnecessarily – the perceived value of the brand and its timepieces. Secondly, it has given a great gift to the already owners and customers of Rolex: over the course of these 10 years, also thanks to other factors such as the growth of the Chinese market and the other BRICS countries that have driven the watch market, the price of ‘vintage’ and contemporary timepieces is skyrocketing. All of this reinforced the Rolex = Investment equation.

Because of these elements, owning a modern Rolex, whether of current or recent production, has become something of a privilege. For this reason, I do not think I am exaggerating by saying that we are facing a ‘Rolex fever’.

Which models to buy for a long-term investment among those currently in production?

If they ask me for advice in this regard, I would recommend my interlocutor to go against the tide. Today everyone requires the same references, difficult to find if not at a price that is doubled compared to the selling price. So unless you are able to buy a Daytona 116500LN at list price, or a GMT – Master 126710BLRO or BLNR, I would say to direct your attention to less requested and easier to find models at the moment.

The Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600, introduced for the 50th anniversary, is one of the references to bet on. At present it is definitely underestimated and in little demand compared to others, therefore easily available. Furthermore, it must be considered that this is a celebratory edition – complete with red writing – and it will probably not remain in production for long. Two elements not to be underestimated.

The Rolex Milgauss 116400GV Blue Z dial. In production since 2007, it is a watch with a strong personality: the blue dial with orange hands and indexes, the green sapphire crystal make it a highly recognizable model. Precisely because of this configuration outside the box of the Rolex maison, it is a reference that arouses conflicting opinions. In terms of investment, I would not miss it. Underrated and ‘easily’ available at dealerships. A bet that could pay off in the future.

Which references among those out of production?

Given that most of the ‘vintage’ or discontinued Rolexes have already reached staggering figures – just think of the ‘Zenith’ 16520 Daytona – or easily above 10k, there are some models that are still on the launch pad.

Worthy heir of the Explorer 1016, the Rolex Explorer 14270 is the first Explorer reference to mount sapphire crystal, as well as being equipped with the Rolex Caliber 3000 movement. , you still have time to buy it at a not exaggerated figure – between 5k and 6k – and destined to rise.

*Estimated market value (€) of the Rolex 14270 from June 2009 to September 2019
(source Chrono24)

Same goes for the Submariner 14060, also the first among the undated Submariners to mount sapphire crystal and heir to the legendary 5513. Buy it possibly complete with kit and tritium dial, therefore produced before 1999. For a year now its value is constantly increasing, ergo: carpe diem!

*Estimate of the market value (€) of the Rolex 14060 from June 2009 to September 2019
(source Chrono24)

Beware of business cycles

Obviously, what has been said is destined to change according to the trend of the global economy. No one can predict whether, perhaps in the face of an economic shock or a negative economic situation, vintage prices will collapse and by how much. History so far has taught us that even in lean periods, not all Rolex watches have maintained their value or in any case have never gone below the purchase price.

Again for these reasons, it is not certain that Rolex’s policy on the distribution of watches currently in production may change in the face of particular events that lead to a decrease in demand.

And to finish to blog post piece we’d love to share with you our personal…

Ranking about the most Rolex shortage that will make you waiting the longest if you’ll ask for them to buy

How long do you have to wait for a new Rolex?

Rolex and its waiting lists

A tiresome topic for anyone who decides to purchase one of the popular watch models directly from Rolex. 

The most adventurous figures and assumptions are circulating on the Internet again and again, but you can find out what the current waiting times and the status of the waiting lists for Rolex watches actually are from us. 

We’ll also tell you how you can still get the coveted models without having to wait long.

The 5 most popular Rolex shortage models of all time

1st and 2nd place: The “Pepsi” 126710BLRO and Daytona 116500LN

The fact that the steel models of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona are among the most sought-after watches of all time should come as no great surprise. But what is actually a bit surprising in connection with the Daytona 116500LN is the fact that it has apparently not been alone on the throne of the Rolex watches with the longest waiting times for a long time . The GMT-Master II Ref. 126710BLRO , which was presented at Baselworld 2018 , has not completely overtaken the former king of sports watches, but both models are equal opponents.

Rolex Daytona 116500LN stainless steel watch with white dial next to Rolex GMT-Master II 12670BLRO watch with blue-red bezel and Jubilé bracelet

Concessionaires and jewelers have been closing their waiting lists for some timenow, as the GMT-Master II 126710BLRO, lovingly dubbed “Pepsi”, is now ordered up to 20 years in advance . The same applies to steel Daytonas such as the Ref. 116500LN or the Ref. 116520 . While a year ago you could still be put on the outrageously long waiting lists, today concessionaires only offerto be puton a so-called “interested party list” . However, this only happens if you really insist on it, as this is unfortunately usually unsuccessful anyway.

3rd place: The “Batman” 126710BLNR – lost in Gotham?

If the Pepsi appeals to you visually and technically, but you don’t have the leisure to wait 20 years for a wristwatch, then you could consider the GMT-Master II 126710BLNR as an alternative to the Pepsi . 

The new “Batman” with Jubilé bracelet , which was presented at Baselworld 2019 , is not lost in Gotham , but it is undoubtedly one of the coveted objects in the watch world and has now been waiting for 7 years

This is still better than having to wait 20 years for a Pepsi, but unfortunately it is still quite a tedious endeavor. Even if you are not the wild card, but still want to get your hands on “Batman” right away, the chances are good that you will acquire a second-hand 126710BLNR without years of waiting.

Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR Batman watch with black and blue bezel and Jubilé bracelet

4th place: From the 116610LV to the 126610LV – the wait goes on 

The angry, green giant from the Marvel Comics was also searched for and hunted by many different people, but it probably wasn’t as popular as the Rolex Submariner 116610LV named after him. 

As an absolute classic on the haute horlogerie parquet, the green Submariner has so far required the inclined buyer to wait at least 3 to 4 years and, above all, patiently. 

The Hulk has been discontinued since 2020 , but its value and popularity continue to grow. 

The new Submariner 126612LV “Starbucks has its place in the Rolex range and on the waiting listsor also “Cermit” taken. The 126610LV comes with a black dial, but also with a green bezel – and years of waiting

The used market also promises positive prospects here. Whether Submariner 116610LV or 126610LV – when you buy a used model, you can have your favorites in your hands just a few days after ordering.

Rolex Submariner 116610LV Hulk watch with green dial and green bezel

5th place: The Deepsea 126660 – coveted like a deep-sea treasure

Do you like the Rolex Submariner but push the limits of what this model can handle? 

With the Krone, the Swiss company also has the right timepiece for more extreme requirements, because with the Rolex Deepsea you can dive up to 3,900 meters deep. 

But the massive Rolex Deepsea 126660 is also extremely popular with all those who rarely or never go diving. 

As a logical consequence of this, this steel model brings a time on the waiting list of up to 3 years

Here, too, friends of haute horlogerie have to be patient.

Rolex Deepsea 126660 stainless steel watch with black-blue dial and black ceramic bezel

How can you avoid the long waiting time?

Is there a way to get the coveted Rolex models without waiting too long? The Secondary Market clearly offers you the easiest way to avoid waiting times

There you will find some of the most popular models and numerous other luxury watches – prepared by our watchmakers and available immediately (like chrono.24). 

More often than less the secondary market is a legit alternative since it guarantees the authenticity of the watches offered, their functionality and perfect condition. The best thing to do is to get an idea of ​​the range and quality for yourself.

You can wear these alternatives on your wrist right away

If you don’t mind the long waiting times, but you still want to comfort yourself with another watch model over the decades of time, then you are well advised to use one of our alternatives

For example, you can use the GMT-Master II 116710LN, which was discontinued in 2019, or the coveted Sky-Dweller 326934 for trips to distant countries. 

If you are staying in shallower waters for the time being, the sporty Submariner Date (Ref. 116610LN) and No Date (Ref. 114060)Models represent a good alternative to the above-mentioned watches with the seemingly endless waiting lists.

Again, early in October 2021, CNBC publishes this article titled: “Luxury watch shortage drives growth of $20 billion secondhand market as start-ups rush to cash in”

A rush of companies are vying to become the eBay of high-end horology — including the storied online marketplace itself.

Demand for high-end watches exploded during the Covid-19 pandemic. But the Big Four watch brands — Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille — are holding firm on the limited production runs that make their timepieces so rare. The result is an online boom in the business of buying, selling and flipping pre-owned and vintage watches and a growing number of start-ups competing to become the dominant digital marketplace.

McKinsey estimates that pre-owned watch sales hit $18 billion in 2019, and could top $30 billion by 2025. Pre-owned watch sales will be about half the size of the market for new, retail watches by 2025, up from about a third today, according to the consulting firm.

“The pre-owned watch market is still very much like the Wild West,” said Toby Bateman, CEO of Hodinkee, a popular watch collector site. “There are a lot of watch-selling platforms. And customers don’t necessarily know who they’re buying the watch from. They can’t guarantee that it is authentic. They can’t guarantee that it’s not a ‘Frankenwatch.’ And they can’t guarantee that the watch is working properly.”

On Tuesday, Hodinkee launched its pre-owned watch shop, here it will buy and sell watches produced after 1990. The company — which raised $40 million in December from the likes of NFL quarterback Tom Brady, singer John Mayer, Apple alum Tony Fadell and investor Peter Chernin — aims to be the “world’s preeminent brand for all things watches.”

Hodinkee’s pre-owned shop will start with an assortment of 250 pre-owned watches and offer authentication and refurbishing from its state-of-the-art watch facility in Atlanta. Bateman said Hodinkee’s advantage over its growing list of competitors is its expertise and history as a trusted name in watches.

Still, rivals are attracting investor attention. Germany-based Chrono24 recently raised 100 million euros ($116 million) from investors including General Atlantic and LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault’s Aglae Ventures. The investment valued Chrono24 at more than $1 billion, making it the first “unicorn” in the segment. The company said it carries about 500,000 watches from more than 3,000 retailers and over 30,000 private sellers.

Meanwhile, Switzerland-based Chronext was planning to raise about $270 million in an initial public offering, which would have valued the company at more than $1 billion. Yet Chronext said last week it was postponing its debut due to “adverse market conditions for high-growth companies.”

Chronext has put together a star-studded board — including former Facebook marketing chief Gary Briggs and former Barneys New York CEO Daniella Vitale — and aims to expand in the U.S. and Asia.

Companies like Watchfinder, WatchBox and Watchmaster are also expanding and pushing for market share. Even eBay is taking aim at the Rolex crowd, launching an authenticity guarantee program and targeting higher-end watch collectors.

The question is how long can the current watch boom continue, and whether there are enough online sales to go around. The Big Four watch brands that drive most of the high-end collecting are all privately owned and have maintained their low production numbers despite huge demand, in order to preserve their storied quality and exclusivity. According to a report from Morgan Stanley, Rolex sold 810,000 watches last year, while Patek sold 53,000 watches, Audemars 40,000 and Richard Mille 4,300.

Demand is expected to continue to outstrip supply, at least in the near term. With stainless steel sports watches and other popular models all but impossible to buy at retail, with long waiting lists and scarce allocations, prices in the secondary market are rising. A Patek Philippe Ref. 5711 Green Dial, which retails for $35,000, auctioned in July for $490,000. Values for the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15500ST (blue dial) have nearly tripled since 2017, to more than $55,000, while the value of the Rolex Day-Date 40 is up 76% since 2017 to over $50,000, according to Chronext.

Industry executives say soaring global wealth, driven by stocks and crypto, along with a proliferation of online watch collector and information sites have spawned a whole new generation of young collectors buying and selling watches online. Social media has also powered sales, as more collectors like to flash their Swiss status symbols on Instagram and TikTok. For watch buyers and sellers, start-ups and online marketplaces, it remains to be seen how many of those new traders will stick around if pre-owned prices and demand falls.

“There are a lot more people today that consider themselves to be collectors and enthusiasts than there were even just a few years ago,” Bateman said

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