7 Must-Knows Before Selling Your Rolex Watch

by | Feb 28, 2023 | Blog | 8 comments

When you think of luxury watches, Rolex is likely one of the first brands to come to mind. With a long reputation for being the best in the industry, Rolex watches are known for being a smart investment as they retain their value over the years. If you’re looking where to sell your Rolex watch, this is great news for you.

Selling your used Rolex can be the perfect solution for those who need cash in a pinch or for anyone looking to upgrade their watch to a more recent model. Before you move forward with selling your Rolex watch, there are a few things you should know.

Selling Used Rolex

1. Having the Original Papers and Box Will Pay Off When Selling Used Rolex

Before you take your Rolex to get appraised, take the time to search for the original box and the papers that it came with. While you can sell the watch without them, you’ll usually get more money when you can include the original packaging. This can include any manuals, warranties, or extra links for the band that came with it. Having these original items, especially the Rolex papers, will also help to authenticate your Rolex, as counterfeit watches are quite common.

2. How Much My Rolex Is Worth?

If you happen to be someone who saves all your receipts, you’re in luck. Bringing your original receipt of purchase to the watch buyer will prove how much you paid for the Rolex new, giving the appraiser a better idea of its worth.
It may also discourage them from low balling you. If you’ve hung on to any maintenance or repair receipts, bring those along as well. This shows the watch was well taken care of and is in good condition, increasing the amount they’ll be willing to pay you.

3. Find the Reference Number

If you don’t have the original receipt for your Rolex watch and can’t remember how much it cost, that’s not a problem. Simply locate the reference or model number on the watch. This is a four- to six-digit number engraved on the side of the case that can only be seen by removing the watch band.
If you have the original paperwork or manual that came with your watch, this number can likely be found there as well. This number will give you something to go by when doing your research and help to determine its value.

4. Don’t Go Public With the Serial Number

Each Rolex watch has an individual serial number specific only to that watch. Due to how common counterfeiting Rolex watches is, it’s important you never reveal your watch’s serial number in photos or any ads online. That being said, you can learn a lot about a watch using this number, as there are numerous databases online that track them. The serial number can be found in one of two locations depending on how old your Rolex is.

If the watch was made in 2004 or earlier, the serial number is engraved on the case. Like the reference number, the watch band will need to be removed to see it.

After 2005, Rolex engraved the serial number on the rehaute of the watch’s case for most models. The rehaute is a ring between the dial and the crystal. In these mid-2000s and later Rolex models, the rehaute has the word “Rolex” engraved on the ring,

repeated around the whole face, with the serial number engraved at the 6pm point.

While older watches have serial numbers that only include numbers, it’s not uncommon for newer models to use letters too.

5. Understand Market Value vs. Retail Value

It’s important to understand the difference between retail value and market value. When you’re selling something to a dealer or jeweler, they intend to resell it to a buyer for a profit. This means they will be giving you less cash than they’ll eventually sell it for. The difference between the two values also allows for any needed repairs, cleaning, or maintenance.

While the Rolex’s value doesn’t depreciate much, other factors can cause you to receive less money, such as owning a common or unwanted model. So, when you’re doing your research to determine how much your Rolex is worth, be sure to look up the market value.

Understand Market Value vs. Retail Value

6. Analyze the Rolex’s Condition

When you’re selling a Rolex watch, the condition can have a drastic effect on its value. If you’ve never worn the watch before, then it will likely be considered NOS or New Old Stock. Since these watches are in perfect condition, they’re often worth a lot of money. If you’ve taken care of your Rolex, however, you will still be able to get a pretty penny for it even if you’ve worn it regularly.

Vintage Rolex watches are harder to appraise, as their condition isn’t as easy to determine. There are actually signs of age that are sought after by collectors, such as the different coloration of the dials or the watch’s hands. Gilt dials, for example, are the dials used on early Rolex sport watches. Gilt dials feature the markings, text, logo, and minute track in a warm gold color typically against a gloss black surface. These are rare and highly valuable.

Additionally, if any of the watch’s components have been replaced, the value will likely go down. Original watch bands and dials will usually offer more cash.

7. Where Can I Sell My Rolex Watch?

When selling such a valuable item, finding someone who buys Rolex watches can be tricky. It’s best to search for a reputable jeweler and avoid auction websites like eBay or meeting up with someone from Craigslist. These options are often riskier than they’re worth, and you might end up without either a watch or the money. Pawn shops are good for quick cash, but they won’t offer you nearly as much as someone with the proper knowledge on the value of luxury watches.

Where Can I Sell My Rolex Watch

Instead, take the time to research jewelry buyers who specialize in buying Rolex watches and can give you a fair appraisal. Do this by checking these few things:


Find out how long they’ve been in business. If they’ve been around for at least five years and are accredited, authorized dealers within the jewelry and watch trade by the better business bureau and recognized by the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT), Jewelers of America, and others, they are more likely to be professional, knowledgeable, and trustworthy. Accreditations and memberships are highly regarded in the jewelry trade.


Check their reviews on Facebook, Yelp, Google, and anywhere else you can find them. While a few negative reviews are typical for a business that has been around for a while, if there are too many, you should keep looking for a buyer.

Physical Location

Local stores have limited supply of cash and when low so is there interest in buying or providing the right price. They are also limited in staff that have the experts required to properly authenticate and value.

Unlike traditional brick and mortar stores with limited resources and interest, Truval for example has both a private buying facility for those that wish to visit but we work with consumers with our world class shipping program through our partnership with FedEx. Consumers get free overnight shipping with no obligation or cost. That allows them to sell with a buyer that can sell in multiple ways from retail, to collectors, auction houses, offer consignment, and within the dealer network. For all of those reasons we can offer a lot more than traditional- local brick and mortar buyers.

Now that you’re an expert on how to sell a Rolex watch, you’re ready to set up your first appraisal. TRUVAL’s expert watch buyers have the experience and industry knowledge to provide you with an honest appraisal of your luxury watch. From vintage styles and collectibles to modern day pieces, your used Rolex will be in practiced hands.

Our convenient appraisal process offers several options for you to choose from, including scheduling an appointment with one of our industry specialists at any of our New York City locations, sending us the watch via FedEx, or simply filling out a form.

At TRUVAL our goal is to make it easy to sell your unwanted jewelry. See for yourself! Schedule an appraisal now and learn how much your Rolex is worth.