4. What is the condition of the watch?
Even when you have decided on a particular Rolex model, there can still be a vast variation in the condition of the timepiece. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a specific stock:
Scratches, dings, blemishes, and fading – You would want to see all the details of the watch and observe for signs of wear.
Bracelet stretch – Ask if the bracelet has been replaced at some point. The ideal scenario is for the watch to have the original bracelet, but without much stretch.
Box and papers – It is ideal to get a full set with box and papers if you’re getting a newer model, but this is obviously a challenge for vintage pieces. If your chosen stock does come with these, check that they match the specific model you are buying.
Restoration – Improvement on pre-owned watches are standard in the industry, and the older the watch is, the less likely it is that it will be untouched. It is crucial for restorations to use 100% genuine Rolex parts, and for vintage watches in particular, time-correct parts. Any custom work (such as gem-setting or PVD) or the use of non-genuine Rolex materials will harm the value of the watch.
Service history – It’s also important to know if the watch has been serviced recently. A full service means that the watch was opened, cleaned and some parts of it were fixed or repaired if there is damage — preventive maintenance that is recommended every 3 to 5 years. The average cost for this procedure is anywhere from $600 to $1000. If the watch has not been serviced, calculate the cost of paying for this service yourself in addition to the watch’s price, and then decide whether it is still worth going forward.