Buying your first Rolex is a massive decision — one that should include lots of thought and consideration. Typically, people make such a purchase to celebrate a significant accomplishment, like reaching a new milestone in their career or retiring. Naturally, this is a means for pure excitement. However, if you’ve never bought a watch before, much less an expensive one, you’ll want to do some research first.
Do Some Soul Searching
First and foremost, ask yourself why you want to buy a Rolex because it’s probably not so you can tell the time. Do you like the style or aim to wear it as a status symbol? Will you be able to pair it with outfits you already own? How often do you plan to slap a shiny watch onto your wrist?
Asking yourself these questions will help you pinpoint the motivation behind buying such an expensive item — and if you’re purchasing for the right reasons.
Save, Save, Save
You’ll also have to ask yourself if you have the money to afford a Rolex right now. The new, most basic models are $5,000, but most pieces run between $7,000 and $12,000. To most people, that’s no small chunk of change.
Instead of charging it to your credit card and paying interest on an accessory, save up the money and proudly make your purchase in cash. Doing so will make the whole experience that much more meaningful. Plus, you won’t have to worry about making payments on it later.
New vs. Used vs. Vintage
Once you’ve determined that now is the right time to buy a Rolex, your next step is to choose whether you want a new, pre-owned or vintage watch. Newer Rolex models are made of the latest, most durable materials and are practically indestructible. Plus, you’ll receive the box, all the paperwork and everything else there is with your purchase.
Used Rolexes will likely come with a smaller price tag and look slightly worn. Vintage watches, however, are 20 to 30 years old and may be more or less expensive than a new or used watch. Nevertheless, you get to wear a small piece of history.
Find Your Style
Visit a store and try on watches to find the right fit. A properly sized Rolex will cover two-thirds the width of your wrist. Then, search for your favorite style.
Do you want stainless steel, silver or gold? Are you looking for diamond inlays or other embellishments? What colors are you interested in, and are they versatile enough to wear with most of your clothes? Discovering what your dream Rolex looks like will help you narrow down your search to a few specific models.
Pick a Model
Once you’ve discovered your affinity for a particular brand, material and watch face, begin trying on models that match your interests. For example, if you lean more towards a sporty style, a GMT Master II, Submariner, Sea-dweller or a Daytona may appeal to you.
However, if you like showier or dressier models, you might choose a Datejust II or a Day-Date II, as both are excellent first-time Rolex models. If you find yourself coming back to one watch over and over again, you may have found a winner.
Buy from a Reliable Rolex Dealer
Once you’ve made your decision, find a reputable dealer through whom you’ll make your purchase. Then, head to the store in person to seal the deal. This method is the most reliable way to buy a Rolex.
Avoid purchasing one online — especially off of a site like eBay — as there is any number of counterfeit items in circulation. Plus, if the price of a watch is too good to be true, it probably is. Do your research and buy from a reliable dealer to ensure you’re getting an authentic piece.