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Rolex launches new Certified Pre-Owned watch programme

The move will help regulate the buying and selling of Rolex watches on the secondary market. 

Next time you’re buying a pre-owned Rolex watch, keep a lookout for the watchmaker’s official stamp of authenticity.

Rolex announced on Thursday (Dec 1) a new Certified Pre-Owned programme, which will issue certificates of authenticity to pre-owned Rolex watches sold by an official retailer displaying the special Rolex Certified Pre-Owned plaque. The certification “guarantees that these watches benefit from the quality criteria inherent to all Rolex products and from the full know-how and professionalism of the brand’s worldwide network of experts”, the watchmaker said on its website.

(Photo: Rolex)

The programme begins this month in Europe at Bucherer boutiques in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, Denmark, and the UK, before expanding to other official Rolex retailers who wish to be a part of the programme in 2023. It will authenticate second-hand Rolex watches that are at least three years old.

Authorised dealers will have to display a Rolex Certified Pre-Owned plaque. Each watch will also come with a Rolex wax seal tag.

The move will give Rolex more control over its timepieces in the secondhand market. At present, Rolex watches dominate secondhand sales in the luxury pre-owned market.

“Rolex watches – new or second-hand – should only be bought from Official Rolex Retailers, who are authorised to sell and care for Rolex watches,” the company said in a statement. “Thanks to their skills and technical expertise, the retailers ensure the continued smooth functioning of each timepiece over the years. Only the official Rolex network is able to provide these guarantees.”

However, there are concerns over the effect the new programme will have on pricing. Watch publication Hodinkee wrote: "Questions abound. For instance, if you walk into a Rolex retailer next spring to see about getting a Submariner, which will cost more: a brand new example with a five-year warranty, or a certified pre-owned example with a two-year warranty?"

"The programme will likely see authorised dealers selling certified pre-owned watches at higher prices than new ones offered at retail in some cases. Models including the Rolex Submariner, Daytona and GMT typically sell at a premium to retail prices as retail demand outstrips supply," Bloomberg said.


Source: CNA/st