With the shortage of brand new timepieces on sale in stores around the world, it’s no surprise that many have turned to second hand watches to fill their Rolex void. In a bid to ensure that buyers have access to only authentic timepieces, the luxury watchmaker has announced the Rolex Certified Pre-Owned programme, which enables retailers in the brand’s official distribution network to sell second-hand models that are certified as authentic and which come with a new two-year international guarantee.
Reports indicate that the move is set to bring more regulatory control over the massive market of pre-owned luxury watches, which, as per Bloomberg, is now worth USD 20 billion. It will also help guard against fakes, especially when second hand sales are booming.
The Bloomberg report says that Rolex never previously authenticated or tracked its products once they were distributed to its dealers.
Rolex produces one million watches a year and records sales of around USD 8.5 billion annually. It is the biggest Swiss watch brand and, as per Morgan Stanley, has a market share of around 29 percent.
More about the Rolex Certified Pre-Owned programme
Why is Rolex certifying its second-hand watches?
In a statement, Rolex said that the aim of the programme “is to bring added value to the existing supply of pre-owned Rolex watches.”
The company said that the authenticity of the watches “must be attestable” when they change hands.
“It therefore wishes to accompany the second life of its watches already circulating on the market, with a view to preserving, maintaining and guaranteeing what already exists,” Rolex said while underlining that its watches are known for having the “longest possible lifespans.”
What are the specifics of the programme?
Many of Rolex timepieces are seen as worthy investments by watch collectors. Certificates of authenticity will be issued for second-hand watches that are at least three years old.
Watches sold under the Rolex Certified Pre-Owned programme will come with a new two-year international guarantee and the authorised retailers of second-hand Rolex watches will have a special Rolex Certified Pre-Owned plaque.
Pre-owned Rolex watches will come with a guarantee card bearing the words “Certified Pre-Owned” at the time of sale. The card will serve as the official certificate of authenticity of the second-hand Rolex watch, attest that it is genuine, and indicate that it is in perfect working condition.
The Rolex Certified Pre-Owned watch programme is being launched from the start of December 2022. According to Rolex, the programme will be initially implemented at Bucherer boutiques in six countries — Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK.
Official Rolex retailers elsewhere will be able to become part of the programme from spring 2023.
(Main and Featured images: Rolex)