Among the numerous luxury watch brands, Rolex stands out as one of the most revered. Renowned for its quality craftsmanship and staggering price tags, Rolex has cemented its place as a symbol of prestige and refinement. But why exactly is Rolex so expensive?

Despite the steep cost, a cohort of enthusiasts is willing to part with significant sums to acquire a Rolex. This loyalty stems from Rolex’s commitment to delivering watches of exceptional quality and pieces with enduring value.

If you’re still curious, let’s dissect the reasons behind Rolex watches’ high price tag in this article!

6 Reasons Why Rolex Watches Are So Expensive

At least six factors contribute to the high price of Rolex watches. Here’s an explanation of why they command such premiums.

1. Crafted from 904L corrosion-resistant steel

The first factor driving up the cost of Rolex watches is the materials used in their construction. While many watches are made from stainless steel, not all boast the same corrosion-resistant properties.

Rolex uses a grade of steel renowned for its corrosion resistance: 904L stainless steel. This alloy, comprising high levels of chromium and nickel alongside additions of molybdenum and copper, offers unparalleled durability. 

Referred to as Oystersteel within the Rolex lineup, 904L is a corrosion-resistant superalloy that outshines the more commonplace 316L stainless steel used by other brands.

It’s this robust material that plays a significant role in rendering Rolex watches not just functional but also stylish and timeless. With the adoption of such sturdy materials, it’s no wonder Rolex timepieces fetch premium prices.

2. High water-resistance level

Another factor contributing to the high cost of Rolex watches is their remarkable water resistance, which allows them to withstand depths of up to 300 meters. This is particularly pertinent for watches intended for diving, such as the Rolex Submariner

As part of the production process, all Rolex diver watches undergo rigorous testing in high-pressure tanks before being subjected to real-world aquatic environments. 

For instance, to assess the Sea-Dweller series, Rolex employs high-pressure water tanks developed by the French diving company Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises (COMEX).

COMEX, renowned for its expertise in diving, specifically tasked Rolex with crafting diver watches characterized by precision and high performance.

Aside from the Submariner, another Rolex watch renowned for its exceptional water resistance is the Sea-Dweller.

3. Hand craftsmanship

Rolex relies predominantly on hand craftsmanship for intricate tasks such as mechanism assembly. 

While machines are employed for simpler operations like filing, sorting, and cataloging, skilled artisans meticulously execute the assembly of movements and all watch components. 

By internally assembling their watch mechanisms, Rolex retains the freedom to tailor movements to the brand’s exacting standards and preferences. 

Following production, each timepiece undergoes meticulous inspection and testing to ensure the integrity of every component. 

Nearly all Rolex watch movements are certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC), an independent non-profit organization that sets standards for the Swiss watchmaking industry. 

The fact that nearly all Rolex timepieces are COSC-certified underscores their functionality, aesthetic appeal, reliability, and high performance.

4. World-class research facilities

Rolex has invested significantly in a state-of-the-art research facility with cutting-edge watchmaking technology and equipment. This facility enables Rolex to innovate continuously, creating timepieces that excel in performance and aesthetics. 

Rolex’s laboratories have been recognized internationally as among the most prominent research centers in the industry. 

Moreover, Rolex exclusively employs highly trained and experienced scientists to ensure optimal research and development processes in the laboratory. 

This indirectly impacts the production process of watches, leading to increased production costs and, subsequently, higher retail prices. This is why Rolex watches tend to be more expensive.

5. In-house gold production

It’s noteworthy that Rolex boasts a team of gemologists responsible for integrating precious metals and gemstones such as gold and diamonds into watch designs. 

Additionally, Rolex employs jewelry experts to help select and set various diamonds and gemstones as decorations for their timepieces. Rolex melts its precious metals, including gold and silver. 

Furthermore, few luxury watch brands use pure gold in their products, opting instead for gold plating or coated gold. 

Rolex specifically purifies 18k white, Everose, and yellow gold as the primary materials for their timepieces. The use of pure gold elucidates why certain Rolex watch models command high prices.

6. Designed for longevity

Watches with excellent durability are undoubtedly highly sought after. However, many timepieces are susceptible to quality alterations due to room temperature and humidity fluctuations. 

However, this can be avoided by opting for Rolex watches. Rolex timepieces exhibit exceptional durability, remaining resilient even when exposed to extreme environmental conditions. 

This is attributed to using Oystersteel as the primary material for their watch cases. Due to its outstanding durability, Rolex watches can be stored or even passed down through several generations. 

The value of Rolex watches is relatively maintained over time; instead, they tend to remain stable or even appreciated with the passage of years.

Why Is Pre-Owned Rolex More Expensive?

In some cases, pre-owned or second-hand watches are actually sold at higher prices. Why is this so? 

One of the main reasons is product scarcity. Due to the hand assembly of their mechanisms, Rolex typically produces watches in limited quantities. 

Additionally, after several years, specific model production may be discontinued despite sustained high demand.

This scarcity can lead to certain watches becoming highly sought after, even as the supply dwindles. Consequently, watches already in certain collectors’ possession become increasingly valuable.

New collectors are willing to pay a premium for pre-owned Rolex watches because they are unlikely to acquire them later. 

This often applies to popular Rolex models that are regarded as vintage timepieces. Hence, pre-owned Rolex watches command higher prices than their newer counterparts.

However, if you’re considering purchasing a pre-owned watch, ensuring its authenticity is crucial. To avoid potential losses, it’s advisable to first learn about tips to buy pre-owned luxury watches.

Where to Buy Authentic Rolex Watches

While Rolex watches are marketed at high prices, these prices are commensurate with their quality and durability. If you’re interested in owning a Rolex watch, you can acquire either new or pre-owned versions of models that Rolex no longer produces.

Whatever type of Rolex watch you desire, purchase it from a reputable source, such as Luxehouze. Luxehouze offers a vast collection of luxury watches from various brands, including Rolex.

All products available at Luxehouze are guaranteed 100% authentic and can be obtained at the best prices. Visit Luxehouze’s online marketplace to browse the available collections, or visit Luxehouze boutiques in Jakarta, Surabaya, or Singapore.