Rolex Waiting List: How to Get Your Dream Rolex Watch in 2024

Buying a new Rolex has become a significant task even in 2024 when the watch market has dropped. Rolex dealers are notoriously known to be hard to read or understand when buying a particular model, such as the Steel Submariner Date, Everose Gold Day-Date, or even the iconic flagship Datejust. For Rolex enthusiasts, this can be daunting. However, there is a way to avoid the Rolex waiting list and get your dream model in a timely manner without other purchases at an AD.

Why Rolex Watches Are in High Demand

Since its founding in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf, Rolex has been a critical player in the Swiss watch market. Yet, Rolex is a somewhat mysterious luxury watch brand when it comes to buying from them. Each buyer has different experiences from Rolex, some great, some bad — depending on whether you have previously established a relationship with authorised dealers. The high demand for Rolex timepieces is primarily due to several things, including scarcity, lack of openness from the brand, and their decent resell value, which has come under scrutiny from watch enthusiasts in recent years.

How long is the waiting period for a Rolex watch?

According to several sources, the waiting time is generally around six months for a Rolex but can be as long as two years. However, this does not guarantee the Rolex you want. You may get a call for a Rolex they are simply trying to get rid of, which could be as simple as an Air King. If you expect to buy a more expensive timepiece, such as a Day-Date, you will likely be disappointed.

Specific Rolex Models and Their Waiting Lists

If you’re looking to buy specific models like a Rolex Daytona ‘Panda’ or a Rolex Datejust ‘Hulk’, then the waiting game to buy the specific watch from a Rolex-authorised dealer can be even longer. A typical Rolex boutique doesn’t have set times for particular models, but here are standard waiting list requirements and timelines if you are keen to tuck into luxury watch brands.

Rolex Model Waiting List / Requirement
Rolex Datejust 126334 1-year
Rolex Submariner 126610LN 2-years + potential purchase history
Rolex Day-Date 40 228235 Significant purchase history
Rolex Daytona Panda 116500LN Significant purchase history

Tips for Buying a Rolex from an Authorised Dealers

With Rolex being such a hard brand to acquire in a well-crowded luxury watch market, there are some tips to increase your chances when it comes to buying a new Rolex brand.

  1. Communicate with your AD about the specific model you’re buying
  2. Develop a relationship by purchasing other models or jewellery
  3. Showcase your purchasing history with other dealers
  4. Follow up on your initial meeting; don’t let them forget about you
  5. Present yourself as a professional and a watch enthusiast
  6. Know some facts about your dream watch
  7. Lastly, be patient. Getting a Rolex is a waiting game.

Buying a Pre-owned Rolex

For those bored of the waiting list, you could opt to buy a pre-owned Rolex from online watch dealers or trusted in-person shops that specialise in Swiss timepieces. This includes vintage Rolex models such as the Day-Date 36mm, Rolex Datejust 1601, or even the Submariner 16610 with a date. It’s true that even in the grey market, certain Rolex models will be more accessible than others.

For example, a Rolex Oyster Precision, which costs around the £3,500 mark, are readily available, while a Daytona 16520 from the late 90s will be much harder to acquire. This is purely due to trends and demand for watches produced less than others.

If you do opt for the second-hand Rolex watch, be sure to watch out for several things:

  1. Authentic documentation, such as boxes and papers
  2. Dealer History
  3. Condition of the watch

According to expert jeweller Miltons Diamonds, you should also check the serial number of the Rolex watch, which should be from 4 to 8 characters long. You should cross-reference the serial number with the documentation provided, as bad fakes or false documents can be provided to close a sale.

Final Thoughts

Your typical watch enthusiasts may criticise the price points and waiting times when buying a new Rolex. Yet the constant increased demand for Swiss timepieces will keep growing among luxury watch collectors even in 2024. If you’re beginning to look or inquire with your local authorised dealer, we’d recommend taking a look at the tips above for help.

Always ensure you buy the model you want, even if you can upgrade later. Rolex is known for banning resellers of their timepieces from buying a new one ever again, so if you may want to sell it anytime soon, be careful when you choose the route you take when buying your first Rolex.

Abbie Wilson
Abbie Wilson
An experienced writer, Abbie has written for several publications, including Homaphy, covering various niches, including gaming, fashion, and the arts.

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