It is safe to say that you can find almost anything you need in New York City.
That is also true when it comes to your dream watch.
While New York is not known as a cheap city, purchasing a Rolex in NYC could potentially be a really good deal.
Because, while NYC prices generally are higher than anywhere else, the competitiveness and number of Rolex dealers push Rolex prices as low as they can go.
NYC is one of the only cities in the world that has more than 5 Authorized Rolex Dealers and multiple unauthorized dealers.
To be exact, there are 6 Authorized Rolex dealers in NYC and more than 70 unauthorized dealers.
This is a huge supply of Rolex which is good for you.
First of all, there is a very high chance that you can find the exact watch you are looking for even if it is rare or vintage.
Secondly, the big supply ensures that prices are competitive.
Authorized Rolex Dealer Vs. Unauthorized dealers
Authorized Rolex dealers are authorized by the Rolex corporate office in Switzerland to sell, repair and maintain Rolex watches.
Rolex set certain standards to location, store size, and product displays to ensure that you get the right Rolex feeling when you walk into the store.
Rolex also ensures that the staff is well educated within the Rolex product line.
Like with other luxury brands, service is an important part of the customer experience and this is where an authorized dealer differ significantly from unauthorized dealers.
You should be expected to be treated like a king when you walk into an authorized Rolex dealer.
While nothing prevents your local jeweler from selling you a Rolex watch or service a watch, only those with the seal from Switzerland can call themselves Authorized Rolex Dealers.
Similarly, nothing prevents your local jeweler from selling a Rolex watch. However, he is not an Authorized Dealer.
An Authorized Rolex dealer can get you every single watch currently in the Rolex line. There might be a wait list (Some models has 3-4 years wait) but he is able to get you the watch at the suggested retail prices stated by Rolex.
Only authorized dealers can buy directly from Rolex.
So if you want a 100% new Rolex watch with no previous owners your only option is to buy from an authorized retail shop.
Your unauthorized Rolex dealer is not part of the official Rolex supply chain and therefore only have access to the watches he can buy on the second-hand market.
This means that any watch purchased from an unauthorized dealer will be pre-owned. You will be able to see this from the Rolex certification card.
The watch can still technically be new, or at least, never worn, but on the paperwork, it will have a previous owner.
How do the unauthorized Rolex dealers get their inventory?
Authorized Rolex dealers have to sell a certain number of watches every year to hold on to their Rolex Endorsement.
So they might find it necessary to clean out some of their inventory from time to time by selling in bulk to the unauthorized dealers for a discounted price.
They might sell to their favorite local jeweler who in return agrees to send all watch repair jobs back to the authorized Rolex dealer.
So it is likely that the watch you bought from an unauthorized dealer once was part of an Authorized dealers inventory.
Pre owned Rolex NYC
If you are looking to buy a pre-owned Rolex in NYC you definitely came to the right place.
Take a trip down to the diamond district on 47th street between 5th and 6th avenue and you will literally see tons of pre-owned Rolex watches.
The diamond district has more than 100 stores that all sell anything from diamond engagement rings to luxury watches.
None of the stores in the diamond district are authorized Rolex dealers so all the Rolex watches are pre-owned.
Keep in mind, just because it is pre-owned doesn’t mean that the watch can’t be “as new” or newer worn.
Buying a pre-owned Rolex in NYC can be a great way to get more bang for your buck. The competitive nature of the 100 jewelry shops in the diamond district ensures you that prices are as low as they can get.
Most products you’ll see in the windows will not have a price tag and if they do, don’t trust the price. Everything here is negotiable.
The jewelers in the diamond district love to find confused first-time buyers so you want to make sure that you are prepared before going there.
- Instead of browsing randomly, make sure that you know exactly what you are looking for, let’s say you want to by a pre-owned Rolex GMT from 2017
- Before going to the diamond district do some online research to find the market price of the watch you want. Go to chrono24.com where you can easily search for the exact model, condition and year of the watch you want.
Looking at the search results you can see that price of a 2017 Rolex GMT is anywhere from $8,000 to $12,000.
Obviously, price depends on condition, style, exact model etc. but for now all you need to know is that a price of $8,000 is cheap for a 2017 pre-owned Rolex GMT and $12,000 is expensive.
You know what you look for and you know what the price range is. You can now safely walk into the diamond district.
Don’t get overwhelmed if you are approached on the street by eager salesmen. Tell them that you are looking for a 2017 Rolex GMT and let them show you what they got.
Feel free to negotiate and also go look at a different store before you purchase.
Full set or not
You have to decide if you want your pre-owned watch to come as a full set (including box and paper). Buying a Rolex without the original box will save you around $500
If you are buying your first Rolex watch I would not recommend you to buy anything without original papers.
If you are an experience Rolex buyer you can save even more by buying a watch without original paperwork but you will have to be able to tell if the Rolex comes with unoriginal parts. So for now, stay with a watch that comes with original paperwork.