The Great Rolex Shortage of 2021

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You might not know or care that there is a significant shortage of Rolex watches, but it’s true. Though Rolex is known as a rich person’s watch brand, it also manages to be the most recognized watchmaker worldwide. Rolex has no clear plans to address the shortage by increasing production either, so the demand for a Rolex timepiece will continue to seriously outpace the number available. This supply issue applies not only to brand new pieces, but is also affecting the pre-owned market in a big way. Part of the blame lies with the COVID lockdown situation, since the Rolex factory had been shut down for several months during the height of the pandemic, but there has also been a surge in luxury watch sales since then.

Let’s say you have your eye on a new Rolex GMT-Master II Oystersteel and Everose Gold. The MSRP is listed at $14,800. If you are unable to locate a brand new one, you might want to try a site such as Chrono24, which features pre-owned luxury timekeepers. The problem is that the price jumps up to a minimum of $22,495 for a preowned 2021 model, more than the MSRP for one never used. It seems quite backwards, but that gives you an idea of how well a Rolex piece holds and increases its value over time.

In summary, if you have been yearning to own a Rolex, be prepared to look high and low for one. You should also be prepared to purchase one as soon as it becomes available, because new models which are posted for sale on authorized dealer sites tend to sell within minutes.

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