Shortage of steel Rolex sport watches? The secondhand market may be your best bet

It’s source of frustration for many Rolex enthusiasts that you can’t walk into an authorized dealer and simply purchase a steel Submariner, GMT, Sea-Dweller and, of course, Daytona. Nothing is going to change anytime soon. Rolex controls its supply and this scarcity of new steel sports watches is creating stronger demand. We all want what we can’t have.

However, the you can get certain steel sport Rolex watches on the second-hand market. Oftentimes, the prices are above standard retail, but that is what the marketplace is dictating. We browsed the online pre-owned listings of Govberg Jewelers (based in Philadelphia) and discovered that you could get your hands on Hulk (green ceramic Submariner) or Daytona if you are willing to pony up for the asking price. The advantage of buying from an authorized dealer, such as Govberg or Tourneau, is a guarantee of authenticity and the fact that their in-house watchmakers have inspected and insured these used pieces are running well.

While there are quite a few reputable dealers selling used Rolex sport models, we’re highlight three from the same dealer to provide a comparison of the pricing differences between different used steel sport Rolex watches.

Three examples

We love the Hulk and Govberg has one listed for $12,950, and itretails for $9,050. That’s around a $4K difference. The value of any object is dictated simply by how much someone is willing to pay for it. And if you want a green ceramic Submariner, this one is available.

Photo by Govberg

In contrast Govberg also has a black ceramic GMT Master-II listed for $9,450, which is closer to the retail price. Of course it’s not a new watch, but if you are after this particular model, the price to obtain one is lower because it’s not as hard to get as other steel sport models. This is a solid find as the black color scheme will go well with everything you wear and the green GMT hand offers just enough of a pop of color.

Photo by Govberg

And, finally, we have the black ceramic Daytona, which retails for $12,400. Govberg has their pre-owned one listed at $19,450. Anyone reading this understands that this markup is at the same time absurd and yet not absurd at all given the demand for this model. Rolex ADs say if you get on the waiting list for this model (or its while dial version) is five years. Five years? And even that’s not guaranteed. So if you want to rock the latest incarnation of the Daytona, you better get ready to pay.

Photo by Govberg


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