A Father’s Day Gift-Why Rolex is So Special

The Magnussons have recently added a couple of timepiece aficionados to our team.  Consultant Horologist Dr. David Sperling of Morris Plains and our new full-time Administrator Jack Daly of Long Valley.   This blog was inspired by Jack’s love of his favorite watch, the Rolex.

If you’re considering gifting your dad (or favorite man or yourself) a luxury watch this year, read on…..

Rolex History & Image

Rolex watches are instantly recognizable, contributing to their immunity from fickle fashion trends. World leaders, movie stars and especially famous athletes make them very desirable and collectible.

It all started in 1927 when Rolex produced the first ever waterproof wristwatch, the “Oyster.” To prove its toughness and precision, they gave one to Mercedes Gleitze for her attempt to become the first British woman to swim across the English Channel.  By associating their product with this record-breaking swim, Rolex was able to put its watch under a most extreme public test, successfully.

In 1935, Rolex again showcased their exceptional timekeeping involving extreme sports. While timing laps with his Rolex Oyster, International racecar driver Malcolm Campbell broke the world’s speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats. In 1953, Rolex sent their watch with (Sir) Edmund Hillary on its first ascent to Mount Everest.

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Providing world-renowned athletes with their watches gave Rolex a certain image they still use today. Currently, Tiger Woods, gets not only the watch, but over a million dollars for his endorsement of Rolex.  Rolex creates watches with extreme precision and continues to set their brand apart from other Swiss watchmakers by keeping their customer’s perceptions and expectations high.  By associating their brand with such historical figures, it brings that sense of “achievement” to a customer purchasing their Rolex.  They’ve managed to stay ahead of their stiff competition for over a century by constantly seeking the next best material, style or function to apply to their next model.

The Ultimate Rolex

Actor Paul Newman’s own 1968 Daytona Rolex watch sold last winter for $17.8 MILLION (with buyer’s premium), making it the most expensive watch ever sold at auction.  The Newman Rolex sale is the pinnacle of the past several years’ advancing luxury watch market – “regular” vintage Rolex Daytonas have sold for over a million dollars and Submariners and GMT-Masters have sold in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The sale of the “greatest watch in the world” represented the intersection of high profile collectible fields of not just luxury watches, but sports cars, Hollywood, romance and Americana.  Paul was given the watch by his wife, Joanna Woodward.  Paul then gave it to a (former) boyfriend of Paul’s daughter, Nell, in 1984.  At that time, the watch was selling for about $200.00!

The previous record for a Rolex at auction was set just last spring, 2017, when (the last Emperor of Vietnam’s) the Bao Dai Rolex sold for more than $5 million; the previous record for any wristwatch at auction was $11 million for a Patek Philippe timepiece.

Buyer Beware!

Because Rolex is so recognizable, fakes abound.  Yes, you can probably find one on Facebook’s Marketplace, just don’t expect it to work!  As always, “caveat emptor”, so be sure to engage in thorough research before purchasing any timepiece, especially a Rolex. If you need a little help with buying or selling, please feel free to call The Magnusson Group for an unbiased opinion of value.

If you have any questions about a Rolex timepiece in your possession, or are interested in buying or selling a Rolex or similar luxury timepieces,  please call the Magnussons at 973-425-1550.

Co-Authors: Lynn Magnusson, ASA, AAA and Jack Daly, Administrator

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