What Watch Industry Experts Think of Rolex's New Certified Pre-Owned Program

Insiders weigh in.

rolex certified pre owned watch

Anything Rolex does makes waves. Today's announcement that it's getting into the certified pre-owned (CPO) game is no different, and unsurprisingly there are debates, rumors, speculation, questions and some confusion among the internet chatter. To cut through it all, we've distilled what we know about it so far here on Gear Patrol, but we also wanted to bring you perspectives from industry experts. Here's what some of the most knowledgable and connected people in the watch world have to say about it.

It's good for the industry

"Anything the brand does — not just Rolex, any of the brands — do to validate, endorse, clean up the industry, I'm a hundred percent in support of it. And so I embrace this as well. I think it's good for the industry. There's some other maybe shady characters that maybe it's going to hurt or affect, but I think all in all, long term, it's a healthy movement for the industry." -Paul Altieri, Bob's Watches

A bold and revolutionary move

"It underpins the new watch market by showing the lasting value of fine watches. I've always said that the customer deserves the same transparency and quality experience when purchasing a pre-owned watch as they get when purchasing new. Bravo to Rolex for recognizing this, taking a bold and revolutionary move, and supporting the wants and needs of the customer." -Danny Govberg, WatchBox


It'll only fan the flames of demand for Rolex

"I believe it will incentivize even more first-time buyers to try to get their hands on their first Swiss trophy timepiece. Already we see Rolex making up 44%+ of all purchase requests from our 18-34 [year-old] users. I anticipate this announcement will only fan the flames of demand for Rolex on our platform, and we’re very excited to see how Geneva’s other luxury brands will respond." -Tim Stracke, Chrono24

Adding credibility to the entire space

"I think the news is overall really good for the pre-owned space. While the reluctance to shop pre-owned has come down in recent years, we still often hear people say they aren’t willing to buy a preowned watch, or their wife wouldn’t accept one as a gift. Rolex will add credibility to the entire space and take pre-owned even more mainstream than it is now." -Eugene Tutunikov, SwissWatchExpo

The premise makes a lot of sense

"At its core, the premise makes a lot of sense and Rolex is certainly not the first brand to approach pre-owned sales directly. Authenticity and product performance can often be a sticking point for buyers considering second-hand watches, and with the Rolex Certified Pre-Owned program, brand execs are looking to remove both of those pain points by speaking directly to the faith they have in their own product." — James Stacey, Hodinkee

A logical next step

"Certified pre-owned is, therefore, a logical next step to fill the gaping holes in the supply of Rolex watches. It is a tried and proven technique that’s been widely used in the automotive industry, where authorized dealers take in used cars, service them, and then sell them at a profit, supported with an official warranty." — David Bredan, aBlogtoWatch

rolex certified pre owned watch

We won't see an immediate impact

"The program is clearly being rolled out carefully, so we will not see an immediate impact, if any, to how the secondary market behaves. With only six countries participating, none of which are the largest markets – the USA and China – Rolex is clearly testing the program closer to home first, and will hopefully work out any kinks in the system before expanding it to the rest of the world in spring 2023. A smart move, allowing them to beta test the program in a way." — Zach Blass, Time+Tide

A no-brainer

"It’s clear that by giving this certification to pre-owned Rolex watches, there is an incentive to buy from the brand’s retail partners rather than from marketplaces or private sellers. However, whether people will go for a Certified Pre-Owned Rolex watch and avoid the risk of buying an inauthentic piece may depend on the pricing strategy. If there’s no difference in price or just a negligible one, going Certified Pre-Owned will be a no-brainer." — Robert-Jan Broer, Fratello

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