Rolex Sub: Does It Hold Value?

Rolex Submariner Advertisement from 1975 1976 - Peter Benchley of Jaws

Dear Watch Flipr:

I want a solid dive watch, but not something that will be worth nil after a few years of use. Do Rolex Submariners hold their value over the years?

One of our readers always brings me old magazine advertisements, and I must say they can be quite revealing of a watch brand. You may have seen this ad before by Rolex. It ran in Time (circa 1976) and was toward the back of magazine. We all have read or watched the movie Jaws, so we relate with the theme and the dive watch being a Submariner. What is hard to relate to is the pricing!

A steel Submariner in 1976 was $490 USD and the solid gold model, which is proudly worn by the author Peter Benchley, would set you back just $3,825. Big bucks for that period of time of course, but frequently people ask do these models hold value? I would say yes, if you happened to receive a nice watch for graduation in 1976 and you wore it hard everyday till 2012, you would indeed receive your money back and some change. A good steel Sub (1860) would pull on the market about $5,500 to $6,000 used and worn. Not a bad return for a piece you could wear every day! Minus a service every decade or so, you’d end up clearing $4k ROI. “Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies.”

Here’s what the ad says:

In the presence of the Great White…time suspends itself.” – Peter Benchley

Few moments rival the excitement of meeting a Great White Shark face to face. For Peter Benchley, author of Jaws, survival depends on experience and precision equipment. Peter wears the gold Rolex Submariner. This Oyster Perpetual, and officially certified superlative chronometer, is carved out of a solid block of 18 kt. gold (1680/9290) $3,825. Also available in stainless steel (1680/9315) $490. Write for free brochure, Rolex Watch U.S.A., Inc., Rolex Bldg, 665 Fifth Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10022.

4 thoughts on “Rolex Sub: Does It Hold Value?

  1. Now the same watch is > $30,000! Talk about a solid return. I guess the price of gold would help too.

  2. A steel Submariner for $490 and now they are almost 10 g’s. What the fuck is wrong with this world?

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