Rolex launches into second hand watches: RCPO

Published - by Antoine Lin — Updated on -

It is now official, the brand with the crown announces the creation of its RCPO certification for Rolex Certified Pre-Owned (certification of second-hand Rolex). The market of the second hand having taken such a magnitude these last 5 years, many brands had already joined the niche like Zenith, Longines, MB&F or H. Moser & Cie.

What is RCPO?

This new program will give authorized retailers, in Europe only for the moment, the opportunity to implement sale of second hand Rolex directly certified and garanties 2 years by the company. Available only in 6 countries for the moment: Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, Denmark and the UK.

Bucherera long-time partner of the manufacture, will be the first retailer to offer this service. Others will arrive later, from Spring 2023, provided they are Rolex approved.

This program offers the buyer a guarantee of authenticity and a assurance on operation of a second hand Rolex watch. One could imagine, in the long run, to have one's watch taken back to buy another one, and this, in total security.

This new proposal aims to better regulate the second-hand market 36 billion by 2030, according to a Deloitte study.

Rolex is the most copied brand in the world, counterfeits are now very well made, so it seems obvious that the world leader in watchmaking is positioning itself on this type of market. We will have to wait until 2023 to see this service extended to the world level, nothing is communicated yet.

RCPO-certified watches will come with a Rolex Certified Pre-Owned seal, identifying that it is an authenticated and therefore Rolex-certified second-hand watch.

Rolex Certified Pre Owned

What watches will be offered by the Rolex RCPO program?

Not all Rolex watches are, unfortunately, eligible for the Rolex RCPO program.

The proposed watches must have more than 3 years. Those over 35 years of age must have a reasonable valuation. Forget the Daytona Paul Newman, Rolex Submariner Comex, James Bond etc.. By putting this condition, Rolex protects itself more risks of parts not conforming to the origin on the models of great collection. To cite an example, the Rolex Daytona known as "Paul Newman" can wait for high prices, up to several hundred thousand euros. We therefore understand the positioning of the brand with the crown, even if it may question the respect of the original components for second hand watches.

Nevertheless, you can have the chance to acquire in full safety beautiful models of the years 70-80, as for example the Rolex Submariner or Rolex Datejust with a 4-digit reference (5513, 1601 ...), models very popular on the market, in budgets that remain below the unaffordable.

RCPO - Exemple de modèles

RCPO, a program to counter the grey market?

As previously mentioned, the second hand market has grown very large in the last few years. Many new actors have entered the market, more or less serious, by passion or pure speculation.

Faced with soaring prices, Watchmakers quickly realized that they needed to be present in this type of market for several reasons.

First of all, the fact that a watchmaker offers second-hand watches allows a buyer who wishes to buy this type of watch to be more reassured about authenticity of what he buys (many counterfeit watches in circulation, better and better reproduced).

In a second step, for questions of traceability (the number of watch thefts has increased significantly in recent years)

Thirdly, a watch company that has an attraction for its past models demonstrates its interest in its heritage. Rolex being a brand with great and beautiful stories, it was inevitable that this manufacture takes the second hand, to contribute to the circulation of its works of art from another time.

Depending on how the offer evolves, Rolex could allow its customers to buy and resell in a way that simplified their watches, and thus keep an eye on the circulation of a large number of pieces.

Things to remember

To summarize, here are the points to remember about Rolex's RCPO:

  • RCPO watches are authenticated, serviced, and guaranteed for 2 years

  • Only available at Bucherer, other retailers will arrive in 2023

  • No watch trade-ins for the moment

  • Pricing is at the discretion of RCPO authorized dealers

  • The watches offered must be more than 3 years old

  • Only in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Denmark, France, and the UK for the moment

Our opinion

We have to think positive: vintage watches / second hand watches are on the rise, so it was inevitable that the brand with the crown was interested. This will allow future buyers to buy more serenely used watches, to have an instant availability provided that you pay the price.

In order to know if this service is right for you, you must be able to determine which type of buyer you are. If you are looking for a Rolex watch, that you do not want to wait, while having a comfortable budget, this service is made for you. If you are ready to wait several months or years, without guarantee, for a model that makes you dream (at the risk that it is stopped), at the boutique price, go directly to the purchase / order of a new watch.

For our part, we think this service is great news, let's wait and see what the impact will be on the market, will it have a strong impact on the budding resellers? How will Rolex evolve its service in the future? Will they offer watch buyback? To be continued.

In the meantime, we invite you to visit the CPO space (floor -1) at Bucherer au 12 Bd des Capucines, 75009 ParisYou will be able to discover a selection of second hand pieces.

The pieces are also visible on the Bucherer website, section "CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED" :

WebsiteSite Bucherer - Rolex Certified Pre OwnedSite Bucherer - Rolex Certified Pre Owned

What is the Rolex CPO?


The Rolex Certified Pre-Owned is a program of sale of Rolex watches of second hands certified by the house Rolex. It allows authorized retailers, only in Europe for the moment, to put on sale pre-owned Rolexes directly certified and guaranteed for 2 years by the company. Available only in 6 countries for the moment: Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, Denmark and United Kingdom.


When was Rolex created?


Rolex was founded in London, UK in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law Alfred Davis. At the time, the company was called "Wilsdorf & Davis" and specialized in the import of Swiss watch movements and the assembly of watches. It was in 1908 that it was renamed Rolex. Today, Rolex is one of (if not the) best known and most respected watch brands in the industry.


Is a Rolex watch reliable?


Rolex is a Swiss luxury watch brand that is known for its precision, quality manufacturing and long tradition of watchmaking. The brand is often associated with success and excellence, although it suffers from a bad image. Rolex watches are also often considered an excellent financial investment.


Where to buy a Rolex watch?


At Rolex retailers: Rolex has stores in major cities around the world, where you can buy new, authentic Rolex watches directly from the brand (or at least get on the waiting list).

About the author

Antoine Lin

I am a freelance developer with a passion for entrepreneurship since 2015. My interest in watches has led me to explore this fascinating world and learn more about the technical and aesthetic aspects that make them so unique. Through Watch Interest, I hope to share this passion and accompany others on their own watchmaking journey.

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