Rolex Will Certify Its Pre-Owned Watches


Swiss luxury watchmaker Rolex says it will begin certifying its pre-owned timepieces.

With this move, Rolex joins a number of luxury brands who have tapped into a resale market that has let other players cash in on their goods.

“Because they are built to last, Rolex watches often live several lives,” the company said in a news release Thursday (Dec. 1).

“And because they may be worn on new wrists, the Rolex Certified Pre-Owned program now enables retailers in the brand’s official distribution network to sell second-hand models that are certified as authentic and which come with a new two-year international guarantee.”

For now, the certified pre-owned watches are available at the luxury watch and jewelry seller Bucherer’s boutiques in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland and the U.K. Other retailers will be allowed to join the program starting next spring.

Rolex says the program lets consumers purchase pre-owned watches that carry the brand’s certification and guarantee.

“Its aim is to bring added value to the existing supply of pre-owned Rolex watches,” the company said. “Because when these watches change hands, their authenticity must be attestable at the time of resale by the Official Retailers.”

As PYMNTS wrote earlier this year, Resale-as-a-Service (Raas) “accomplishes several things for makers of clothing and accessories, first and foremost continued profit from items they originally made and sold in other channels.”

But it also removes some of the risks faced by high-end designers who delegate certification of pre-owned products, including damage to their brand reputation.

It has led to a growing number of luxury brands starting their own in-house resale channels to guarantee customers are getting the real deal.

For example, the Balenciaga Re-sell Program, which debuted in September of this year, lets consumers drop off unwanted items at a nearby store or arrange for collection. Balenciaga takes care of authentication and pricing before photographing the items and listing them on a network of global marketplaces.

However, not every luxury brand has embraced this trend. Among them is Hermès, whose CEO Axel Dumas said earlier this year that taking part in the resale market “would be to the detriment of our regular client who comes to the store.”

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