By now you should have heard the news that Rolex will be releasing its 2020 novelties in September. This comes after the Baselworld fracas in March between the show organiser and its key exhibitors exacerbated by the onslaught of Covid-19.
Resulting in a mass exodus by said brands to a brand new event in Geneva, it appeared that we won’t be able to see any new launches till 2021. But lo and behold, Christmas will come early for Rolex lovers all over the world, as the watchmaking giant will stage a global launch after Geneva Watch Days which is happening from 26th to 29th August.
Now if you’re a seasoned Rolex collector, you’ll know that every time Rolex does a new version of an existing model, prices of the older versions tend to spike on the pre-owned market.
Case in point, when Rolex released the GMT-Master II with red and blue Cerachrom bezel Ref. 126710BLRO, prices for the vintage models Ref. 16710 and began climbing steadily from an average of $6,000 in 2013/14 to as high as $16,000 in 2018.
This brings us to the point we were trying to make, and that is to always buy before Rolex releases its novelties for the year. Especially if the one you are eyeing is a pre-owned piece.
Which means you have exactly one month till the Rolex global new product launch. And while we all much prefer to do our watch shopping in Europe, that won’t be remotely possible till 2021.
So buy in our own country, support local, here are the best places in Singapore to buy a Rolex, new or pre-owned.
Rolex (Marina Square)
Operated by local watch retailer Cortina Watch, this is the biggest Rolex boutique in Singapore and Southeast Asia. It’s a gorgeous space, taking up 513 square metres and is everything you would expect and imagine of a Rolex country flagship store.
Pros: There’s a fantastic brand exhibition in-store where you can really immerse in the world of Rolex; lots of space and privacy; Parking Rewards but honestly there isn’t much else we’ll go to Marina Square for.
Cons: Very limited stock on stainless steel sports models, which means a long wait is to be expected
#02-38 Marina Square
Tel. 6250 7712
Rolex (Ion Orchard)
This newly refurbished store is run by The Hour Glass and is staffed by an extremely knowledgeable sales team. Shop Rolex timepieces alongside Tudor in this ultra-luxe but super understated interior.
Pros: Great location; great coffee served in Rolex tableware; earn Ion+ points
Cons: Again, very limited stock on stainless steel sports models; typically lots of tourists but not anymore.
#01-02 Ion Orchard
Tel. 6509 9282
Kee Hing Hung
Official Rolex retailer, Kee Hing Hung sells both Rolex and Tudor watches. It’s got a great reputation among the local collector community for personable service and passion for timepieces. Plus it’s always nice to support local businesses.
Pros: Slightly higher chance of scoring the Rolex of your dreams. You just got to walk in and start building a relationship with the store.
Cons: Small selection of timepieces instore.
#02-21/22 People’s Park Complex
Tel. 6222 5151
Probably Singapore’s best known pre-owned Rolex dealer, Chuan Watch has been in business since 1995 and carries Rolex, along with a long list of luxury watch brands. The team here is very experienced, and there's a lot to take in if you're a newbie. So either do a lot of homework, or plan to make multiple visits (no one says you have to buy a watch on your first visit).
Pros: Many vintage or out-of-production models available; one-year in-house warranty; buy-back guarantee
Cons: It’s better to head down to the store in person, as product photos online are a little overexposed to see any details; prices on the high side.
#01-51/52 Golden Landmark Shopping Complex
Tel. 6291 9118
From antique collector to Rolex dealer, Precision Watch carries mostly Rolexes including various vintage and contemporary sport models.
Pros: Prices for hot pieces mostly market rate but some pieces very competitive; good photography on website which is easy to navigate.
Cons: The shop can be a little intimidating to newbies, as the owner although very knowledgeable is not exactly the friendliest guy on the block; very little room for bargaining.
#02-23 Golden Landmark Shopping Centre
Tel. 6297 0338
A very nondescript corner in Jurong, this is a small Rolex dealer but what KB Watch lacks for in size they make up with great service attitude. There’s a sense of information sharing with the owner who’s very passionate about watches. At the moment it’s all mainly Rolexes with a few Tudors and the occasional Panerai.
Pros: Great pricing; relatively under-the-radar which means you’re more likely to land a bargain.
Cons: Location—probably too far for those who don’t live in the West.
132 Jurong Gateway Road #01-287 Singapore 600132
Tel. 6563 6637
With WatchBox, you get the convenience of online shopping with the service follow-up of brick-and-mortar retail. It’s a very sophisticated outfit backed by a family-owned luxury retail store from the US, and WatchBox does sell, buy, and trade.
Pros: Take your pick from a global inventory; 24/7 online assistance; very good selection of rare vintage models
Cons: Prices lean towards the high side, although there is a watch for (almost) every budget.
Shop on WatchBox here.