A new year is often accompanied by a price correction, a common practice across most manufacturing industries. Whether it is undertaken to reflect the changing price of raw materials, the annual increase of wages or a correction due to inflation, most watch brands increase their prices on a yearly basis (if not more often). Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet or Omega do it, and of course, so does Rolex. The arrival of 2022 also marks the first price correction at Rolex, and the latest 2022 Rolex Price List comes with its share of surprises. The largest price increases have been applied to its steel sports models – in short, the brand’s most desirable pieces. Here’s an overview of the prices you will be paying for a new Rolex in 2022 – if you can find one at retail price.
Preliminary note: to simplify this 2022 Rolex price list and to have a reliable comparative background to Rolex prices in 2021, we’ve used French market prices in euros for all models. While the prices themselves are already an interesting indication, the evolution of prices is even more important. According to our research, the evolution is approximately the same for all European markets and the American market (with differences that don’t exceed 0.2%).
First of all, there’s nothing particularly surprising about a brand correcting its price list every year. It’s a common practice for most industries, whether we’re looking at watches, cars or any kind of manufactured goods. The fact that Rolex publishes a corrected price list for 2022 is a standard business practice that, in principle, is not a remarkable event. Price lists are usually updated on an annual or bi-annual basis to reflect changes in the price of raw materials, wages, manufacturing costs and other external costs, but also the simple fact that there’s inflation, which affects most consumer goods.
However, 2022 (as well as 2020 and 2021) isn’t a typical year. We’re seeing impressive inflation around the world (about 7% for the US, 3% for France or 5% for Germany, according to the latest statistics) and the pandemic, which is still causing trouble for manufacturers, continues to affect the prices of raw materials and has had its impact on wages – which is certainly a positive aspect on one side, but less when it comes to the price of consumer goods. There are dozens of catalysts and external factors that can justify a correction of prices.
Now, if we look more closely at Rolex, we can see that the company is facing a serious supply issue. Demand for its steel sports watches is reaching incredible levels, with most references being almost impossible to acquire from retailers at listed prices. As a result, these watches are often sold at a premium, with some models listed on the pre-owned market at two or three times the RRP. Rolex is fully aware of this situation and is working on increasing its supply. However, this isn’t something that can be changed overnight – at least if the brand wants to retain its well-known level of quality. This also means that the brand needs to increase its workforce, and trained watchmakers are becoming a rare breed. Coincidentally, wages are rising due to this shortage in the workforce. These are some of the reasons that could explain the substantial increase in prices seen on the 2022 Rolex price list. The other interpretation is that Rolex might simply want to capitalise on the success of its watches.
Before looking at the prices in detail, a clear trend emerges. Most, if not all the steel sports/professional watches are facing a major correction of prices, between 10 and 11 percent. On the other hand, other full-steel models – Datejust or Oyster Perpetual – are not facing the same noticeable increase, with prices up by 3 to 4 percent only. In the same vein, Rolesor models, as well as watches made entirely in precious metals or ultra high-end models, are only affected by an increase of price ranging from 2.5 to 3 percent; this can be explained by the stability in the price of precious raw metals in recent months.
Let’s now take a look at the detailed 2022 Rolex price list per collection.
As we explained, the brand’s chronograph isn’t affected in the same way, whether we’re looking at the two steel models (the white or black 116500LN) or all the other watches in the Daytona collection – which are either two-tone, full gold or platinum watches. As such, only the prices of the steel models have increased by more than 10 percent, with the rest of the collection undergoing an increase of 2.5 to 3 percent. The price of the top-of-the-range platinum model remains unchanged.
Submariner and Submariner Date
Just like the Daytona and all models of the Professional line, the updated price for the Submariner depends on the material chosen for its case. As such, the no-date steel reference 124060LN, the date Submariner with black dial 126610LN and the desirable green bezel edition 126610LV are all affected by an approximate 10 percent price increase. All other Submariner models, made either in steel-and-gold or in solid gold, are affected by a 2.5 to 3 percent increase.
Another model of the professional range conforms to the trend. The two steel GMT-Master II (Batman/Batgirl and Pepsi) are now available with an 11 percent increase in price. At the same time, the more high-end models made of precious materials are only affected by a price increase of 3 to 4 percent.
Sea-Dweller and Deepsea
Just like the other dive watch of the brand, the Rolex Sea-Dweller and Deepsea models are all affected by a price increase reaching at least 10 percent, with one noticeable exception, the 43mm SeaDweller Rolesor, which is only affected by a minor update of its price.
Explorer 36 and Explorer II
Even though they were presented recently, the new models of the Explorer family – the downsized 36mm Explorer or the updated Explorer II – are now both about 10 percent more expensive than when launched in mid-2021. The only exception is the surprising two-tone Explorer 36 ref. 124273, which sees its price going up only 1.9 percent, in line with other models in precious metals.
Yacht-Master and Yacht-Master II
Surprisingly, this collection is the least affected by the correction of the 2022 price list, with all models in the Yacht-Master collection undergoing an increase of about 2.5 to 3 percent, even for the models made of stainless steel (remember that the bezel is made of platinum). Even more notable, all Yacht-Master II models are retaining the same prices as 2021. Maybe Rolex wants to give this collection a small push or plans on rejuvenating it during Watches & Wonders 2022…
Milgauss, Air-King and Sky-Dweller
Although they might be the least popular models in the professional collection, both editions of the Milgauss and the stand-alone Air-King now have much higher prices than in 2021, with an increase ranging from 9.6 to 11.6 percent. On the other hand, the high-end and complex Sky-Dweller is less affected by the price correction, and its solid gold models retain the same prices as in 2021.
Datejust 41 and 36
While it would be irrelevant to list all the possible combinations available in the Datejust collection, we’ll be looking at the most classic models, meaning either in steel with a smooth steel bezel and Oyster bracelet or in steel with a white gold fluted bezel and a Jubilee bracelet. Contrary to the professional steel models, the watches from the Rolex classic range are not facing the same noticeable increase in prices, with a correction limited to approximately 2.5 to 3 percent. The same can be said about the Datejust 41 Rolesor models and the steel 36 versions.
Day-Date 40 and 36
A watch available in two different sizes but only in precious metals, the Day-Date 40 follows the trend of other solid gold watches. For 2022, the price increase is limited to about 2.5 percent, and the same applies to the Day-Date 36.
Oyster Perpetual 41, 36, 34, 31 and 28
Even though they are made entirely in stainless steel and are some of the most sought-after models in the current collection, the colourful Oyster Perpetual models do not see their prices affected in the same proportion as the professional watches. Most models, ranging from 28mm in diameter to 41mm, reflect a price increase of about 4 percent.
You can consult the updated prices in your region by checking www.rolex.com.