What’s It Worth? Rolex Daytona Update

This week, in spite of complaints that I write too much about watches, I’ll write again about the ever-changing Rolex Daytona* market, a subject I love. (And just for fun, Google the words Rolex Daytona Hess.) I first advertised to buy Rolex Daytonas on the pages of this very newspaper in 1985. (At the time, they were bringing $4,000 to $5,000.) I bought thousands of them here and nationally.

This led to a monthly ’zine I published, Watch It, which led to my co-authoring the “bible of Rolex,” The Best of Time. I was known in the trade as Mr. Daytona. (Ever see the clip of the heavyset expert on a famous antiques appraisal show telling a retiree about his rare Rolex Daytona? I was a mentor of that heavyset gent, teaching him the ropes of the buying business, taking him on the road with me to buying events back in the ’90s.)

The value of these watches is much more complicated than this short article can impart. Pre-1989 (steel) versions can be valued from $30,000 for a beat-up plain version to $1 million for certain configurations in excellent condition. Plainer versions in great condition are valued by a myriad of nuanced oddities including bezel type, lines of writing on dial, color of dial, shade of signature, how many lines of type on dial, type of push buttons, reference number oddities, serial number and even how much the sun has faded the dial (a good thing by the way) and the size and color of the word “Daytona.”

Below are our current buy prices for Rolex Daytonas (we have sold millions of dollars worth of Daytonas in the last two years alone):

a. Pre-Daytona $10,000 to $35,000.

b. 6239, 6241, 6262, 6264, 6263, 6265 Rolex Daytona w/o the Paul Newman dial (Usually $50,000 to $100,000 if in good condition, as low as $30,000 in poor condition and as high as $150,000 for certain configurations).

c. The Paul Newman dial (same reference numbers as previous but with the pictured dial). Typically we pay $200,000 to $350,000 for nice examples. Our buy price plummets if dial is ruined, spotted or damaged to well under $100,000; for certain examples we would pay $500,000 to $1 million.

d. 16520 circa 1993 to 1999; $20,000 – $50,000 for steel.

e. 126500LN modern version, usually $18,000 to $30,000 in steel.

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Go ahead, Google us: see why museums and attorneys trust us to liquidate fine jewelry and watches. Always buying rare and valuable items. Cash or auction. We make house calls statewide. It takes an expert, and you have one right here in Tampa Bay. (Those who advertise heavily online often sell their watches to us; yes, they come right back here to Hess Fine Art or Old Northeast Jewelers.)
*Hess is not affiliated with Rolex in any way. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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