When Rolex makes an announcement, the watch world – heck, the whole world – takes notice. Only two weeks ago, the luxury Swiss watchmaker announced it will be building a new USD$ 1 Billion production facility in Switzerland. If that didn’t excite the hordes of Rolex enthusiasts around the world with the prospect that there may one day be enough supply to meet demand, the news announced overnight might.

Rolex now has officially announced that it will establish a certified pre-owned program, which it sets to roll out this month via selected authorized retailers in Europe. The program – which will offer buyers both certification, a guarantee of authenticity, and an added two-year warranty – will be unveiled at selected Bucherer boutiques in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, Denmark, and the UK, before expanding to other official Rolex retailers by our Autumn 2023 season.

“Rolex advocates the durability of its products. Thanks to uncompromising quality standards, the brand produces watches with the longest possible lifespans. It, therefore, wishes to accompany the second life of its watches already circulating on the market, with a view to preserving, maintaining and guaranteeing what already exists. This approach is in keeping with the Perpetual philosophy: the relentless pursuit of excellence and a long-term commitment to future generations,” said Rolex in a statement released today.

“Rolex watches – new or second-hand – should only be bought from Official Rolex Retailers, who are authorized to sell and care for Rolex watches. Thanks to their skills and technical expertise, the retailers ensure the continued smooth functioning of each timepiece over the years. Only the official Rolex network is able to provide these guarantees.”

While the announcement of the certified pre-owned program is undoubtedly a BIG occasion for the watch world, the news does bring with it many, many unanswered questions that are leaving watch forums in a frenzy.

Sure, it might soon become a possibility that you can walk into a selected authorised dealer and purchase the Rolex of your choice, albeit secondhand. But at what price point? Will buyers be expected to pay over retail in order to acquire the Submariner of their dreams? Will buyers be encouraged to purchase from the pre-owned cabinet over waiting for a brand-new piece? With how the current market sits, maybe the only way to obtain a new Rolex in the future is to build a relationship with Rolex and its authorized dealers through this pre-owned program first?

Only time will tell how this program will be received, and the caveats surrounding its proposition. In terms of process, the program applies to second-hand Rolex models that are at least three years old at the time of resale.

If you take this news at face value, it kind of makes a lot of sense for Rolex to enter into such an offering, in the hopes of perhaps gaining some control over the rampant and wildly-unpredictable secondary market. Authenticity is by far the biggest consideration for buyers entering the secondary market and with the comfort of knowing you’re not only getting an authentic Rolex but one that comes with an added warranty, it’s really a no-brainer (right now) for those wishing to purchase a Rolex timepiece.