First Rolex - Beg for an allocation or pay over sticker on the grey market?

Hello there, 

I have been a huge watch enthusiast for many years now and finally think it's the time to pull the trigger on my first Rolex and hopefully build out a collection. I'm looking at getting a GMT Pepsi on the jubilee bracelet. Obviously this is a very hot piece and there are two ways to get one. Get an allocation from a Rolex AD or pay double MSRP and buy it on the grey market.

For those with some experience in the market what is the better play? I have no problem being put on a waiting list but that guarantees nothing. I could be on a list for years and get nothing. So do you buy a bunch of shitty watches you don't want to establish a relationship with the Rolex AD to get allocations for the hot watches? Or skip this BS pay over MSRP and get immediately? while paying over sticker makes me feel like I'm getting a shitty deal, it does seem that the prices are only trending upwards, so worst case even if you pay double your money isn't going down the toilet. 


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Comments (17)

Jan 21, 2022 - 9:00pm
metametaman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I would go the AD route. You must have friends who can get you in to use their AD. And if you don't, buy a few other watches and Mint your own relationship with an AD. The Pepsi one is dope AF.

Jan 22, 2022 - 3:44am
mayoineko, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Depends on if you like the watches/jewelry you have to buy to build that relationship. Also some ADs, especially in the suburbs, will add you to the waitlist even if you have little to no purchase history. Try the ADs in your hometown first. In the meanwhile just buy one at a grey and enjoy it.

Jan 22, 2022 - 9:44am
BrohanSantana, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think this really depends on whether you want to have a watch collection or if you just want a GMT and to call it a day. I'd start by calling the dealers in your area and just asking them about when they have any, if you can get on the waitlist, etc. If they are big on prior customers for the waitlist and you really just want a Pepsi GMT (and no other watches) then I would just search around and just buy one. Try calling around to aftermarket dealers in other cities too; it may be worth flying somewhere for a day trip to buy it.

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Jan 22, 2022 - 11:27am
eloquence, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Agree with everyone else, just buy it used. Even at the current retail prices it'll appreciate in the long term. Make sure to find a quality dealer.

It's not even a waitlist thing, you'd have to buy several watches to end up with a Pepsi. Unless you have a wife you want to treat plus 1 or 2 for yourself, you're wasting a lot of time and money.


Jan 22, 2022 - 12:03pm
217con, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What other brands have SS sports watches worth cross-shopping? I've looked at omega speed/sea master but I can't get nearly as excited about them.

Most Helpful
Jan 22, 2022 - 12:48pm
theATL, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Well if you are going to spend the same amount of money as buying the GMT in secondary market then you have more options. 

You have the usual impossible to get (I.e., super hyped watches), but would be similarly priced if msrp (ALS Odysseus, Patek Nautilus or Aquanaut, AP royal oak)

You have the more attainable Vacheron Overseas (41mm, $22k or so msrp) - much better watch in my view

Then you have the attainable mid end (but generally higher than Rolex) brands: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, Glashutte SeaQ, Parmigiani Tonda, Breguet Marine, Zenith El Primero, JLC Polaris, some IWC models, and Ulysse Nardin (more Rolex level or a bit below, depending on which model)

After that you have the similar to maybe slightly lower than Rolex. So the Omega, Breitlings, etc

And finally, some independents, but they tend to be pricier. Moser center seconds, Czapek Antarctique (love this one) as two that come to mind (there are others but then I think you are in the 30-40k range). 

  • 6
Jan 22, 2022 - 4:06pm
NPV123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

A true watch guy. Parmigiani I'd a spectacular brand and can be had at practically bargain prices if you shop smart.

Jan 22, 2022 - 7:06pm
217con, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I love the overseas but have heard they've become ridiculously difficult to get as well.

Jan 22, 2022 - 4:05pm
NPV123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Almost impossible to get allocated anything halfway decent from your AD without spending loads of cash on the undesirable models. Just go grey market and you'll retain most of your value or earn a little coin if you decide to sell later on.

Jan 24, 2022 - 12:57pm
Ash Ketchum, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As others have said, it will be near impossible to get a Pepsi from an AD. I would just go grey.

Prices have been moving like crazy in the past few weeks. The 2022 price increase instituted by Rolex is still filtering through the market. Pepsi's are going for close to $30k in the grey market right now and couple dealer friends I know say they are getting lifted in 2-3 days whenever one comes in stock. If I were a betting man, which I am, I think prices likely go higher. Which means it will be even tougher to get from an AD unless you are a VVIP.

There are a lot of other good brands out there but honestly, if you have your eyes on a Rolex, nothing else will scratch that itch. The Pepsi is one of the best watches of all time. Bite the bullet and go grey. You won't regret it (I mean, unless the stock market crashes next week).

Jan 24, 2022 - 4:07pm
Ash Ketchum, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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