Rolex Introduces Rolex Certified Pre-Owned (RCPO) in Belgium

The long-awaited service that ensures Rolex fans never have to doubt the authenticity of a vintage Rolex is now available in Belgium too. Starting mid-July, Rolex offers the Rolex Certified Pre-Owned (RCPO)program through the Brussels jeweler Yvan’s. This program ensures that Rolex watches are meticulously maintained within the official circuit and remain fully authentic, regardless of how many times they change ownership.

By Anja Van Der Borght

In the past two years, we couldn’t ignore it. Due to negative/low interest rates, many people speculated in cars, art, and, yes, watches. The prices of certain iconic watch models such as the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, and Rolex models like the Daytona, the Rolex GMT-Master II with blue-red bezel (the so-called Pepsi), and steel watches skyrocketed. The waiting lists were long, and a watch that was brand new from the Rolex boutique was worth multiples of its price on the gray market the next day. Some customers who thought the sky was the limit are now disappointed as the market has corrected itself in recent months. Initiatives like the Rolex Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program (other brands like Audemars Piguet are also working on a pre-owned program) can only stabilize the market and create more satisfied customers. Rolex develops products with a reputation for durability, which, thanks to high-quality standards, can last multiple lifetimes and align with the idea of Perpetual: preserving, maintaining, and guaranteeing what already exists. Ambre Friedmann, one of Yvan’s three daughters and Managing Director at Yvan’s, explains.

Ambre Friedmann, one of Yvan’s three daughters and Managing Director at Yvan’s.

Why are you introducing the Rolex Certified Pre-Owned (RCPO) program?
AF: “In 1955, my father and grandfather opened Yvan’s on Adolphe Maxlaan in Brussels, which immediately became an official Rolex concession in Belgium. Today, we continue this history and Yvan’s is the first retailer in our country to represent the Rolex Certified Pre-Owned program. A watch often has multiple owners throughout its life, and thanks to the RCPO program, we can guide customers throughout the entire lifespan of their Rolex. This program ensures that Rolex watches are meticulously maintained within the official circuit and remain fully authentic, regardless of how many times they change ownership. The goal is to prevent watches from being poorly handled or having important parts changed (often to create added value) and to ensure the quality and value of Rolex watches from the moment of purchase to the end of their lifespan. In short, the program is a step forward in transparency and reliability for the pre-owned watch market.”

Where do the watches you sell through RCPO come from?
AF: “At RCPO, we buy back watches from our own customers. They can bring us Rolex watches that are at least three years old. Our own watchmaker in the boutique performs an initial authentication. Based on that, we decide whether to purchase the watch. The watch then receives maintenance, is certified, and the customer receives an international two-year warranty certificate. If the movements are modern, we perform the maintenance internally. Depending on the caliber and age of the watch, they will be restored at Rolex. Currently, we have about thirty watches in our RCPO program available, even before any official promotion was made. After the rumor spread that we would start RCPO, customers spontaneously offered their Rolex watches for various reasons. Some were planning a major purchase, others just wanted to travel far or buy a new watch. From now on, we will spontaneously ask all our customers who come to us for maintenance of their Rolex (every seven to ten years) if they are interested in selling their watch to us.”

What happens if Yvan’s purchases a watch, sends it for verification to Rolex, and it turns out not to be 100% authentic?
AF: “We can always verify the authenticity of the watch internally with our watchmaker. She is trained by Rolex, has taken the necessary courses, and has been working for us for fifteen years. Every watch we purchase is thoroughly verified for authenticity and quality. Such an occurrence is almost excluded. Normally, our watchmaker immediately sees when opening the watch case if the watch has been tampered with by someone outside the Rolex circuit. If the watch is not authentic, Rolex cannot proceed with the certification. For the certification to proceed, the watchmaker must be able to determine that all important parts (movement, case, dial) and the bracelet are authentic.”

Are you insured for this since you are purchasing these watches?
AF: “We indeed take ultimate responsibility. That’s why we are very cautious with our watchmaker. As soon as we have the slightest doubt, we will not proceed with a purchase.”

When restoring a Rolex watch, the customer also receives a restoration book that visually documents the restoration project with various photos. What can the customer expect through RCPO?
AF: “Depending on the age of the Rolex watch, maintenance is done at Yvan’s or Rolex. However, certification is done exclusively at Rolex. If the watch has a certain age – such as a Daytona Paul Newman – it falls into the ‘restoration’ category. These watches are automatically sent to Rolex Geneva for restoration, maintenance, and certification and are delivered to the end consumer with all documentation of all maintenance stages supporting the brand’s quality and excellence. All RCPO watches are presented in a special case with a seal symbolizing the certified watch status.”

Will you be the only ones offering RCPO in our country?
AF: “We are certainly the first in Belgium. Maybe there will be more in the future. Rolex CPO was launched a year and a half ago in Switzerland through Bucherer in Geneva, a multi-brand boutique and Rolex partner from the beginning. It was a kind of test phase, and it took a few months to see how it went. Any retailer wishing to offer the RCPO program must meet a series of criteria: for example, you must set up a dedicated RCPO corner in the boutique and have an e-commerce website to sell these watches online.”

How do you determine the price of the RCPO watches?
AF: “We are the ones who determine the buyback and selling prices. Our team of experts conducts the necessary market research for this.”

It seems wise for customers to come to Yvan’s if they want to purchase a pre-owned Rolex, but wouldn’t customers be more inclined to sell their watch to whoever offers them the most?
AF: “It’s human to see where you can get the most profit, but I think customers are also concerned about the origin of the money nowadays. Customers will feel more confident in an official store because they know everything is done transparently here, even when it comes to large sums of money. Customers today generally prefer a place where everything is done according to the rules of the art over a few extra euros they might get elsewhere.”

Available from mid-July via,

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