The impact of removing the rind from fresh-cut watermelon slices was assessed on the quality of the product during storage at 4 °C for 9 days. Flesh lycopene declined from 55.4 to 47.9 mg kg−1 f.w. and colour lightness (L*) increased from 43.2 to 45.8 after 2 days of storage. Initial heart and placental flesh firmness increased from 7.3 and 9.8 N, respectively, to 9.5 and 12.8 N after 9 days, but were unaffected by rind processing. Electrolyte leakage from placental tissue was unaffected by storage and rind. Rind presence limited juice run-off by 47.2% and maintained mean total soluble sugar concentration in the slices at 86.0 mg mL−1 as opposed to 76.8 mg mL−1 in rind-less slices. Change in the quality was most pronounced between 0 and 2 day of storage. Removing the rind accelerated senescence and off-flavour production, while the presence of rind improved the overall storage stability of fresh-cut watermelon slices.