What makes a Rolex so expensive?

Rolex watches are expensive because they are a social status symbol. It would be pointless if anybody could buy a Rolex at an affordable price. Rolex would become simply a watch and maybe not the best watch in the world.

The point is that Rolex is not a watch. It is becoming a lifetime member of an exclusive club. That is the actual worth of a Rolex and why Rolex must be expensive.

Rolexes are status symbols disguised as watches.

Let's be honest Rolex are not the most accurate or best water-resistant watch in the world. Rolex in house movements are reliable but not the most beautiful compare to many other Swiss watches.

Why is Rolex the most famous watch brand in the world?

Rolex is the most famous watch brand in the world because of the universal social recognition that comes by owning a Rolex watch.

Rolex is permanently associated with success, wealth and power. Very few luxury brands have this solid worldwide recognition. There are only a hand full of luxury brands that have achieved such global recognition.

When you buy a Rolex, you are buying this universal social symbol of luxury and wealth. Owning a genuine Rolex watch is like having a permanent gold membership at an exclusive private club. You enter an elite circle where you can compare your Rolexes with your fellow members.

Rolex waiting list

'There is a five-year waiting list for this Rolex model' seems to be a generic answer that Rolex retail assistants will tell casual customer entering the store. In most cases, you will be offered an alternative Rolex model, of course, in stock.

It raises the question:

Is the Rolex waiting list a strategy to sell less popular Rolex models?

In my opinion, probably.

There is no doubt in my mind that Rolex SA could increase production to eliminate the so-called 'Rolex waiting list'. But it is probably not going to happen because the business and marketing benefits for Rolex S.A. is far too good.

The Swiss watch industry has always been a curious one, and watch companies have always been very secretive about what they do and how they do it.

Swiss manufacturer Rolex keeps its production numbers entirely secret. but industry experts estimate its number to be around one million watches a year.

The urban legend that 'it takes a year to produce a Rolex' to explain why Rolex watches are expensive is a fabricated myth.

It is easy to see that Rolex's 4000 employees worldwide can't produce 1,000,000 watches per year without using mass industrial production.

There are four factories where Rolex manufactures all of its parts for its watches and manages its operations.

The Rolex shortage and waiting list are not due to manufacturing issues but more to do with a business and marketing strategy by the Swiss manufacture.

Is waiting your turn pointless?

When you are getting on Rolex's waiting list, are you number XXXX to be served next?

I'm not a Rolex watch retailer, so I don't know for sure, but base on the information I have: there is no 'next turn' on the Rolex waiting list.

If you are not a 'valuable customer' (meaning a regular big spender) at an Authorized dealer, you can be waiting your turn forever.

Some watch dealers have confessed that Rolex is using the waiting list for the Daytona, Submariner and GMT Master to push the sales of other Rolex models in stocks.

One thing that Rolex's end customers do not realize is that their distribution model is highly restrictive. It is almost impossible for Rolex authorized dealers to get the models they want in the quantities they require.

When a Rolex authorized dealer wants to particular Daytona model, they need to buy a batch of other Rolex models less popular and slower to sell.

Using its most popular models as a mechanism, Rolex is pushing store owners to buy stocks of other models.

It's not complicated to see that Rolex dealers who can sell a lot of other Rolex model will have better access to Rolex Daytonas, Submariner or GMT Masters. It does not mean you can get one.

In most cases, the sales team at Rolex stores 'advises' customers to choose from other Rolex models.

When a Rolex store receives a sought after Rolex watch, store owners will prefer longtime customers, meaning customers who are regularly spending a lot of money in their store.

It is almost impossible for a casual customer to walk into a Rolex store and purchase a sought-after watch, like the Rolex Submariner.

Rolex Waiting List 2021

Rolex Model
Rolex Submariner 126610LV
Rolex Submariner 126610LN
Rolex Submariner 126619LB
Rolex Sky Dweller 326235
Rolex Daytona 116519LN
Rolex Daytona 116505
Rolex Daytona 116508
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR
Rolex GMT-Master II 126719BLRO
Rolex GMT-Master II 126711CHNR

How to play the Rolex waiting list game?

  1. Be ready to spend big money
  2. Establish a personal relationship with a Rolex store owner.
  3. Become a 'valuable customer' by spending a lot of money in-store.

If you don't want to play the Rolex waiting list game :

  • Buy the Rolex watch from a reputable grey market dealer. The price will be up to three-time the Rolex Price. It will be faster and maybe cheaper than to become a Rolex 'valuable customer'.
  • Alternatively, buy another brand. There is a few Swiss independent watch brand where you can build a personal relationship with the team that design and build the watch.

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