Sorry for the long post or if this sounds like a rant, I’m just trying to understand how this works. I get the whole FOMO/scarcity thing Rolex marketing is doing to increase the value, same as other high-end brands such as Ferrari, and it’s obviously working.
We all know the brand’s worth – one of the most recognisable names in the world and synonymous with luxury and prestige (although the word “Rolex” means absolutely nothing, which is amazing) – so I can see why someone would want one.
What about someone who’s never owned a Rolex? My father, although he can afford one, never had any interest in Rolex, or any other watch for that matter. The only piece he owns is a 20+ years old Sector that he got as a present and wore less than a week in total. I have always LOVED watches, sporting various Casio watches since I was 4 years old. My parents got me a couple of watches while growing up, nothing serious, and when I started making my own money, I started buying nicer watches.
Now I have some beautiful watches (my best piece is around $3k, still nothing crazy) and enough money to upgrade to something serious. When I say serious, I mean something that I can wear for 20-30 years and then leave to my children. A heirloom. With that in mind, and not really knowing the state of the market, I went to our local AD to get myself a Rolex.
Boy I was wrong. Right away they told me that SS options are out of the question, they don’t even take names anymore, but I have a chance of getting something else (two-tone pr gold) with probable wait time of 12-24 months. That something else was a Bluesy and I have immediately fallen in love with it, although it’s flashier and $5k more than I wanted to spend. I told the SA to write me up and that hopefully I’ll get it a bit sooner as two years seem like a long time. She said that, based on their research, Rolex has concluded their customers are willing to wait 2 years for their watch.
I can understand that for the existing customers. You have a beautiful, upmarket product that’s trendy for the past hundred years, but how can I know that? How can I fall in love with the brand and watch if I’m not having the opportunity to try it (more than 10 minutes at the AD) and wear it? For example, If I have used Apple for the past 10 years, I know I’m in love with the brand and I’m going to keep buying it and recommend it to everyone, but if I have never used it, what do I really know about it? I’m not getting a BB58 (although a beautiful watch) because I would be compensating and in the end wouldn’t be what I wanted, because it is not a Rolex. I also get that the watch is worth more in the grey the moment I get it, but as I’m not looking to sell the watch, I really don’t care about that.
Why wouldn’t someone young go and pick some other high-end brand, maybe even for less money, when I have to wait couple of years to POTENTIALLY get the watch? There are great watches out there that could also increase their value greatly over time, such as Omega 007 edition or something similar, which you can get right away or in a month for less money (I’m not comparing the watches, just stating).
So if the waiting time ends up being very long, why should I wait and not go for something else?