So… Rolex eh ?
I’ve been a bit critical before regarding the company. I have now succumbed to a fever, and the only cure is more Rolex, I’ve had the pleasure of late, to spend most of my days, inches from the most sought after modern Rolex pieces around.
And I’ve loved every second of it, there is a magical but very human quality to them, even down to the simplest Oyster Perpetual, they are near perfect. Aside from their quality and mechanical prowess, they are a stylistic zeitgeist of culture at the time.
This article is about buying Rolex today.
If you go in to any AD (authorised dealer) of Rolex in London and ask for a GMT or Submariner, you’re likely to be laughed out of the shop. Think trying to get an 8:30 res at Dorsia on a Friday night. So, how do the guys you see knocking around with glinting Rolex sports models swing it?
First thing to know is, yes, you may have put your name down for the Daytona, Batman, Pepsi, or maybe even the Hulk. But bear in mind -before it starts being a pick up line, there is no official Rolex waiting list. As the esteemed and seemingly permanent watch brand, who to this day remain elusive and mysterious, sell all of their watches through authorised dealers. The list, is at the discretion of the manager in charge of said dealer. Meaning you can put your name down at every dealer in the capital wearing your shiniest shoes and suitiest suit, but if you haven’t shopped with them before they’re likely to give every piece to Tom, Dick and or Harry that has bought screws from them before you have, and so they should!
This for you means you have three options:
You buy a few pieces with short waiting lists, hoping to catch the eye of the manager and maybe, they will cast his eye across the list on a month they’re are not doing so well (try august,) and see that you have slung some shekels in their direction this month, and drop you a line, giving you 36 hours to get to the boutique, (and will often ask you to pay for the piece over the phone before having seen it,) before it falls to the next chap in the Thomas Pink shirt with big eyebrows, and a love for après ski in “Verbz”.
You give in and submit to the secondary market. There is no shame in this, assuming it really is a watch you want and that you didn’t just want to buy it to flip it… You arsehole… The biggest benefit of secondary market dealers is that they offer accessibility and relatively competitive pricing, so if you don’t want to wait five years for it (or worse yet have your dreams dashed by Rolex discontinuing the piece whilst you’re on the waiting list,) hit up a dealer. Yes, the mark up is dear, for anything more expensive than a black no date Sub, but if you can, why not? The price is reflective of how many people are also pining for one, Plus, you will really never lose money on a Rolex sports model.
You are so rich you buy Rolex.
All three of these options are going to cost you money, and lots…
Rolex is as Rolex does, its expensive. Of course, it didn’t use to be. Way back when, in my day and when I was a little girl; I remember flicking through the first issue of GQ I ever bought at the tender age of fourteen. Eva Green was on the front cover, as Casino Royale had just been released in the cinema. Somewhere in the middle of this magazine there was a short editorial on the re-release of the TAG Heuer Monaco anniversary, worn by Steve Mcqueen (nod nod, wank wank). On the next page was an advert for Rolex. Still in the days of the aluminium bezel submariner. It’s sharp curves and notched bezel; the crown, looking like the turret of a tiger tank. That was the watch for me…
Of course on the following page I saw the price.
How was I ever going to afford such astronomical amounts?!
Today, we see the retail value has near doubled for sports models from Rolex, and of course, as we all know, there aren’t enough Swiss people alive to make any more.
So, for the time being, until they do some more breeding or cloning or whatever it is they do, we will be unlikely to see a relent in prices for time pieces such as these or an increase in production. The only thing I can suggest is to buy them while you can, even if it’s for an investment, this bubble ain’t going to pop anytime soon.