What is a Pizza Rolex?

What is a Pizza Rolex?

In 1977 Domino’s Pizza founder and CEO Tom Monaghan gave a high-earning franchise owner the watch off his wrist.

“I wore a Bulova with our Domino’s logo on its face. A franchisee asked what he had to do to get that watch from me, and I told him, ‘Turn in a twenty-thousand-dollar sales week.’ He did it.” From Monaghan's 1986 autobiography, Pizza Tiger

Thus started the tradition of the Domino’s corporation incentivizing its franchisees with wristwatches. Managhan began by gifting a Bulova to top earners and later a Domino’s branded Seikos. Eventually, the Rolex Challenge was instituted: $20,000 in sales accomplished within a single week would earn you a silver Rolex Air-King with Domino’s branding on both the face and band.

As Rolex prices increased so did the stakes. Present-day conditions demand $25,000 in weekly sales for four consecutive weeks to earn the prize of a Rolex Oyster Perpetual (now branded on the band and casing). The average weekly sales of a Domino’s franchise in the United States is approximately $17,000.

“As soon as I [realized] the challenges were attainable, I started to work hard for them, I have won five times, including at the $45,000 and $50,000 level. Fifty-thousand dollars is a lot of pizza per week. It required growing the staff and more preparation.” Hannah Lantz, Domino’s franchisee

Monaghan has suggested that offering employees the same kind of luxury pens, ties and watches he owned (including the watch off his own wrist) would endow them with entrepreneurial status. As for the watches themselves, the ones that show up on the secondhand market have become oddball collectibles, selling for over what you would expect to pay for a vintage factory version of the model.

Pictured below are the delightful Coca Cola and Winn Dixie branded Rolexes. 

All pieces mentioned can be viewed at our Manhattan gallery, APR57. If you like Rolexes you will like our radio show. Tune into WOR 710 AM, every Sunday evening between 8pm-9pm.
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