As I’m sure a lot of you know, the Rolex watch is one of the most desirable, collectible, and investable watches in the world. The company turns out hundreds of thousands, if not up to one million, of some of the highest quality collectible watches a year, and spends tens of millions of dollars in advertising and sponsorships as well as their exclusive boutiques and stores. Rolex is incredibly selective in the number of stores they open, who represents their brand, and who sells their products. Yet…the watches are nowhere to be found! All of this money is spent to lure customers into their stores, yet there is no inventory! There’s not one friggin’ watch in their store, that’s crazy! So, we’re going to discuss how and why this is happening.
The speculation is that Rolex has always been very strict on limiting the distribution of their watches. Rumor has it, they have both trademarked and copyrighted or only the name Rolex, but all physical details of the watch itself - the style, the crown emblem, etcetera. In the 1960s, Rolex was able to have particular trademark and copyright laws passed in the United States that prohibited people from bringing their Rolex merchandise into the country. For example, if someone were traveling from Italy to the United States with five Rolex watches, or even had them shipped, customs had the right to stop them and inform them that they were not allowed to bring the watches into the US without authority from Rolex first. Crazy! As far as I know, this is the only product in the world that has this high a level of protection and limitations on it. In the past, APR itself has even had Rolex watch shipments from abroad which were not allowed into the country due to the crown emblem on the packaging. To be honest, if it’s just one watch, that would probably slide. However, if you tried to bring in several, either by shipment or personal travel, you wouldn't be able to get them into the United States. Long story short, Rolex has always been extremely restrictive and selective about what they allow into the United States and their product distribution in general. They do not tolerate dealers selling their products on the ‘grey market’ - if you are a registered Rolex dealer, you have to spend a certain amount of money every month, or every year, on their products. To put it plainly, the dealers are basically forced to purchase not only the popular items which will get them more profit, but the less popular styles and models they buy at a discounted rate. Some examples of the watches they purchase in bulk are those of the Tudor and Cellini brands. Another example of how tightly Rolex monitors the distribution of their watches is that they will actually close accounts of dealers whom they find are selling their products to dealers such as APR, who want to purchase the products for resale.
As I mentioned above, if you were to enter a Rolex store today, you would find no inventory in stock. So, Rolex is likely still manufacturing the watches, and perhaps they will begin distributing them in larger quantities down the road. For the moment, they are not distributing any of their watches in order to build an even bigger demand than they already have.
So, that’s the story! Rolex is probably keeping their watches from consumption in order to build greater demand and higher pricing, and it’s working! Currently, many of their watches are selling for as much as double the suggested retail price due to the very lack of availability of product and the incredibly high demand. Here at APR, we are looking to fill the void in Rolex watches! If you are interested in a product, we typically have anywhere from five hundred to one thousand different Rolex pieces on any given day, so whether you are looking for a brand new or a previously-owned collectible, give us a call and we’ll help you out. If you have any additional questions regarding our watches, please call or text us at 212-246-2000 and we will contact you back as soon as possible. You can also find us on Instagram at @apr57nyc, which will lead you to our website and other social media platforms.