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Why Are Rolexes So Expensive And Hard To Find?  January 03, 2022 (0 comments)


Hong Kong—It’s not like a Rolex was ever inexpensive, but prices have leapt into the stratosphere, and that’s assuming you can even find one to buy. Image: A Rolex watchmaker at work. Rolex via SCMP.

Why? This article in Business Insider and the South China Morning Post examines the shortage of Rolexes—and questions whether the scarcity is an intentional ploy to take charge of the explosive resale market. 

 “Although the supply of Rolex watches may have briefly been disrupted by production and supply chain problems at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, that’s not the reason they’re so hard to find – or so expensive when you do locate one,” says the article.

Rolex didn’t respond to Business Insider or SCMP, but several months ago told Yahoo! the shortage wasn’t intentional. The brand is believed to produce a million pieces per year, and some dealers are getting them, says the Insider/SCMP article, so it appears the so-called shortage is really a very controlled release.

This also is impacting the exploding secondhand market, where jewelry and watches are leading the entire category's growth and Rolex and Patek Philippe lead the pack among pre-owned luxury watch brands. 

Related: Luxury Resale, Including Jewelry And Watches, Rocketed In 2020

Some Rolex and Patek models are selling for as much as three times their original price in the resale market. While that money doesn’t necessarily go into the brand’s coffers—that we know of—it does ensure the brands retain and gain value, providing justification for both sky-high prices and tight distribution.

A good side effect of all this is that the entire watch market is getting a boost, says the Business Insider/SCMP article. Buyers who can’t get their first choice are looking at other historic luxury watches instead.

Read more here.

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