Why is It So Hard to Buy a Rolex?

Why is it hard to buy a Rolex?

Have you ever tried to buy a Rolex men’s watch and had to join a long waiting list? You’re willing to shell out the cash, but your favorite Rolex watch is unavailable. What’s going on here? Well, we’ve got answers for you.

Rolex is one of the leading Swiss watchmakers. They make iconic luxury timepieces that successful people want to own and wear. Buying a Rolex is like a rite of passage for some men. It says you’ve developed a taste for the finer things in life. Yet, it can be frustrating to claw your way to the top only to be denied a Rolex men’s watch once you get there.

What gives?

Well, the top watchmakers all have some trouble meeting demand. The more popular the brand, the harder it seems to get one on your wrist. Factory closures and delivery bottlenecks are the likely culprits for recent shortages, but there’s another layer to this onion. Exclusive showrooms, shady retailer kickbacks, and frustrating waiting lists only serve to make the men’s watch industry more profitable.

FHS statistics report that the Swiss watch industry only suffered a marginal hit due to Covid-19. The industry is currently experiencing a 20% increase in profit. Business is booming. So, is there a conspiracy around the shortage of Rolex watches?

Rolex passed most of the blame onto its retail partners. In a rare company statement released to Yahoo, Rolex insisted that the shortage wasn’t a marketing ploy. “The scarcity of our products is not a strategy on our part. Our current production cannot meet the existing demand in an exhaustive way, at least not without reducing the quality of our watches – something we refuse to do as the quality of our products must never be compromised.”

That’s reassuring unless you’re one of the unfortunate chaps who’ve been on a waiting list for months. You’ll get a quality product…at some point in the near future. It’s not Rolex’ fault apparently. “Finally, it should be noted that Rolex watches are available exclusively from official retailers, who independently manage the allocation of watches to customers.”

More Information about Rolex’s Position

Rolex isn’t willing to compromise quality to meet demand. Rolex has a favorable position in the Swiss watchmaking industry. They’re an entirely privately owned company. There aren’t any shareholders to push executives toward change.

Rolex is owned by the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, which makes them a subsidiary of a charitable organization. Now, that’s some slippery corporate restructuring worthy of….well, Switzerland.

While a portion of Rolex profits go to the charity of HWF, their business doesn’t have to answer to anyone. Rolex is a leader in Swiss watchmaking and one of the world’s most recognized name brands. Basically, if you have to wait for a Rolex watch, there’s nothing that anyone outside of Rolex can do about it.

The main reason why you can’t get your hands on a Rolex watch is because the supply has remained relatively fixed while global demand has risen. Rolex has no incentive to rush production on more watches. That would reduce quality and flood the market. A move like that would cheapen the brand and drive the price of a luxury Rolex men’s watch down.

Related: Here’s Why Rolex Watches Are So Popular

When Will You Get a Rolex Watch?

There’s no telling when you’ll get the Rolex watch that you want. What appears to be a supply and demand problem that most businesses find a way to fix has given Rolex retailers and dealers a way to pad their pockets.

For example, if you go to a Rolex dealer and ask to buy a Rolex Submariner. The dealer might shrug their shoulders and tell you that there’s a lengthy waiting list for that popular men’s watch. To get on the waiting list, you might have to buy a different watch like an older Rolex Day Date 40.

In essence, you’re buying two watches when you only wanted to buy one. The retailers can choose who they want to sell the most popular Rolex watches to, and that might not be you. There are incentives for the retail dealers to offer these watches to longstanding clients or high rollers. Rolex doesn’t have any sway over who gets put on a dealer’s waiting list.

Related: Shocking Record Broken for World’s Most Expensive Watch

How Can You Get a Rolex Watch?

You can try to order a Rolex watch directly from the manufacturer, but Rolex will hand you over to an official Rolex dealer in your area. You can get put on that retailer’s waiting list and receive a notification when the watch you want becomes available. Try to avoid those sneaky kickbacks where you need to buy another watch that you really don’t want.

There’s another way. You can search online for a private owner or collector. They might have the watch you want and be persuaded to part with it. You might be surprised, but you can also find Rolex men’s watches on Amazon. Check out the Amazon listing if you get frustrated with waiting.

You might also consider buying a different watch. Rolex isn’t the only game in town. Shop around and see what catches your eye. By changing your desire for a Rolex watch, you take back some of that power that Rolex dealers are lording over you. It’s your wrist…put something else on it.

Read Next: How to Dress Like a Billionaire

About Freddy Blackmon 202 Articles
Freddy Blackmon is a freelance writer and journalist who has a passion for cars, technology, and fitness. Look for articles on these topics and more. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram.