A brief guide from an ex-beginner, who recently collected her first Rolex.
How It All Started
So, roughly six months ago, the topic of buying luxury watches was discussed among friends to celebrate my milestone birthday, and “Rolex” was immediately an enticing choice. I have heard about Rolex watches being sought-after worldwide because of their brand recognition, iconic designs, quality, reliability, as well as value-retaining, and I dare say ‘investment-oriented’ reasons. Then looking at the official Rolex website, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of designs they produce and it felt like an endless catalog.
Where To Go
I started looking at the official Rolex website to find the closest retailer to me, and it showed me a list of authorised dealers to check out. Then I searched on Google and picked out a few to contact. After messaging about half a dozen retailers, the one that responded well to me was a small, independent family-run company. Here’s where I got my Rolex from.
So these guys have been in business for over 70 years, and their email reply recommended that I visit their store for a detailed discussion. After setting my appointment and made my way to the store, I spent a little over an hour talking about my preferences. They introduced some designs and took notes on their waiting list. Yep, I couldn’t just walk in and browse till I find one that I’m happy with (at least not with real watches). So hence, I decided to share this experience.
Try Before You
Buy Wait For Your Turn
What I picked up on was that authorized dealers were told by Rolex to put watches they received on display ‘for exhibition only’, at least for a few weeks, because they prefer prospective shoppers to view real watches instead of relying on photos online or in lifestyle and fashion magazines.
I asked, “Why is this intervention necessary?”. “Because there’s not enough supply to meet demand…” said the saleslady, which initially sounded like an excuse, but when I really thought about it, she said that Rolex only produces about 1 million watches a year. That sounded like a lot but when I thought about how many upper-middle-income earners there are worldwide, and if just a fraction of them also want a Rolex for their birthday… that’s going to be tough.
We had gone through more than ten designs and I was guided through a selection of watch sizes, materials, and dials. The watches I tried on really gave me a better understanding of the range of colors and sizes to consider, and we finally shortlisted two designs for the saleslady to follow up with me. She politely declined my attempts to put a down payment, because she couldn’t guarantee the watch’s availability. Thankfully one of the designs did not have many pending requests and six months later, she surprised me with a text that they’ve gotten it restocked, and the rest is history.
Sound advice from this rookie, is to take a look and consider the numerous collections Rolex has to offer. If the watch you’re after isn’t available now, it doesn’t mean it might not be available in the future, and there might also be other suitable designs you hadn’t discovered! It also really helps when you can talk about your preferences with a person at the store.
Sure, I had waited six months and a bit for my Rolex, but admittedly I have not worn my other watches since I collected it, and it has become my daily companion and a reminder that all good things take time. I have experienced first-hand the meticulous details, the balanced weight, the comfort and simply the feel of it. I highly recommend asking for professional advice if you’re looking to shop for your next Rolex!