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Thread: Rolex trying to catch up with demand?

  1. #1
    Master
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    Rolex trying to catch up with demand?

    Watchbox, Hodinkee and probably others are starting to speculate that Rolex didn't release any models like a coke GMT in steel, new sub, ceramic explorer 2 etc as they are trying to catch up with demand for the existing SS watches they cant supply to the market. Would be great if this is true and over this year the wait lists for models start to diminish.

    Stu

  2. #2
    Surely itís only a matter of time until production is increased and demand met.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by boring_sandwich View Post
    Surely itís only a matter of time until production is increased and demand met.
    Not sure as there are probably many thousands across the world waiting on certain models but if they make a dent in the demand that would be great! Imagine walking up to a jewellers to see subs and GMT's etc in the window....

  4. #4
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    It has to make sense because frustrated, angry, customers are not good for business.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    It has to make sense because frustrated, angry, customers are not good for business.
    That's pretty much what they are all saying. Disgruntled customers are bad for business and they need to address the supply concern. Lets hope its true!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuno1 View Post
    Not sure as there are probably many thousands across the world waiting on certain models but if they make a dent in the demand that would be great! Imagine walking up to a jewellers to see subs and GMT's etc in the window....
    It was only a couple of years ago you could and even obtain a small discount or a free future service.
    I certainly think itís in a bubble at the moment which wonít last.
    Letís be honest new Subs etc are not that special and certainly donít deserve to sell above list.
    Last edited by boring_sandwich; 22nd March 2019 at 14:54.

  7. #7
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    Surely it's about getting customers into the shop. Customers who cant get the watch through the dealer then go and spend a premium elsewhere. If the SS models were easier to obtain then there is a good chance the customer returns and buys another model or trades one in and and gets another or upgrades. That £12k at a grey dealer for a Batman could translate to a Submariner and a Batman through official dealers. Those stores cant be cheap to run and there are so many other models vying for the same money.

  8. #8
    Iím not sure that Rolex are even capable of upping production, unless they invest in a new factory. They are already producing thousands of watches a day and that is probably at capacity for the highly trained computers and robots that make them. They could switch production from Datejusts to the sports models but I canít see that happening as the Datejust is their most popular watch by far. I would also think that, if the sports models were to become more widely available, demand for them would crash as those only after a quick buck would, all of a sudden, pass on them.

  9. #9
    I don't think so.
    I doubt if Rolex is losing any sleep over 'disgruntled customers' hyperventilating on a watch forum.

  10. #10
    Hodinkee etc rolling out this line could also just be smoke and mirrors - a nice way of helping Rolex try and save face after a some what disappointing Baselworld?

  11. #11
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    I bought a Rolex from an AD in 2009 - I had no previous relationship and just emailed them asking if they would do a GMT IIc with 18% off (my target price) and they said yes - I had it on my wrist the next day!

    They had almost every sports model in the window too.

    Those were the days!
    Last edited by ach5; 22nd March 2019 at 15:13. Reason: spellin

  12. #12
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    Ive also had this feeling. Just yesterday, I had a call from my Rolex SA Contact who i deal with here in Tokyo. I have 2 previous purchases from her, but the strange thing was that she called me and asked how I found basel and which models I would like to order?

    I never in my life had a Rolex SA trying to SELL ME a watch before so this was very new. She even gave me indications as to the month that I will recieve said watch. I honestly think that distributions are going to increase, otherwise why would she call me.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ach5 View Post
    I bought a Rolex from an AD in 2009 - I had no previous relationship and just emailed them asking if they would do a GMT IIc with 18% off (my target price) and they said yes - I had it on my wrist the next day!

    They had almost every sports model in the window too.

    Those were the days!
    Nice to see you here, Ach!
    Good old days!

  14. #14
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    And you Raj! Especially good to see you :-)

  15. #15
    Well as far as Basel 2019 is concerned Rolex and Tudor have been a damp squid, with the odd smattering of newish upgraded models no one really wants! EG a TT Sea Dweller which is about as much use as a diamond encrusted hammer! Instead they could have fitted the 3235 movement to the Sub date and produced a Datejust 38 to bridge the gap between the too small/large for many 36 /41. Maybe after last years Basel, which unveiled many great models from both companies, there was little left in the tank for this year. Roll on 2020

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    Last edited by henk; 22nd March 2019 at 15:37.

  16. #16
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    I think they need to up production for a few reasons.

    It's great for the brand in some circles (non wis) but here we are often multiple buyers and they are missing out on future sales.

    People are catching on than buying a GMT for the price of an AP makes little sense.

    There's a bit of much greyness over it all nowadays. Cloak and dagger conversations with dealers etc. It's not a 'nice' environment in my opinion.

  17. #17
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    It will happen, or fashion will change. It will be a right hoot seeing all those batman, hulks whatever they are called on SC competing on price in a race to the bottom.

    Of course I'm wrong, can only go up in value.

  18. #18
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    They donít want to meet demand. Keep demand high....keeps prices high......keep demand high....

  19. #19
    Master reggie747's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by henk View Post
    Well as far as Basel 2019 is concerned Rolex and Tudor have been a damp squid
    DEFINITION

    "damp squib" - noun

    BRITISH

    a situation or event which is much less impressive than expected.


    NOT DAMP SQUID !!!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    I don't think so.
    I doubt if Rolex is losing any sleep over 'disgruntled customers' hyperventilating on a watch forum.

    So true. I think people sometimes forget that the Rolex way of working has been very successful for decades, unlike lots of other watch makers who have gone to the wall, or have been bought up by conglomerates, hence I doubt they will change - which could alienate their current loyal customer base.

    As for the 'disgruntled customers', i am sure they will either have to learn to be patient, go grey, or simply bugger off. It's a bit like suggesting De Beers should put more diamonds on the market to make them cheaper.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
    Friedrich Nietzsche


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyg View Post
    So true. I think people sometimes forget that the Rolex way of working has been very successful for decades, unlike lots of other watch makers who have gone to the wall, or have been bought up by conglomerates, hence I doubt they will change - which could alienate their current loyal customer base.

    As for the 'disgruntled customers', i am sure they will either have to learn to be patient, go grey, or simply bugger off. It's a bit like suggesting De Beers should put more diamonds on the market to make them cheaper.
    By increasing demand they could actually make more money and gain a LOT more customers so the current model is not as profitable as making more watches available.

    It's not like the diamond analogy as the issue with Rolex is they cant be had at RRP, diamonds can as they are plentiful. I get what you are trying to say and time will tell I guess.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by reggie747 View Post
    DEFINITION

    "damp squib" - noun

    BRITISH

    a situation or event which is much less impressive than expected.


    NOT DAMP SQUID !!!
    Bit of a mute point really.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by reggie747 View Post
    DEFINITION

    "damp squib" - noun

    BRITISH

    a situation or event which is much less impressive than expected.


    NOT DAMP SQUID !!!

    Im glad you posted that! it was annoying me too, but not enough to post about it, oh wait..

  24. #24
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    Supply and demand is a fine line thing
    Over supply causes discounting under supply feeds the grey market
    Rolexís logic i think runs to short supply on ss sports models pushes people
    to spend more and enter the two tone market (ska zone) or even push to bling gold options
    Reality is you contact your ad for ss sports and just get that look and told we will put you on an invisible list and wait wait wait
    Choice is pay the grey money or buy something else
    This is where for me there business model falls down
    It used to be youíd buy your ss sports model and then move up because
    you got into the brand and upgraded naturally
    On day it will return



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  25. #25
    Master sean's Avatar
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    It's as good a theory as any for this outcome:

    Quote Originally Posted by Haywood_Milton View Post
    Expect supply to increase in the UK this year. Where main agents previously may have expected two or three Pepsi GMTs per year, it will in fact be perhaps four times that.

  26. #26
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    Didnít HM say this a couple of months back?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    I don't think so.
    I doubt if Rolex is losing any sleep over 'disgruntled customers' hyperventilating on a watch forum.
    Probably not but they are missing out on a lot of sales and money from lack of supply. That's customers who end up going to their competitors in a lot of cases.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyg View Post
    So true. I think people sometimes forget that the Rolex way of working has been very successful for decades, unlike lots of other watch makers who have gone to the wall, or have been bought up by conglomerates, hence I doubt they will change
    That's fair enough. Clearly they have been highly successful, but has there ever been such a long period when so many ss sports models have been virtually unavailable so widely via their own authorised dealers?

    I can't remember one personally. Until the last few years, only the Daytona required being placed on the mystical list??

    There does surely come a point that upping production makes more commercial sense for Rolex?

  29. #29
    I really donít think itís a production issue. Itís a Marketing decision. Surely they can just press different buttons on their production machinery that spits out Ďsports modelí cases and bracelets, and meet demand. Itís all about creating a false sense of exclusivity and rarity to justify a steel watch that costs as much as a car to buy. Iíd be genuinely gobsmacked if itís because they canít make enough of them


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  30. #30
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    Is there the remotest shred of evidence that Rolex are in fact working at full capacity?

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by wombleh View Post
    Probably not but they are missing out on a lot of sales and money from lack of supply. That's customers who end up going to their competitors in a lot of cases.
    Do they? They all seem to be on waiting lists.

  32. #32
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    It would be interesting if Rolex reached a similar state to most other manufactures, the ability to walk into any dealer and buy what you want, even negotiate discounts and second hand prices no more than 2/3s of the list price. No profiteering etc.

    Big question is, would the demand fall away if suddenly these watches weren't hot anymore. Sure, brand lovers would still buy, but I think a fair few would lose interest.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by reggie747 View Post
    DEFINITION

    "damp squib" - noun

    BRITISH

    a situation or event which is much less impressive than expected.


    NOT DAMP SQUID !!!
    IT crowd.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    It would be interesting if Rolex reached a similar state to most other manufactures, the ability to walk into any dealer and buy what you want, even negotiate discounts and second hand prices no more than 2/3s of the list price. No profiteering etc.

    Big question is, would the demand fall away if suddenly these watches weren't hot anymore. Sure, brand lovers would still buy, but I think a fair few would lose interest.
    As below, in the past you could and even now some Rolex watches you can get a discount on and some you can just walk into a shop and buy. None of this or 3 year waiting lists have stopped people wanting to buy.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    I don't think so.
    I doubt if Rolex is losing any sleep over 'disgruntled customers' hyperventilating on a watch forum.
    Several rumours doing the rounds earlier in the year from decent sources that professional models production to be ramped up.

  36. #36
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    I hear that Rolex are tripling production of sports watches in order to avoid losing tens of thousands of sales to the new Tudor P01.....

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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    Big question is, would the demand fall away if suddenly these watches weren't hot anymore. Sure, brand lovers would still buy, but I think a fair few would lose interest.
    Most of the brand lovers that were about 10 years or 5 years ago are still about today I reckon and will be going forward. Itís all those that have jumped on the band wagon in the last 2 or 3 years that would disappear as quick as they arrived if supply equalled demand and there was no profit to be had flipping.

  38. #38
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    Rolex have been in short supply before, then freely available, then short....do they short from time to time to drive demand? Part of the appeal for some, is that Rolex is a brand that is fairly good at holding and increasing in value, or at least SS sports models are. Does the periodic short supply feed that in part?

  39. #39
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    Iíd be very interested to hear the truth from one of the bigger retailing groups about how the restrictions on the supply of the more popular watches is having an effect on their trading margins.


    Iíve made the point before , increase the rrp and therefore the dealer margins rather than let the grey dealers mop up , the supply chain is a two way thing .

    Rolex demanding high quality fit outs and point of sale , itís about time the dealers put pressure on Rolex and got them to up supply.

  40. #40
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    Nowadays I get the feeling even if Rolex doubled production we would just see double going out the back door to the greys.....

  41. #41
    Luxury is not simply price. It's scarcity. That's why people will line up for a hoodie that says 'Supreme' on it, why they will buy their husbands a stack of belts and other crap so that Hermes will deem them a worthy customer to be allocated a Birkin, and that's why people will endure waiting lists and buying Datejusts or other random jewellery from ADs just to get some specific Rolex models.

    There are more expensive and arguably better watches that sit on shelves. A gold Daytona seems to me quite clearly superior to a steel Daytona (given that I wouldn't be wearing it to work with power tools etc) and the RRP is higher, yet the latter has a big premium and the former doesn't.

    Now maybe Rolex could supply more Daytona's and GMTs to the market and maintain scarcity. But I doubt they'd want to risk it too much. If they want to sell more watches, the smart thing to do is to release other models that can be safely considered 'not scarce' at a lower price point. Like Oyster 39s. I'm sure the margins are just fine on those - remember Rolex doesn't keep the "premium" that comes with the rare models, the retailer gets it (if they do something to monetize the rarity e.g. get customers to buy diamonds or what not) or the customers get it by flipping .

    To be honest if I were Rolex, I would seek to own and operate more of my own boutiques, give those boutiques preferential allocation for the most sought after models, and let people buy Presidents and other high margin models to get up the "list". Then you would be rewarding your most profitable customers and keeping the profits for yourself. And your sales staff would be able to suss out the resellers. At least Hermes does it, I'm sure Rolex can.

  42. #42
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    Rolex trying to catch up with demand?

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    Last edited by Norbert; 24th March 2019 at 22:09.

  43. #43
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    I have bought and sold many Rolex over the years but nothing changes.

    They march to there own tune not the customers.

    So much that i have lost a lot of love for the brand and I am a Rolex fanboy

  44. #44
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    There's no real reason for them to produce more, they seem to be doing just fine as things are.

    The difficulty in obtaining one is good for them and don't think they would be as sought after if they were easy to fit hold of.

    Thrill of the chase and all that...

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  45. #45
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    I paid for a new fancy boiler and a new super thick mattress with the money I haven't spent for a prospective Rolex, thank you AD! keep maintaining waiting lists, wife is very happy! :D

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sibo View Post
    There's no real reason for them to produce more, they seem to be doing just fine as things are.

    The difficulty in obtaining one is good for them and don't think they would be as sought after if they were easy to fit hold of.

    Thrill of the chase and all that...

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    Agreed. They produce enough watches itís just that the hot ones are sports models

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sibo View Post
    There's no real reason for them to produce more, they seem to be doing just fine as things are.

    The difficulty in obtaining one is good for them and don't think they would be as sought after if they were easy to fit hold of.

    Thrill of the chase and all that...

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    ^ This.

    The only ones asking for more production are those who donít have what they want. Exactly what Rolex want buyers saying. Patek are even worse than Rolex.

  48. #48
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    Thumbs up

    Do people really believe this ďwe havenít had one watchĒ line?

    If this was the case why is it you can take your pick of them on the grey market or from flippers if your pockets are deep enough?

    Donít you think itís more likely the dealers are lying to you because theyíre not exactly going to say ďweíve had two this month and both went to grey dealers for a cash bungĒ

    Is Rolex now delivering new watches direct to grey dealers or flippers then!


    I referred to it before but there was a good vid on YouTube where a guy was going through a watch district in Far East, he went to a couple of Rolex ADís and there was nothing there (except PM models) and then heíd go down the street and every grey dealer had a blnr, Pepsi etc and you can bet one or more hiding away for when that sells!

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by jameswrx View Post
    Do people really believe this ďwe havenít had one watchĒ line?

    If this was the case why is it you can take your pick of them on the grey market or from flippers if your pockets are deep enough?

    Donít you think itís more likely the dealers are lying to you because theyíre not exactly going to say ďweíve had two this month and both went to grey dealers for a cash bungĒ

    Is Rolex now delivering new watches direct to grey dealers or flippers then!


    I referred to it before but there was a good vid on YouTube where a guy was going through a watch district in Far East, he went to a couple of Rolex ADís and there was nothing there (except PM models) and then heíd go down the street and every grey dealer had a blnr, Pepsi etc and you can bet one or more hiding away for when that sells!
    Exactly! If you do a search on Chrono 24, for example, there are dozens and dozens of new Pepsis and Hulks at 2-3 times the RRP. What shortage!? I think that might have been Austin Daniels in Japan?

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    I don't think so.
    I doubt if Rolex is losing any sleep over 'disgruntled customers' hyperventilating on a watch forum.
    Spot on. I donít see it changing.

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