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Thread: Rolex AD Closure

  1. #1
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    Rolex AD Closure

    I went into my local Rolex AD yesterday to have a look at what they had in stock, (nothing interesting it turned out) and to try the Black Bay Pro. They told me Rolex had just informed them that they’ll no longer be an AD in a few months. They’re a small (ish) independent, apparently the same has happened to several other independents recently. The AD said Rolex are focussing on supply to the bigger chains and possibly expanding their own direct to consumer boutique network. It’ll be interesting how this develops over the next year or so and what (if any) impact that has on the grey market and supply to people who actually want the watches to own and not flip! Sad to see the local independent shops going though. Has the same happened to anyone else’s ADs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AP1 View Post
    I went into my local Rolex AD yesterday to have a look at what they had in stock, (nothing interesting it turned out) and to try the Black Bay Pro. They told me Rolex had just informed them that they’ll no longer be an AD in a few months. They’re a small (ish) independent, apparently the same has happened to several other independents recently. The AD said Rolex are focussing on supply to the bigger chains and possibly expanding their own direct to consumer boutique network. It’ll be interesting how this develops over the next year or so and what (if any) impact that has on the grey market and supply to people who actually want the watches to own and not flip! Sad to see the local independent shops going though. Has the same happened to anyone else’s ADs?
    So - they are actually closing, due to that?

    That might put weight to the notion that a Rolex dealership brings more than revenue from Rolex sales.

  3. #3
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    The general impression I get from here is that they may be among the last independent ADs in urban Britain. I thought this process had been Rolex's strategy for the last few years at least.

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    Rolex AD Closure

    I prefer the small independent dealers. From what’ I remember there is some pressure for regular refits to keep AD status. Not easy to justify that expenditure for the smaller outfits.
    Last edited by Middo; 2nd April 2022 at 20:10.

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    All part of The Masterplan

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    So - they are actually closing, due to that?

    That might put weight to the notion that a Rolex dealership brings more than revenue from Rolex sales.
    I read this as the Rolex AD status was going, not the store itself was closing. But perhaps OP can confirm either way.

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    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1011 View Post
    I read this as the Rolex AD status was going, not the store itself was closing. But perhaps OP can confirm either way.
    Why I asked, as the title says “Rolex AD closure”.

  8. #8
    My local AD in the North West went the same way. Lost their AD status and closed not long afterwards. Great shame.

  9. #9
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    I don’t see how losing the AD status would affect them. Realistically what stock have they been able to get to sell to pay the rent.

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    There are around 110 Rolex AD’s in Uk I think, the intention to reduce them to 50 or less was mentioned to me whilst in St James 3+ years ago to make them more exclusive and reduce the invoicing and postage and make it easier to control and manage lists and distribution.

    With 50 outlets and no duplication in town centres it would make them more ‘special’. A real occasion to ogle the goods, infact 25 Stores could easily be achieved due to the overwhelming demand. Lets wait and see. 2025 is my prediction.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 100thmonkey View Post
    There are around 110 Rolex AD’s in Uk I think, the intention to reduce them to 50 or less was mentioned to me whilst in St James 3+ years ago to make them more exclusive and reduce the invoicing and postage and make it easier to control and manage lists and distribution.

    With 50 outlets and no duplication in town centres it would make them more ‘special’. A real occasion to ogle the goods, infact 25 Stores could easily be achieved due to the overwhelming demand. Lets wait and see. 2025 is my prediction.
    Not shooting the messenger Kerry - it's a nonsense situation which will only get worse.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by joe narvey View Post
    I don’t see how losing the AD status would affect them. Realistically what stock have they been able to get to sell to pay the rent.
    Plenty and all at full asking price to preferred clients.
    Losing Rolex is a huge blow to most who lose it. Having Rolex brings a huge amount of foot fall.

  13. #13
    Yippee, another Rolex thread.

  14. #14
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    Yes, poor wording on my part. The store is losing its AD status but the store itself will remain open. Hopefully they’ll start stocking some more interesting watch brands that you can actually buy. They mentioned that Grand Seiko was a strong possibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Why I asked, as the title says “Rolex AD closure”.
    Yes I read that as closure of the Rolex AD, not the store, but it was loosely worded. OP has clarified now.

    Quote Originally Posted by AP1 View Post
    Yes, poor wording on my part. The store is losing its AD status but the store itself will remain open. Hopefully they’ll start stocking some more interesting watch brands that you can actually buy. They mentioned that Grand Seiko was a strong possibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stefmcd View Post
    The general impression I get from here is that they may be among the last independent ADs in urban Britain. I thought this process had been Rolex's strategy for the last few years at least.

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using TZ-UK mobile app
    Yes, I had heard this was the case but hadn’t seen any evidence of their plan until this week.

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    Heard Middlesbrough goldsmiths loosing Rolex soon

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    Let’s hope Liverpool One Goldsmiths goes the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bokbok View Post
    Heard Middlesbrough goldsmiths loosing Rolex soon
    Middlesbrough and Rolex, not a pairing I think of.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by mrushton View Post
    Middlesbrough and Rolex, not a pairing I think of.
    Are there plenty of Rolex dealers in your neck of the woods?

  21. #21
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    It sure makes sense to reduce the number of places that you can't buy watches from.
    The disappointment will be so much more exclusive when you have travelled 50 miles to not be able to buy a watch

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    It sure makes sense to reduce the number of places that you can't buy watches from.
    The disappointment will be so much more exclusive when you have travelled 50 miles to not be able to buy a watch
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDSWATCH View Post
    Are there plenty of Rolex dealers in your neck of the woods?
    Manchester, 10 miles away.

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    Just buy a Blancpain .


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    My local AD said this weekend that it was pointless having ‘Exhibition only’ Rolex models taking up space in their windows but they have recently taken on Panerai and IWC and are doing pretty well with them.

  26. #26
    I was told a few years ago that Rolex are looking to end up with their own brand Boutiques and Goldsmiths - as their longest standing partner - for the UK at least.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mrushton View Post
    Middlesbrough and Rolex, not a pairing I think of.
    Not a pairing that many people think of but you'd think that Goldmsiths and Rolex did their homework before putting an AD there all those years ago. There are actually a lot of very wealthy people in the area and I'm sure many are Rolex owners. Unfortunately the centre of Middlesbrough has been neglected by its council for many years and I'm surprised that many of the shops, Goldsmiths included have survived so long.

    that said, I can't think of a good reason to go to Bury either?

  28. #28
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    The one that strikes me as oddest is also the one 'nearest' to me (i.e. inconveniently far away), in Grimsby - then again, drug-dealing has got to be pretty profitable...

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post
    The one that strikes me as oddest is also the one 'nearest' to me (i.e. inconveniently far away), in Grimsby - then again, drug-dealing has got to be pretty profitable...
    You would be surprised how much wealth sits in the To the west of Hull down to Newark. Shrewd enough to know where to have a modest not showy property and spend alot if their free time travelling rather than in London traffic. Out of my top 100 customers they represented a significant percentage and were the easiest and most pleasant to deal with.


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  30. #30
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    The AD in Grimsby is a very long standing company with a significant customer base.
    It is odd that it is where it is and that it does not really appear to be in anything remotely described as an affluent area.
    When I saw the title of this thread I did wonder if it was the Grimsby dealer closing up.
    I'm glad it's not but I do wonder how long they will go on for.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by mrushton View Post
    Middlesbrough and Rolex, not a pairing I think of.
    I use to live near Middlesbrough, and whilst it can be pretty rough (the main reason we moved away) it has a decent number of very wealthy people in the town and surrounding villages. High end clothes shops like Psyche do very well for instance.

    Places like Yarm, Hutton Rudby, Hilton etc are very close to Boro and are all very affluent villages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrushton View Post
    Middlesbrough and Rolex, not a pairing I think of.
    Don’t know why you think that, there’s a serious amount of offshore oil men live in Middlesbrough and the surrounding area with lots of spare cash. They might be roughnecks but there money is as good as anyone else’s.


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  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by mrushton View Post
    Middlesbrough and Rolex, not a pairing I think of.
    Yeah, I mean you can just walk in and buy any SS professional model....

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    Quote Originally Posted by theancientmariner View Post
    ........ that said, I can't think of a good reason to go to Bury either?
    Bury's award-winning market for one.

    https://www.burymarket.com/index.aspx?articleid=8321

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickS View Post
    Bury's award-winning market for one.

    https://www.burymarket.com/index.aspx?articleid=8321
    Do they still have the stall selling the steamed new potato’s ?

  36. #36
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    It sure makes sense to reduce the number of places that you can't buy watches from.
    The disappointment will be so much more exclusive when you have travelled 50 miles to not be able to buy a watch
    ROFL!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickS View Post
    Bury's award-winning market for one.
    I must admit that I've never visited a town as a tourist for its market and likely never will. Still, it seems that the locals are happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    Let’s hope Liverpool One Goldsmiths goes the way.
    I will go further and say all Goldsmiths!

  39. #39
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    Don’t know many small independents with Rolex AD the one in Lichfield went quite a while ago.

  40. #40
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    My local Rolex AD has also recently been dropped by Rolex and the staff where actually relieved as they spent so much of their working day dealing with Rolex enquiries but rarely had any pieces to actually sell and it has now freed up their days to promote brands that are physically available in stock to buy immediately.

  41. #41
    Craftsman theancientmariner's Avatar
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    that's a double edged sword.

    on the one hand, if they're an isolated watch seller then as you say, losing the Rolex brand might enable them to sell other brands more efficiently. That said, if it truly improves their ability to sell then surely it would have made more sense for them to drop Rolex before Rolex dropped them?

    on the other hand, if they're one watch seller amongst a few in a particular area, then losing the Rolex AD status may have also lost their USP. Now they have to be able to attract customers to a store when there's several others in the area offering exactly the same thing. Not great.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highroller1 View Post
    My local Rolex AD has also recently been dropped by Rolex and the staff where actually relieved as they spent so much of their working day dealing with Rolex enquiries but rarely had any pieces to actually sell and it has now freed up their days to promote brands that are physically available in stock to buy immediately.
    A common story evolving, hopefully that makes the staffs life’s easier (albeit loses them some extra income in brown envelopes!!!!!) and means they will promote the other brands that have remained in the shadows for too long and be happier to customers doing so.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    Let’s hope Liverpool One Goldsmiths goes the way.
    Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
    I will go further and say all Goldsmiths!
    As a matter of interest, does anyone have an informed estimate of the proportion of UK Rolex sales that are via Watches of Switzerland stores?

  44. #44
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    I live just outside of "boro" lived "in there" for many years, lots of people with money, i walk past goldsmiths every day to work, the rolex window is almost empty.
    a guy i work with has bought quite a few "sports" rolex watches from there, recently bought a Yacht Master 226659, white gold.

  45. #45

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Highroller1 View Post
    My local Rolex AD has also recently been dropped by Rolex and the staff where actually relieved as they spent so much of their working day dealing with Rolex enquiries but rarely had any pieces to actually sell and it has now freed up their days to promote brands that are physically available in stock to buy immediately.

    I suspect its the same one as posted by the O/P, RL Austen?

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highroller1 View Post
    My local Rolex AD has also recently been dropped by Rolex and the staff where actually relieved as they spent so much of their working day dealing with Rolex enquiries but rarely had any pieces to actually sell and it has now freed up their days to promote brands that are physically available in stock to buy immediately.
    Quote Originally Posted by 100thmonkey
    A common story evolving, hopefully that makes the staffs life’s easier (albeit loses them some extra income in brown envelopes!!!!!) and means they will promote the other brands that have remained in the shadows for too long and be happier to customers doing so.
    Unfortunately not for the Middlesbrough AD (Goldsmiths). That store is now closed and they're diverting all customers to the Newcastle branch which isn't exactly close. It wouldn't surprise me if the Middlesbrough branch was entirely supported on the cash flow from Rolex sales and now that's apparently ended they're just not able to compete with the other three watch dealers within five minutes walk of them.

  47. #47
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Wempe are losing Rolex at the end of the year.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by theancientmariner View Post
    Unfortunately not for the Middlesbrough AD (Goldsmiths). That store is now closed and they're diverting all customers to the Newcastle branch which isn't exactly close. It wouldn't surprise me if the Middlesbrough branch was entirely supported on the cash flow from Rolex sales and now that's apparently ended they're just not able to compete with the other three watch dealers within five minutes walk of them.

    God help them dealing with NG on Tyneside then.

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Wempe are losing Rolex at the end of the year.
    OMG. London only or worldwide?

  50. #50
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowdon View Post
    OMG. London only or worldwide?
    Definitely London, not sure about elsewhere.

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