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Thread: Rolex AD Closure

  1. #51
    Surprised by that move. That has got to be the classiest watch shop in London

  2. #52

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowdon View Post
    Surprised by that move. That has got to be the classiest watch shop in London
    Was mentioned about a week ago on TRF that happened I think.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by David_D View Post
    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?
    Why WoS brand in particular? Goldsmiths is a trading name of Watches of Switzerland Company Limited.

  5. #55
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    It seems somewhat of a betrayal for a brand to put customers in a situation where they have to build a 'relationship' with an AD to get a watch, but then constantly change who stocks them rendering relationships completely pointless.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian View Post
    Why WoS brand in particular? Goldsmiths is a trading name of Watches of Switzerland Company Limited.
    I meant the WoS Group plc and all the names that they trade under.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by M1011 View Post
    It seems somewhat of a betrayal for a brand to put customers in a situation where they have to build a 'relationship' with an AD to get a watch, but then constantly change who stocks them rendering relationships completely pointless.
    Thatís why, if possible, youíre better not to put your eggs in one basket (with ADs)
    Itís definitely a slap on the face for people waiting patiently on ďlistsĒ

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gareth-W View Post
    Was mentioned about a week ago on TRF that happened I think.
    Yep, mentioned on the internet but with all things Rolex you need to hear it directly for it to be true.

    My friend who has spent £80k in the last 12 months there - and as a result is waiting on a few things - went in and asked on the weekend. Was told sorry, will do what we can until Dec, but youíre SOL.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1011 View Post
    It seems somewhat of a betrayal for a brand to put customers in a situation where they have to build a 'relationship' with an AD to get a watch, but then constantly change who stocks them rendering relationships completely pointless.
    I would not be the first to observe that it is in effect an abusive relationship.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon View Post
    I would not be the first to observe that it is in effect an abusive relationship.
    More like taking someone for dinner and drinks and not getting a coffee!

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by 100thmonkey View Post
    More like taking someone for dinner and drinks and not getting a coffee!
    Or perhaps like taking someone for dinner and drinks and then ghosting them before the end of the date... ;-)

  12. #62
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    That’s a shame, Wempe in London is like a watch lovers version of Hamleys toyshop :)
    Last edited by pete-r; 25th April 2022 at 13:41.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1011 View Post
    It seems somewhat of a betrayal for a brand to put customers in a situation where they have to build a 'relationship' with an AD to get a watch, but then constantly change who stocks them rendering relationships completely pointless.

    Was it actually Rolex who created that notion, or was it not dealers who of course - favour 'good' customers?

  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by M1011 View Post
    It seems somewhat of a betrayal for a brand to put customers in a situation where they have to build a 'relationship' with an AD to get a watch, but then constantly change who stocks them rendering relationships completely pointless.
    A little disingenuous which is a little surprising coming from you.
    Rolex doesn’t put them in any situation. They make watches that people like for a host of reasons and they give them to dealers to sell. I don’t think they are under any obligation stated or implied to produce enough for people to be able to buy them on the spot. Losing a dealer ship can happen for a number of reasons ( restructuring of sales policies is only one of them ) and it would be perfectly understandable that someone’s place on a waitlist may not be at the top of the concerns of the original manufacturer. That is an arrangement between the AD and the customer.

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    A little disingenuous which is a little surprising coming from you.
    Rolex doesn’t put them in any situation. They make watches that people like for a host of reasons and they give them to dealers to sell. I don’t think they are under any obligation stated or implied to produce enough for people to be able to buy them on the spot. Losing a dealer ship can happen for a number of reasons ( restructuring of sales policies is only one of them ) and it would be perfectly understandable that someone’s place on a waitlist may not be at the top of the concerns of the original manufacturer. That is an arrangement between the AD and the customer.
    True, Iím absolutely sure that Rolex know nothing of what their dealers do and have still less control over their actions when it comes to selling Rolex watches - simply trusting that customers are served purely in chronological order without any favouritism.
    One thing I have heard a few times is that Rolex cross check wait lists to ensure that customers were not on multiple wait lists which could indicate flippers at work.
    This would certainly encourage potential customers to try forming a relationship with a single AD - which would now have been a waste of timeÖ
    unless it was with Goldsmiths / WoS!


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  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by adg31 View Post
    One thing I have heard a few times is that Rolex cross check wait lists to ensure that customers were not on multiple wait lists which could indicate flippers at work.
    This would certainly encourage potential customers to try forming a relationship with a single AD - which would now have been a waste of time…
    unless it was with Goldsmiths / WoS!
    I'm not sure whether Rolex themselves do this, but I do know that WoS/Goldsmiths/Mappin&Webb do. When you register interest, you are put on a system that flags up if you have made enquiries at multiple dealerships across the group. There is an alert on the system which says "potential re-seller". They do this for any of their "expression of interest" brands and models.
    Last edited by Christian; 25th April 2022 at 16:21.

  17. #67
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    Maybe we should be buying Watches of Switzerland Group plc shares, which are currently on a bit of a downward trend (off c30% since December). Looks like weíre heading towards them as sole UK distributor.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by David_D View Post
    Maybe we should be buying Watches of Switzerland Group plc shares, which are currently on a bit of a downward trend (off c30% since December). Looks like weíre heading towards them as sole UK distributor.
    Any idea why they're dropping?

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Yep, mentioned on the internet but with all things Rolex you need to hear it directly for it to be true.

    My friend who has spent £80k in the last 12 months there - and as a result is waiting on a few things - went in and asked on the weekend. Was told sorry, will do what we can until Dec, but youíre SOL.
    Please say he spent that money on stuff he actually wanted and not just to get on some list?

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon View Post
    Any idea why they're dropping?
    Someone sold them a Rolex off sales corner for 12 and a half grand

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon View Post
    Any idea why they're dropping?
    Not really although I suspect markets were a bit giddy with, presumably, good sales and profits partly on the back of Rolex sales. Someone maybe realised that WoS can’t magic up more Rolex stock and so profit growth is maybe limited. Markets also, I would guess, are marking down companies reliant on customer discretionary spend as inflation incl fuel prices squeeze household budgets.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by David_D View Post
    Not really although I suspect markets were a bit giddy with, presumably, good sales and profits partly on the back of Rolex sales. Someone maybe realised that WoS canít magic up more Rolex stock and so profit growth is maybe limited. Markets also, I would guess, are marking down companies reliant on customer discretionary spend as inflation incl fuel prices squeeze household budgets.
    Good thoughts, thanks.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Yep, mentioned on the internet but with all things Rolex you need to hear it directly for it to be true.

    My friend who has spent £80k in the last 12 months there - and as a result is waiting on a few things - went in and asked on the weekend. Was told sorry, will do what we can until Dec, but youíre SOL.
    Is that:

    a) Second On List?
    or
    b) Shit Outta Luck?

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by robert75 View Post
    Please say he spent that money on stuff he actually wanted and not just to get on some list?
    Iíd say a bit of both. Got some good pieces but did play the game.
    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Is that:

    a) Second On List?
    or
    b) Shit Outta Luck?
    Definitely the latter

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    A little disingenuous which is a little surprising coming from you.
    Rolex doesnít put them in any situation. They make watches that people like for a host of reasons and they give them to dealers to sell. I donít think they are under any obligation stated or implied to produce enough for people to be able to buy them on the spot. Losing a dealer ship can happen for a number of reasons ( restructuring of sales policies is only one of them ) and it would be perfectly understandable that someoneís place on a waitlist may not be at the top of the concerns of the original manufacturer. That is an arrangement between the AD and the customer.
    I don't think so. I totally agree they're under no obligation to sell anyone a watch, and we know the brand benefits from lack of availability. However Rolex has ADs over a barrel, so it seems a tad disingenuous (see what I did there? ) to imply they aren't somewhat complicit in the sales model that seems to have emerged in all Rolex ADs everywhere.

    I don't think the model of tying spend history to access is inherently a bad thing by the way. While on a personal level of course I'd like access to watches I want without the spend history, it's simply good business sense to use the desirable pieces to drive sales of less desirable stock. It's logical and fair to reward big spenders. But that approach breaks down in scenarios like this - what's the guy with £80k spend in 12-months supposed to do, go start again elsewhere with the same game? That doesn't feel logical and fair anymore, to me at least.

  26. #76
    crikey no different to the way all the brands will go


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  27. #77
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    Got an email today from Thurlow Champness in Bury St Edmunds - another small independent losing their Rolex AD status from July 2022.

  28. #78
    You kinda get why Rolex are doing this. But damn. I guess that will be the end of Thurlow Champness

  29. #79
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    Goldsmiths in Ipswich lost there Rolex AD status, the shop has since now changed to TH Baker.

    The Rolex AD status went to Robert Gatward but from what I was told RG had to have a whole section redesigned for Rolex, so they had there own room which Goldsmiths couldnít do


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  30. #80
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    Anyone know how many ADís there were and are now? I was told there were just over 100 a couple of years back but no idea if thatís true or not.

  31. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devonian View Post
    Anyone know how many ADís there were and are now? I was told there were just over 100 a couple of years back but no idea if thatís true or not.
    I am informed there were 221 reducing to 50-60 over a 10 year period. That was 2016 I discussed that with someone.

  32. #82
    Quote Originally Posted by Devonian View Post
    Anyone know how many AD’s there were and are now? I was told there were just over 100 a couple of years back but no idea if that’s true or not.
    103 for the UK currently showing on the Rolex website at the moment.

    Of which 45 are WOS group.
    Last edited by gbn13; 25th May 2022 at 09:02.

  33. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowdon View Post
    You kinda get why Rolex are doing this. But damn. I guess that will be the end of Thurlow Champness
    Two ADís Iíve dealt with have lost their status in the last few years. One was a Fraser Hart that has just filled the stock with other FH brands and still seems to be doing well. The other is an independent that is thriving. Theyíve managed to fill their former Rolex area with a range of makes not usually seen, now have a dedicated staff that are motivated to sell and, according to the owner, turnover is way up and losing Rolex could well be the best thing thatís ever happened to them.

  34. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbn13 View Post
    103 for the UK currently showing on the Rolex website at the moment.

    Of which 45 are WOS group.
    So already half of them are WOS who are buying preowned Rolex. The market is about to have the main UK AD selling new and used. You seriously think they will offer used at 3x retail over new at RRP!?!?

    Used should logically be cheaper than new. The game has been fun but in a challenging financially challenged new dawn logic will prevail.

    There is a huge difference between the volume of used Rolex on the Watchfinder website compared to their actual holdings. They only trickle out 10-20% of the desirables but be assured they are there and they will always have 1-2 on the website.

  35. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by 100thmonkey View Post
    So already half of them are WOS who are buying preowned Rolex. The market is about to have the main UK AD selling new and used. You seriously think they will offer used at 3x retail over new at RRP!?!?

    Used should logically be cheaper than new. The game has been fun but in a challenging financially challenged new dawn logic will prevail.

    There is a huge difference between the volume of used Rolex on the Watchfinder website compared to their actual holdings. They only trickle out 10-20% of the desirables but be assured they are there and they will always have 1-2 on the website.
    Do you know if the used watches are owned by WoS or if they are offering on behalf of other companies or providing a platform for sellers to offer via the WoS pre-owned space.

  36. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe narvey View Post
    Do you know if the used watches are owned by WoS or if they are offering on behalf of other companies or providing a platform for sellers to offer via the WoS pre-owned space.
    They are actively advertising for preowned Rolex, whether they are brokering Watchfinders surplus is unknown but a good assumption.

  37. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by 100thmonkey View Post
    I am informed there were 221 reducing to 50-60 over a 10 year period. That was 2016 I discussed that with someone.
    Quote Originally Posted by gbn13 View Post
    103 for the UK currently showing on the Rolex website at the moment.

    Of which 45 are WOS group.
    Iíd asked about that previously so very interesting. Iíd have guessed at WoS having a much greater share.

  38. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowdon View Post
    You kinda get why Rolex are doing this. But damn. I guess that will be the end of Thurlow Champness
    Will losing their Rolex status make them close?, how many Rolex will they get a year, maybe a few a month, sure it is lost revenue but not that much.

  39. #89
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    Any AD losing Rolex status and saying we are fine with it and can now sell other brands have their heads well and truly buried in the sand.

    Its got to the point of all other watches are just watches, trying to sell them when other dealers nearby also have the same watches and they are in stock has no kudos appeal to the public, Rolex are a totally different product, weight for weight their stainless steel is worth more than 24k gold and as we know they are gold dust to buy at RRP, yes the staff must be fed up saying NO to people wanting Rolex but every contact is a potential sale, lose that status and the phones will be very quiet so no wonder many wrap it up when Rolex pull their plug.

  40. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    Any AD losing Rolex status and saying we are fine with it and can now sell other brands have their heads well and truly buried in the sand.

    Its got to the point of all other watches are just watches, trying to sell them when other dealers nearby also have the same watches and they are in stock has no kudos appeal to the public, Rolex are a totally different product, weight for weight their stainless steel is worth more than 24k gold and as we know they are gold dust to buy at RRP, yes the staff must be fed up saying NO to people wanting Rolex but every contact is a potential sale, lose that status and the phones will be very quiet so no wonder many wrap it up when Rolex pull their plug.
    That depends though. Maybe being a Rolex AD means that they only sell 20 watches a year because they get so few through and they could be selling way more if they had more stock / display space for other brands. Maybe the phones are busy all the time regardless because Rolex isnít available anyway so people are more interested in all the other brands, than they would have been otherwise. Maybe they sell more of other watches to people who want to build a relationship than they would if they had no aspirational brand for their customers to want to build a relationship towards.

    I donít think anyone knows for sure and it will probably vary store by store.

  41. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    Any AD losing Rolex status and saying we are fine with it and can now sell other brands have their heads well and truly buried in the sand.

    Its got to the point of all other watches are just watches, trying to sell them when other dealers nearby also have the same watches and they are in stock has no kudos appeal to the public, Rolex are a totally different product, weight for weight their stainless steel is worth more than 24k gold and as we know they are gold dust to buy at RRP, yes the staff must be fed up saying NO to people wanting Rolex but every contact is a potential sale, lose that status and the phones will be very quiet so no wonder many wrap it up when Rolex pull their plug.
    I think itís more the stage where Rolex are no longer watches but a simply a brand.
    Other manufacturers sell watches and will talk about calibres, complications, innovative technology, new materials and the like.
    In contrast Rolex simply sell Ďluxuryí to anyone wanting Ďa Rolexí which is generally centred around a fairly dull three hand watch calibre with simple date complication.
    From what I read the new 32** calibre doesnít even seem to be one that performs reliably at this stage.
    Since the head of Rolex once said that they are not in the watch business but they are in the luxury business I do wonder why they take up so much bandwidth in this forum.


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  42. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    Any AD losing Rolex status and saying we are fine with it and can now sell other brands have their heads well and truly buried in the sand.

    Its got to the point of all other watches are just watches, trying to sell them when other dealers nearby also have the same watches and they are in stock has no kudos appeal to the public, Rolex are a totally different product, weight for weight their stainless steel is worth more than 24k gold and as we know they are gold dust to buy at RRP, yes the staff must be fed up saying NO to people wanting Rolex but every contact is a potential sale, lose that status and the phones will be very quiet so no wonder many wrap it up when Rolex pull their plug.
    Not so sure, Banks Lyon lost their AD status a while back and appear to be doing really well on Omega Cartier IWC which are all popular brands with "the public"
    I think the Rolex worship is a niche amongst regular buyers, but the majority of people out there are not caught up in it.

  43. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    Any AD losing Rolex status and saying we are fine with it and can now sell other brands have their heads well and truly buried in the sand.

    Its got to the point of all other watches are just watches, trying to sell them when other dealers nearby also have the same watches and they are in stock has no kudos appeal to the public, Rolex are a totally different product, weight for weight their stainless steel is worth more than 24k gold and as we know they are gold dust to buy at RRP, yes the staff must be fed up saying NO to people wanting Rolex but every contact is a potential sale, lose that status and the phones will be very quiet so no wonder many wrap it up when Rolex pull their plug.
    Yes - I went to look at S/H cars at a large dealership which had just lost its FORD main dealer status. The sales manager tried to tell me that they were "excited to be able to operate freely in the future................."

  44. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    Any AD losing Rolex status and saying we are fine with it and can now sell other brands have their heads well and truly buried in the sand.

    Its got to the point of all other watches are just watches, trying to sell them when other dealers nearby also have the same watches and they are in stock has no kudos appeal to the public, Rolex are a totally different product, weight for weight their stainless steel is worth more than 24k gold and as we know they are gold dust to buy at RRP, yes the staff must be fed up saying NO to people wanting Rolex but every contact is a potential sale, lose that status and the phones will be very quiet so no wonder many wrap it up when Rolex pull their plug.
    Well the dealer I mentioned earlier has made it work. Rolex was profitable for them but nowhere near what many would imagine. When a company demands that half of your shop needs to be a dedicated Rolex area, fitted out at great cost to their standards, they have to cut back on other items that they sell. To then have to pay the best part of £300k to refurbish that area less than two years later takes a whole chunk of any profit away before you even start selling. All worth it if there is a never ending supply of watches, but there isnít. Now you also have to factor in the purchasing by the AD of the full range to put on display that theyíre not allowed to sell. Weíre still in a bubble, although itís rapidly deflating. It was only a couple of years ago that most Rolex would sit in the window for months or longer awaiting a buyer and itís very possible that weíll be seeing that again, fashions change.

  45. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idontgram View Post
    That depends though. Maybe being a Rolex AD means that they only sell 20 watches a year because they get so few through and they could be selling way more if they had more stock / display space for other brands. Maybe the phones are busy all the time regardless because Rolex isn’t available anyway so people are more interested in all the other brands, than they would have been otherwise. Maybe they sell more of other watches to people who want to build a relationship than they would if they had no aspirational brand for their customers to want to build a relationship towards.

    I don’t think anyone knows for sure and it will probably vary store by store.
    Quote Originally Posted by adg31 View Post
    I think it’s more the stage where Rolex are no longer watches but a simply a brand.
    Other manufacturers sell watches and will talk about calibres, complications, innovative technology, new materials and the like.
    In contrast Rolex simply sell ‘luxury’ to anyone wanting ‘a Rolex’ which is generally centred around a fairly dull three hand watch calibre with simple date complication.
    From what I read the new 32** calibre doesn’t even seem to be one that performs reliably at this stage.
    Since the head of Rolex once said that they are not in the watch business but they are in the luxury business I do wonder why they take up so much bandwidth in this forum.


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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Not so sure, Banks Lyon lost their AD status a while back and appear to be doing really well on Omega Cartier IWC which are all popular brands with "the public"
    I think the Rolex worship is a niche amongst regular buyers, but the majority of people out there are not caught up in it.
    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Yes - I went to look at S/H cars at a large dealership which had just lost its FORD main dealer status. The sales manager tried to tell me that they were "excited to be able to operate freely in the future................."
    Quote Originally Posted by Danstone View Post
    Well the dealer I mentioned earlier has made it work. Rolex was profitable for them but nowhere near what many would imagine. When a company demands that half of your shop needs to be a dedicated Rolex area, fitted out at great cost to their standards, they have to cut back on other items that they sell. To then have to pay the best part of £300k to refurbish that area less than two years later takes a whole chunk of any profit away before you even start selling. All worth it if there is a never ending supply of watches, but there isn’t. Now you also have to factor in the purchasing by the AD of the full range to put on display that they’re not allowed to sell. We’re still in a bubble, although it’s rapidly deflating. It was only a couple of years ago that most Rolex would sit in the window for months or longer awaiting a buyer and it’s very possible that we’ll be seeing that again, fashions change.
    Dont get me wrong on the WIS front, I too like many watch companies (I will try not to use the word brand) but a huge attraction factor to your business being pulled is going to hurt, lots of these small AD's will have built their entire business around Rolex and what it attracts to their store, so to drag yourself up when that core structure has gone is very difficult.

    Times ahead look very stormy for luxury goods so selling anything in this market place while trying to heat the shop, keep the lights on, pay staff and commercial rent/taxes is not a business I would like to currently take on, especially after losing my No1 attraction.

  46. #96
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    Plus all those old Ad's are now free and can buy and sell preowned Rolex making the market keener and cheaper
    Last edited by 100thmonkey; 26th May 2022 at 12:02.

  47. #97
    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Yep, mentioned on the internet but with all things Rolex you need to hear it directly for it to be true.

    My friend who has spent £80k in the last 12 months there - and as a result is waiting on a few things - went in and asked on the weekend. Was told sorry, will do what we can until Dec, but youíre SOL.
    Do Bergeon make a tiny violin?

  48. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev-O View Post
    Do Bergeon make a tiny violin?
    Yes, but it makes the sound of a cello in your bank account

  49. #99
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    I have heard something similar at an AD near me - in this case Omega, Breitling and couple of other brands have pulled their products from them - I suspect we will will see more of this.

  50. #100
    There are figures out there how much a Rolex AD makes through Rolex sales and while I canít quote the figure, it is pretty impressive. And that too without doing much work other than keeping Rolex happy. Watches sell themselves.
    Rare AD would give up Rolex AD status unless yanked by Rolex. Which tells the whole story. Rest is noise which is always plentiful in a Rolex thread. From expected quarters.

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