Rolex Shortage Explained: A Complete Guide

Sports Rolex watches

Rolex shortage explained: A Complete guide

The Rolex stainless steel shortage, Rolex sports model shortage, professionals shortage is one of the most discussed topics in the watch industry in recent years.

The craze for Rolex sports models has completely turned the availability of Rolex watches from authorized Rolex retailers upside down, and prices for these popular sports models have skyrocketed on the secondhand market due to the limited supply not meeting the demand.

The Rolex supply shortage is a huge topic that has many theories, reflections, and opinions, and in this article, we will try to summarize the Rolex shortage, in particular of stainless steel sports models.

When did the Rolex shortage begin?

Let’s start at the beginning.

Rolex is the world’s most recognized watch brand. No matter where in the world you are, or to who you mention the name, the vast majority of people will know about the brand.

Rolex as a company is extremely powerful and has done a great job in building its brand and brand name on the market. Today, Rolex watches are seen as the ultimate symbol of success.

But what is it that is causing official Rolex retailers to have year-long waiting lists for the most iconic sports models? And when did this craze begin?

As you can understand, the Rolex situation has not always been what it is today, where, in most cases, you cannot even get a professional Rolex watch from an authorized Rolex retailer unless you wait for years. It’s difficult to mention an exact time, but an obvious turning point was in 2016 when Rolex released the Daytona 116500LN at Baselworld. The Daytona has always been an iconic piece that has had a special place in history and played an important Rolex for the Rolex brand. But this came to be proven even further as Rolex released a ceramic-bezel version of the Daytona, available with white or black dial.

It wasn’t necessarily exactly at this time the Rolex shortage began, but it was a very clear turning point. At this time, the large mass started to talk about the year-long waiting lists for this model, speculations began, and the craze got greater as those who were early to have them caused the demand to increase even further as some people showed them on the internet and on social media.

Sports Rolex watches

It’s easy to understand why the Daytona 116500 is the watch that ”Started it all”. It’s new, it’s fresh, and it is iconic. 

Now, people started noticing the waiting lists and the shortage of this specific watch. When people went to the authorized Rolex retailers to buy one, they were met with ”it’s sold out, but we can set you on the waiting list”. And the catch with this is that we humans always want what we cannot have. So this makes humans even more inclined and eager to get a hold of one.

Moving forward, today, the Rolex shortage does not only include the Daytona 116500LN. Today, it includes essentially all full stainless steel sports watches such as the Submariner, Explorer, Sea-Dweller, GMT-Master II and more.

Why are there no Rolex professional models?

There are endless theories as to why the waiting lists are so long and why it’s extremely difficult to get a hold of one from an authorized retailer, and we will go through a number of different theories further on.

Sports Rolex watches

What is interesting though is that Rolex sports models are not rare at all. Rolex watches are mass-produced, and they manufacture about 1 million watches per year. In other words, there are tons of watches on the secondhand market.  It’s just that in recent years, the demand for them far exceeds the supply, and this naturally leads to a shortage – regardless of how many exist. Nobody knows the exact production numbers, but it is estimated to be somewhere slightly below 1 million watches per here.

The simple and short answer to the question of why there is a shortage of Rolex professional models – in particular, stainless steel sports models, is that the demand exceeds the supply. In other words the number of watches that Rolex manufacture. Have in mind that we are talking about the new watches that Rolex manufacture and send out to its authorized dealers.

However, what is interesting is that everyone is talking about a Rolex shortage, but this is only the case for new Rolex watches from Authorized dealers (AD). If you, for example, visit marketplaces like Chrono24, you can see that there are thousands of sports models available. Just to demonstrate, this is how many Rolex Submariner 116610LN is currently for sale on Chrono24:

Rolex shortage, eh?

At the same time, if you want into an AD asking for this model, they will either laugh, tell you that their waiting list is full, or mention that it is impossible to get one due to the demand. Or.. you may be lucky and get to be set on the list with no guarantees at all to ever get to buy one.

But this brings us to the next point, and that is pricing.

When it comes to pricing of stainless steel sorts Rolex watches, this is where it gets interesting.

When we asked Rolex about this during our meeting with them in Baselworld, they just acknowledged these watches are in high demand and that they were aware of the availability problem. For the Daytona, this has been the case since the 1990s. The same can always be said of any new model basically.

Rolex watches for investment

Availability varies between ADs and locations

Obviously, the availability of stainless steel sports Rolexes varies a lot. In writing moments, the Rolex models that are the hardest to get are the Daytona 116500, 126710BLNR, 126710BLRO, 116610LN, 114060, 126711CHNR, 116610LN, 116610LV. So there are still other sports models from Rolex that are relatively easy to get a hold of. But the catch is that as these sports models get increasingly difficult to find, people start looking at the next best thing. When this happens, these models also become harder to find. This includes models such as the Yacht-Master 126622, Explorer 1 and II, Milgauss. In some places, these models can be found in the window displays, but at other ADs, there is a long waiting list for these models as well. In recent times, some Datejust models, in particular, the Datejust 41 have become increasingly difficult to find.

While the shortage of Rolex has mainly been for stainless steel variants, two-tone versions and even some full gold version have also become increasingly popular and difficult to find. This also has to do with what we mentioned earlier, that when people cannot get the stainless steel versions, they start looking at the second best thing, which can be the two-tone Submariner. The 126711CHNR “Root beer”, for example, is today a watch that is very difficult to find and which has an equally long waiting list as, for example, the Submariner in steel. But with the way the Rolex sports market looks today, we can only expect that the sports models that are not as popular today, will eventually become more difficult to get. The Explorer II, for example, did not really have a waiting list at most ADs in 2018, but now has a waiting list in many places.

Different theories to the Rolex shortage

There are countless different theories as to why the stainless steel sports Rolex watches are so hard to get. Note that these are not our theories – we just share what other people argue is the reason behind the Rolex professional shortage.

Rolex is deliberately cutting supply

One theory to the Rolex sports model shortage is that Rolex is deliberately cutting supply.

FOMO and scarcity have a great effect on us humans. We always want what we cannot have, and scarcity has great importance for the perception of luxury, For example, if you can see ten Submariners standing in the window, would you be equally as inclined to buy as if there was only one in the window?

Rolex Submariner 114060

Scarcity is a basic strategy in the luxury industry that has proven to work extremely well. Look at Hermes, for example, with the Birkin and Kelly bags. These bags are similar to the Rolex professional steel watches: extremely difficult to buy at retail prices, and command a huge premium on the secondhand market. More about the secondhand premium further on, but what this tends to do is get more people to want to try to get a watch from an official retailer rather than buying it at a premium secondhand.

This is completely the opposite from just a few years ago when many people chose to buy watches secondhand since they were cheaper there. This meant that many ADs had to discount their Rolex watches to get them sold, which in turn hurts the brand, and decreases the profit.

Rolex DeepSea Sea-Dweller James Cameron 126660

Of course, have in mind that this is still the case for the majority of Rolex watches in their collection – just not for their stainless steel sports watches. But what tends to happen is that when people realize it is impossible to get a Submariner, they tend to look at the second closest watch, say the Explorer II. And when enough people have done so, this watch becomes equally difficult to get. And when the Explorer II is difficult to get, people start looking at the closest watch to that, say the Explorer 1. And so on… 

This is what has happened with the Rolex sports watches and has made essentially the whole Professional line in steel quite difficult to find at an AD.

Rolex Submariner 116610LV Hulk

The benefit for many official dealers, is that people come into the store looking for a Submariner, for example, get to hear that it’s impossible, and then satisfy with another watch, for example, a Datejust, which didn’t exactly fly off the shelf previously, and still isn’t – but is selling considerably better than previously.

This brings us to the next point…

Rolex did not artificially create the shortage, but they try to maintain it

What is interesting is that many authorized retailers we have spoken with have said that they do not necessarily receive fewer watches from Rolex than what they did a few years ago. The difference is the demand, and retailers, as well as customers, get frustrated because the supply does not meet the demand. 

One may speculate in the fact that the Rolex customer group has changed and also grown.

Today, you can see a lot of people from a younger generation buying and wearing Rolex watches, something that wasn’t as common just a decade ago.

Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 black dial

If you envision the typical Rolex customers 20 years ago, and a typical customer today, I am sure you will think of two individuals with completely different characteristics.

From 2016 when the demand for Rolex sports watches started increasing, the economy has been great. In particular, the Asian economy has grown substantially, and the demand for luxury goods from the middle-and upper-middle class has increased dramatically. This can also lead to Rolex allocating more of its manufactured watches to ADs in Asia, and if they are not manufacturing more watches to compensate for the increased demand there, then naturally there will be a shortage.

Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR

Circling back to the title of this point is that Rolex did not artificially create the shortage, but they try to maintain it. This is a theory that you can hear quite often. What it means is that Rolex did not cut supply initially with the hopes to make its products more sought-after. Instead, due to an increased demand for various reasons, Rolex started noticing what happened, with waiting lists, prices on the secondhand market increasing, and so on.

And these effects are all very positive for the brand, and Rolex could have realized this and said:” what is happening is good for the company – what can we do to ensure it continues?”. And accordingly, they may now adjust the number of watches manufactured to ensure it never meets the demand. Because as the limited supply leads to great demand, it enhances exclusivity and the perception of the brand.

Rolex GMT-Master II 126711CHNR ROOT BEER

Rolex is producing watches at maximum capacity

“The demand is too high”. This is what you usually hear from most authorized Rolex retailers.

Another theory to the Rolex sports shortage is that Rolex is producing watches at maximum capacity. In other words, Rolex cannot keep up with the current surge in demand, and therefore, there is a shortage.

Those who argue that this is the case mean that Rolex first needs to educate new watchmakers and technicians, and this takes time.

But have in mind that the shortage ”began” in 2016 and Rolex has had some time to adjust to the increased demand. Of course, it’s important as a company to first see if it’s just a temporary spike and fluctuation before investing heavily in new staff and equipment, but Rolex has had some time to do so, and the demand is greater than ever.

In today’s market, the waiting lists for stainless teel sorts watches are never-ending, and many ADs have closed their waiting lists. With that said, the Rolex production is not just a little bit low from the current demand. It is substantially low and would need to be increased dramatically in order to meet the current demand.

Rolex Submariner 16610LN

But have in mind that Rolex is a billion-dollar company, and if they wanted to ramp up the production to meet demand, don’t you think they would be able to do so? Nobody really knows except Rolex themselves. A different idea is that if Rolex would want to meet the current demand for stainless steel sports watches, they could simply decrease the current production of watches that aren’t selling as well, such as Datejusts, Day-Dates, Pearlmasters, etc, and put those watchmakers and technicians to produce more sports watches instead. But they don’t…

One Rolex retailer says: ” In any given year, Rolex will only manufacture a certain percentage more watches than they did the prior year. So, let’s say the demand for Rolex has increased by 20% or 30% and the supply is only increased a fraction of that, a shortage occurs.

Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller 126660

By gradually increasing its production each year, instead of rapidly ramping up based on the whims of the market, Rolex enjoys controlled growth and stability. As retailers, we all wish we could have the hard to get Rolex models when our clients want them because that would mean more happy customers and more sales.

However, watch companies that have dramatically increased production to match a market fervor are in a tough spot when things cool down. For example, many Swiss watchmakers overproduced before the downturn in 2008 and the market was flooded with high-end watches for years.”, and this is also a take on this highly discussed and debated topic.

Rolex Submariner 114060

”Rolex’s long-term strategy of controlled growth, in contrast, has made its watches hold their value extremely well and there has been zero compromises in their stringent quality control standards. This has been very comforting to those who have owned a Rolex watch over the years. ”

Prevents great discounting

Most other watch brands are sold at heavily discounted prices on the secondhand market due to an oversupply of the watches. And this naturally affects desirability and brand.

Rolex steel sports watches are on the other side, however, where ADs have no reason to discount them in order to get them sold, and this could be Rolex’s answer to the grey market.

Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR VS 116710BLNR

Ask yourself: the current Rolex shortage, has it had positive effects for the brand so far?

Here are just some of the benefits that Rolex is enjoying:

  • Professional watches selling at a premium on the secondhand market. Meaning that their brand is not damaged by heavily discounted prices, which makes people more inclined to buy watches from the grey market or secondhand. When watches cost more on the secondhand market than they do retail, more people will try to get them from the official retailers.
  • Rolex has more customers than it can serve and ADs can sell the professional watches to waiting for customers before even putting them in the display. Previously, the ADs put the watches in the display and they could stand there for weeks,  months, or even years unsold.
  • The sales of precious metal watches have increased dramatically. Have in mind that Rolex has a higher profit margin for precious metal timepieces, which makes them more inclined to want to sell these.
  • The Rolex brand is more recognized than ever before.

With that said, wouldn’t Rolex want to try to maintain the same situation for as long as possible?

Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR

Rolex is selling more precious metal watches

Since it is difficult to find stainless steel sports Rolexes, more and more people start looking at two-tone or full gold alternatives.

Furthermore, with some watches selling at such great premiums on the secondhand market, some people start seeing a much better value proposition, and it makes more sense to buy the same watch in gold. For example, the Daytona 116500LN is priced at roughly 12K EUR more than retail price on the secondhand market, and when reaching those numbers, you can buy a full gold Daytona for essentially the same price, and a full gold Daytona is relatively available at the ADs. And if it isn’t, you can buy it secondhand often at a discount, or at least close to the retail price (depending on the model).

So, which makes more sense?

Additionally, it has been proven that customers gravitate towards precious metal alternatives when the Rolex they want is not available in stainless steel.

To bring up some numbers, U.S. retail sales of gold watches rose 19% in value in the first half of 2019, according to the NPD Group. This proves what we have been discussing, that when people can’t buy stainless steel sports watches, they start looking at the gold or gold and steel alternatives.

Rolex SkyDweller steel

Furthermore, platinum watch sales increased by 33%.

 “Speaking with retailers of certain brands, they verify that, when consumers are frustrated and can’t find the steel sport model [they want], and it’s nowhere on the horizon, they many times gravitate to precious metal. So, the shortage of steel models helped to benefit precious metal. It’s not the only factor making gold and two-tone perform well, but it is definitely a factor.” 

With that said, is the Rolex stainless steel sports shortage hurting or helping the Rolex brand?

Rolex watches selling at a premium

This is a hot topic that often sparks a lot of debate.

The prices of watches on the secondhand market are decided by supply and demand. It’s that simple.

The recommended retail prices that authorized Rolex retailers have to follow are quite an interesting thing in the world of retail, because if ADs were allowed, they would advertise their stainless steel sports watches for much higher than the recommended retail price.

When people cannot get the watch that they want, many people are willing to pay more just to get it. This is where the debate that Rolex is losing customers due to not having enough supply comes in, and people turning to the secondhand market, even if they would prefer to buy directly from an AD. Yet, overall, Rolex is selling more watches than ever, ‘so it doesn’t seem to be an issue that bothers the company.

At the beginning of the shortage, in 2017, Rolex told retailers to stop charging a premium for hot models

”Rolex has finally moved to end the years-old practice of its authorized Singapore retailers charging customers a premium for the hot Rolex models.

The move by the Swiss luxury watch-maker came about as the premiums charged for its Rolex Cosmograph Daytona sports watch hit new highs.”

Now, looking at it from a market perspective, it does not make much sense for retailers to sell the hot models at retail price, as, in some cases, the customer who gets to buy, for example, a steel Daytona, will make more money on that purchase than what the AD does. With that said, some ADs do charge premiums for their watches even if they are not allowed to by Rolex, as discussed in the different watch forums. But from an economical point, it doesn’t make sense to sell something at a lower price than what you can sell it for. But that’s just the way being a retailer works, and the rules they are meant to follow to continue to be an AD for Rolex.

Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN

Now, many people blame dealers for being the main reason why Rolex stainless steel sports watches are so hard to get, and this may or may not be the case.

However, we consistently receive inquiries from regular customers who have been offered to buy a hot sports model, or have just picked it up, and are looking to sell it in an unworn condition to make a profit.

So, the most common flippers in today’s Rolex market tend to be the regular customers who get the opportunity to buy a hot Rolex model and then cannot say no to the profit they get if they were to sell it. With that in mind, private persons who see their opportunity to make a quick buck may simply put themselves on the list for watches at a bunch of different ADs and then hope to get the opportunity to buy one. And when they do, they take the opportunity to sell it on at a premium.

Rolex Submariner no-date 114060

The premium that many sports models command is simply too attractive to say no to, and more attractive than keeping the watch themselves. Obviously, there are many people who dislike this, but think what you want about it, that is the reality of today’s Rolex market.

New models VS old sports models

This is something that is very interesting to bring up.

In recent years, when the Rolex shortage has been present, the brand has released a number of different sports watches, including the 126710BLRO, and 116710BLNR. But it is important to separate between new and old models. Naturally, newly released models will be hyped and extremely in-demand at their launch, so it’s not super surprising that these novelties are difficult to get a hold of from an AD, and that the waiting lists are essentially closed.

But it’s so fascinating that a watch such as a Submariner often stood unsold in the window displays at official Rolex retailers just a few years ago. Today, they are nowhere to be seen there. How is it possible that the same watch stood unsold and could be bought at a discount from retail price, whereas today,  some authorized retailers charge a premium for them (even though it is against policy), and so does the secondhand market, as it is dictated by supply and demand, and the prices from authorized retailers are not.

Rolex Milgauss 116400gv Z-blue dial

It’s the same watch, but all of a sudden, everyone wants it. How is that so? This can partly be explained by the fact that we humans always want what we cannot get (or at least is hard to get). Additionally, as the demand for sports watches have the prices of them have increased on the secondhand market, and now, almost all of them demand a premium. In other words, they sell for more on the secondhand market than what the retail price is. This is especially fascinating, as, on the secondhand market, an old and worn Rolex watch can be priced higher than what the retail price is for a brand new watch. But… The market always decides. 

Perhaps this just goes to show that we humans are pack animals. As Rolex watches have become ”hyped” and ”cool” with people sharing photos on social media and such, the demand for the most common watches (which are naturally Rolex sports models to a large extent), increases. There are many people sharing photos of their watches on social media, and when so many share photos of their sports Rolex watch, more people want in on this, and thus the demand increases. This has undoubtedly been a contributing factor, but still far from the only factor.

Then, of course, you also have the fact that Rolex is an iconic brand with great prestige and rich history. This perhaps motivates the premium on the secondhand market a bit.

There are obviously many different explanations to this, and it’s probably a mixture of different theories – but only Rolex knows.

Rolex Submariner 16610LN

It’s a win for Rolex

At the end of the day, the Rolex craze is a huge win for the brand.

  • Prevents the gray market, no discounts
  • Selling more precious metal watches
  • Makes the brand more desirable
  • Leads to Rolex selling more other watches when the sports watches are nowhere to be found

When will the Rolex availability get better?

No-one really knows the answer to this question. At the moment, it doesn’t look like anything is going to change any time soon. However, remember that Rolex watches are luxury objects, and these tend to be the most when the economy gets slower. So when this happens, the demand for Rolex watches will probably decrease, and this will naturally have an impact on the availability of these watches. How much or how little this will affect the stainless steel sorts availability, only the future will tell.

Conclusion

Now, we cannot know for sure what is causing the shortage of stainless steel sports Rolex watches, but one thing is certain, and that is that the demand for Rolex watches has increased dramatically in recent years. Whether Rolex is deliberately cutting supply, consciously not meeting the increased demand, or doing everything they can, only Rolex themselves know.

But in recent times, Rolex has dramatically decreased the number of official retailers around the world. This should, at least in theory, mean that there are now fewer ADs, but the same amount of watches, so this should mean that each AD should receive more watches. But there are no guarantees, and the number of watches may not even be noticeable.

With Rolex ADs having waiting lists that consist of so many people that if they would fulfill them all, it would take up to 10 years or even more. With that said, Rolex is not short of just a few watches. Instead, the demand is far higher than that. So if Rolex ramps up the production with just a few thousand pieces or so, it would essentially still be unnoticeable.

Note:

We are not affiliated with Rolex in any way and thus do not have any insight into Rolex’s actual strategy, plans, and thoughts regarding the shortage of stainless steel professional models. This article is meant to highlight different theories behind the shortage, and we do not argue that one or another theory is correct, because the fact is that only Rolex SA knows the answer.

What do you think about the Rolex shortage of professional models? What do you think is the reason for it? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

26 thoughts on “Rolex Shortage Explained: A Complete Guide

  1. The only people the shortage benefits is Rolex , but there will be some brand damage as people will start to swerve away from a brand that is unobtainable unless purchased at a premium . The winner will be other brands but Rolex will not have the impact as a brand if people cannot connect to it by owning a watch. Therefore will the brand have less of a value I.e people know Ferrari as a brand but they would struggle to sell anything other than cars with that brand look at their Ferrari branded watch’s ….without a doubt all flops. This shortage will also fuel the obsolete need for a time only watch which plays into the smart watch market . In short Rolex may well be damaging the watch industry long term, how is a potential mid 20 year old going to be able to afford a Rolex if they have to buy on the grey market ? They will not be able so they will never get the watch bug …demand in that demographic will recede .

    1. Hi!
      Thank you for your insights and opinions! We agree with many of the points you make!

      Kind regards,
      MillenaryWatches

    2. A mid 20 year old is not supposed to be able to own a Rolex. Or it would not be a true luxury brand but more like Nike limited sneakers

    3. Rolex plays the game very well. Hat off. And why would Rolex give the premium for a shortage (I.e. singapore dealer) to a dealer? Dealer does nog equal Rolex. I think Rolex wants to get rid of the dealers. Only supply by Rolex stores, AND then will ask the premium. In the pocked for Rolex.

  2. I’ve been doing the discovery part of buying a $5,000 to $10,000 watch and have enjoyed the hunt. I’ve looked at many brands, from Nomos, to Grand Seiko, to Rolex, etc., and I’ve landed on Rolex, for reasons that I’m sure other’s have landed there. Yes, these are very different types of watch companies and designs, but that’s what makes it fun. Because of the Rolex shortage, I’ve become frustrated and don’t think I will purchase one.

    Another concern is, I may like updates to a Rolex, when they come out. And they could be newer versions of what I put money down on, to be on that waiting list. This could perpetuate itself, every year, in a sense. And if I change my order, and the next year goes bye, and a nice newer version comes out, then I’ll start all over again, and I may never get my hands on a watch.

    Thanks for the interesting article!

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Tom! I am sure there are a lot of people who agree with you.

      Thank you for reading!

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

  3. Hi, nice article. I went through the route of going AD after AD to look for the elusive Rolex watch. Most of them give you the look, when you ask for a Stainless Steel model. It is so humiliating. Some of the first question that the AD asked was if I am an existing customer. How I can be customer if all the stainless steel model is out of stock. I will spend my hard earned money elsewhere.

    1. Hi James,
      Thank you for sharing.

      Yes, this is, unfortunately, the case nowadays. It’s not uncommon to hear what you experienced.
      This is the reason why many people choose to go the pre-owned/secondhand market. Feel free to see our selection of Rolex watches!

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

    2. Hi, very nice article. But adding to what the AD usually ask if you have existing relationship with them. I recently had an experience that after I called one of them to know the status plus ask them few more questions. They said if you build a relationship with their company, then it improves your chances of getting the watch you desire and started recommending me other watches, which are not hot or even value for money. So it seem like under selling Rolex some ADs are even trying to offload other watches which have a larger shelf life and even to retain their retail license for other brands.

      1. Hi,
        Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Yes, it is pure business. If the shortage can help them sell more of the other watches, then naturally, a lot of them will use it to their advantage

        Kind regards,
        Millenary Watches

  4. I wonder how the now inevitable downturn in the works economy will affect the situation…
    Not the most important thing at the moment but nevertheless will still be interesting to see.

    1. Yes, it will be very interesting to see. We will wait and see. Thank you for your comment.

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

  5. It is clear that this is a technical shortcoming. The saddest thing is that If you are willing to pay the premium you can find all the models in AD. An immoral practice from Rolex το make profit deceiving customers for supposedly rare models when it it comes to massive productions products

    1. Hi Nik,
      Thank you for your comment and thoughts. As you say, the watches are, to a large extent available ad ADs, hence Rolex cannot be blamed, in our opinion. Looking at it from a market perspective, it does not “make sense” to sell a product for less than the market is willing to pay for it, but that is the nature of recommended retail prices – both up and down.

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

  6. As stated before. Rolex “can” put production of slower moving watches on hold. That would allow the production of steel sport watches and an infusion into the AD market that is sorely needed. Judging by the lack of demand and large discounts for Cellini on the secondary market, it would seem to support this statement. In essence, the fact that people are waiting on AD lists for years, paying premiums on these watches in the secondary market that are ridiculous, all are a great advantage to Rolex. After all, is this not the best advertising?
    What I do not see discussed in many places, is the unique foundation set up upon the death of Hans Wilsdorf . I believe that Rolex is incredibly well endowed financially, thus allowing for the ability to hold back on production and still not have to worry as much as other companies who “must” meet production quotas in order to survive. I may be mistaken, but I believe that in parts of the world, Rolex actually owns properties they have their service centers in. In NYC for example, the large office building that houses their service center also leases space to other entities. If this is the case, then they are in effect landlords receiving great financial benefits.

    1. Hi Steven!
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts! We actually published an article yesterday discussing this exact topic. Feel free to read it here:
      https://millenarywatches.com/is-rolex-a-non-profit-organization/

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

  7. When you are able to buy a stainless steel mechanical movement base model Seiko for say $4-500 Hong Kong dollars yet the stainless steel Rolex is $40,000 odd HKD – ie a 100 times mark up – yet the true quality of the watch and mechanism are practically identical then you see the astonishing brand power of Rolex.
    Many brands such as Omega produce superior quality watches for considerably lower prices.

    1. Thank you for sharing your opinion and insight!

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

  8. Just picked up my 116010. I had it on my horizons but no real intention to buy that day. It was a lazy day, walked into an AD for fun, and they happened to have one. If I was unaware, or if there was no waiting list, probably wouldn’t have pulled the trigger that day. This was the 2nd AD I ever walked into. Pretty curious to see how many other people have an easy experience as I go through the ownership experience and chat with others.

    1. Hi James,
      Thank you for sharing! You were indeed very lucky. Most people have to wait very long for the 116610ln. Sometimes indefinitely…
      You were at the right place at the right time:-)

      Kind regards,
      MW

  9. 116610* sorry for the typo!

  10. Hi, Rolex and their ADs should find out ways to identify genuine buyers from the ones who are just trying to buy and sell in black market for profit. This is definitely pushing people in pursuing other brands. Also due to increasing popularity with very low availability, the sales of counterfeit watches are even increasing more amongst non serious buyers. This will again keep away interested buyers, who want to be part of that exclusive club of Rolex owners.

    1. Valuable insight and thoughts! We will see how the scarcity develops in the coming years…

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

  11. I already own a 116688 that i bought from an AD in 2014. Decided i would like a 114060 and approached the same AD here in HK today. Sorry no way in hell they said and tried to sell me other models or even other brands very very quickly. I refuse to go to the second hand market – and there are many many available here in HK at 30% higher price

    Instead i will probably try OMEGA as i have heard good things about their sports watches

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience, Simon!

      Omega is certainly a good alternative! Feel free to reach out if you are looking for an Omega watch as we offer them at competitive prices.

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

  12. hello there and thank you for your info – I’ve certainly picked up anything new from right here

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