The Rolex Boom

The
Rolex Boom

Between supply, demand and a little bit of FOMO, it’s hard to get your hands on one

Rolex watches

A Rolex Datejust 16200 stainless steel watch ($6,175).

A Rolex Datejust 16200 stainless steel watch ($6,175).

Despite concerns about the global economy, the luxury watch business is booming like never before. But unfortunately, it's made it hard to find a Rolex. There's just nowhere near enough supply to keep up with demand in today's market, and Rolex hasn't been able to ramp up production to meet it.

Stores are regularly out of stock and there are long waitlists for popular models. The pandemic, paradoxically, saw interest in Rolex soar, as people had more disposable income in lockdown and flocked to trusted, time-honored brands. You could say that Rolex has become a victim of its own success.

But there's another reason Rolex has become so unattainable—the proliferation of grey market dealers who dominate the market, buy up stock and sell it on at a substantial premium. According to Gear Patrol, a collector mentality, combined with the brand's cult following all conspire and ping off one another to inflate prices.

That thriving and rich secondary market means you need to know what you're buying. Leo spoke with Fabrice Guéroux, a horological expert and author of two books on counterfeit watches, who said you need to find a reliable watch dealer, but still says they're reliable investments. “You put your money in the bank and get 5%, if you're lucky. But you can buy a watch and in that same time, make 400% on it, and that's not getting lucky, that's getting rich.”

The Daily Valet. example

Don't miss out on The Daily Valet.

Think of it like that well-informed, well-dressed friend who's always got something to say. Now he's sending you a morning email with everything you need to know to prep for the day.

The Rolex Mystique

We take a deep dive into the brand's storied history of more than 100 years and why the vintage models retain such value.

Keep Your
Watch Clean

Watch and Jewelry Maintenance Guide
Watch and Jewelry Maintenance Guide

High-end timepieces and well-made jewelry are investments pieces, literally. They don’t come cheap, and if they’re taken care of, they can bring a big return down the road. So you’ll want to clean them thoroughly and carefully.

Advertisement