Which is the most luxurious, expensive, and prestigious watch brand in the world? For most people, the answer will almost always be the same – Rolex.
The most expensive Rolex, the Paul Newman Daytona, was auctioned for $17.8 million in 2017. The prices for Rolex watches start at around $5,000 and can go up to about $75,000.
Why are the Rolex watches so expensive?
Rolex watches are handmade. More than just watches, Rolex offers pieces of astonishing craftsmanship, and that justifies its high price.
History of Rolex – Where and When it All Began
To understand why Rolex watches are so expensive, we have to go back in time. Rolex was established by Hans Wilsdorf in 1905 in London. Most watches were not exactly accurate at that time, and designs weren’t good enough either.
Wilsdorf wanted to make a watch that was both accurate and stylish. A gap in the market, according to the Londoner, and he founded the company Rolex. The goal he had in mind was simple but ambitious.
He just wanted to make good watches that were a blend of function and trend. He succeeded in his attempts to deliver chronometric precision. Wilsdorf gave life to his idea using small parts made by a watchmaker in Switzerland.
Not much later, in 1910, Rolex was awarded the Swiss Certificate of Precision. The Class A Certificate followed not much later. With increasing demand and quality supply, Rolex’s reputation as an exceptionally good clock was successfully established.
Today, Rolex had a reputation for quality and precision, and it has been maintained since its early days. Wilsdorf’s search for chronometric precision earned the brand the Swiss Certificate of Precision in 1910. In just nine years, Rolex moved to Switzerland, and the company has remained there ever since.
For Winners and Adventurers
The carefully built reputation made it possible to put a hefty price tag on the clocks. There was no competition, and the demand was clearly increasing. That’s not to say they were going to wait for big money on a Rolex watch.
The development of high-quality watches for wealthy customers continued unabated. For example, the Rolex Oyster first appeared in 1926. It was Rolex’s first watch that was truly waterproof, and this model once again strengthened Rolex’s position as a watchmaker.
Not only did this impressive invention contribute to the success of the brand, but smart marketing strategies also played a role. For example, an English swimmer swam across the Channel with an Oyster as a publicity stunt.
The watch survived the ten-hour crossing and was still working fine when it arrived on the other side. This was the beginning of Rolex’s reputation as the watch for winners, adventurers, and record breakers.
Reasons for Expensiveness of Rolex
Today, Rolex is still the king of the watch market. Every watch that comes out of the factory in Switzerland is twice as accurate as most of its competitors. It’s one of the primary reasons why their prices are always high. Here are a few more reasons.
Hand-Assembled Premium Quality Parts
The watches are made by hand using high-quality materials. All these materials are produced by Rolex itself. Even the melting of the steel is done by the brand. Anything that’s handmade is never cheap, especially when it’s something related to your personality.
In the case of Rolex, their reputation depends upon quality. Therefore, the brand never risks using any material that will make their watch look cheap, even if it’s small. The skills, craftsmanship, and premium material impact manufacturing cost, making their retail price really high.
Water Impermeability Testing
Rolex watches are remarkably impermeable, another factor responsible for the high price of these watches. Some models are even water-repellent up to 300 meters, Rolex Submariner watches, for example.
To ensure the levels of water resistance, each Rolex watch is tested under certain pressurized tanks.
After the tank test, they are tested outdoors in real water. Moreover, to test the premium collection watches, Rolex Deepsea watches, for example, Rolex uses high-pressure water tanks. These tanks are specially developed from COMEX.
An Army of Gemologists
To confirm that the brand always presents top-notch premium watches to the consumers, Rolex takes the help of a large team of gemologists.
These are specialists who assist in jobs like purchasing, testing, and setting precious materials (diamond and gold, for example) onto various deluxe models.
In addition, Rolex also has a team of expert jewelers who assist in picking and setting diamonds and various other precious stones.
Rolex is known as one of the only watchmakers to manufacture their own gold. Well, this explains why the gold models of the Rolex are the most costly watches.
Rolex mostly refines 24K gold in 18K Everose Gold, white or yellow for their watches.
A Rolex is very expensive to make and always guarantees high quality and longevity. That is why the watches hardly fall in reselling price years after the purchase.
So this was all about why Rolex watches are so expensive. If you want to have a real Rolex on your wrist, you will have to pull out your wallet.
With a bit of luck, you will find one that you can buy for just over $6,000, but normally the prices of the really interesting models are a lot higher.
All in all, the reputation, quality, precision, and the many man-hours given in manufacturing each watch ensure that a Rolex is actually not overpriced at all.
Have you ever purchased a Rolex? Do you think it’s worth the money? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!