Why are Rolex watches so expensive? Hans Wilsdorf founded the company in 1905 in London. He recognized that the majority of watches were not stylish and accurate.
He saw a gap in the market and sought to fill it by creating a timepiece that was the perfect blend of function and trend.
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The company succeeded in producing chronometric precision in watches that were both fashionable and functional.
However, this high price tag isn’t a reason to give up your day job and spend thousands of dollars on a wristwatch.
Reasons Why Rolex Watches Are So Expensive
Although Rolex watches are expensive, they have increased in value over the years. They have improved in accuracy, durability, and reliability. Despite their high price, many people are willing to pay top dollar for a high-precision watch.
The reason is simple: the company has invested millions of dollars into developing its timepieces. As a result, the company has managed to maintain their appeal and exclusivity. Today’s models are worth far more than they were decades ago.
Some of the more expensive models are highly sought-after, like the John Player Special. This watch, produced in 1965, is a rare beauty with a glamorous appearance. It sold for 1.53 million Swiss francs at a Sotheby’s auction in 2020. It once belonged to the late rock star Marlon Brando. It has an unusual white dial. It features silver finishing on its subsidiary dials. It is known as the “Oster Albino.”
Some Rolex watches are known for their speedy movements. Rolex produces nearly all of its parts in-house, and the company uses a patented high-speed movement that speeds up the entire process. Almost all components are assembled by hand and undergo extensive testing.
The company even automates the assembly process for certain models. Here’s what you need to know about Rolex’s high-speed movement.
The history of Rolex watches dates back to 1905, when Wilsdorf and his brother Alfred Davis founded Wilsdorf and Davis. Wilsdorf and Davis specialized in the distribution of timepieces, and they began to make their own in the early twentieth century.
Those early wristwatches were sold to jewellers, who would put their names on the dials. In 1919, Wilsdorf and Davis moved their business to Geneva, where they still manufacture the watches today.
As mentioned, the Rolex watch movement is susceptible to shocks. Even though it is a durable and highly accurate timepiece, it is no more indestructible than any other mechanical device.
Great shocks or vibrations can cause the watch to run slowly, too fast, or skip the last winding in the spring. But unlike engine parts, Rolex watches aren’t invincible and they need periodic maintenance to keep working.
Although Rolex watches are pricey, you’ll likely want to consider a vintage model instead of a regular one. Rare vintage models are worth more money than their regular counterparts. Even if you don’t plan to wear your new watch as often as you’d like to, a new one is still a great investment.
Rolex has become popular in recent years, and Swiss watchmakers have followed suit. Today’s most popular models include the rare Daytona and Explorer vintage series.
Rolex watches are durable. They can withstand changes in humidity, movement, altitude, and temperature. These factors make them expensive, but a well-maintained Rolex will last for a very long time.
That means you can pass it down to future generations without any worry. If you’re worried about your pocketbook, there are other ways to make a Rolex last forever.
Many people ask “why do Rolex watches cost so much?” The answer may be found in the company’s “Control freak” culture. Rolex master craftsmen are extremely meticulous, ensuring that every single screw is in place and that every gem and hour marker is set correctly.
Even the bezels are put on by hand to ensure that they fit perfectly. Then, every single piece of jewelry in a Rolex watch is hand-crafted. This process also ensures that all parts of the watch are the same size and weight.
The company is aggressive and litigious, but it also understands that not everyone can afford to purchase a Rolex. When the time comes for service, Rolex is a control freak, and this can be problematic. For example, in a recent video, a Japanese dealer told a UK dealer that he needed PS1 million to refurbish his showroom.
That dealer didn’t want to give in to his boss’ demands, so he pulled the franchise and went elsewhere. This left the dealer bitter and confused, but the company had to keep his word.
Unlike other luxury brands, Rolex places great emphasis on precision in their manufacturing process. The company invests in R&D in materials science, testing over 100 different types to create the most precise balance spring possible.
While the company does not brag about these processes, it is widely recognized as one of the finest luxury brands for its fine craftsmanship. High-precision materials are a major reason for the high price tag of Rolex watches.
To ensure their watches’ accuracy, Rolex puts their watches through rigorous stress tests. The company has its own life-testing laboratory, where different components are put through stress.
These tests simulate actual life conditions and ensure that every component is as accurate as possible. The company also employs robotic testing arms to check the durability of each component. Even after extensive testing, Rolex still adheres to its strict quality standards.
In addition to research and development, Rolex invests a great deal in innovation. Rolex is always searching for better materials, such as anti-magnetic and non-corrosive stainless steel, to make their watches more durable and accurate.
Unlike other luxury Swiss watchmakers, Rolex uses 904L steel to create their watches. However, the company does not create the material, which is widely used in the high-tech industry. The 904L steel is also available on the open market to other watchmakers.
Years Of Development
The research and development that goes into creating a Rolex watch is unparalleled. The Swiss brand invests money in state-of-the-art equipment and professional science labs to improve their manufacturing processes and components.
Their engineers analyze the structure of metals, oils, and other components using gas spectrometers and electron microscopes. They continually improve their materials and processes to make their timepieces better than ever.
Unlike other luxury brands, Rolex does not produce an unlimited number of watches. The company only produces a few hundred thousand per year and aims to keep the perception of scarcity alive by releasing only a small amount of watches every year.
The controlled quantity that the company releases keeps demand high and prices higher than they otherwise would be. In addition to the high cost of Rolex watches, a limited supply has caused an explosion in resale values.
Stainless steel is one of the most important factors that go into a Rolex watch’s durability. Unlike ordinary steel, 904L stainless steel is extremely hard and corrosion-resistant. It also holds polish very well.
Since the brand only produces 904L steel, it had to upgrade its manufacturing facility. However, the extra work involved in developing these watches has made the price tag extremely high.
The stress tests on Rolex watches are conducted to ensure the longevity of the watches. The company’s life testing laboratory stresses various components to simulate the wear and tear of everyday life.
The process involves specially built robotic testing arms to simulate a variety of stresses, including cycling over uneven terrain, jumping and clapping. The results are then analyzed to ensure that the watch will continue to work reliably for many years to come.
To make sure that their timepieces are able to withstand extreme pressure, Rolex has a specially designed tank that simulates four-eight hundred-eight-hundred-foot-deep pressure. In addition, the tanks simulate a 25 percent increase in pressure from the specifications.
To ensure their watch will still function properly, Rolex performs stress tests on their watches before they leave the company’s facility.
The Swiss-based company invests a large amount of money in research and engineering to make sure that their timepieces last as long as possible. They also use state-of-the-art electron microscopes and gas spectrometers to examine metals.
Through the stress tests, Rolex is able to determine the effects of different machining and casting techniques on the watch’s movements, case and bracelets.
When you purchase a new Rolex watch, you will receive a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) from the manufacturer. This document identifies the specific timepiece you’re purchasing. There are three important numbers on the COA.
These are the Rolex Model Reference number and the Case Number. These numbers are written in the upper-right corner of the document. These numbers are also handwritten in the margin, and they can be difficult to read, but they are a necessity for your watch’s certification.
Another important feature of a true Rolex is its date. Since the date is difficult to copy, you need to find a watch with a clear, easy-to-read window. A true Rolex watch should also be made of gold or platinum – never stainless steel.
Certification also helps to ensure that the watch will last for many years. All of this quality control makes the brand a desirable one, and it is worth the investment.