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04/22/2011 10:04:39 PM · #1
what makes a Rolex so expensive? I know about cameras, guitars, computers, and telescopes. I know what makes them tic and why some are priced higher than others.
However, I'm not sure why a Rolex is so expensive. I know why the price of each Rolex can differ...gold, platinum, diamonds etc...however, even an "entry level" Rolex is expensive.

Can anyone fill me in?

Thanks,
04/22/2011 10:08:20 PM · #2
1. Precision engineering/fabrication on a small scale.

1a. Labor costs -- these are not assembled by robots or fourteen year old Indonesian girls ...

2. Marketing.

Message edited by author 2011-04-22 22:10:21.
04/22/2011 10:11:03 PM · #3
Thanks...I'm glad you put marketing last....it makes me feel better!

Anyone else care to inject?

Originally posted by GeneralE:

1. Precision engineering/fabrication on a small scale.

1a. Labor costs -- these are not assembled by fourteen year old Indonesian girls ...

2. Marketing.
04/22/2011 10:59:05 PM · #4
Marketing should be first, actually. Rolexes are like diamonds that way; they've created brand cachet that justifies exorbitant prices. It's just the fact that "it's a Rolex" that makes it so valuable. If it's what you or your honey want, a piece of functional jewelry that shouts success to the world, go for it!

I used to have a Rolex actually, given to me by a former significant other; I sold it and went on a cruise :-)

R.
04/22/2011 11:02:06 PM · #5
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Marketing should be first, actually. Rolexes are like diamonds that way; they've created brand cachet that justifies exorbitant prices.

I was trying to be nice. ;-)
04/22/2011 11:15:30 PM · #6
Well after my OP, I went searching and found this.

It answered alot of questions and I found this to be very interesting:

The penultimate component of the Rolex watch is the Officially Certified Superlative Chronometer. This is the self-winding movement used solely by Rolex for their watches and it takes over a year to construct each one.

Also...after General put marketing last...it made me think....I really don't recall EVER seeing a Rolex commercial on TV, Satellite, XM, Email, Direct Mail or Youtube, Internet Ads, or newspapers. I'm not saying they don't have a big ad budget, I just don't recall seeing an ad....Oh well, maybe this year's superbowl will have one.

General...according to the link above, your first response looks like it was right on target.

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Marketing should be first, actually. Rolexes are like diamonds that way; they've created brand cachet that justifies exorbitant prices. It's just the fact that "it's a Rolex" that makes it so valuable. If it's what you or your honey want, a piece of functional jewelry that shouts success to the world, go for it!

I used to have a Rolex actually, given to me by a former significant other; I sold it and went on a cruise :-)

R.


Message edited by author 2011-04-22 23:16:21.
04/22/2011 11:22:24 PM · #7
Rolex was the first watch to be water resistant to 100m. They differentiate themselves from Piaget or Cartier in appealing primarily to men. They are associated with sailing, diving, exploration; rugged manly activities, and at a time when watches were delicate spring driven affairs, the Rolex was a tank. They produced models for deep-sea diving, mountain climbing and aviation. Almost impossible to kill.

Today when a plastic Swatch is almost as accurate and can dive to 30 m, the Rolex is largely worth its price for it's associations with past glories. James Bond wore the Rolex Submariner.
04/22/2011 11:31:25 PM · #8
Originally posted by kenskid:

Also...after General put marketing last...it made me think....I really don't recall EVER seeing a Rolex commercial on TV, Satellite, XM, Email, Direct Mail or Youtube, Internet Ads, or newspapers. I'm not saying they don't have a big ad budget, I just don't recall seeing an ad....Oh well, maybe this year's superbowl will have one.


Do a Google image search for "Rolex advertisements". They are ubiquitous in the sporting world. They sponsor all sorts of sporting events, and individual athletes. I doubt there's any luxury watch that comes close to matching Rolex's marketing budget.

Don't get me wrong, the Rolex is a wonderful watch. As pointed out earlier, that Chronometer that's at the heart of a Rolex is a fantastic thing. But there are equally capable mechanical chronometers that don't cost anything like what a Rolex does. And, to be fair, there are insanely expensive chronometers out there too, limited-production timepieces that go for upwards of a quarter of a million dollars.

But, still and all, the bottom line is that if you want *style*, you can get it cheaper. If you want *function*, you can get it cheaper. If you want what a Rolex represents, however, you buy a Rolex.

R.
04/23/2011 12:02:51 AM · #9
...yes...buy what does a Rolex represent? Are you saying that it is a "show off" item and only worth a small fraction of retail value? If that's the case, I wonder what people at my kid's high school thought about me when I walked through the auditorium with my D700 while they had point and shoots and some lesser SLRs ? And...yes, several people inquired about the cost of such a camera !

EDIT: I did look at you link, but at the same time I searched this one too.

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by kenskid:

Also...after General put marketing last...it made me think....I really don't recall EVER seeing a Rolex commercial on TV, Satellite, XM, Email, Direct Mail or Youtube, Internet Ads, or newspapers. I'm not saying they don't have a big ad budget, I just don't recall seeing an ad....Oh well, maybe this year's superbowl will have one.


Do a Google image search for "Rolex advertisements". They are ubiquitous in the sporting world. They sponsor all sorts of sporting events, and individual athletes. I doubt there's any luxury watch that comes close to matching Rolex's marketing budget.

Don't get me wrong, the Rolex is a wonderful watch. As pointed out earlier, that Chronometer that's at the heart of a Rolex is a fantastic thing. But there are equally capable mechanical chronometers that don't cost anything like what a Rolex does. And, to be fair, there are insanely expensive chronometers out there too, limited-production timepieces that go for upwards of a quarter of a million dollars.

But, still and all, the bottom line is that if you want *style*, you can get it cheaper. If you want *function*, you can get it cheaper. If you want what a Rolex represents, however, you buy a Rolex.

R.


Message edited by author 2011-04-23 10:14:40.
04/23/2011 09:10:25 AM · #10
Originally posted by kenskid:

...yes...buy what does a Rolex represent? Are you saying that it is a "show off" item and only worth a small fraction of retail value? If that's the case, I wonder what people at my kid's high school thought about me when I walked through the auditorium with my D700 while they had point and shoots and some lesser DSLs ? And...yes, several people inquired about the cost of such a camera !


1. It represents fine tastes and financial success.

2. They probably thought: "Hey look at that idiot hauling around his internet connection..." ;)
04/23/2011 09:47:25 AM · #11
Originally posted by kenskid:

...yes...buy what does a Rolex represent? Are you saying that it is a "show off" item and only worth a small fraction of retail value?


No, don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-Rolex at all. I used to own one, and I loved it. They are wonderful timepieces. No, what I had in mind was more along the lines of what Brennan said:

Originally posted by BrennanOB:

Rolex was the first watch to be water resistant to 100m. They differentiate themselves from Piaget or Cartier in appealing primarily to men. They are associated with sailing, diving, exploration; rugged manly activities, and at a time when watches were delicate spring driven affairs, the Rolex was a tank. They produced models for deep-sea diving, mountain climbing and aviation. Almost impossible to kill.

Today when a plastic Swatch is almost as accurate and can dive to 30 m, the Rolex is largely worth its price for its associations with past glories. James Bond wore the Rolex Submariner.


If that sort of "association" works for you then the Rolex has value for you, personally. It works for me; I'd rather buy a Rolex than a "designer watch" with less historical provenance. I'd prefer a Porsche over a Z-car for roughly the same reasons. I don't mean to be putting down Rolex at all; I just understand that they have carefully crafted and burnished their own reputation, that they are masters of marketing, and that we pay for this, assuredly. More power to them!

R.
04/23/2011 10:13:31 AM · #12
LOL....I didn't know what the hell you were talking about until I read back over my typo !!

I'll fix it now...

Originally posted by Cory:

Originally posted by kenskid:

...yes...buy what does a Rolex represent? Are you saying that it is a "show off" item and only worth a small fraction of retail value? If that's the case, I wonder what people at my kid's high school thought about me when I walked through the auditorium with my D700 while they had point and shoots and some lesser DSLs ? And...yes, several people inquired about the cost of such a camera !


1. It represents fine tastes and financial success.

2. They probably thought: "Hey look at that idiot hauling around his internet connection..." ;)
04/23/2011 12:08:37 PM · #13
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

I doubt there's any luxury watch that comes close to matching Rolex's marketing budget.

I've seen some ads for Tag Heuer watches which looked like they cost more than my house (both the ad and the watch) ... :-(
04/23/2011 12:33:01 PM · #14
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

I doubt there's any luxury watch that comes close to matching Rolex's marketing budget.

I've seen some ads for Tag Heuer watches which looked like they cost more than my house (both the ad and the watch) ... :-(


Now I am trying to think if it was a rolex or tag huer commercial i saw last. BOTH advertise at race tracks so there something you could find! I believe Rolex sponsors one of the 24 hours races as well as some teams.

My father always felt a good point about them is that they can last for a very long time.... But since im not all about the money I think 25 much cheaper watches is what I would go with.

Message edited by author 2011-04-23 12:33:45.
04/24/2011 04:11:37 AM · #15
Originally posted by RainMotorsports:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

I doubt there's any luxury watch that comes close to matching Rolex's marketing budget.

I've seen some ads for Tag Heuer watches which looked like they cost more than my house (both the ad and the watch) ... :-(


Now I am trying to think if it was a rolex or tag huer commercial i saw last. BOTH advertise at race tracks so there something you could find! I believe Rolex sponsors one of the 24 hours races as well as some teams.

My father always felt a good point about them is that they can last for a very long time.... But since im not all about the money I think 25 much cheaper watches is what I would go with.


Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

and Tag Heuer USED to be the official time sponsor for all F1 events... for years. Banners everywhere as well as everything was branded with them. Not sure if they still do though...
And they still advertise in lots of mags.. Nat Geo has them if I recall, for instance.
But, as others have noted, as prices of the technology has dropped, you can get the same stuff elsewhere. Citizen, for instance, makes pretty nice watches, and sits between the realm of ridiculous expensive and cheaper.
04/24/2011 10:13:49 AM · #16
My dad bought himself a Rolex decades ago and it's the only watch he's owned since. He justifies the expense with the quality that came with it.
04/24/2011 11:19:48 AM · #17
I own a few Swiss watches, including a Rolex.

Here's how I look at it,

If you're a married man, or have a significant other, total up the value of the jewelry for your wife then compare to the value of jewelry you wear. It most cases, it won't even be close.

In our Western culture, we adorn our women with jewelry. Men usually wear 2 pieces that could be classified as jewelry, a wedding ring and a watch. You don't get much a chance to make a statement. A fine Swiss watch can do that.

While you can spend 6 figures on a Rolex, there are options in the $5000.00 range. My Rolex is a white faced Explorer II. I picked up a mint condition used one from a trusted watch dealer for $3000.00. Not chump change, I know and to some folks there's nothing more insane than spending that kind of money on a watch. But, if you want to play the game, this is a great place to start.

I like this watch because it is not gaudy or pretentious. An understated, yet elegant time piece. It is also a GMT watch, it has a 24 hand that can be set to a different time zone. Comes in handy when traveling.

I had a conversation with a good friend that just couldn't get his head around spending that much on a watch. This conversation was taking place in his $50,000+ Lexus. I drive a very nice $25,000 Hyundai Santa Fe. We all have our priorities. My Rolex, Omega, Ebel, and Concord don't add up to 1/3 of the difference between our rides.

A fine Swiss watch is not about time keeping, and it's not really about projecting opulence. It's about how you value yourself. I wear my Rolex because I like what it says about me, to me. The rest is up to others.

I saw an ad once for Rolls Royce. "I give the world my best, I deserve the best the world has to offer in return"

What makes Rolex different than other Swiss watches, is they still make their watch movements "in-house". Many others, Omega, Tag, Breitling, and others purchase their movements from a company called ETA, owned by Swatch. ETA makes fine movements, some of the best in the world, but there is still a certain mystique about a company that makes the entire watch in-house. Omega is also owned by Swatch, but ETA and Omega are operated as separate companies, and cannot be considered "in-house" like Rolex. There are others that do make their own movements. It's something to ask about when considering a purchase.
04/24/2011 12:15:40 PM · #18
Originally posted by scarbrd:

I saw an ad once for Rolls Royce. "I give the world my best, I deserve the best the world has to offer in return"


Sadly, I happen to know lots of people who truly give their best, sometimes at two or three different jobs, and they cannot afford anything remotely close to a Rolex watch.

On a personal note, I happen to own several pieces of jewelry and watches and truly cannot remember the last time I wore any of them. Funny thing, I still get up at 5am and make it home for dinner at 6pm.

Ray
04/24/2011 12:28:46 PM · #19
Although quality and cost of fabrication account for much of the cost, branding is equally as important. Why does a Coach, Dooney, or Chanel purse retail for 10 to 20 times the cost of the materials? Why buy an Armani suit instead of JC Penney? The branding is geared to those who want, and can afford "the best."

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