It’s that time of year again and sure enough as January wears on the annual rumours run riot through the industry of a Rolex price increase in the UK. Is this year going to be the year that we see prices rise here?
A recent flash poll carried out by Global Watch Shop showed that a majority of you believe there will be some degree of increase, with 53% believing this year will be the year. We’ve had numerous increases in the Eurozone since we last saw a rise in the UK and it’s now been over 3 years since the price increase Rolex gave to us in 2012. With the British Pound becoming increasingly devalued against both the Euro and the Swiss Franc in early 2016, it really could be time, but despite what people are telling you, no-one will know until the last minute, that’s just how Rolex like to do things.
What - on the surface at least - seems to be a real kick in the teeth if you’re almost at the point of hitting the button and making that purchase you’ve been so looking forward to, in the long term is really a blessing and part of the reason that you buy a Rolex. Over time, a Rolex holds its residual value so much better than many other brands and with every price increase that Rolex send to us, the value of your investment will in most cases rise as well.
A luxury timepiece has been one of the must-have items for the rich and powerful for many years, instilling in its owner a sense of style and sophistication. But increasingly, Rolex watches are much more than that – they’re investments, high-end products which you can enjoy in the short-term, safe in the knowledge that you’ll see a return, should you choose to sell them years down the line.
Throughout the 20th Century, the price of top-tier wristwatches rose at an incredible rate, and arguably none increased more quickly than the most respected watchmaker of them all, Rolex. But why? Obviously, inflation will affect the price of Rolex collections of watches over a period of decades. But even taking inflation into account, the Submariner No-Date model has increased in value almost six-fold as the years have passed – adjusted for inflation, a £105 Submariner No-Date in 1957 would be worth a little over £900 nowadays, yet the price of a 2016 Submariner No-Date is £5,300 – six times higher than what it should cost.
One theory is that, with wages increasing at a higher rate than inflation, if Rolex prices went up in line with inflation only, they would be affordable to a wider cross-section of the population – not exactly a good look for a brand which sells itself as a maker of ultra-exclusive watches for the great and good of society! By ensuring prices remain high, Rolex protects its reputation as a luxury brand – guaranteeing themselves a healthy base of customers who require an elegant, detailed timepiece which acts as the perfect status symbol.
Other possible explanations for the rising cost of Rolex watches include the inconsistent price of the material used in their construction, the company’s emphasis on enhancing its watches through years of extensive research & development and investment in marketing. Far more goes into a Rolex watch than the manufacturing process – these complicated timepieces require intensive effort in various spheres to ensure they are as reliable, accurate, attractive and functional as possible, all of which cost a great deal of money. This is reflected in the price of the product and as the brand becomes ever more advanced, the value of their watches increases; especially as Rolex is increasingly placing an emphasis on the ‘luxurious’ aspect of their pieces, with the addition of expensive metals and stones adding to the cost price.
So what does this mean for the customer? Clearly, Rolex watches have been increasing in cost for decades and are now more expensive than ever – but this trend shows no sign of slowing down, so while the initial outlay might be high, there’s every reason to think that your model will increase in value as the years pass, giving you not only a stunning timepiece but, should you ever feel the need, an item of incredibly high resale value. So, whether you’re looking to treat yourself to a luxurious bit of kit to add the finishing touch to your office look, or are looking to invest in a nest egg for your grandchildren in a few decades’ time, a Rolex watch remains the watch of choice for anyone with a taste for the finer things in life.
How do you see the potential of a Rolex price increase in the UK? Will it push you further away from ownership, or is it enhancing the value of the pieces you already own? We’d love to hear your views, let us know or just leave a question using the comments box below.