Experts reveal how shoppers have to spend big to pick up latest Rolex

Why you CAN’T buy a Rolex! Experts reveal how shoppers have to ‘build a relationship’ by ‘spending up to £100,000’ with the brand to pick up the latest watches

  • Experts revealed how shoppers can’t just walk into store and buy latest Rolex
  • Explained how customers needed to ‘build relationship’ with the brand 
  • Insiders said shoppers had to spend money to pick up ‘less desirable models’
  • One customer described being told he should spend up to £100,000 with brand

Experts have revealed how shoppers have to ‘build a relationship’ with luxury watch brand Rolex by spending up to £100,000 on less desirable timepieces in order to pick up the latest models – as the brand tries to maintain exclusivity in the Instagram age. 

While the uninitiated might assume that the luxurious fashion brand would happily take anyone’s money, industry insiders have explained how the process of buying an expensive watch from the designer might be slightly be complicated than that.

Experts said that with demand outstripping supply, the brand has had to place limits on who can buy what watch – by deciding ‘if customers are the right type of person’ to wear their timepiece. 

What’s more, the better a customer someone proves to be, the higher chance they have of getting offered the chance to buy ‘rare’ timepieces in special materials and colorways.

One customer, Barry Finch, told The Telegraph he had attempted to buy a £4,700 Rolex Oyster Perpetual – but was told he would need to ‘build a relationship’ by spending ‘up to £100,000’ on other models first.

Experts have revealed how shoppers have to ‘build a relationship’ with luxury watch brand Rolex by spending up to £100,000 on less desirable timepieces in order to pick up the latest models – as the brand tries to maintain exclusivity in the Instagram age (pictured, Roger Federer wearing a Rolex watch at Wimbledon over the weekend) 

He said: ‘Rolex clearly doesn’t want normal people to buy their products.’ 

With Rolex products surging in popularity as social media users take to Instagram and TikTok to show off their latest timepieces, insiders said the brand has become more selective with who it sells the products to.

Meanwhile others suggest the pandemic has also supercharged demand the market.

However despite the boom in demand, top watchmakers have not increased their supply.  

With Rolex products surging in popularity as social media users take to Instagram and TikTok to show off their latest timepieces, insiders said the brand has become more selective with who it sells the products to (pictured, Cristiano Ronaldo wearing a Rolex) 

Ariel Adams, founder of popular watch blog aBlogtoWatch said the brand didn’t want to decrease the value of their product by releasing more watches for customers to purchase

He told Yahoo: ‘Rolex has made it clear that they are not going to increase production of popular watches to meet demand, and that makes sense because they are trying to create long term value for their clients, they don’t want to flood the market and reduce the value of these things.’

And James Gurney, the editor of watch magazine QP agreed, explaining that many first time buyers of Rolex might struggle to get their dream watch on the first time shopping with the brand – even if they can afford it.

He told The Telegraph: ‘As a prospective buyer you’ve certainly got a fairly strange experience. Walk into the biggest Rolex store in the country, yes, and the chances of you walking out with a watch is low.’

Meanwhile Eric Wind, a former vice president at Chrisite’s, told VanityFair: ‘You’re just not gonna get [a Rolex watch] unless you’re a good pre-existing customer or a celebrity. Or if you’re doing under-the-table payments to the retailers on the side in cash.’ 

Celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres are well known fans of the brand, with huge collections of the luxury watches 

Experts said the brand wants to maintain a luxury image by only selling their most exclusive watches to loyal customers (pictured, Victoria Beckham wearing a Rolex) 

Adam Golden of Menta Watches told Business Insider: ‘Rolex seems to have structured their business in such a way that they’re controlling distribution and who gets what, at a retail level.’

He later added: ‘Rolex would like to perpetuate the image that there’s a shortage and that there’s such high demand that they can’t produce enough to satisfy the demand, but I think in reality it’s just a very controlled release in order to keep that demand super high.’

MailOnline has contacted Rolex for comment.  

Charles Gorra, founder and CEO of luxury resale site Rebag, previously explained it was a similar process to buy a Hermès Birkin bag — and that Hermès created that difficulty on purpose.

‘The process of buying an Hermès Birkin bag on the primary market is shrouded in mystery to keep the allure of exclusivity,’ he told Insider last year.

‘Hermès tightly controls inventory and keeps the retail price of a Birkin secret, while having periodic price increases. Simply walking into an Hermès store isn’t enough because they give regular clients priority.’ 

The unwritten rules of buying an Hermès Birkin or Kelly bag

According to influencer Audrey Peters, anyone hoping to purchase one of these luxury hard-to-find bags from an Hermès store must jump through a series of hoops just to be given the opportunity to spend upwards of $10,000 on one of the designer items. 

These steps include: 

  • Pick a specific Hermès sales associate with whom you can develop a relationship
  • Text your chosen sales associate regularly; ask questions about their personal life and inquire about new items that have arrived in store
  • Visit the sales associate’s store as frequently as possible 
  • During these store visits, purchase ‘a little something-something’, however make sure that you buy a ‘diverse’ range of products. ‘It is suggested that you spread your purchases. Buy one pair of shoes, then a blanket, then a teacup,’ Audrey advises

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