Since the absolute explosion of the Rolex aftermarket, there has been chatter around the web of a possible Rolex price increase at Authorised Dealers in 2018. Last month, multiple sources speculated that the increase would occur on Oct 1, and in the UK market, sources have confirmed that prices have risen this week between 5-8%.
In Australia, as of today, such a rise is yet to be confirmed by dealers.
However, with people happily, sorry foolishly, throwing $30k at the new Rolex GMT, which retails for $11,750, does a Rolex price increase even matter?
If you look at the RRP of most watch brands over time, including Rolex, you’ll see a gradual price increase of what equates to roughly 5% a year, which is far and above a response to monetary inflation. The brands use the industry as a whole to justify a rise in prices, which itself is fascinating because unlike cars or consumer electronics where prices are dropping for a better product that is safer or has more features, the product is practically unchanged, we just have to pay more for it. This gradual increase comes on top of the significant jump in all Swiss watch prices when the cap on the Swiss franc was lifted in 2015, which people accepted and moved on from.
When I first read about the possible rise and following a chat with Rolex reps in Australia earlier this year, I was expecting to see a price jump of more than 10% on sports model watches, even 20%, like Patek did earlier this year, wouldn’t have surprised me, even if it was particularly hard to stomach initially.
A local 5-8% Rolex price increase is meaningless, it will happen anyway. At this stage, even a 20% increase won’t cause a flinch because people are paying far more than that to own them. However, if it deters sneaky buyers acquiring them just to flip, I would welcome a 20% increase, helping to establish once again who the true brand enthusiasts are, happy to pay a premium for a brand they love while weeding out the price gouging snakes.
To check RRP’s head to Rolex.