What Makes Rolex so Successful? Here Are Nine Reasons

Rolex is viewed by many as the Number One among major Swiss watch manufacturers. Why? Rüdiger Bucher, Editorial Director at WatchTime’s German sister magazine, Chronos, lists nine reasons for the success of Rolex in this latest visit to our archives.

Reason #1: Fame

Rolex is clearly the most well-known among the world’s luxury watch brands. You’ve heard of it even if you’ve never heard anything about Omega or Breitling, or even Patek Philippe. Fundamentally there are two Rolex customer groups – those who know a lot, and those who know very little. Aficionados buy Rolex for its extremely high quality. They may be less interested in extremely fine, complicated craftsmanship in favor of having the best all-around watch for daily wear. Other Rolex customers don’t know much about watches, only that Rolex is the best. For them the primary motivator is this: if you’re going to wear a watch, it’s got to be a Rolex. And this is a huge compliment for the manufacturer – because if even a person who knows nothing about watches views one specific brand as “Number One”, the company is doing something right.

Rolex Evergreen - Daytona Illustration
Rolex is the most recognizable luxury watch brand.

Reason #2: Product quality

The basis for Rolex’s success is its extremely high product quality extending over the many years of its existence. Rolex watches show time accurately and are robust, sturdy and reliable. Maintaining consistently high quality with estimated annual production numbers of about three-quarters of a million pieces is an art unto itself. And it’s to Rolex’s advantage to omit unusual complications. It has no tourbillons, perpetual calendars or minute repeaters – not even movements with a large date display, power reserve indicator or alarm function. The company concentrates on what it does best, and improves the detail ongoing. This is true for the movements as well as for the case. You won’t find a rotating bezel that ratchets so cleanly and smoothly like the one on the Submariner or GMT-Master II from any of its competitors – even other high-end manufacturers with much more expensive products.

Rolex Evergreen - Ceramic Bezel
Perfect feel: Rolex rotating bezels

Reason #3: Everything a watch needs

The significance of the Rolex name is linked to the fact that the brand introduced innovative features quite early on which have made the watch well-suited for everyday wear. In 1914 Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf submitted a wristwatch movement to the renowned Kew-Teddington observatory for chronometer certification. Today the chronometer test (currently conducted by the Swiss institute COSC) has become a standard for in-house mechanical Rolex calibers. In 1927 the first water-resistant wristwatch was introduced and the automatic winding mechanism followed a couple of years later – because to ensure the water-resistance of a watch, it shouldn’t be necessary to pull the crown every day. These two features are reflected in the product name “Oyster Perpetual”, which decorates virtually every Rolex. The Datejust, introduced in 1945, was the first watch to combine all three features – automatic winding, water-resistant case and chronometer certificate. Together with its namesake date window, it has all the essentials.

Rolex Evergreen - GMT Master
Water-resistant, self-winding and chronometer-certified: Rolex GMT-Master II

Reason #4: Design and recognition

The everyday wearability of a watch is a function of its design. The round shape of a Rolex contributes to its water-resistance and its superior legibility. Add to this a central sweep seconds hand and Cyclops date magnifier (another Hans Wilsdorf invention). Existing collections are maintained and continuously improved over the years. This is supported by Rolex expert Percy Christian Schoeler, founder of the German-language internet portals Luxify and R-L-X-Forum: “Only very careful modifications to the iconic design of individual model collections over the decades have resulted in a high degree of recognition.” There are no sudden design shifts or leaps, and even case sizes are altered only very gradually. Typical design features like the grooved bezel, “Mercedes” hands, Cyclops magnifier and the Oyster bracelet are part of several different models and have rarely undergone change so a Datejust or a Submariner today looks very much like earlier models. It’s why it is always easy to recognize a Rolex from a distance. Watch expert Gisbert L. Brunner calls this the “10-meter rule” – and it’s not just the specialists who recognize them.

Rolex Evergreen - Datejust
Iconic features of the Rolex design: Cyclops date magnifier, fluted bezel, metal bracelet

Reason #5: Stability in value

The moment you buy a car, it drops in value by half. This fact is true to a lesser extent for watches – except for Rolex. For the high-demand sport models in stainless steel at least (though this is a stickier situation for gold Oyster models and the elegant gold Cellini watches) it’s possible to get just a little less, or maybe even more, than the original purchase price. This is an attractive point for any customer – regardless of whether they are buying the watch for this particular reason or any other. It’s reassuring to know you’ve made a wise decision.

Rolex Evergreen - Divers watches
Sporty Rolex models in stainless steel are popular and maintain price stability

Reason #6: Auction prices

The price stability of used but still relatively new watches depends in great part on the high prices achieved regularly by older Rolex watches at auction. After Patek Philippe, Rolex is the next hottest brand. There are thousands of examples of auctioning success with Rolex watches over the last several decades. In some cases the prices have reached dizzying heights. Back in October, in fact, a Rolex Daytona owned by actor and racing enthusiast Paul Newman became the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction, netting $15.5 million at Phillips’ New York “Winning Icons” auction. This beat the previous record for the most expensive Rolex wristwatch ever sold, a Ref. 6062 with its triple date display (pointer date indicator, weekday and month in window openings) in the one-time variation with a black dial and diamond markers that once belonged to Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam. It was sold this past May at Phillips in Geneva for more than SF5 million.

Rolex Evergreen - Bao Dai
The Rolex Ref. 6062 “Bao Dai” with triple date display was sold in May 2017 at Phillips for more then five million Swiss francs.

Reason #7: Artificial shortages

The pinnacle of desirability is achieved when the thing one wants is not available. The famous Daytona in steel is for many such an object of desire, ever since an early version appeared on the wrist of Hollywood star Paul Newman. Rolex brings approximately as many models into stores as it expects to sell. The result is long waiting lists. The (often unfruitful) hunt for the world’s most desirable watch only adds to the Rolex myth.

Rolex Evergreen - Daytona - wrist
Rare and highly desirable: Rolex Daytona in stainless steel[

Reason #8: Marketing and communication

Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf was a marketing genius. He chose a name that was easy to pronounce in many different languages and made sure this name was printed on the dial – not entirely common at a time when customer loyalty was to the dealer, not the manufacturer. Wilsdorf called his water-resistant watch the “Oyster” and gave a Rolex to a swimmer who planned to swim the English Channel (which she wore around her neck). The story landed him a full-page advertisement on the front page of the Daily Mail. There were also ads in magazines in which a young actress submerged her hand and wrist (and watch!) into a fishbowl. Rolex marketing approaches have a more subtle touch. Beginning in the late 1970s, it emphasizes its presence in prestigious sports such as tennis and golf, automobile racing, equestrian sports and sailing. Rolex has been the “official timekeeper” at Wimbledon since 1978, at the U.S. Open since 1980, and for Formula One since 2013, clearly showing that Rolex represents sports and success.

Rolex Evergreen - Federer
Rolex has been the official timekeeper at Wimbledon since 1978 and has sponsored tennis legend Roger Federer for years.

Reason #9: Myth of the monolith

Rolex always makes a solid and composed impression. The company stays true to its proven methods and chooses to make continuous improvements instead of pursuing the new and different. Part of the brand’s mythology rests on the fact that Rolex did not jump on the quartz-watch bandwagon in the 1970s (even though there were some quartz Rolex watches). The company does not produce complicated watches such as tourbillons or repeaters, only very rarely launches new collections, and stays away from online sales. New technologies such as silicone parts in its movements are developed very slowly and used very conservatively – smartwatches or “smart” features are unthinkable. This makes the brand predictable for the customer and also protects the brand from missteps. The company does not make a big deal when introducing new products at Baselworld each spring. While other manufacturers boldly announce world records, hold press conferences featuring celebrities, or present 70 brand-new products, Rolex quietly works on detailed improvements. Larger cases, improved movements, ceramic bezels and now and again a new color – even innovations such as these are discussed among Rolex fans hotly and not without controversy. And regarding personal contact, Rolex often comes across as inscrutable and “oyster-like”– beginning with its production facilities for watches in Geneva and for movements in Biel, which customers and journalists rarely get to see from the inside, and ending with the CEO who, as a rule, gives no interviews.

Rolex Evergreen - Factory
Rolex company headquarters in Plan-les-Ouates in the canton of Geneva





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  1. Danny Simenauer

    Without a doubt Rolex has achieved a level of success in the watch industry unrivaled by its competitors. Rolex has earned it. Rüdiger Bucher lists nine talking points why Rolex dominates, to which most collectors would answer “obviously”. There was an article written in a competitive trade magazine to WatchTime, where the author pointed out how much of the watch industry press have buckled to the pressure put on by Rolex to write articles from Rolex’s perspective. I felt that Mr. Bucher is one of these when I read under his Reason #7: “Artificial shortages that the pinnacle of desirability is achieved when the thing one wants is not available. The result is long waiting lists”.

    First there are no waiting lists. One’s position on the waiting list has no bearing as to getting the Rolex you want, and most collectors know this. Since the Pandemic era, Rolex has teamed up with its AD’s to purposely create artificial shortages for a product manufactured over 1.25 million units. The real fact is that many buyers who want to buy one watch to celebrate a lifetime event are being treated like peasants by the AD’s. Rolex may rejoice that this makes the brand exclusive, but many of us true collectors with dignity and integrity are staying away from Rolex AD’s. In the short run Rolex probably doesn’t care, but the animosity toward the brand is growing.

    Many will suggest Rolex will dominate forever, so we need to get in line and bow down on bended knee. My reply is remember that General Motors had over 50% market share in the US auto industry in the 1960’s, and have nowhere near this dominance today. After reading this article in WatchTime, and Bucher obviously kowtowing to Rolex, then maybe it is time to cancel my subscription to WatchTime.

  2. J. Quincy Magoo

    You overstate and exaggerate, such as with your reason #2, but you are right on with your other reasoning, such as with reason #7. I used to be a fan of rolex, but they’ve lost me over time. While they have pretty much always been about their marketing skills, and they’re good at it, they also made decent wearing watches. Nowadays, they could care less about customer satisfaction and they could care less about whether I buy a watch from them. They are still in the second tier of the watch hierarchy, under that of Patek, Vacheron, and Auduemars. But there’s no denying they’re #1 in marketing. They just don’t give a damn about customers! Not that they care, mind you.

  3. Lux Ardens

    Rolex ! Not even in the top 10. Just bling. Outdated, and boring to look at.


    My opinion only here, some buy because the wealthy have these, some take out large loans to buy and lose themselves in the cult of Rolex.

    • If being lost in the “cult of Rolex” makes them happy then what is the harm?

  5. Humberto Pacheco

    I bought a President with the bark gold band in 1968, with my first legal fees of any importance. Although in my preferences it has since been succeeded by dozens of more important and complicated brands, it still has a sentimental place in my heart.
    During the couple of decades that I wore it I have nothing but praise for that strong, elegant and comfortable watch.

  6. Tan Chin Ming

    In Singapore where I am from, the service cost is very expensive. Just a regular inspection cost a minimum S$800.00. This cost is ridiculus.

  7. Guy J.Nanin

    Rüdiger Bucher is right on the money!!!
    His analysis and history is absolutely correct.!!!!
    may I tell my watch Rolex story?

    My Swiss Grand Mother gave me a Rolex Oyster perpetual with date in 1966 for my 21st
    birthday. upon finishing my education and commissioned in the US navy in 1967.
    I left for my first tour in Vietnam with my Rolex on my wrist.
    back then very few people in the Navy ,knew the Rolex brand . Omega was the big deal as Neil Armstrong was on his way to the moon with an Omega watch.
    second tour in Vietnam, my boss was a 2 star admiral and I was his ADC[ aide de camp}.
    one day he said to me I like your watch , what is it ? I gave him a lecture on Swiss watches and Rolex in particular. [ I was 23 your navy j.g. lieutenant, he was 52 ! 2 stars admiral]
    next , on a trip Hong Kong , he bought an Oyster perpetual exactly like mine.
    Next thing you know , Captains and Commanders , in our unit, all my bosses were wearing Rolex watches !!!!
    I felt as I started a trend!
    Moving forward to 1998 while doing a repair on my car , I removed my Rolex from My wrist and lost it!
    the sentimental value was supreme .!!
    I was 53 and cried like a child for having lost my Rolex.
    I never bought another Rolex as I felt it would bring me bad luck and be a bad omen.
    I own and wear great watches ,Breguet , Ulysses Nardin, Sinn, Longines, and today at the tender age of 26 with 50 years of life experience, I am dreaming and planning on a Patek-Philip ! but I have to agree with Mr Rudiger Bucher.
    Rolex is the top quality for the money !and an undeniable prestige!

  8. Anthony Mangoni

    I purchased two Rolex watches, 1983 and 1996. They have been dependable and stylish for all these years. Thank you Rolex…..

  9. I can’t figure why Rolex is so successful when a person, unless he or she is a celebrity, can’t purchase one. I know this to be true; I tried to purchase a new 39, 41mm Perpetual Including a Milgauss or a Date Just for almost a year without success. It’s a bit goofy how Rolex spends so much on advertising watches the average Joe can’t purchase even when one has the funds to make a Rolex purchase!?!

  10. Good article. Another point not mentioned is that Rolex is a private company, owned by a trust. As such it can aim for the very long run without the pressure of annual financial statements. A good example of this is how Rolex supported its dealers during the shutdown. BTW, that was a great time to buy a Rolex. You had to put the money up front, but the choice was there.
    I personally think that Rolex is wise not to sell online. The problem with online is that everything becomes commodified. If Rolex were on Jomashop, you would be comparing its “discounts” against retail with everyone else’s.

    • Victor Hugo

      Para comprar una pieza hay que estar en una lista de espera que nadie sabe si realmente existe. El sistema de venta actual se presta más a la corrupción comercial. Lamentable.

  11. William Hudson

    Good article. However, Rolex is at the perverbial cross road in its business practices today. As much as I love my new 41mm Datejust in stainless steel, I am realizing the bang for the buck is not what it used to be. A new Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra offers much need competition to Rolex at half the price with the same performance as the new 3235 automatic movement powering most of the Rolex line. Next time I may not double my cost simply for the name. Rolex needs to decide where they want to be in the market place. Either extremely high end or the best of both worlds which it seems to occupy now…

  12. William Hudson

    When the common man can no longer afford a Rolex and the supporting base evaporates Rolex could find itself in trouble. It sometimes appears they are purposely steering the train in that direction.

  13. Ranked by watch aficionados Rolex is a top 10 brand, but usually at the end, 8, 9 or 10. But to the watch industry Rolex is the most important brand in the world.

  14. James Guarino

    My submariner is 40 years old….I paid $750 when new, have the inner and outer box with original unfilledoit warranty. Was recently offered $8,000..will never sell it!!

  15. Julius T Shy Jr

    I have a Rolex that was given to me by my father before he passed. He purchased it in 1984. Although it is a fine time piece it gains 2 minutes every month. Always has, always will. He had it serviced in Switzerland and was told that it was working as it should. It is the Oyster Date with the red lettering, etc.

  16. Paulson Papora

    I possess a black submariner for 41 years, but the rotating bevel can’t be rotating. Why ?

    • Greetings! I noted you have some issue w/ dive bezel ? I am a longtime collector, and I have many good friends in the watch and eps Rolex industry . If you have notification for site, if you would eleborare a bit, is it not rotating period, did it once and suddenly stop, I would actually love to direct you for help, USUALLY, thankfully rotation is a minor issue! Dirt, sand, or even for people who dive salt can ..build up and cause it to not freely move or actually I have picked up older subs in which it really does not want to move! IF SO DO NOT FORCE… worse case… is it needs to be cleaned either at a boutique w trained Rolex /Tech… Watchmaker . GOOD THING is actually (unless somebody put super glue under it) it is not a really expensive fix ..whether at a Boutique or a Service Center… I will check back here for the next couple of weeks! If you wish…. I only need … a LITTLE more info on the issue… no turn, used to turn, … it sounds small but… details give me a start point! SO unless you’ve sorted it out already , I would be honored to help by “pointing a direction”! PAX ET BONUM!!!

  17. Dennis Ray

    I grew up in the fifties listening to night boxing matches of Joe Louis on the radio, with Rolex ads with a cost of $250.00. And now seeing the price tags of the watches is a success in itself. Great! I was just to poor to ever own one, plus nowhere to buy one. Maybe in the next life!


    I have become proud owner of ROLEX DATE JUST 41 ever since I have acquired it in 2016. Initially watch was going slow and I have given it to Rolex official service center after that it has been running accurately with 1 second fast in 2 days.

  19. David Witkover

    Rolex is all about consistency. A watch that’s 10, 20, 30 almost 60 years old retains so close in comparison that for the most part only a trained eye can tell the difference between the generations. This one fact has Rolex to see if yourself over companies like Omega. Also, Rolex never had the dramatic price increases like Patek Philippe making it always an attainable dream watch.

  20. John Griffiths

    Great watch, my DAD gave his GMT MASTER the day he passed away. Since then, I was in a accident. I now need to have the crystal replaced and repressurized. The watch held up outstanding even though it was a bad accident. Rolex is the best. I hope the Rolex will be in my family for generations to come. Sincerly John Griffiths III

  21. Flether Sipp

    I would love to see and feel how the Rolex will be on my wrist and most of all i like the kindness and the compassion of details that the Rolex carries and that makes its amazing design for greatness.

  22. I own a TT GMT IIc and a Submariner. I just had the GMT serviced and it came back to me looking like the day it came off the show room floor. I can get more for both watches than I paid for them and I am just as pleased with them as when I bought them. Can’t say that about much of anything else purchased in my lifetime.

  23. JT Trickey

    Enjoyed the article. Well written without getting so technical that the ‘everyman’ (like me) can be curious enough to want to know more.


    By far well described on this amazing product ROLEX. I have been a proud possessor of this great brand since 2016 AUG when I had purchased ‘Date just 41’ that had been introduced in that year. I live this watch and wear everyday and accuracy is to 1 second fast in about 3 days and this has been after getting services since watch was running slow. I feel proud of my acquisition and more so having read this article.

  25. Russell Thomas

    I wish I hadn’t sold my Black Submariner, I had promised it to my Grandson when he graduated from college, but had to sell it to pay medical bills!

  26. Humberto Pacheco

    I bought my first yellow gold Rolex Oyster President with bark goldband with my first important lawyer fees earned, in 1968 (it helped being single at the time). My opinion fully coincides with Rudiger’s. I went on to complete one of the most formidable collections in Latin America (big article in WatchTime’s June 2005 issue) and, although I have not worn it in many years, still hold it very dear.

  27. Daniel Berkley

    Clear, articulate and easily understood. Answers questions many ask in and out of watch fancier groups.



  29. Joseph buckley

    Loved the reasons for owning a Rolex. I bought a Daytona 6263 in July 1985 and enjoyed this superb timepiece. In June of this year, I sold the watch with the original box & paperwork from my purchase in Zurich. The value had increased a hundredfold. I am happy the watch is in the hands of an appreciative collector.

  30. John Maniatopoulos

    I own a 1947 a 1954 oyster automatic and a 1979 turnograph in ss and gold. The only problem is that i have only 2 hands to wear my rolex! Exellent mechanism and great resale value even thought i will never consider selling because you cant have enough rolex watches!!!

  31. Oscar Barragán Alfaro

    Dear Ruediger
    Your articule is very interesting. The automatic winding mechanism was introduced in 1931. I have these dates in my memory because my father was born in 1927 and my mother in 1931
    Oscar Barragán.

  32. William Howarth

    That all being said it lags behind the Grand Seiko GMT for accuracy in my humble opinion .

    • Well to your humble opinion, this is not true. Unless the Seiko is able to beat the +- 1 Sec. per day of my Rolex..

      • Barton Rivkin

        Have a 2015 GMT two tone and a 2012 date just and just got my 2019 GMT SS Pepsi, which is within the 1 second per day, but my GMT Seiko spring drive Chrono and the prospex GMT SBDB017 Titanium and the SBDB018 in the black and gold titanium all run within 1 second a week fast. For me the dilemma is accuracy or looks. I love them all and appreciate the artistry of micro mechanics.

        • He is absolutely correct. Rolex isn’t even as high quality as my Invictas. My blue Submariner fell from a window and the lens broke then it stopped running all together for no real reason. My Invictas have taken some serious abuse and are all still working great some scratches are apparent but for what happens to them its nothing.

    • I think it is the workmanship/detailed finish that is superior, and of course the technology.

  33. Fernando

    I have always loved the Submariner. I knew that is a watch I could pass to my son one day or even to a grandson. The quality and level of the detail are remarkable. When I don’t wear it, I think It was too expensive. When it is on my wrist, I think it was a bargain.

  34. John Joachim

    Over hyped, clunky, criminal magnets. I love watches dearly. For me these timepieces are a boring RIPOFF!

  35. Roy Kozey

    While Rolex offers a very nice watch if you do your research you can find MUCH NICER WATCHES for the same price or LESS!!!

  36. The Rolex Ref. 6062 “Bao Dai” with triple date display was sold in May 2017 at Phillips for more then five million Swiss francs

    I want it

  37. Jesse H

    I am also a avid watch lover and successfully been able to acquire a pretty decent collection of nice pieces. Until last year a used to think that I would never buy a Rolex due that the size wouldn’t appeal to my taste. I tried several submarine models and they all looked very small in my wrist until I got my hands in a new Deep Sea Dweller! At 44mm it looks outstanding in my wrist. Now it became my favorite watch to wear .. Jess

    • James Cathell

      Guess you never saw a Tri axle GP Tourbillon, or maybe a Calatrava. The list could go on and on and on.

  38. truly respectable watches. but a hype is a hype, and unfortunately attracts wearers and copy-cats you should not wish to be associated with. and in the end, the inflated price ballon will burst.

    • Really??.
      I’m afraid it’s the other way around. Rolex actually gains value over time or at least you get what you paid for after enjoying your watch for a while.

  39. Steve Lee Parsons

    Many years ago, I worked on a construction project, and, we had a large vat of boiling oil (used to form PVC pipe sections). A co-worker’s Rolex datejust flipped off his wrist and dropped into the oil.
    After some time he retrieved the watch, cleaned it off and it was still running perfectly.
    I got my first Rolex that day, and now own 4, a Datejust, President, Submariner and a Daytona. Other than routine maintenance, they all still work with near perfection.

    • Rolex does not make a watch called the ‘President’. They never have, and they never will. Please take a good long look at your dial…it says…’Day-Date’. You own a Day-Date’.

      However, they do make a bracelet called a ‘President’, as well as another bracelet called an ‘Oyster’, and also one called a ‘Jubilee’.

      • Crown Guard

        Dont be jealous just because he has a Daytona and you don’t! Let the man call his watch whatever he wants

      • W Broussard

        Mmm when you mention the “President” everyone in the watch world’s know what it is.

      • DonnieBiscuits

        This is the mystique of Rolex, you can talk about the Pepsi, Bat Man, Newman, President, Hulk, etc, none of which they officially make but anyone with an iota of knowledge will understand you. Only pedants will call you out and say ‘Rolex does not make a watch called the ‘President’’, it is tROLling and looking for an on-line non-debate.

  40. Sylvio F. Bertoli

    Very good article and I agree with most reasons mentioned. My dad gave me his Rolex Zephyr 1008 from the 60’s and it works as good as brand new to this date. During my whole life, whenever I had a chance, I bought another Rolex. I fell in love with the brand on the account of my dad’s nice speech about Rolex when he regarded his watch to me. He wanted me to feel special wearing his watch and sure thing he achieved his goal. It is too bad that he never bought another one and stuck to his old Jaeger LeCoultre and Omegas for the rest of his life. All my Rolex gained a lot of value, especially my Daytona 6263 ( thank you Phillips and Mr Bac) as differently from most ordinaty cars, the older a Rolex gets, the better. Rolex has one main disadvantage, though:- the cost of maintenance. It is insane. Whenever you take your Rolex for an overhaul, you wonder why on Earth you have not spent that amount of money to buy a good and cheap Japanese watch. Problem is that if you do buy a cheaper watch, after some tome you cannot stop missing your Rolex on the wrist. After all, watches are one of the few jewelry that are suitable for a man to wear.

    • Try having the top three or maybe a A Lange in for service then you’ll know Rolex maintenance is ‘reasonable’

    • Changing the oil on a BMW costs about 5 times as much as ford. Quality is not inexpensive at any point.

  41. Lawrence S. Burak

    Being a marketing and sales professional, all of the outlined points in this article were spot on and not surprising. Rolex brand has always been represented by the product and its excellence. Let’s not forget the “Top Benchmark Service that one gets when getting the watch serviced. I am fortunate to live in Manhattan, and when I pass 53rd and Fifth Avenue and have the time, I will take it in for a “Check Up.” You would think you are visiting one of the top medical centers but for timepieces. You can sense the passion for what is being done there, but it is measured depending on the customers inclination, mine being to learn what I can about the brand both old and new. I have a modest collection, but my favorite and my mainstay watch to wear is my GMT Master.

  42. I own a Daytona and worn it everyday for 5 years it still keeps perfect time and I could sell it now for more than I bought it, but its more than a watch to me it also signifies a time of success in my life…

    For me the design and quality is out of this world it is a beautiful piece of jewellery. Its like driving a Rolls or a Bentley the process to creating a Rolex is similar in the approach to quality and craftsmanship.

    They only use the best products and techniques you only need to look at a highly polished 904L steel case and bracelet, the ceramic bezel on a GMT 2 sports watch the formula for the ever rose gold on a Yacht Master or try on an oyster or Jubilee bracelet see the finish on the dials, hands and inserts to marvel at the quality.

  43. Actually all the reasons listed in the article converge to only two: great marketing and good quality, with a BIG emphasis on marketing. Everything else is just a consequence of these two reasons.

  44. William Howarth

    An must have fashion accessory . Not the best time keeper and watches should be about time accuracy. Japanese watches are far less costly and more accurate. Watches such as Grand Seiko and even the latest tech in Citizen Chrono are better tine keepers in the long term . The Rolex needs expensive regular servicing.
    I own a Rolex but other than its fashion appeal I wear an inexpensive but accurate CItizen Chronicle Satelljte Wave GPS titanium recently offered for under £900!!

    • Your comments are generalized and don’t reflect reality. My Grand Seiko Spring Drive gains 2 to 3 seconds a week. Exceptional accuracy in anyone’s eyes. Then there’s my Submariner. It looses about half a second every 7-8 days. My Oyster Perpetual gains about 1 second per week. So, your very general statement that Japanese watches are more accurate is simply incorrect. Credit where credit is due. Rolex makes exceptional timepieces. They’re extremely well build and very accurate. Sorry to hear that you bought a Rolex simply as a fashion accessory. Sounds like a watch you probably shouldn’t own.

  45. George Joannou

    Great article Ruediger. I have to say I totally agree with every point you made as to why Rolex makes watches that are known for being so reliable and highly sought by watch lovers. For me personally it is knowing that my Rolex is accurate, reliable and very durable. That is why I believe that you get what you pay for a solid and well engineered watch. Bravo, well done Rolex. Every year you deliver at Basel World.

  46. Meir Barac


  47. Jerry Hom

    When I was a young man I wanted to carry an American Express credit card and wear a Rolex Datejust in gold and steel, as I grew older and lived life better, my tastes changed and in my own opinion more complex. I still use credit cards and rotate at least 10 fine watches, none are Rolexes!

  48. Virgil Howarth

    Rolex makes a fine watch of very high quality. However, many modern day watches achieve the same quality (Seiko, Citizen, Omega) and many others at more reasonable prices. Since the need for wrist watches is diminishing, the wrist watch has become more of fashion statement. But if one wants a watch that will retain its value over time, Rolex in your best bet.
    Don’t be late…virg.

  49. Ian Woollard

    I really like Rolex watches but the manufactured scarcity is something that really annoys me.

  50. Point #2 is just ridiculous. There are several watch manufacturers that make higher quality watches than Rolex and their bezels ratchet as smoothly as anything Rolex produces. Ever hear of Patek Philippe?

    Point #7 is just a marketing strategy and it remains to be seen if it’s a smart one. Historically, creating phony “shortages” do not produce long term success because it will eventually drive potential customers away – that’s basic Marketing 101.

    One final comment – how are you defining success? You say Rolex is “viewed” as #1. What does that mean? I’m a bottom line guy – How are they in terms of sales or, more importantly, profits compared to SMH, or non-Swiss companies like Seiko or Citizen?

    BTW, I like Rolex, but this just reads like company propaganda as opposed to thoughtful analysis.

    • I own a small collection of watches, including Rolex. I do not see the article as propaganda, but rather a well written opinion by the author of why Rolex is successful. The article did not say Rolex had the best quality, but rather that their consistent high quality is a major factor of their success. Their marketing strategy has already proved to be smart and successful for many decades, and continues today. Their new watch updates have strong sales. Overall, I found the article to be thoughtful, informative, and with many supportive facts.

  51. Sergio Bures

    I own several good watches that I value due to their rarity. I was never interested in Rolex due to their ubiquitoseness even amongst those who don’t know anything about watches. I have to say however that I respect the quality of their products and ability to mass produce them without compromising it. I also respect their limited product options since I hate other brands that market so many different models without rhyme or reason that it makes you think they don’t know who they are. You can’t say that about Rolex.

  52. Leonard Martinez

    It’s probably just me, but Rolex does nothing for me. I especially dislike the hands. I’d rather have a less costly IWC or Chopard any day.

  53. Graham Williams

    I’ve owned my fair share of watch brands, some better looking than others, some costing in the same range as Rolex. But at the end of the day when I’ve parted with the other brands I’ve taken a good hit but not with the couple of used Rolex’s, I wore them for free.

  54. You say in your 9 reasons that this watch has everything a watch needs.. False, the lack of any anti-reflective coating on any of its sapphire crystals causes glare and is really noticed when put next any other brand with anti-reflective coating on their crystals.

  55. Jason hall

    Ideal if you want to look like a used car dealer-sorry,good enough watch just no style whatsoever.

    • Christopher Lane

      I’ve seen this exact sentiment – Rolexes as the watch of choice of “used car salesmen” – voiced by several people, and I’m curious where they get that perception? If I met a used car salesman who owned a Rolex, I’d be fairly impressed, but I never have.

      This tactic seems like an attempt to paint Rolex as a tacky brand that is déclassé, owned by people of low status.

      Deeply offensive for a lot of reasons, and I’ve never seen this to be the case, ever.

  56. Peter Gould, Australia.

    My Rolex Submariner, red writing, with feet first, is a testament to the watch and brand, as I’ve had it on my wrist for 38 years whilst being tested/subjected to very extreme conditions.

    I was a Firefighter for 40 years, and when i joined i purchased a well known watch brand, water resistant as well, only lasting 1 year.

    So I purchased another watch of the same brand, a model that could withstand the punishment the first watch received, but this failed as well.

    I always wanted a Rolex from a very young age, so now i had a good reason to purchase one.

    The watch has performed perfectly under conditions most other watches would fail, and still today, my Rolex is working perfectly, serviced every 5 years, never coming off my wrist for anything other than a service.

    So all you naysayers out there, I know of many Firefighters that wear Rolex Submariners, as they are just about the only watch that can withstand the punishment inflicted whilst working under very strenuous testing conditions, as a Firefighter.

    I still have the original box and papers, and now the value is $20,000+, as the demand for Rolex vintage Red Submariners has skyrocketed.

    • Gerard Meeuwissen

      Buy a decent quartz watch: more accurate, very durable and dirt cheap in comparison!
      Keep your Rolex for all those other occasions when you want to feel …….

      • DonnieBiscuits

        Gerard please read Peter’s post again, you seem to have missed the point. He tried other watches, they failed. His Sub has performed consistently for 38 years, why would he now change for a far inferior quartz watch?

  57. James Gray

    If I have left the house without my Rolex on my wrist I feel annoyed it is so comfortable

  58. I own a Breitling, Omega, and Longinnes watches. I deemed Rolex as too “common”. I have changed my mind. My next watch will be a Rolex.

  59. Tom Schumann

    If Rolex could improve on their design, they would be even more successful

  60. Abdul hashim bin abdul hamid

    No doubtful the best in the world, l cant effort it, may be can give me one as this years christmas present, just a joke…

  61. Tony Coppen

    I have had a Rolex Explorer 1 1016 for over 30 years. It still looks the same as when I bought it and works just as well. It is a classic looking watch which is often commented on.

  62. Debashish

    Enjoyed Mr. Bucher’s views regarding Rolex immensely. In fact, it goes without saying that Rolex is my favourite watch brand.

  63. Rolex watches r no as perfect as prescribe, Rolex mechanical watches keep running faster timing n date change after 12.01am even after 12.05,, the longer u wear is become very obvious.. No other mechanical watches in the market perform like this, I think?so Rolex watches is not precise as everyone think!

    • I have a datejust from 1981, COSC CERT, and it keeps perfect time. Surprisingly accurate.

  64. Excellent and informative! I have 3 and wear my submariner almost exclusively

  65. I can not stand anymore in silence and do not comment on this issue -Rolex the best watch.
    I am a very passionate person about watches, I have learn a lotabout it

  66. I am a Rolex owner. 2 watches actually and love them. But the artificial shortage has reach a point that stop me from buying a new one. It stripped my desire and happiness in shopping. The over retail price or 2 watches combined method imposed by many Rolex dealers put the supposedly joyful and privileged buying into an ugly, stressful and low esteem buying experience. It feel like extortion more than buying by willingness. Watch is no longer served as time telling purpose only. It is more like a sentimental instrument nowadays. You strip out that sentimental part, you strip the desires also. Hope my voice can reach someone inside Rolex.

    • Paul in SF CA

      I own only one Rolex (Oyster Perpetual) which was originally bought by my grandfather in the late 1950s, early 1960s. The watch still looks great and despite having been serviced only ONCE in it’s life, still runs perfectly and keeps exceptionally accurate time. I have to agree with you, however, that the artificial shortages created by Rolex of popular models annoys me to the point I don’t even bother to look at Rolex as a “must have.” It’s ridiculous that even a fairly new Rolex becomes “out of stock” within a few weeks. I refuse to pay over retail for a pre-owned 2016 Submariner. I too feel like it’s extortion or, at least, an underhand way of gouging the customer and manipulating the market. Business is business I suppose. I don’t agree however that watches are “…more like a sentimental instrument.” That makes watches sound like an obsolete technology with little to no value. As a watch enthusiast, I see watches in a completely different light and use them to tell time and collect them because they are amazing pieces of art and blended with mechanical engineering at it’s finest. But that’s just me.

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