Why are Rolex watches so expensive?
If you asked people what they thought the best watch in the world is, almost everyone will say “ROLEX.” The most influential and popular people in the world’s history have been seen wearing Rolex watches on various occasions. Moving further and wondering about the price of this luxury watch, a Rolex is extremely expensive. But why is this brand so expensive?
Some people believe that they have to sell their leg to buy a Rolex watch. The least expensive Rolex watch, the Oyster Perpetual ladies Rolex, starts at $4000. As for the mysterious Submariner that you have seen on James Bond’s wrist, it starts at $6500.
Several Rolex watches can cost up to $70000, but these expensive watches, no matter the price, are excellent value for money. If you care for them, a Rolex will last you up to 20 years, and if you really care for them, they will provide you with a lifetime partnership.
Rolex is a brand that is standing tall on its own. It is respected all over the world for its value.
Moreover, there is a lot of mystery behind the manufacturing process of each Rolex. No one knows for sure how many watches of each category are made. At Rolex, there is a strict rule of no photos, which makes it even more challenging to break the mystery. Talk about some serious security.
With no information coming from inside manufacturing, we have limited access to specific details, but Rolex has some cool facts that we do know.
Rolex has its own scientific Labs
Rolex has its own scientific labs; they also have an extensive research and development department. In simpler words, Rolex has several highly functional and well-equipped research and development laboratories in various locations around the world. These labs are responsible for researching new watches and how to make the manufacturing process more efficient.
Rolex uses technology and innovation and combines them to provide their customers with the best quality watches. Research is expensive, so is a Rolex.
Use of difficult steel
For its watches, Rolex uses steel that is particularly difficult to machine. This steel is also more expensive than the regular steel used in manufacturing watches and is undoubtedly better looking.
No other watch manufacturer uses this kind of steel, making it one of a kind. This steel is more corrosion and scratch-resistant while being lighter and harder than common steel.
Rolex has its own foundry
Rolex has an in-house foundry at all manufacturing facilities. Rolex uses these foundries to make their own gold.
Rolex has several steel suppliers, but when it comes to more expensive metals like platinum or gold, Rolex prefers to produce it themselves to maintain a consistent quality for all their watches.
Rolex is the only watch company that makes its own gold and platinum in its own foundry.
Rolex watches are assembled by hand. Since Rolex is secretive about their production, it has been a common misconception that Rolex watches are built by machines.
The statement is not entirely wrong. Machines are used at some stages in the production, but there is more to it.
Rolex has some of the most sophisticated and precise machinery in the world. These machines are used for filing, cataloging, and extremely delicate processing.
Simultaneously, these machines are operated by people, and the whole assembly process of all the parts in a Rolex is taken care of by hand. From bracelets to hand movements, everything is set by hand with sophistication.
A security that Puts Fort Knox to Shame
Rolex is very crazy about their security. No wonder that is an issue; with precious metals like gold and platinum worth thousands of dollars lying around the facility, Rolex has to be secure.
If you ever decide to try and enter a Rolex manufacturing facility, you will encounter some serious James Bond-level security checks all over the facility.
Army of Gemmologists
Rolex has a small army of Gemmologists for all their gem requirements, from emeralds to ruby. Rolex has high standards for the materials they use to produce a watch. The same sophistication is used for the precious stones they put in the watches. Rubies, diamonds, and emeralds are common sights on a Rolex watch.
Rolex dedicated their entire army of gemmologists to buy, test, and set the gems on the Rolex watches.
An interesting source revealed that out of the 20 million diamonds Rolex gemmologists have tested over the years, only two were fake.
One Year for One Watch
Yes, that’s right, one Rolex watch needs 365 days to be produced.
For such a long production time, almost all the materials in the watch are prepared in-house. Moreover, once all the Rolex watch parts are ready, workers assemble them by hand, and each watch is tested individually. Since the brand produces over a million watches every year, you can only imagine how efficiently the Rolex manufacturing center workers might work.
These details take your mind off that you have to pay a fortune for one of these watches.
Here are some of the costliest Rolexes in the world.
The costliest Rolex watch ever sold was the PAUL NEWMAN’S COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA. It was sold at a record-breaking $17,752,500; the watch has an engraving that says “Drive Carefully Me.” The watch was a gift to Paul Newman from his wife as she was worried about him getting into an accident.
Made in 1970, Daytona Reference 6265 was made from 18K white gold and not the standard stainless steel. The unique color of the watch earned it the name “UNICORN” and cost almost 6 million dollars in the market. In an auction in Geneva in 2018, the watch doubled its original 3 million price and was also considered one of the rarest watches of all times.
Owned by the last emperor of Vietnam’s Nguyen dynasty, Bao Dai was made with a rare configuration of the Rolex 6062 model.
It was made in 1954 when the emperor asked Rolex to present him with the rarest Rolex in the world. The watch is made from 18K gold and features diamond indexed with a triple calendar with moon phase indicators. The Bao Dai had diamond Indexes on all, even hours making it the only watch with a diamond placed just above the Rolex Crown. One in the world is as rare as it gets. The watch was last sold to a significant collector that fetched 5 million dollars.
In 1969, a “Paul Newman” was made with a screw-down pusher. The existence of the watch was debatable, which earned it the nickname “The Legend” and has been sold over three times. “THE LEGEND” DAYTONA OYSTER REFERENCE 6263 fetched a final price of $3.718 million at an auction in Geneva, 2017.
“THE NEANDERTHAL” DAYTONA REFERENCE 6240 is a watch that achieved a high $3 million at Phillips’ May 2017 auction in Geneva. This watch was made in 1966 with a “pre-Paul Newman” dial that earned it the nickname “Neanderthal.” It represents the first Cosmograph with screw-down chronograph pushers, which enhanced the timepiece’s water-resistance.