After at least a year of looking for the right Explorer 2 and never quite being able to pull the trigger I admitted to myself that the reason I wasn't 100% sold on the design was because it was a GMT Master that I truly wanted. I had told myself the Explorer 2 was the better option because it would fill the same needs but they were cheaper and easier to find on the pre owned market, which is the only way I've ever bought watches.
Every pre owned GMT Master I could find anywhere in the country was advertised at a higher price than the retail price the Rolex website listed for a brand new one. They may have been slightly cheaper in other countries but the tax to bring them to Australia would have made them about the same as retail anyway.
The idea of paying above retail just to get something sooner has always been ridiculous to me and was never an option, so I rang around a few AD's in Sydney and didn't really get any straight answers other than "It will take a long time to get one for you, if we can get one at all." So I rang a boutique in Melbourne and was given a more direct answer of "Yes we can put you on our list and you should expect a wait of roughly 8 to 12 months" which was fine with me, except they said due to policy they can't put me on a list over the phone, I would need to come into the store in person. I explained I live in Canberra and I genuinely want the watch asap but it is a big effort to make a trip to Melbourne just to put my name on the list. The manager replied "I understand, give me a few days and I will call you back, no promises, but I may be able to help you." Thinking he was just trying to get me on the list over the phone I didn't get too excited about it, but to my amazement 3 days later an employee phoned me and said "Your new watch is in". I couldn't quite believe it was true and kept asking if they were sure it was the right one and confirming the price was the same as advertised. I told work I was taking tomorrow off and flew to Melbourne. I was more than happy to pay the retail price of $10,650AUD as I couldn't even get the same model 8-10 years old any cheaper, but I got an even bigger surprise when the sales lady in the boutique told me that when you shop in any boutique in the casino they give you 5% of the total you spent back in casino chips, which you can simply cash in! So I ended up with over $500 in unexpected cash in my wallet, reducing the price down to around $10,100AUD. I walked out with a brand new GMT on my wrist thinking this was all too easy. My advice to anyone considering paying above retail would be try harder with the AD's, make it clear you're ready to buy now, speak to a manager and be persistent.