A year ago, I did not know why some watches did not need batteries, so bear with me.
I had heard of Rolex watches, and, Omega, and that was it -- and having an upcoming milestone birthday, I thought about buying something to celebrate.
This is where I got confused. I started researching and found that there were many manufacturers of nice watches; I learned about the Swatch empire, and about Richemont.
Rolex I know is ubiquitous, at least here in the US - I see it on billboards, and every decent-sized town has at least one place where one can try and buy them.
I live in Minneapolis, and travel for work throughout a 5-state area called the "upper midwest."
In this entire region, there is ONE high-end jeweler - in downtown Minneapolis - who sells ANY other watch over $2,000 -- this botique sells, I mean, a bunch of them -- JLC, Bell and Ross, Omega, Cartier, Breitling, and others.
If instead I lived in Des Moines or Duluth or whatever, I'd be driving hundreds of miles - or, forget it, I'd just buy on the internet.
I understand the drive for exclusivity but I am surprised that the industry has pushed potential buyers online so much. Is this new? Or, do coastal areas have a lot more choices and the midwest just doesn't care about wristwatches?
Further, does anyone know what percentage of the market share for high-end watches in the US that Rolex commands? Is this unique to the US?