Newb question : Rolex market share and authorized dealers of other brands

Thread: Newb question : Rolex market share and authorized dealers of other brands

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  1. #1
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    Newb question : Rolex market share and authorized dealers of other brands

    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.

    That's it.

    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?

  2. #2
    Seiko, Cartier Moderator Athram's Avatar
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    Re: Newb question : Rolex market share and authorized dealers of other brands

    Not living in the US myself I can't really comment on the lack of high-end jewelers where you live. Usually the number of ADs meets the demand. There obviously isn't much demand where you live for high-end watches.

    It's also very hard to find out the actual market share of Rolex or any watch company for that matter, there just isn't any information available.
    Last edited by Athram; August 26th, 2012 at 16:35.

  3. #3
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    Re: Newb question : Rolex market share and authorized dealers of other brands

    Interesting. My industry is maybe slightly less exclusive, but, there are two major brands with about a quarter of the market each, six medium-sized brands with about five points each, and dozens of "less than one per cent" brands. Most dealers have at least two in the store -- one of the majors, one of the mediums, and a <1% with some kind of unique niche.

    The places I have seen which sell Rolexes sell no competing lines; just a far, far lower-priced choice like Citizen or Skagen -- apart from the monstrosity I mentioned above, which, amusingly, does not sell Rolex at all.

    For my part I'm leaning towards a Reverso -- I really like the looks of the Nomos stuff, but I've only seen it online, since, you know, no dealers!

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  5. #4
    Member dbakiva's Avatar
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    Re: Newb question : Rolex market share and authorized dealers of other brands

    You're not looking hard enough. In 1 minute of Googling I found dealers in Minneapolis for Rolex, Jaeger leCoultre, Breitling, Panerai, Baume et Mercier, and Patek Philippe. I was in Minneapolis a couple months ago (stepson goes to school there) and stopped into a Ben Bridge in the Mall of America. They had a few lines.
    Over a half century of "just the right amount of odd."


  6. #5
    Member mleok's Avatar
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    Re: Newb question : Rolex market share and authorized dealers of other brands

    Quote Originally Posted by dbakiva View Post
    You're not looking hard enough. In 1 minute of Googling I found dealers in Minneapolis for Rolex, Jaeger leCoultre, Breitling, Panerai, Baume et Mercier, and Patek Philippe. I was in Minneapolis a couple months ago (stepson goes to school there) and stopped into a Ben Bridge in the Mall of America. They had a few lines.
    Agreed, Jaeger-LeCoultre is carried by both Wixon Jewelers (in Bloomington) and JB Hudson, and Wixon carries Patek Philippe and Rolex as well. The thing one needs to realize is that brands like Patek require an authorized dealer to hold at least $250K to $500K in inventory, so that ties up a huge amount of capital for a jewelry store, especially if there is little demand for such watches.

    The last thing any high end watch brand wants is for their watches to sit in the showcases collecting dust, and these considerations enter into the decision as to whether to award an authorized dealership. If anything, the trend has been to cut down significantly on the number of authorized dealers, to increase the exclusivity of the brand, and to reduce the amount of discounts offered.
    Last edited by mleok; August 26th, 2012 at 17:55.


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  7. #6
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    Re: Newb question : Rolex market share and authorized dealers of other brands

    It's interesting. Houston (where I live) is a "watch town" for sure - multiple ADs for just about any brand easy to find. Charlotte (where my parents live) is absolutely not, despite being a huge banking center, there are very few ADs.

    Rolex is a mass-produced watch, they make almost a million per year. Their market share is HUGE.
    Last edited by ~tc~; August 26th, 2012 at 19:44.

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