When you wear a Rolex watch on your wrist, you are wearing one of the finest watches ever made. It is not only for its beauty and luxury but for its design and quality that a Rolex watch bears this distinction. Everyone knows that if you want to make an impression — as you wear it or when you gift it — a Rolex watch is the no-fail choice. Problem is, that Rolex watch will cost as much as it is worth. Let’s look at just how much that is.
In 2014, the Reputation Institute rated Rolex as the second highest brand name on its list of 100 companies, tying it with BMW. That’s pretty impressive on its own, to come in second and to be tied with BMA, but there is more. The number one brands were Walt Disney and Google. Companies raked at third and lower include powerhouse names like Sony, Cannon, Apple, Daimler, Lego, and rounding out the top ten in another tie, Samsung and Microsoft.
The Rolex Reputation
Brand reputation is all about public perception, not facts, but how did this notion about Rolex being so special get into peoples’ minds?
Rolex has been at the top among watch makers for most of the last 100 years. Beginning in England in 1905 as a watch maker producing customized wearable time pieces for jewelers to sell under their brands, the company soon evolved into its present premier watch making business. In 1914, now making its own inner workings for their watches, Rolex was awarded the Class A Precision Certificate, an honor usually reserved for marine chronometers.
Though founded in England, Rolex has long been known as one of the most famous and established makers of the highly touted Swiss watch. Swiss watches are considered the best in the world. In fact, before Rolex was Rolex, making customer watch pieces for jewelers, the clock works they put into their luxury cases were of Swiss origin.
In 1919, Rolex moved to Switzerland because of the high luxury taxes and duties placed upon imports and exports in England to support the war effort. They were then among the world’s greatest watch makers and soon became a peer among them.
For example, Rolex was the first watch maker to ever make these features available in watches sold to the general public:
- 1926: The first water-proof case;
- 1945: The first watch that automatically changed its date on the dial;
- 1953: The first water-proof case able to withstand underwater pressures equal to those found in depths of up to 330 feet;
- 1954: The first wristwatch to show two time zones accurately; and,
- 1956: The first watch to automatically change both the day and date on the dial.
It did not take long for the Rolex name to become synonymous with luxury, and with success. Receiving a Rolex as a gift indicates someone has great faith in your future endeavors. Being able to buy your own Rolex is a symbol of having arrived. Giving a Rolex to someone else shows your status as one who has arrived and is in a position to bestow generosity and success upon another.
Best Sellers’ List
Let’s look at the Rolex watch in some of its best selling models.
This is probably the most popular model ever sold. The Rolex Submariner originally featured the ability to withstand water pressures up to a depth of 330 feet. Today, that depth extends to 1,000 feet, deeper than most divers will ever venture. It is actually made for divers, both to survive the dive and to track their time underwater. And yet, while strong enough to achieve these sporting feats, the Submariner is equally adept at a black-tie dinner.
Like its name, the Yacht Master conjures the idea of both luxury and sportsmanship. Introduced in 1992, the model became an instant favorite for its handsome design and features that include a waterproof case and chronograph.
Named after the legendary Florida speedway, this attractive watch is among Rolex’s best selling models. A favorite in the sports world, the Daytona features chronograph and tachometer dials that are accurate at speeds up to 400 kilometers per hour.
So named because it was the model worn by the first U. S. President to ever wear a Rolex, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the President model is from the Rolex Day-Date line of watches. It is a luxurious and iconic watch with a sophisticated and subdued appearance.
When you want a Rolex for the bling factor, you want a Pearl Master, their top line jewelry watch. You can personalize it with a variety of gems like diamonds and rubies, and in a case of white, yellow, or rose gold made in their own foundry, this watch is likely to catch every eye. Ooh’s and ah’s are practically guaranteed to follow.
A Rolex with a feminine touch, the Lady DateJust is available in an almost limited number of variations due to the selection of bracelets and faces you can mix and match for the perfect timepiece impression you want to make.
You probably already know that a Rolex watch is expensive. It is a luxury and an investment.
The price range for most Rolex models is between $5,000 and $30,000. A few special models can run upwards of $100,000. Classic Rolex watches can fetch millions, like this one sold at auction for $2.5 million in May 2016.
For a more specific idea, let’s look at the price we might pay for one of the models we discussed earlier. Model names and prices for the sports watches, from left to right in the photo below, are the Submariner at $6,590, the Yacht Master at $37,100, and the Daytona at $28,665.
Continuing in this image with the jewelry watches, the President Day-Date is offered for $32,995, the decked out Pearl Master for $105,350, and the Lady DateJust at $36,500.
Fake Rolex Watches
When you finally save up to buy a Rolex, be sure to go to a reputable jeweler. Fake Rolexes are all over the place. It might seem fun to some of us to go to a certain part of town when touring lower Manhattan, pick up a few Rolex replicas, and then give them to friends and loved ones as a sort of off-beat souvenir, but it is not a good thing to do.
Still, it is harmless, because no one getting one of those fakes knows it has to be fake because they know that I would ever give them a real Rolex. On the other side, it doesn’t hurt Rolex because money for that many real ones from me would never go into their coffers anyway. Yes, I’m trying to make myself feel better about it now that I’m thinking of it again.
It is harmful and it is stealing for sure, however, when someone sells you a fake Rolex and tells you it is real. Some replicas are so authentic looking, it is difficult for even an experienced jeweler to know the difference. When buying from vendors that are not real, authorized Rolex dealers, it is certainly buyer beware.
There are non-authorized sellers that offer a certification of authenticity. These include Amazon and eBay. You can also feel pretty safe buying at most auction houses, especially the better known reputable ones like Sotheby’s, Christies, Doyle’s, and several others.
Ferreting Out the Fakes
What if you really want a Rolex and someone offers you one for $15,000? Is there any way to know if it is genuine or fake?
Yes, there is always a way for someone to know this. The challenge lies with how much of an expert on Rolex watches you can become in short order, and how good a fake might be.
Some ways you might try to check to see if your Rolex is a real one is to look for obvious clues. Only the best of the best fakes can pass all of these tests.
- A Rolex watch does not tick. There is no ticking sound but rather a smooth quietness to the movement within the watch. Also, the hands of the watch move smoothly, not in a jolting second by second click.
- A Rolex watch has a clean back. There is usually no marking on the back of the watch case, not even the Rolex crown.
- The face of a Rolex watch is perfect. If anything is off center, imperfectly spaced, or in any way less than absolutely perfect – including the printing – it is not a Rolex.
- Genuine Rolex watches are heavy. You will notice the heft of a Rolex as compared to any other watch as soon as you hold it. If the watch you are about to buy seems to weigh about the same as other watches you have owned, it is probably not a Rolex.
The best bet is to just go to a jeweler that is authorized as a Rolex retailer. Even if you have to go across town during rush hour to get there, it is worth the time and trouble considering how much a Rolex watch costs. I really hope you are able to get one soon, because that will mean good things are happening for you. Thanks for reading!