3Flushes wrote: ↑
September 9th 2021, 3:16am
Rolex is unquestionably one of the finest mass produced products of all time, their high level of watchmaking and horological innovation surpassed only by their superlative marketing vision realized through one of the finest mass media advertising heritages in the history of the art, the most recent culmination of which is the rebirth of Tudor as an independent luxury brand.
With independent manufacturing facilities replete with proprietary technology, most notably, cases and in-house movements, Tudor was restructured as a sibling brand to fulfill an appeal to younger, trend savvy customers utilizing more progressive, unique designs to bring the younger demographic into the Rolex family without having to expand manufacturing capacity or dilute the iconic Rolex designs and their price points in order to do so.
Perhaps no brand, certainly no watch brand, understands its customers and what they want better than Rolex who hasn't produced enough watches to completely meet the demand for them for decades. This longstanding element of Rolex's formula to earn the iconic status they have achieved was propelled to its current levels when Rolex was forced to cut back production because of the pandemic.
Waiting lists, prices 3 -5X over sticker and sew fourth. 13 grand for a Submariner and it's not even the coolest diver in the line. Crazy. And Rolex's least available and most expensive watches according to the industry rags are likely yet to come in the form of traditional models with some new innovations that lend themselves less to mass production like the free balance escapement.
The free balance is an energy transmission method where alternating tension applied to the hairspring is used to power the watch with no direct-drive existing between the going train and the balance wheel. (paraphrased AIR it from Quill and Pad
, I think) Production will be limited on pieces like this placing these models within the production numbers and price range akin to the top of the line models of brands like AP, Girard-Perregaux, and Brequet.
Rolex has been busy at the patent office for the last 10-12 years and maybe even something atomic is in the R&D pipeline. The battles to get these more limited pieces will be epic, and they will most certainly be priced accordingly.
And while I say this being fortunate enough to have had two dearly departed relatives leave me Rolex watches, with the ridiculousness engulfing Rolex these days, they can keep them.