Rolex is known to be a very private company. It rarely issues statements in response to certain issues. However, Rolex issued a statement recently in response to Yahoo Finance’s article “Why the Rolex watch shortage is a ‘perfect storm'”. Essentially, the issue involved is why it is very hard to get a Rolex watch from your authorized dealer these days.
Rolex pushed back on the rumors that the company is controlling the production numbers in order for the demand to grow and for the aftermarket prices to increase.
The following is the full text of Rolex’ statement:
“The scarcity of our products is not a strategy on our part. Our current production cannot meet the existing demand in an exhaustive way, at least not without reducing the quality of our watches – something we refuse to do as the quality of our products must never be compromised. This level of excellence requires time, and as we have always done, we will continue to take the necessary time to ensure that all our watches not only comply with our standards of excellence, but also meet the expectations of our customers in terms of quality, reliability and robustness. Rolex does not compromise on what it takes to produce exceptional watches.
All Rolex watches are developed and produced in-house at our four sites in Switzerland. They are assembled by hand, with extreme care, to meet the brand’s unique and high-quality standards of quality, performance and aesthetics. Understandably, this naturally restricts our production capacities – which we continue to increase as much as possible and always according to our quality criteria.
Finally, it should be noted that Rolex watches are available exclusively from official retailers, who independently manage the allocation of watches to customers.”
—end of statement—
Based from the statement of Rolex, it appears that the scarcity of the watches is due to the high demand and due to the limitations on the current production of Rolex. Further, Rolex emphasized that each watch is made with the highest quality in mind. As such, if they increase production haphazardly, quality might suffer. As a final note, Rolex took a shade against the gray market as it reiterated that the availability of their watches are only with the official retailers.
Many people have grown frustrated over the difficulty to get certain Rolex models at authorized dealers. This situation has opened the floodgates for non authorized dealers to price Rolex models at sky high prices.
It is still to be seen how long certain Rolex models will remain difficult to get at authorized dealers.