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.
A respected leader in business, Alice Eduardo is the President and CEO of one of the largest construction companies Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation. She is also fondly called as the “Woman of Steel” in reference to her involvement in the construction industry.
What many people do not know is that one of the key pillars behind her success is her mastery of time. This mastery of time and her love for machines is manifested through her vast collection of timepieces. Alice was gracious enough to share with Watch Manila some of her favorite timepieces.
Before we take a peek at some of her watches, let us first understand how Alice has commanded time to be on her side.
Master of Time
Most of the people usually deal with the struggle of work-life balance. This, however, is not the case with Alice. Instead of drawing a fine line between work and life, Alice strives to harmonize both. This is how she manages to exceed both the strong demands of work and family life.
Aside from being a full-time boss at Sta. Elena, Alice is likewise a hands-on mother to her wonderful children. Furthermore, Alice makes sure to have breakfast daily with her parents. Weekends are usually reserved for bonding with her children, her parents, and her siblings with their families.
Her close relationship with her family fuels her with positive energy to hurdle her work throughout the week. This is why Alice is laser-focused when she’s working, resulting to success. Her business success, in turn, allows her to spend more quality time with her family. The cycle which Alice has created is one worth emulating as both work and family do not sacrifice for each other.
When the world was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic, Alice gave an even greater emphasis on family bonding and quality time. Alice knows that time is something which you can never buy. And this is why she makes sure to give time and prioritize the people and the things that really matter in life.
To be constantly reminded of how precious time is, Alice has steadily collected a handful of fine timepieces.
Beginnings of her Collection
As with many watch collectors, Alice Eduardo’s first notable and expensive watch was a Rolex Datejust in two-tone. The Datejust was the standard go-to watch for business leaders from the 1980s up to the 2000s. Not long after, Alice purchased a gold Rolex Datejust in a President bracelet. Next, Alice moved deeper into the world of watches as she purchased a Patek Philippe Nautilus and a Patek Philippe Aquanaut.
By the late 2000s, Alice’s watch collection was already notable. This is the time when she stumbled upon a then little-known brand called Richard Mille. Alice recalls that when she first saw a Richard Mille watch in a boutique window in Singapore it was “love at first sight”. She describes the watch design with the brand’s tagline “a racing machine on the wrist”. Alice then entered the store to try on the RM-07 which she initially expected to be heavy. To her surprise, the watch was very light. Not long after she visited Singapore, Alice purchased her first Richard Mille, the RM-07, in the brand’s boutique in Beverly Hills.
The RM-07 would soon be joined by several other Richard Mille models, including the RM-037 and the RM-067. Her love for the Richard Mille watch brand has led her to become friends with Mr. Richard Mille himself and his family. In fact, during one event which Mr. Mille hosted in Paris, he confided to Alice that the RM-023 is so “you”. Eventually and unsurprisingly, Alice purchased the watch.
Alice also adores her other watches aside from Richard Mille. Among her other favorites are her Rolex Daytona, Patek Philippe Nautilus, and Patek Philippe Aquanaut. She also has watches from other well-loved brands such as Cartier, Audemars Piguet, and Roger Dubuis, among others.
Lessons in Buying Watches
Considering her extensive experience in collecting watches, there are three lessons which everyone can learn from Alice when buying a watch: 1. You must like the watch; 2. Buy to commemorate; and 3. Always remember that the most important thing the watch represents is time itself.
When you buy a watch, you have to keep in mind that you will be the one using it. As such, you have to make sure that the watch is comfortable and is visually appealing to you. The watch you purchase will accompany you for a long time and it is important that you choose a watch which you like and not what others like.
Alice is one who believes in commemorating certain milestones with watches. She points out to several watches in her collection which represented some of the major projects which she closed. You may also purchase a watch to commemorate the birth of a child or an important anniversary milestone. At times, you do need to remind yourself of what you’ve achieved so far in life and a timepiece serves as a great reminder.
Lastly, Alice knows that all the watches she’s accumulated are merely reminders of God’s gift of time. While we can appreciate the beauty, the craftsmanship, and the complications of a timepiece, we always need to be reminded that the biggest value in watches is what it ultimately represents: time itself and how we spend it.
Alice Eduardo is a truly inspiring woman. With time on her side, Alice continues to work on her projects and dream even bigger. Alice lives by the quote “if you are willing to work hard, you can achieve anything. No structure is too grand, or task too difficult. No dream is out of reach.” Alice is living proof that hard work coupled with the understanding of time pays off.
If there is one name which is most synonymous to luxury watch it would be Rolex. Why is Rolex so expensive and why is it the most famous luxury watch brand in the world? There are four factors which are responsible for why Rolex is expensive:
Rarity of Certain Models
Rolex watches are notorious for being overengineered. Before a Rolex rolls out of its factory, the movements are sent to COSC, a center which certifies accurate movements, to ensure that all Rolex movements are up to the best standards. Once the movement has passed all the tests, they are certified as chronometers.
It is also important to note that Rolex is focused on one thing: making some of the highest quality watches in the world. Rolex has steered clear of highly complicated watches and decided to concentrate on improving their movements. This is the reason why the Rolex watches are some of the highest quality watches you can buy.
In essence, it can be said that Rolex makes simple watches and they make them really good.
Rarity of Certain Models
Try to go to an authorized dealer and look for sports models (such as the Daytona, Submariner, and GMT-Master) and you will find none or close to none. The sports watches of Rolex are difficult to find with your authorized dealer and that is why it commands a premium at the secondary market. In the Philippines, the waitlist for the GMT-Master II Ref. 126710 BLRO a.k.a “Pepsi” is too long to even ask. A similar waitlist stands for the GMT-Master II Ref. 126710 BLNR a.k.a. “Batman”. The high demand coupled with low supply from the authorized dealers have led to the spike in the prices of certain Rolex watches.
For reference, the GMT-Master II steel models retail around P500,000. However, due to the unavailability, prices in the black market range from P800,000-P1,000,000. A Daytona has a listed SRP of P703,500. In the black market, the Daytona starts at P1,400,000 and goes up to around P1,700,000.
Rolex has always used the media to portray the power and the strength of its watches. Look at the following iconic advertisements which will make you want to buy a Rolex.
The clear message which Rolex is sending is that the common factor behind successful people is that they were all wearing a Rolex watch when they made history.
Endorsers and Wearers
A Rolex watch has been seen in the wrists of many famous men and women. Most recently in the US, newly-elected President Joe Biden was spotted wearing a Datejust. His two immediate predecessors, Former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama, were also seen wearing Rolex watches.
From the business industry, notable people who wear Rolex watches are Warren Buffett and Steve Wynn. Locally, Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Enrique Razon, Jr., and Alice Eduardo, among others have been spotted wearing Rolex watches.
In the entertainment industry, Michael Buble and Jay-Z are known to wear Rolex watches. In the Philippines, two of the three mainstays of Eat Bulaga, Vic Sotto and Tito Sotto (Senate President), have recently been seen wearing Rolex watches in the image uploaded by Joey de Leon.
The personalities shown in this page are just a fraction of people who wear Rolex watches. In the deep roster of Rolex patrons and endorsers, it is almost sure that there is someone wearing a Rolex that you look up to (and you hate). The impact of seeing someone you admire wearing a Rolex is very strong.
The combination of the four aforementioned factors has surely driven the prices for Rolex watches up. Despite the increase in the price of Rolex, the demand for their watches has not yet slowed down. It appears that people still reward themselves with a “Crown for Every Achievement”. Expect Rolex to continue its hold and dominance in the luxury watch industry in the coming years and decades.
For the past year, Watch Manila has been identifying the watches of the men and women who lead Philippine business scene. We look back at the most liked posts of business leaders and their watches.
Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala
Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala (Rolex Explorer and IWC Portuguese)
Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala has just recently relinquished his post as the President and CEO of Ayala Corporation, one of the largest and oldest conglomerates in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia. Currently, he has stepped back to a more relaxed role as Chairman of Ayala Corporation.
Jaime has been seen wearing different watches. So far, Watch Manila has identified a Rolex Explorer 39mm (Mk I), Rolex Air-King, an IWC Portuguese, and an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.
The first ever post of Watch Manila features Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala wearing his Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.
Fernando Zobel De Ayala
Fernando Zobel De Ayala ascended to the position of President and CEO of Ayala Corporation on April 2021 after his older brother Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala stepped down. Ayala Corporation has business interests in real estate, banking, telecoms, energy, and infrastructure among others.
In the image, Fernando is seen wearing the much coveted Patek Philippe Nautilus. The current iteration of the plain steel Nautilus (ref. 5711) has been discontinued earlier this year. A limited run of green ref. 5711s have been introduced at the recently concluded Watches and Wonders.
Felix Ang is the President of Auto Nation Group, the general importer and distributor of Mercedes Benz vehicles, parts, and accessories in the Philippines. Aside from this, Felix is also responsible for the presence in the Philippines of Jaguar, Land Rover, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Harley-Davidson, among others.
Felix has been seen wearing an IWC Portuguese Perpetual Calendar IW5021. The IWC features a moonphase, date, month, day, and a perpetual calendar which doesn’t need to be adjusted until the year 2100.
Carmen Jimenez-Ong is the CEO and Founder of Menarco Development Corporation. Her first project, the Menarco Tower, is known as the healthiest building in Southeast Asia and is certified gold in both LEED and WELL. Carmen is the daughter of one of the owners of GMA Network, Menardo Jimenez.
Carmen is seen wearing one of the earlier versions of the Patek Philippe Aquanaut. The Aquanaut was launched by Patek Philippe in 1997. The case was inspired by that of the Nautilus.
Alice Eduardo is the President and CEO of Sta. Elena Construction. Alice is often referred to as the “Woman of Steel”. Her company is responsible for the foundations of several landmarks in the Philippines such as the SM Mall of Asia, Solaire Resort and Casino, City of Dreams Manila, among others.
Alice has been seen wearing a Rolex Daytona and a Richard Mille RM07. The Rolex of Alice in the image above is the so-called Rolex Daytona “Panda” due to the design which resembles in some way the color scheme of a panda. This is one of the most difficult models to get from Rolex.