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Rolex Increases Prices 3-6% For Top Watch Models In 2020

Rolex Increases Prices 3-6% For Top Watch Models In 2020 Watch Industry News

Any watch collector who has watched the market in any depth is familiar with the gradual price increases happening throughout the industry. For years, brands have been slowly raising the retail prices of luxury timepieces at a rate that far outstrips inflation, making already exclusive watches even more costly. One of the prime examples of this in recent years is Rolex, which has steadily moved its product line further upmarket over time. The Swiss giant continued this trend for 2020, quietly increasing retail prices across the globe on January 1. Here in the United States, prices have increased by three to six percent on average, with Oystersteel models such as the 41mm DateJust seeing the sharpest increases and more modest rises for precious metal examples. This seems to indicate that these price jumps are not a reaction to the increasing cost of gold or platinum but a deliberate re-positioning of these watches in the marketplace. For a more in-depth look at the new prices and selected increases, review the list below.

These numbers seem to show that Rolex is taking 2020 as an opportunity to continue its strategy of creating a more premium image, and with continuing strong sales numbers relative to its main competitors, it seems unlikely that these price increases will slow that strategy down. For more information on these higher prices for 2020, please visit the brand’s website.

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  • DanW94

    “It’s good to be the King”.

    • Berndt Norten

      Wait for the shakedown

  • Jared

    if the watches are all sold out at MSRP clearly raising prices makes sense

    honestly this was way overdue. Rolex has been leaving a lot of money on the table and its not like speculators will suddenly stop buying because they don’t make $5,000 more on the watch but only $4,000

  • Alex Makogon

    What’s the point of MSRP if it’s impossible to buy the watch for this price?

    It’s just some meaningless set of digits.

    • Marcelo R P Moreira

      it’s not impossible…..it’s you who is not an important client

      • Alex Makogon

        Well, you are quick to judge me, I guess.

        The point is, however, not about me, but about regular people who are 0% to buy Pepsi for retail price at retail POS.

        And yes, that’s technically not impossible, yet this does make MSRP meaningless.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Gawd dam it. i had my eye on the Day-Date 40mm in 18ct White Gold for my next purchase but the huge hike of 4.5% taking it to $39,250 is making me think again.

    • Marcelo R P Moreira

      IF a 4.5% increase made you think about not getting a white gold day date, it’s not for you. go for a SS model

  • Flávio Maia

    The last time that i bought a watch – a Zenith El Primero – was 5 years ago. I´ll never buy one in my life…

  • IanE

    Well, there is, so they say, one born every minute. After hubris comes nemesis!

  • Wyatt SC

    Why do y’all think the explorer price stayed the same? Interesting the air-king raised to be only $100 less

  • funkright

    Funny to read through these. People buy Rolex because of its branding and associated place or what ‘they believe’ it implies. If one could buy at SRP I would be tempted, but given that this is not currently the case I will wait until the eventual slide occurs. Every king falls off his mountain, they’re just making hay while the sun shines. Who can blame them? Doesn’t mean I need to swim in their ocean though…

    • Berndt Norten

      Regrettably I think you’ll have to be very patient. Rolex has a unique spot in the market. As the global top 5% grows richer and expands in size, Rolex’s near and mid-term future looks so bright, I’ll keep wearing my shades?

      • Independent_George

        This. The bubble isn’t going away anytime soon.

  • Independent_George

    BTW: Congratulations to Rob.

  • Berndt Norten

    Rolex has an almost monopsony-like influence. And RIP Neil Peart—the greatest ever.

    • DanW94

      Great drummer, amazing band. The Professor will be missed. Saw them many moons ago on the Moving Pictures tour. Best concert I’ve ever been to. Still my favorite band to this day.

      • Independent_George

        Oh no! And Buck Henry yesterday.

        Perhaps the single most influential rock drummer ever. I can’t think of any rock drummer, growing up from the mid-seventies through the 80’s, who wasn’t directly influenced by The Professor. And his lyrics changed hard rock forever, allowing it to move from lazy, self-obsessed and nihilistic to something less self-absorbed, more challenging, more exhilarating. Every time I listen to Red Barchetta I completely lose myself and am swept along for the ride. By the end of the song I am also pulling into a farm somewhere in Laurentian Mountains.

        I am genuinely very very sad about this. Rush was pretty much my teenage years.

        RIP to the GOAT.

        • DanW94

          Would upvote you 10 times if I could…

        • Marius

          +many

          The best musician in a band of great musicians and a thoughtful and evocative lyricist.

          A great disappointment and my own stupid fault that I never saw them live.

      • Berndt Norten

        I saw them on that tour as well. And I saw them a second time. Peart, Moon, Bonham. My Holy Trinity

        • DanW94

          Not to get completely off track but Alex Lifeson is criminally underrated as a guitarist and Geddy, well he’s a rock God.

          • Independent_George

            I think it is because he never had to create a distinctive sound. “Oh, that sounds like so and so.” Think of a young Pete Townsend, cranking up the volume past the pain threshold, or Keith Richatds, mimicking Chuck Berry. They did so to mask their limitations. But Alex Lifeson could play anything and everything, beautifully, effortlessly, flawlessly. His sound served the song, not vica versa.

          • Berndt Norten

            By George, you’ve got it. You hit the nail on the head. As I was listening to Rush’s classic 1975-1982 albums over the weekend, I could see exactly what you meant. Lifeson was a chameleon. Peart and Lee have a signature style. Their range is narrower. They’re the best or among the very best but they are less promiscuous. Lifeson could indeed play any style. He has that one ‘bright electric sheet of sound’ style but he has so many others. I don’t forgive him, however, for making an ass of himself at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony

            P.S. I voted twice for Rush’s induction

  • Emperius

    Great, so an artificial shortage and now a price hike!

  • Joel Schumann

    But Rolex are still managing the business very conservatively. Most any other brand would have hiked the prices/increased production to make as much of the situation as possible NOW.

  • diverfan

    As a long time watch fan and fairly new collector, it really saddens me to see this sort of thing. I’m not wealthy at this point. What would be considered a steal at rolex levels would still be out of my price range. It’s one of these deals where I could technically probably spend a couple thousand if i wanted to, but it wouldn’t be financially smart to do so in my income bracket. My highest cost watch comes in still under $1000, and that’s really the point. There’s so many of us men and women that love watches, horology, whatever you wish to call it, appreciate the beauty, craftsmanship, history or even the mystical nature of time and the quest for the most accuracy keeping it, and would love to own such beauty as Rolex, Patek, IWC, Omega and they just price them insanely out of the average working man and woman watch lovers reach.And that’s a shame,as most people can’t just “work harder” or “save more” for a hugely expensive watch when life has more pressing issues.

    And admittedly they do it on purpose to create a brand image of top shelf, catering to the top 1%, and that makes sense from a business point of view, but I’m speaking for the consumer/collector etc. And I understand the time and effort and materials that go into making these watches, as i do some amateur repair, restoration work myself. But most of you would have to admit, these prices, even in the stainless steel models these companies are charging are ridiculous and not really justifiable, in most cases. I don’t know if i’d pay such prices even if i could. They do it because we vote with our wallets and let them. I think having watch tiers is fine, but just like with everything else that has tiers, it’s gotten out of control IMO. I’m sure many would disagree.

    • cluedog12

      Totally correct. The watch industry discovered emerging markets in the 2000s and the 2010s was all about the investor class hoovering up the economic recovery.

      Don’t despair though. It is probable that income inequality will eventually narrow and that you will be alive when it happens. We mustn’t let fear and regret govern our lives and our love of collecting watches.

      • diverfan

        You guys are both right, i agree. And honestly, you could find many people that agree with you and would even argue that some of this sub 1000 or just over watches are actually equal or better quality than the luxury brands. The big brands just have more hype and name rec. I have a squale, and it’s very nice and great quality in every category. My girlfriend and I for my birthday got me a bronze phoibos dive watch. I always wanted a bronze watch, but they’re always so expensive, but when we saw one for about 600, we went in together on it. I was really skeptical of the quality of a chinese watch company. I know many parts of watches come from there, but you know what I mean. I think most of us go and trust swiss, japanese or german, but I’ll tell you what. This watch is beautiful, impeccable quality, and one of the nicest watches I own. This company is great so far in my opinion, and most of their stuff is very sub luxury price. So, you’re definitely right. I like your clippy avatar btw haha.

    • Polerouter

      On the other hand, you can buy very good Swiss watches for less than $1000, even with silicon spiral spring, chronometer certification, nice finishing… Granted, they may not be as nice as a Rolex, GS or Omega but that’s also why they are considerably cheaper.

      • diverfan

        I replied to both you guys on the comment under yours.

      • malingerer

        I love my Rollies, but the finishing on them isn’t quite up to spec with GS or most Omegas (in their comparative price ranges). Just IMHO and YMMV 🙂

  • NaJo

    After buying 4 watches in my collection, my ad is still refusing me to talk about submariner, pepsi and was on a daytona list since 4 years. I cancelled it and got the deposit for speedy 321. Good bye rolex.

  • NaJo

    Very good point!

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Rolex is more a currency than a watch.

  • Tony NW

    The DateJust price rising more than the Submariner price does suggest a different balance for the larger market than generally assumed.

    I don’t have a problem with these price increases. Any non-PM watch over $1000 is probably mostly mark-up anyhow. I do have a decent handful of watches, and my DJ41 is way up there in comfort, wearability and style. My other fave for those three items is my Casio F158. Should I wear the $14 or the $9500 watch today? (I’m wearing a Christopher Ward MkII today.)

  • Katnip Everlean

    If they raise the price on a Rolex that they won’t sell you, did they ever raise the price to begin with? -Confucius

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