Rolex SA is a leading luxury watch manufacturer, producing over 2,000 watches per day. These watches generate sales of over $7 billion dollars each year. This Swiss-based Company manufactures and distributes wristwatches under the Rolex and Tudor brand through authorized dealers. In 1905 Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis founded this company in London, England and recently ranked 57th on the world’s most powerful brands.
Rolex is not just a brand, but a universe of its own. Every watch it manufactures is a piece of art, made with ultimate craftsmanship. But have you ever wondered, why Rolex watches are so expensive? Is it because of its brand value? No, there are few things about Rolex, that makes the watches so expensive.
Rolex uses the best material that no other companies use:
The material is one of the few things that differentiate a watch from others. Rolex watches use a special type of stainless steel called 904L. It is more corrosion and rust resistant and is somewhat harder than other steels like 316L. If you are wondering why other brands don’t use 904L steel? It’s because 904L is more expensive, and requires special tools and skills, and is more difficult to work with. This is one of the main details that makes Rolex stand out from other brands.
Movements are hand assembled and tested:
There is a misbelief that Rolex watches are machine-made. Rolex has the most sophisticated watchmaking machinery in the world. But these machines are only used for specific tasks. The machines are fully controlled by humans and all Rolex watch hands are set by hand via highly trained technicians. Rolex is obsessive about quality control. All the manufactured watches are checked, re-checked and checked again before leaving the factory.
Rolex makes their own Gold:
Unlike other brands, that outsource the precious metals. Rolex watches make their Gold and Platinum in-house. First, the 24k gold comes into the factory and then it is turned into 18k. Which is then categorized into the classics; yellow, white and Rolex Everose gold. Rolex is not only strict about its quality checking but also very concerned with the looks of the parts that are made with golds. This is done to ensure quality to the customer to build brand value.
Watches are individually tested in pressurized tanks with water:
Rolex Oyster case watches are intensively tested for water resistance. In fact, they are tested both before and after a movement dial is placed inside of it. Dive watches are given a separate treatment altogether. Rolex watches test each and every waterproof watch in actual water to check the water resistance. The Submariner watches are placed in large tubes that are filled with water to ensure that they are water resistant up to 300 meters. Whereas for the Deep-sea watches, the process of testing is little more intense. Rolex developed a special high-pressure water tank with COMEX to measure each watch to a pressure equivalent to 12,000 meters deep.
An army of gemologists work here:
Rolex watches have a huge gemological department whose goal is to buy, test, arrange, and set diamonds and other precious stones in the Rolex models. One of the things they do is check all the incoming stones to ensure that they are real. Every piece of diamond or any other precious stone in the Rolex Watch is hand-picked and set. For most exclusive watches, Rolex follows the same processes that are used in creating the world’s finest jewelry. It is really rare to see this level of artisanship inside what many people believe to be a mass producer.
So if you are still questioning how expensive the Rolex watches are, then here’s to summarise it. Despite their highly expensive price tag compared to other brands you are actually paying for a lot more than that meets the eye. Rolex watches are not just a timepiece, they are also a fusion of engineering and watchmaker’s art. Understand and appreciate the workmanship, material cost and time that is put together in each and every single piece. Rolex is, truly, a luxury to be owned.
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