Why are Rolexis so expensive? First of all, we have to understand that we are talking about the most prestigious watch brand in the world. And yet, if we compare it to other brands like Patek Philippe, they can even seem cheap.

Rolex watches do not have automated mass production, they are assembled by hand piece by piece and each of the watches undergoes different tests to guarantee the reliability and quality of each one of them. More than watches, they are pieces of craftsmanship.

Logically, when manufactured in this way, the units that Rolex manufactures per year are limited. Even at their price, the demand exceeds the supply.

Manufacturing materials

Rolexuses only the best materials in the manufacture of its watches. For example, use 904L stainless steel instead of the usual 316L. Rolex started using this steel in 1985. 904L steel is much more expensive, but it is also harder and more resistant to corrosion, but it costs more to work with. Rolex had to adapt all its machinery to be able to adjust the production of watches to the use of this metal.

Although in an object such as a watch, the difference between one type of steel and another is difficult to appreciate, the cost of working and making watches with it is much higher. Competitor watches use 316L steel so that only in material there is a higher cost in comparison.

Rolex Daytona - 904L Steel and Gold

Rolex Daytona – 904L Steel and Gold

The obsession with working with the best materials leads Rolex to manufacture the gold that it uses in its watches. The gems used are selected by specialist jewelers. They have a large team of gemologists who purchase and prepare the diamonds and gemstones that are later used in Rolex watches.

Research, manufacturing and certification processes

Rolex Submariner Date 50th Anniversary

Rolex Submariner Date 50th Anniversary

Rolexes are made entirely in Switzerland, where labor is more expensive. They are not manufactured on an automated assembly line, they are assembled by hand piece by piece, so manufacturing times are longer.

Rolex has Research and Development laboratories where they study new manufacturing techniques, innovations, develop new models, etc. Studies are made on the metals they use, the oils and lubricants, etc. Rolex spends a lot of time developing new movements.

After the watches are manufactured, Rolex itself performs various inspections and tests on the watches to ensure their quality and precision. They are tested for water resistance, as all Rolex watches are water resistant. Some models like the Submariner up to 300 meters. Others like the Sea Dweller Deepsea, up to 3,000. For these tests Rolex uses special pressurized water tanks.

The entire manufacturing process, from research, development, manufacturing and assembly to subsequent quality tests are done in-house. Rolex does not outsource any part of the process, so manufacturing costs increase, but in this way Rolex ensures that everything is done according to processes and quality standards.

All Rolexes are mechanical watches and only use their own movements. Movements that he is constantly developing, improving and researching.

Conclusion, are Rolexes that expensive?

All these factors mark the price of each watch. You can’t compare a Rolex watch to a $ 100 quartz watch. Yes, they both tell the time, but the materials, manufacturing times, quality, prestige, and renown behind each Rolex watch mean that more than a watch, Rolexes are pieces of craftsmanship. A Rolex is a luxury watch, a ‘work of art’, which not only does not lose value over time, but will probably increase it, especially in the most coveted models. So, are Rolexes really that expensive?

Here you can find more information about Rolex

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Geneva Seal

Geneva Seal

The Geneva Seal (Sello de Ginebra in Spanish or Poinçon de Genève in French) is an exclusive quality certificate for movements developed in the Swiss region of the Canton of Geneva.

The first statute of the Geneva Seal was created on November 6, 1886. It was created to protect and preserve the reputation of watches created in the Canton of Geneva. It was established that only watches developed and manufactured in the Canton of Geneva could qualify for this quality certificate.

In addition to certifying that watches have been manufactured in the Canton of Geneva, watch movements must pass 12 stages / conditions in order to be certified. The body in charge of evaluating watches is TIMELAB (an organization that is composed of a certification center (including COSC, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute) and a center for research and development).

If the watch movement passes all 12 criteria, the watch may bear the stamp mark engraved on the movement.

Currently the brands that usually certify their movements with the Geneva Seal are: Cartier, Chopard, Roger Dubuis and Vacheron Constantin.

Patek Philippe and Geneva Seal

For 123 years Patek Philippe has been the reference and the greatest defender of the Geneva Seal. But in 2009 he decided to stop certifying his watch movements with the Geneva Seal and created his own quality certificate, the Patek Philippe Seal. The seal is represented by a double P emblem.

Patek Philippe decides to create its own seal of quality for not being in accordance with the current standards of the Geneva Seal. Despite the fact that over the years the criteria of the certificate have been updated and adapted to modern watches, the changes came too late.

Apparently, ‘newly’ arrived brands signed up to use the certificate, such as Cartier or Roger Dubuis, apparently they did not sit too well either. Patek Philippe wanted to toughen the demands of the stamp, but in the face of the refusal by the Geneva Stamp offices, he decided to create his own stamp. In this way, the standards that Patek Philippe adopts go further and are more demanding.

Patek Philippe certifies that its watches with a caliber greater than 20mm have a deviation of less than -3 to +2 seconds / day. For those with a caliber less than 20mm, the deviation should not exceed -5 to +4 seconds / day. For calibers with a tourbillonthe requirement is only -2 to +1 seconds / day.

The standard applied by Patek Philippe for its watches is stricter than the one applied by the COSC in the certification of watches (Rolex is the maximum exponent of the watches certified by the COSC), but it is Patek Philippe itself that gives itself to itself. Its own certificate guaranteeing these standards.

Patek Philippe Seal

Patek Philippe Seal

And what about Rolex?

Rolex is another of the brands that do not certify their watches with the Geneva Seal, either by their own decision or by product philosophy. In addition, Rolex movements are manufactured in Bienne, so in principle they would not comply with the obligation to manufacture them within the Canton of Geneva.

Rolex certifies its watches with the COSC, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, created in 1973. It is the largest laboratory dedicated to the certification of watches in the world. Rolex is by far the brand that has certified the most watches with the COSC. The certificate guarantees that the watch has a deviation of less than -4 to +6 seconds / day. Watches that meet this minimum deviation of -4 to +6 seconds / day are certified as ‘Chronometers’ and can have it engraved on their dial. Other brands such as Omega or Breitling also certify their watches with the COSC. Although COSC is the largest laboratory in the world for the certification of watches and certifies one million watches every year, they represent 3% of the watches manufactured annually in Switzerland.

Genève written on the dial

Regardless of the Geneva Seal, some watches have Genèvewritten on their dial. To be able to include Genève on the dial, the watch must be manufactured entirely in Switzerland, and at least 50% of its manufacture must be made in the Canton of Geneva. The Bureau de contrôle des Montres de Genève is the body in charge of certifying and validating the use of this inscription on the watch.

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2020 is being a difficult year for the big watch brands. Due to the worldwide pandemic of Covid 19, production chains had to be reduced or stopped completely. According to experts, the recession could last for years and be longer than expected. Faced with an incipient economic crisis, the market for luxury items such as high-end watches has exploded. Luxury watches are a safe value to invest in, not only for the manufacturing materials such as gold, platinum, diamonds … but also for the added value of being collectibles, often limited editions. Faced with a volatile market, not only do they retain their value, but they can even increase it.

As we already commented in our article regarding the Covid and the second-hand market, this volatile market situation, plus the lack of stock of new watches due to the stoppage of manufacturing, have also brought price increases in some models of watches.

Demand goes up and stock is limited, so prices rise.

This has not been the case at NordWatches, where not only have we not raised prices, but we are also offering collector’s pieces at more than competitive prices. You can see our stock on our website or on Chrono 24.

As we already mentioned, Baselworld, the fair in which the great watchmakers such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, etc. announce the new models they will launch, was canceled this year 2020. And despite the fact that Rolex initially announced that its 2020 models would go on the market throughout April 2020, they were finally canceled and everything boded that there would be no new models this year 2020.

However, in July Tudor (Rolex’s ‘low cost’ brand) announced a new model, the Tudor Black Bay fifty-Eight Navy Blue. This could indicate that there is still hope for new Rolex models throughout 2020.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 'Navy Blue'

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight ‘Navy Blue’ (Source: www.hodinkee.com)

So can we expect a new Rolex model for this year?

The rumor circulating on the network says that the new Rolex models will be launched the first week of September 2020. We do not know if this will be the case or not, but if so, what models could they advertise? A new Submariner model? Maybe a Milgauss? New ceramic models?

Be that as it may, pay attention to our publications because we will tell you everything here.

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The Covid 19 and luxury watches

The coronavirus (Covid 19) has paralyzed the world. The economic impact worldwide is going to be very hard. Little by little we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, returning to normal and reopening business, but without the certainty of what will come. The factories reopen their production little by little, with exceptional security measures. But, there are no guarantees that we will not be forced to close again due to the possibility of outbreaks. Until there is a vaccine or the contagion rate worldwide is drastically reduced, we will not fully return to ‘normal’.

Given this uncertainty, markets suffer and the world of luxury and high-end watches are no exception.

The Swiss watch industry returns to work little by little. Despite the fact that in Switzerland the coronavirus has not hit as hard as in other countries, most factories decided to close their doors for security.

In mid-May, the large Swiss brands (Rolex, Patek Philippe, etc.) were already reopening the production of watches, progressively and with reduced equipment.

Big fairs like Baselworld, which was to be held at the end of April, had to be postponed. Even the new scheduled date, January 2021, has been canceled for the time being.

Brands like Patek Philippe or Rolex, announced that they were postponing all their news for 2020, so there will be no new models at the moment.

Many questions and few answers

Many unknowns and atypical situations for a sector that is usually very stable. The worldwide stock of high-end watches has decreased dramatically and although the factories have reopened, they do so at a lower percentage of their production capacity.

2020 is going to be a very bad year for the big luxury watch brands, but what about the second-hand market?

In an article on the Chrono 24 website regarding Covid 19, a world reference in the online sale of luxury watches, we can see that despite the fact that the market suffered when the global pandemic situation was declared, currently it seems that the situation is is normalizing.

In fact, according to this article, and always based on their statistical data, large buyers are taking advantage of this situation to invest. Faced with a more than certain lack of stock of new watches, demand for second-hand watches is likely to increase in the coming months.

In addition, in the absence of news from the major brands, the demand will focus on the great classics.

In conclusion, this can be a great time to invest in high-end watches. Take a look at our stock, and if you do not find what you are looking for, contact us, we can surely help you!

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As every year by these dates, coinciding with the celebration in Basel (Switzerland) of a new edition of Baselworld, the largest and most important international watch and jewelry show, Rolex presents its new models for this 2019 season, a fact that represents a milestone in the sector and that every watchmaker loves with great interest.

Thus, the novelties that the Swiss firm has presented this year are the Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42, a new model among Rolex nautical watches, and which has a diameter of 42 mm, something unprecedented in the Yacht-Master range, with the new generation caliber 3235. Made of 18-carat white gold, it is equipped with an Oysterflex bracelet with Oysterlock safety clasp in 18-carat white gold and Rolex Glidelock extension system.

The Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller is proposed for the first time in a yellow Rolesor version (combination of Oystersteel steel and 18-carat yellow gold). The name “Sea-Dweller” appears in yellow on the dial of this new modality.

The Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II, in Oystersteel steel, with bi-directional rotating bezel and 24-hour Cerachrom disc bicolor in blue and black ceramics, is equipped with a Jubilé bracelet. Presented in 2018, the new generation 3285 caliber equips this new modality.

The Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36 houses for the first time the 3255 caliber, a movement at the forefront of watch technology. In 18K yellow, white or Everose gold, the new modalities of this emblematic model are proposed with a sphere adorned with a concentric gradientor made of ornamental stone, or completely pavé of diamonds with an hourly outline drawn by sapphires with the colors of the rainbow.

The new modalities in yellow, white or Everose Rolesor version (combination of Oystersteel steel and 18-carat gold) of the Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 and the Oyster Perpetual Datejust 31 all have a refined sphere of timeless elegance. They are equipped, respectively, with 3235 and 2236 caliber, new generation movements introduced in these two models in 2018.

The Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona is also available in 18-carat yellow gold with black lacquered pavé dial. On the bezel, the tachymeter scale has given way to 36 trapeze-cut diamonds.

Like all Rolex watches, these new references have the Superlative Chronometer certification, specific to the Swiss brand and symbolized by the green seal. This certification also guarantees the respect of more stringent performance criteria than watchmaking standards in terms of precision, tightness, automatic winding and autonomy, and is accompanied by a five-year international warranty.