Industry / Watches

Rolex Says Scarcity Is Not A Strategy


As Rolex watches have become harder and harder to get—and have led to mile-long waitlists and spiraling prices on the secondary market—the Swiss timepiece giant has issued a rare statement asserting that, if people are having trouble finding Rolexes, it isn’t deliberate.

“The scarcity of our products is not a strategy on our part,” said the statement, which the company sent to JCK. “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.”

The company added that it was increasing its current production “as much as possible and always according to our quality criteria.”

The statement closed by noting that Rolex watches are available exclusively from authorized retailers.

To some, the most noteworthy thing was not the statement itself—which mostly featured Rolex touting the quality of its product—but the fact that the company deigned to put it out at all. It first appeared in a Yahoo Lifestyle story titled “Why the Rolex watch shortage is a ‘perfect storm.’”

Watch publication Hodinkee called the statement “big news.”

“It’s important to note that Rolex basically doesn’t publicly comment, and especially not on matters pertaining to its own supply and distribution,” the publication wrote.

A company spokesperson told JCK that the comments were “not an official statement that was sent out to various outlets, it was more of a response to a question asked.”

Media outlets said that while Rolex’s remarks might not be that exciting, they do mark a welcome change from the normally close-lipped brand.

“Let’s hope this is the start of a fresh openness from one of the world’s most secretive companies,” wrote WatchPro.

Top: Rolex 36 mm Oyster Perpetual Explorer in Oystersteel and yellow gold, $10,800 (photo courtesy of Rolex)

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By: Rob Bates

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