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  1. Shay Aug 25, 2020

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    Hello everyone,

    I apologise I know this is a boring topic. But I would like your advice.

    I went to a Rolex AD yesterday in London to register myself and the manager was very helpful and knowledgeable. He suggested that I go for an Airking or a Submariner and has taken my name for both and promised to do his best to get me one of them. He even said he will keep me updated every couple of weeks.

    There is another AD who has asked me to come and see them mid September and they will register my interest for Air King with £1000 deposit but no chance to go on their submariner list.

    I am reluctant to go to the second AD as firstly it requires a deposit, they will only consider an Airking and the waiting time is not guaranteed.

    However I don’t know whether I am naive to believe the first AD. Can anyone who is in London share their experience or advise?

    I have never bought a Rolex, so no prior relationship.

    Many Thanks
     
  2. Stripey Aug 25, 2020

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    I have a question, and I assure you I'm not trying to be difficult, because it's a question I asked myself when sticking my name down for an Explorer. The Airking and the Submariner are very different watches? Do you actually like them, or are you attracted by their perceived scarcity? You may already have done this thinking, but if not, think very seriously about it. Have you gone to Watchfinder or some other dealer and tried some on?

    I have a real difficulty with paying a deposit for a mass produced consumer good, but if you do choose to do so, bear in mind that you are providing working capital for that AD at a time when retail has barely begun to recover from the pandemic, interest free. Do not even think about doing it unless you do it on a credit card and get the protection of section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (as you are in England).

    Finally, if the AD does in fact keep you updated every couple of weeks, I would love to know who it is - that hasn't been my experience with any brand AD (or indeed, any Omega Boutique) in London.
     
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  3. Shay Aug 25, 2020

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    Hi Stripey,

    Thank you for your question. I find it very interesting and I have been procrastinating for a long time on which watch I would want. When I went to the AD it was to get registered for an Explorer 1 as this is the watch everyone keep say is great and has got value retention. Value retention is important to me at this stage of life but I also want to enjoy the watch. And to be honest I have never connected to explorer 1. Maybe if I see it in real life it will be different.

    A submariner no date is the watch I wanted but in the past no AD would even put me on the waiting list. I do not want it because of the scarcity,but I am trying to build a small collection of 3 iconic watches. I currently have a speedmaster moon watch and I wanted to add an iconic Rolex piece and a Jaeger le coutre reverso. I find the Airking quite quirky and I also like the fact it has the Milgaus movement.

    But your advice is right, I should try it in person before I decide.

    If the AD does update me I will send you a PM
     
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  4. TheRealMe Sep 5, 2020

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    Two years back in London. I walked into a certain watch store on Oxford St. I spoke to the sales person, and said what do I need to buy to be able to by the Batman GMT. I was also looking at different watches... a limited edition Reverso caught my eye too. I wasn’t thinking of buying the JLC, just admiring it.

    I said what’s the wait list and how do I get it.

    The sales person said let me talk to my manager.

    He comes back says we can put you on the list but it will take between 1-2 years and you have to be here in person to pick up the watch (I live in the USA)... or I have the all black bezel one right here and you can have it now. You have to buy the Reverso, and then we will sell you this one.

    I really wanted the Batman, but then decided to grab the GMT in front of me.

    As I was looking at the watch, and calling my credit card company not to freak out about the large purchase, a young Englishman walked in inquiring about the GMT.

    Another sales person told him not a chance of getting one here, and I could see they were containing a laugh.

    They told him too many tourists in London. Find an AD outside of the city and it might take a few months to a year to get one.

    It felt weird buying the watch at the same time they were telling this guy good luck.
     
  5. kip595 Sep 6, 2020

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    This is just me, but there's no way I'd drop 1K (GBP or USD, for that matter) on a piece like the A-K with an open-ended wait time. My dislike for the current design aside, it just isn't something I'd be willing to do. And this is from someone wearing an Air King (older design) while typing this!
     
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  6. Stripey Sep 6, 2020

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    I don't doubt it for a minute. Unfortunately for them, central London is dead, those tourists are now gone, and, at what I suspect is the same watch store, half the staff at their London branches are on furlough at any given time, and so presumably about to be sacked in October. Then it will be them walking into a certain watch store and asking "what do I have to do to get a job". And although it's tempting, given the attitude quite a few display, I can't quite bring myself to feel anything other than sad about that.
     
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  7. Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Sep 6, 2020

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    so you wait a year, and pay 10k for the base model sub hopefully in the color you want...

    Think it through... If you want a sub I would go pre owned.
     
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  8. Twocats Married... with children Sep 6, 2020

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    I would agree with your assumption regarding boutique staff in London and other cities that have a great number of tourist visitors.

    the cynic in me sees some boutique owners exploiting the current situation and collecting an X model SS from Rolex and turning to the grey market. We are after all online more since the beginning of this pandemic than ever before.
     
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  9. TheRealMe Sep 6, 2020

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    I was hoping to visit London this past summer. Maybe try to get another “in demand” Rolex. Have you by any chance stepped into that store (I’m sure you guessed right on the store) recently and saw their inventory. With all the tourists gone are there steel professionals to be bought?
     
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  10. Shay Sep 6, 2020

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    Just to update on my first post. Two weeks ago I was happy that I was well received at an AD and the guy had a long chat and said he will put my name for an Airking and a no date sub. It felt too good to be true and it was!

    This week when I called the shop and spoke to another staff, she checked and my name was not on their system. Whoever I spoke to must have thrown my details in the bin after I left. The shop apologised and told me that the person I spoke was a temp and they took my details on the phone and did confirm by email. I am not holding my breath though.
     
  11. Davidt Sep 6, 2020

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    It depends entirely on the AD.

    I've been in some who have "taken my details" and I know I'm not getting a call from them in a month of Sundays. I've been in others where I've had a decent chat, put my name down and had a call a few months later.
     
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  12. Shay Sep 6, 2020

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    I have been in AD where staffs are discussing between themselves the hottest model,price and investment. Obviously they thought I didn’t know what a hulk or a batman is. I don’t want to preempt motive to anyone and I hope the staffs are not buying the steel sport themselves.
     
  13. SpikiSpikester @ ΩF Staff Member Sep 6, 2020

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    As lockdown has lifted. I've been looking in the AD's again & really can't see any improvement in their Rolex stock. Still no steel professionals.

    I haven't been up to Oxford Street, but it sounds like a long shot to hope their stock of steel pro's is going to suddenly improve.
     
  14. Davidt Sep 6, 2020

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    Even if their stock levels of steel sports improved, there's little to no chance they would appear in the windows imo. It would just result in more calls to customers on the wait list (or grey dealers?:whistling:)
     
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  15. michael22 Sep 6, 2020

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    I've paid a deposit when I have ordered a custom item, obviously not a watch. I would never pay a deposit to a shop for a mass produced item it is their job to stock & sell in the first place.
    From a different angle, paying a deposit lets the AD make money out of the wait list. If money can be made out of a list, who needs to sell anything? If one AD makes money out of a list, all AD's will start a deposit only list. The AD's can tell Rolex to go jam their watches, we are now selling places on a list, & don't need the problems of stocking. Sounds surreal, a bit like an interest free Ponzi scheme.
     
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  16. SpikiSpikester @ ΩF Staff Member Sep 6, 2020

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    ...or when the AD asks for a deposit to enable them to order a new release you want to check out :confused:. (different brand to Rolex, obvs...)
     
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  17. Evitzee Sep 6, 2020

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    Forget waiting lists at an AD, I wouldn't play that game. Either buy pre-owned or pay the market price for a new Rolex and have it on your wrist in a couple of days.
     
  18. Twocats Married... with children Sep 6, 2020

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    I am not a conspiracy theorist by any means but..... I read that Forbes & Brand Z and others claim that Rolex produces 800,000 watches per year. They did not give a breakdown on metal nor model but if we went to the lower end of the scale and said 25% were desirable SS models, thats still 2 million over the last 10 years.

    Where are they all because they are never in the Rolex boutique. I travel extensively with my job and always call the Rolex AD where I am going prior to arrival and I hear the same story every time without fail, zero stock. Now, I don't know if I would want whatever they have for myself but I do have a wide circle of friends who would love an SS at retail. Prior to the pandemic I was in India, I called every boutique and was told no, I was kindly re directed to a grey market shop who wanted the funny money you can pay on CH24. I bought an Omega FOIS instead, its my Bangalore Speedy :).

    We hear a lot that Rolex has a very specific system for distribution to places where demand is higher and I understand this. I live in Luxembourg which per capita is a bloody rich country, not everyone but in general most have disposable income. There are only 660,000 inhabitants and we have more Porsche, Ferrari, G wagons etc here than the Republic of Ireland which by population is about 7 times the size, so people have money to spend and there are a lot of Rolex's here. I always stop people and 99 times out of 100 the reply is: A. I bought it second hand B. I bought it from a friend or C. I paid grey market prices for it.

    So what's going on and more importantly where are they all going.
     
  19. Shay Sep 6, 2020

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    I am also confused where all the Rolex watches are. Like you I have also heard that production is higher than Omega, but you can’t find any in store. This year I cannot even find an OP. But that can be explained with a lag in production when they closed down earlier this year,
     
  20. Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Sep 6, 2020

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    They have numbers on a non public privately held company? Also rolex sells large amounts of cellini and Datejusts all over the world... They have always sold more DJ's then sports watches...
     
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