Source: Images and content by @ WatchPro. See the original article here - https://www.watchpro.com/rolexs-exhibition-only-watch-displays-are-driving-customers-online/
Rolex doesn’t do ecommerce, and it does not allow its authorised dealers to sell its watches online either.
Increasingly though, because demand is outstripping supply many times over, Rolex retailers cannot sell in stores either.
Watches are kept in retailers’ safes, and customers are selected for them, often based on their purchasing history at that store. The more you have spent, the better chance you have of scoring a Pepsi GMT or Hulk Submariner.
This crippling lack of availability at Rolex stores is driving customers online to find the watches they crave, straight into the hands of secondary market specialists that have the watches available at prices set by the market.
If they buy once from one of these sites, they are likely to buy there for life, according to CHRONEXT CEO Phillip Man.
“The more that happens, the more you have consumers moving away from physical retail in a structural and irreversible way because they cannot even touch the products in the windows of authorised dealers [Rolex has exhibition only watches on display] and you certainly cannot buy them,” he tells WATCHPRO in an interview for our Special Report on the Secondary Market to be published in May.
Asked what he thinks about exhibition-only watches being put on display in retailers’ windows, Mr Man is scathing.
“What is the point? If you want to look at beautiful watches you can go to the Patek Philippe Museum. But this shortage is good for pre-owned because the secondary market is the only place consumers can go to for these watches,” he says.