When a man can’t get what he wants, his desire reaches its climax. Ever since the early days of Daytona appeared on the wrist of Hollywood star Paul Newman, the famous Daytona has been the object of desire for many. Rolex brought about many models into the store as it expected to sell. The result is long waiting lists. The search for the world’s most ideal watch only adds to the Rolex myth.
Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf was a marketing genius. He chose a name that was easy to pronounce in a few different languages and made sure this name was printed on the dial – not totally common at a time when customer loyalty was to the dealer, not the manufacturer. Wilsdorf called his water-resistant watch the “Oyster” and gave a Rolex to a swimmer who planned to swim the English Channel.
The story landed him a full-page advertisement on the front page of the Daily Mail. There were also ads in magazines in which a young actress submerged her hand and wrist (and watch!) into a fishbowl. Rolex marketing approaches have a more subtle touch. Beginning in the late 1970s, it emphasizes its presence in prestigious sports such as tennis and golf, automobile racing, equestrian sports, and sailing.
Rolex always makes an unforgettable and composed impression. The company stays true to its proven methods and chooses to make continuous improvements rather than pursuing the new and different. Part of the brand’s mythology rests on the fact that fake Rolex did not jump on the quartz-watch bandwagon in the 1970s. The company does not produce complicated watches such as tourbillons or repeaters, only very rarely launches new collections, and stays away from online sales. New technologies such as silicone parts in its movements are developed very slowly and used very conservatively – smartwatches or “smart” features are unthinkable. This makes the brand predictable for the customer and also protects the brand from missteps.
The company does not make a big deal when introducing new products at Baselworld each spring. While other manufacturers boldly announce world records, hold press conferences featuring celebrities, or present 70 brand-new products, Rolex quietly works on detailed improvements. Larger cases, improved movements, ceramic bezels, and now and again a new color – even innovations such as these are discussed among replica Rolex fans hotly and not without controversy. When it comes to personal contact, Rolex tends to come across as mysterious, “like an Oyster” — from its watch-making facilities in Geneva to Biel’s machinery, which clients and journalists rarely see from the inside to the end of its chief executive, who usually does not give interviews.