Rolex watches: Does Covid crisis make luxury brands out of stock?

Rolex watches: Does Covid crisis make luxury brands out of stock? (Photo Courtesy: Rolex)

Rolex watches: Does Covid crisis make luxury brands out of stock? (Photo Courtesy: Rolex)

Avinash Prabhakar

World's most luxurious wristwatch brand Rolex is out of stock from the market during the ongoing festive season. Some models of the Rolex watches have a waiting period of more than one year. The waiting period for the Professional Modules ranges from three to six months or even one year, indicating that this year 2022 - no delivery can be made to the customers.

The Rolex stainless steel, Rolex sports model, Professionals - all are facing shortage in the market currently in recent years.

However, the shortage of this luxurious brand is not particular to India, instead globally there is a shortage of Rolex watches.

Meanwhile, other luxurious premium brands do not face such problems of availability in India and outside the country.
The Rolex watches are currently difficult to find at retail outlets from an authorized dealer in the capital city and the NCR. However, several reasons like the Covid impact or a spike in the demands are being attributed to the shortage of this luxurious brand.

While visiting the outlet of an authorised dealer of Rolex watches in Delhi, an outlet manager on anonymity said that even a particular module of the Rolex may have more than one year of waiting period. The authorised dealer has three outlets in Delhi and NCR, but none has Rolex presently. Even wrist watches of Rolex are not available online.

The experts of the industry say that as the company does not mass produce the articles, there is a rise in the demand post Covid period which is not being met by the company.

Industry experts find that there has been an uptick in the demand post Covid era which has led to the shortage of supply. Simply, Rolex cannot produce as many watches as the market demands, they say. However, if the demands have risen - it has only one reason that the number of people who can afford luxury watches has also increased.

“All the models of Rolex are hand assembled and of course during the Covid there was crisis of labourers working at the manufacturing plants which may have led to such shortage of the supply,” said the store manager of the Rolex outlet, adding that this shortage is not confined to India only but globally it has the impact.

“We don't have any clue when it will be restored, but the shortage is going on from the origin globally. The brand has not been able to meet the spike in the demand post pandemic that's why we are facing such issues. But it is for sure that the shortage is due to the spike in the demand,” said the authorised dealer's manager.

“During the Covid era, the supply was stopped and the left-out inventories were the first priority for the manufacturer to clear off. That is why we are experiencing the shortage as this is the last quarter of the year. However, we expect the same condition for this year and the situation can improve from next year,” said another authorised Rolex outlet manager.

“It's difficult to mention an exact time, but an obvious turning point was in 2016 when Rolex released the Daytona 116500LN at Baselworld. The Daytona has always been an iconic piece that has had a special place in history and played an important role for the Rolex brand,” writes Millenary Watches, a popular website on luxury watches on its portal.

“But this came to be proven even further as Rolex released a ceramic-bezel version of the Daytona, available with white or black dial. It wasn't necessarily exactly at this time the Rolex shortage began, but it was a very clear turning point. At this time, the large mass started to talk about the year-long waiting lists for this model, speculations began, and the craze got greater as those who were early to have them caused the demand to increase even further as some people showed them on the internet and on social media,” it said.