Rolex isn't really a good indicator of pricing effects, in terms of going from out sourced movements to in-house. First they make about 900,000 watches a year compared to VC's roughly 20-25,000 units. They can sell and recoup their investment much faster than a company like VC or AP. I imagine Rolex also has greater resources to draw upon. It should be noted, that according to an article I read some time ago, chronograph movements are among the most complicated and costly to design and that was one of the reasons that many companies, particularly small ones like AP, VC, and until recently PP depended on outside sources for chronograph movements.
In addition, the Daytonas particularly when powered by outsourced movements were way under priced (although that led to a demand outstripping supply, wait lists lasting years, and watches being flipped for a 50%-100% profit and some AD's charging a huge premium over list price). When I first got into seriously looking at Daytonas their MSRP was $3,800. Relatively speaking a few years later AP's RO chrono was released for $12,500...eventually VC's Overseas chrono came out at around $11,000...Breguet Type XXs and BPs were around $7,500, even Cartier's steel quartz Pasha was $5,000. When Rolex first released their in-house Daytonas they were $6,000...which again was way under priced. When I got my first one a gray dealer offered me $11,000 for it. They told me mine was the first new one they had seen. For many years Daytonas even once supply evened out a bit a 1st buyer could easily flip a new one and make a $2,000-$2,500 profit. Once the watches hit $10,000 many flippers disappeared, and supply stabilized especially with the 2008 melt down of the economy. Oh and it should also be noted, that many people have stated over the years that once Rolex was in complete control of Daytona movement production (and there were no outside limits as to how many movements they could have), production was ramped up...so supplying a greater number of these may have helped keep the overall cost from skyrocketing.
Maybe I will be wrong about the cost of going to an all in house chronograph movement. However, keep in mind Rolex's Daytona has traditionally competed against Omega, IWC, Breitling, and again Rolex is large enough to easily deal with the cost of a new in house chrono movement. AP and VC generally have competed against Patek and Breguet. Patek didn't offer a chronograph Nautilus until they came out with their own movement....but look at its price...$51,000. If you want an interesting comparison consider VC vs. Pateks high end chronograph of the past...the Historique Chronograph which listed for $17,000 in YG when production ended vs. the 5070 which used the same but more modified Lemania movement and had a list price of $28,800. Once sales of the 5070 started to take off...VC (according to my former VC AD was pissed that PPs were selling for so much more). So what happened...while the 5070 was still in production, VC ended production of the Historique chronograph and replaced it with a 5070 sized, larger cased Malte Chronograph (using the same Lemania movement as before)...but guess what happened...it arrived with an MSRP of around $33,000 to compete with 5070s which were then around $35,000. If we consider this...and the fact that VC and AP see what PP is getting for a Nautilus Chrono....they may justify moving into the $50K range where Patek is by also having an in house movement. I guess we will have to wait and see.
Edited by Dino944 - 11/7/14 at 3:38pm