This sense of outrage over Rolex and US Customs seems to come up periodically on every watch forum I've ever frequented for as long as I can remember.
Why is Rolex allowed to place these restrictions? According to the US Customs regulation, restrictions on imported goods do not apply when: (1) Both the foreign and the U.S. trademark or trade name are owned by the same person or business entity; [or] (2) the foreign and domestic trademark or trade name owners are parent and subsidiary companies or are otherwise subject to common ownership or control.” Many assume that Rolex USA is under common ownership with Swiss Rolex in Geneva. However, the owner of Swiss Rolex, Manufacture des Montres Rolex S.A. Bienne, has granted Rolex USA with the U.S. Registration for the “Rolex” logo. Therefore, the trademark of the Swiss Rolex watches that are created in Geneva and sold in the United States are owned by Rolex USA, which means the foreign and U.S. trademark are owned by separate business entities. This is why the Rolex watches sold in the United States are applicable to the importation restrictions.
Just to be clear I wasn't outraged at all. At first it simply didn't make any sense to me as to why Customs would be confiscating Rolexs so I figured there had to be more to it. After researching a bit it at least made some sense.
Sorry, the sense of outrage comment wasn't aimed at you.