• I'm happy to introduce the Styleforum Happy Hour, our brand new podcast featuring lively discussion about menswear and the fashion industry. In the inaugural edition, a discussion of what's going on in retail today. Please check it out on the Journal. All episodes will be also be available soon on your favorite podcast platform.

  • Styleforum Gives - Holiday Charity Auction 5: Good Art HLYWD rosette courtesy of Self Edge

    We are very proud to present this year's edition of the Styleforum Holiday Charity Auctions, this year in support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane (www.rmhcspokane.org). Each Auction lasts 24 hours. Please follow and bid on all the auctions.

    The 5th auction is for a custom Good Art HLYWD bracelet courtesy of Self Edge. Please bid often and generously here

    Fok and the Styleforum Team.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Dino944

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2011
Messages
5,049
Reaction score
3,640
Yes, and no. Brand image is carefully cultivated and protected.

For an example outside of watch brands, North Face was very wary to not become a lifestyle brand in the early 2000s, the reason being the trends come and go, and being perceived as a lifestyle brand rather than a performance brand would hurt their image with their core, outdoor activities oriented, audience. That has changed a bit recently, with editions specifically of classic 90s models, but they are still quite careful with their distribution, though not nearly as restrictive as they were in the early 2000s. They also wanted, for a very long time, to take away the license for North Face Purple Label, which is still only available through Japanese retailers, and is much "trendier". That seems to have passed though, as The North Face, like a lot of companies, have realized that they can control their brand image by distributing different products to different stockists, in different markets. Nike is probably the leader in this.

Hermes boutiques in Asia are notoriously undersupplied, and most likely, completely by design. I have a couple of chaine d'Ancre bracelets that I wear, and I got them really easily. Just pointed and clicked. In one case, I had to wait a bit longer because they had no more for internet only, and a bracelet had to be recalled from a boutique, and made sure that it was up to Hermes standards to sell. I have a Crescendo bracelet that is apparently being forged from rare silver in France, since the original delivery date was pushed back a few more months to about a year from when I first ordered it. But nonetheless, they were happy to do it. By contrast, sought after pieces like the silver Chaine d'Ancre are in notoriously short supply in Asia, and they go for $1000 over the North American retail price on the secondary market. I had to explain to some cousins living in Asia, that while Hermes is well respected in North America, excepting the Kelly and Birkin bags, there is no hype around the brand, not really, nor are there slews of teems who are interested in the jewelry and who could potentially devalue the brand.

LVMH also has some pretty ironclad agreements with retailers stocking their marquee brands.

Rolex is not the only watch company to be slow in understanding its customers and re-aligning itself in the market. Seiko, long seen as a mid-market brand outside of Japan (n Cantonese, there is a bit of a pun that transliterates "Seiko" to mean "Dead poor), decided to go the other way, and make their luxury product their core product for the North American market. I forget who wrote this, but there are horror stories of Rolex tossing very valuable vintage dials and slapping in a brand new one. Because, well, who wouldn't prefer a brand new dial?

That Rolex is pulling the accounts of so many authorized dealers may signal that they are trying to control their brand image more closely.
Interesting points. I didn't know much about North Face. Although, I know about Hermes handbags, I was not aware of the shortage of their bracelets in Asia.

Rolex is pulling AD accounts, and yes it controls the image of the brand. It also eliminates concerns about discounts and it allows the company to retain 100% of the profit rather than sharing some of it with an AD.


I think that the Rolex models between 34 mm and 36mm (and also the Omegas Chronographs of the same size) are pretty much perfect. They fit well on most wrists (I think that he lugs are generally around 40-42mm), and are perfectly legible except to the truly visually impaired (so, me without glasses). I can see why some tool watches should be somewhere around 38-40 mm.

Some people say that that a smaller watch looks small on their wrist, but frankly, my vintage Omega Seamaster/DeVille chronographs, at 35mm without a crown, wear as large as a Daytona, which is quite a bit larger. I think that except for really big people, a 36mm watch is never going to look too small.
I'm not an oversized watch guy. I only own one watch that is over 40mm. I'm generally most comfortable in cases that are 36-40mm. However, there is a big segment of the market that for many years pushed for watches that are 42mm or larger. Some reached caricature like proportions that seemed unwearable (at least to my eye). Personally, I found some of the VC Patrimony and Piaget Altiplanos became too large considering how thin they were and they looked like pancakes on a leather straps. It does seem to be changing and we have been seeing a return to normal sized dress watches each year (JLC Tribute Reversos, the Cartier Tank Louis Cartier, and Tank Cintree).
 

Texasmade

Distinguished Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
6,503
Reaction score
2,466
Rolex is pulling AD accounts, and yes it controls the image of the brand. It also eliminates concerns about discounts and it allows the company to retain 100% of the profit rather than sharing some of it with an AD.
Rolex doesn't actually own their boutiques. It's usually another AD that built out a Rolex exclusive store so Rolex doesn't really retain 100% of the profit.
 

Ambulance Chaser

Stylish Dinosaur
Spamminator Moderator
Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Messages
10,491
Reaction score
1,796
Rolex is the Taylor Swift of watches: A corporate juggernaut that is dismissed and hated on for being popular among those with "questionable" taste, but that makes a product that is much better than people (including people in the know) give it credit for. I admire what Rolex does, but I don't think I would add a modern Rolex to my small collection simply because I tend to like things that are more uncommon. That said, if I won the lottery tomorrow, one of the very first things I would buy is the best Explorer II Reference 1655 I could find. It is such a delightfully weird un-Rolex sports Rolex: no maxi lume plots, no Mercedes hand, and a completely useless complication.
 

Dino944

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2011
Messages
5,049
Reaction score
3,640
Rolex doesn't actually own their boutiques. It's usually another AD that built out a Rolex exclusive store so Rolex doesn't really retain 100% of the profit.
Yes, you are correct that they have partnership's with some AD's that built out the boutiques (They are opening one in Boston with Long's Jewelers), but it is my understanding they also do own a few themselves.
 

jischwar

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
443
Reaction score
376
My uncommon Rolex, bought to commemorate the birth of my first son. I needed a dress watch for my collection and was drawn to the glacier blue dial, heft of platinum and the fact that they only produced these for 6ish years.
20191114_150832.jpg
 

Andy57

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Messages
3,525
Reaction score
8,567
A vast majority of people on this thread, probably not. In the real world, a watch which retails at close to GBP10k but which changes hands for more than twice that and which glitters like a piece of jewellery would be regarded as a piece of bling by the vast majority of people, regardless of its material of construction or its nominal utility. If you don't understand this, then you really do need to get out more.
You don't make your highly speculative point any more valid by insulting me.
 

d4nimal

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2013
Messages
336
Reaction score
480
Thought it might be a good time to take a pause from the Rolex fever dream fantasy scenarios to share my new watch.

I posted a while back asking for advice, so thank you all for your thoughts. In the end, I just fell in love with the 60th Anniversary Speedy for various reasons. Now that I've had it on my wrist for about a month, I can say a few things: 1) the straight lugs and no crown guards definitely makes a difference on my baby wrists (6.25"), even though the lug length is about the same as the vanilla speedies 2) the grey dial appears from almost black to charcoal, depending on light. It could have been a touch darker, honestly, but it reads similar to older speedies I've looked at 3) the "faded" lume looks good to me in this setting. I think it would have looked weird, actually, if it was stark white, though as a consequence of the color treatment, the actual luminosity of it is poor. I don't really care about that, personally. 4) I still love this watch as much as the day I got it. It's incredible, and I think fits my daily wardrobe really well.

I've since put it on a brown strap, but I was surprised to like the bracelet as much as I did.

I meant to save up and buy the watch next year when my first kid is expected to arrive, but I randomly saw one for sale from a reputable dealer (DavidSW) and he cut me discount that made the price less than private sellers were asking, so I jumped on it. As luck would have it, it actually ended up arriving the day the wife and I went to the first doctor's appointment and heard our first heartbeat, so it was still a pretty amazing moment having the two in tandem.

Here are a couple shots on the wrist.

1279515


1279516


1279517
 

bdavro23

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2014
Messages
1,877
Reaction score
1,557
You don't make your highly speculative point any more valid by insulting me.
With respect Andy, his point is more valid than speculative. I think the majority of the population would consider Rolex as "bling", or fancy jewelry, owing largely to Rolex's own very successful marketing machine. As for them being tool watches, they may have been designed as such but are only "tools" in name at this point. Anyone who actually needs a watch as a professional is likely wearing a G-Shock or the equivelant.

I own Rolex and am largely positive on them, but I think its difficult to argue that they havent become something of the standard bearer for luxury goods.
 

am55

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2014
Messages
3,122
Reaction score
2,176
What do Uber rides cost where you are if Uber drivers can afford Rolexes?!
USD 3-4 base rate and probably around USD 10 for 20-30 minutes? It used to be cheaper when Uber was still around before Softbank decided owning a number of local monopolies was better than letting one win everywhere. Then USD 1-2 was not uncommon and I took a number of free rides home during discount wars...
edit - 22 free rides according to a quick inbox search

1573776798693.png1573776825800.png
 

Andy57

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Messages
3,525
Reaction score
8,567
With respect Andy, his point is more valid than speculative. I think the majority of the population would consider Rolex as "bling", or fancy jewelry, owing largely to Rolex's own very successful marketing machine. As for them being tool watches, they may have been designed as such but are only "tools" in name at this point. Anyone who actually needs a watch as a professional is likely wearing a G-Shock or the equivelant.

I own Rolex and am largely positive on them, but I think its difficult to argue that they havent become something of the standard bearer for luxury goods.
With respect, unless you have actual data, this argument is entirely speculative. Show me actual data, not opinion.
 

dopey

Stylish Dinosaur
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Oct 12, 2006
Messages
15,114
Reaction score
2,404
BLACK FRIDAY
I really love the engineering behind the Skydweller and think it is Rolex's most interesting watch. As I wrote above, I think they made a design choice I don't really love - they designed it to look a lot like a classic Rolex sport watch which resulted in a cluttered, weird dial. I wish they would have instead designed its appearance more around its unique functions, which I think would have resulted in something a little cleaner looking. But maybe I will get used to it in time. I also don't have a great idea for HOW to do it better, just that somehow, it should be possible. Still, it is very cool. How do you find owning and using it?
 

dopey

Stylish Dinosaur
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Oct 12, 2006
Messages
15,114
Reaction score
2,404
Thought it might be a good time to take a pause from the Rolex fever dream fantasy scenarios to share my new watch.

I posted a while back asking for advice, so thank you all for your thoughts. In the end, I just fell in love with the 60th Anniversary Speedy for various reasons. Now that I've had it on my wrist for about a month, I can say a few things: 1) the straight lugs and no crown guards definitely makes a difference on my baby wrists (6.25"), even though the lug length is about the same as the vanilla speedies 2) the grey dial appears from almost black to charcoal, depending on light. It could have been a touch darker, honestly, but it reads similar to older speedies I've looked at 3) the "faded" lume looks good to me in this setting. I think it would have looked weird, actually, if it was stark white, though as a consequence of the color treatment, the actual luminosity of it is poor. I don't really care about that, personally. 4) I still love this watch as much as the day I got it. It's incredible, and I think fits my daily wardrobe really well.

I've since put it on a brown strap, but I was surprised to like the bracelet as much as I did.

I meant to save up and buy the watch next year when my first kid is expected to arrive, but I randomly saw one for sale from a reputable dealer (DavidSW) and he cut me discount that made the price less than private sellers were asking, so I jumped on it. As luck would have it, it actually ended up arriving the day the wife and I went to the first doctor's appointment and heard our first heartbeat, so it was still a pretty amazing moment having the two in tandem.

Here are a couple shots on the wrist.

View attachment 1279515

View attachment 1279516

View attachment 1279517
Very cool. I have two 321 cal early Speedmasters, as well as the 125 Anniversary model, which is a massive chunk of steel and, as my wife said, looks like something a 1970s James Bond would wear windsurfing.
 

mak1277

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Messages
132
Reaction score
156
You're right. Rolex, the most famous luxury brand in the world, definitely isnt a luxury brand. Got it.
I think you all are having two different conversations.

Simply being a luxury brand does not mean the watches are blingy. Sure Rolex has some gaudy models, but their bread and butter is far from what I would call bling. Simply being expensive doesn’t make the watches gaudy or “blingy”
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

  • 1 - 4

    Votes: 27 3.5%
  • 5 - 10

    Votes: 136 17.4%
  • 11 - 20

    Votes: 255 32.7%
  • 21 - 30

    Votes: 123 15.7%
  • 31 - 40

    Votes: 68 8.7%
  • 41 - 50

    Votes: 47 6.0%
  • 51 - 60

    Votes: 23 2.9%
  • 61 - 70

    Votes: 21 2.7%
  • 71 - 80

    Votes: 17 2.2%
  • 81 - 90

    Votes: 7 0.9%
  • 91 - 100

    Votes: 8 1.0%
  • 100+

    Votes: 49 6.3%

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
428,745
Messages
9,223,669
Members
193,614
Latest member
Govikadev
Top