Rolex numbers

I numeri di Rolex

Perhaps it went under the radar because it was a little disappointing. But the news that Rolex says it does not want to celebrate its centenary is not only well founded, but also has its own rational explanation, supported by some data. Let's see them, anticipating what is the incipit of the article to be published in the next issue of L'Orologio (by Paolo Gobbi), dedicated to the models that the company presented at Basel 2007 (and with instructions for use of the new Yachtmaster...).

<<...Chiariamor the question immediately: when asked 'With which watch will you celebrate your centenary?', the official answer was 'We have no intention of celebrating our centenary, let alone making a celebratory model of it! One might well ask: why?

To give a serious answer, one must try to enter into the Rolex mentality. The Geneva-based company, in fact, has always shunned any type of limited or special series (the few that are considered such have in reality been the 'work' of the various local distributors and not of the parent company), considering them to be 'contrary' to its own construction philosophy based on maximum uniformity, quality and performance.

In order to better understand the sphere in which we are moving, we must remember that Rolex is a company that alone sells as much as entire watchmaking groups put together, and rightly does not follow the commercial and marketing policies necessary, if not indispensable, to much smaller realities both in terms of pieces produced and turnover. Numbers come to our aid to better understand what has been said so far. Rolex theoretically sells over 700,000 watches a year (to help us in this estimate, for example, are the figures of the COSC, which in 2005 certified 667,080 Rolex movements, to which all the non-COSC models and the Tudors must be added), while for example Vacheron Costantin arrives at around 17,000 pieces a year, IWC has 50,000 pieces (declared in 2003), A. Lange & Söhne reaches just over 1,000 pieces a year, and A. Lange & Söhne has just over 1,000 pieces a year. Lange & Söhne barely reaches 5,000 pieces/year (declared in 2004). One more comparison gives us an idea of the greatness of this company: Patek Philippe in its first 150 years of history produced a total of about 600,000 watches, thus less than the annual production of Rolex!...>>

...enough to believe? We shall see...