I'm a recent collector with only relatively budget purchases so far. But that doesn't stop me dreaming of buying something higher end in the future.
I can tell you now that my future expensive or grail watch will NOT be a Rolex.
That's not to say I don't admire some of their watches and very much respect their history as any watch enthusiast really should.
However I have had such shockingly poor customer service at three seperate Rolex outlets in London that I have lost any will to purchase one of their watches.
I'm aware that as a new customer you can't purchase a new watch in their stores. I have tried to buy a submariner, a datejust and an explorer. These were displayed but not available.
At two of the stores I was not even allowed to try one on or have a closer look!
At my last visit the sales team member did not even leave his seat to properly engage with me and was completely disinterested. I was with my wife on that occasion and she was flabbergasted by the unfriendliness of staff.
I'm a middle aged articulate and reasonably smart bloke so I would have thought I warranted at least a modicum of interest as a potential purchaser.
At one of the dealers my details were placed on the " non waiting list" which is really a register of interest and is a pretty pointless exercise. Two of my friends have been on such registers for several years and still don't own a Rolex.
I do understand that Rolex are concerned with punters flipping watches as soon as they are purchased.
1Zepolkcir published a really interesting article on this subject on watchcrunch for those interested and that opened my eyes to flipping watches for reasons other than making fast cash.
I also understand that if you are an existing customer with history you may be able to buy a new Rolex this side of the armagedon or that if you are really fortunate you can buy a less popular "ladies" model as a route in BUT as a prospective new customer really Rolex??
There is an actual waiting list for Porsche, Audi , BMW, Range Rover etc due to the chip shortage. But you get given an expected delivery date and you are regularly updated by the dealership. Imagine that Rolex?
My friend is an Omega person by way of comparison and I have been with him at a dealership where we were treated in a friendly manner by enthusiastic staff who actually SOLD him the watch he was after! Just imagine that.
I believe most brands use that business model and it seems to work .
I'm not a Rolex hater as previously stated but their new customer service is truly awful.
Frankly what is the point of a Rolex Shop for any body except existing customers (those fortunate few)?
I realise this post may ruffle a few feathers amongst existing Rolex owners but I feel it needs to be said and Rolex are failing and therefore losing a large number of potential customers.