The Dreaded 'R' word

On another forum, I asked a question about Rolex and was just looking for an idea of why everyone was hating on them.  I was basically told to go find another forum.

Hopefully this place is a little more relaxed on topics?

Thanks.

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You'll find this place to be pretty welcoming. 

As for your question, the reasons will vary for each person, but for me my disinterest in Rolex comes from the obnoxious Rolex bros I've encountered online, and the mainstream popularity. 

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I am indifferent to Rolex, but not a hater by any means. I think that people resent Rolex culture more than they resent the actual watch.

It's kind of like hating Tom Brady.  By some measures he is the best.  By others he is not. If he plays for your team you love him.  If he doesn't you find fault with him whenever you can.

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The reason (I've found) a lot of watch enthusiasts hate rolex is the same reason a lot of car guys hate ferraris. Yeah, they are incredible things, with a heritage most other brands would kill for, but EVERYONE knows ferrari. Every supercar becomes a Ferrari. What's that? You've bought a Nissan R35 GTR? Why not a ferrari? Then you get on to those guys n gals who get a bit of money and instead of doing their research they march down to the dealer, plonk down 100K and say "one ferrari please" cos to them Ferrari=Success, be it LaFerrari or Ferrari Enzo, they don't care. Plus those flexposts on Instagram= no thanks, the hardcore guys will go Porsche 911 GT3RS/Grand Seiko SBGA285. That doesn't even cover the dealer shenanigans. 

'You want to buy a GMT master 2/ Ferrari F8? Oh sure. Buy 3 other things first then we may consider letting you on a list.

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i believe most of us didnt hate rolex as a watch. its a great watch, and many other watch design got an idea from rolex design. its just some people and "flex" culture around it made people hate rolex brand

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I own many, but I also own a ton of other brands too. Here is where the dislike comes into play, fair or not:

  • Culture - Sadly, they are often associated with flex culture and a lot of people want nothing to do with folks who do. Do many desk diving bros who bought them for status own them? Yep. Do an even greater number of watch enthusiasts who love their heritage, build, design, etc own them? Also true. 
  • Unavailability - It has been a long a time since one has been able to walk into an AD and get a hot model. Almost 40 years if you want a Daytona. Rolex is about exclusivity and the ADs do not make it any easier. Unfortunately, with covid, even basic models became hard to come by. They used to be aspirational pieces to get to mark a milestone. Sadly, people looking to do so are now left looking at other brands.
  • AD Network - Rolex does not sell watches directly. They do not control which clients get which watches, short of a sponsorship. You have to go through an AD which are independently owned and operated. 99.999% of said operators sell watches to the customers that take care of them, which means their best customers who do repeated business. Many ADs agents are straight up snobs and will profile. It is unfortunate, but thankfully there are many great ones out there too. 
  • Lack of transparency - To the last bullet, ADs vary on how and who watches are distributed to. General rule of thumb is, the more you spend on non-Rolex products, the more likely you are to get the Rolex you want. Be it jewelry, other brand watches, etc. Is it fair? I would counter, if you ran a business that sells 10 items, and one of the ten items sells itself where as the other 9 items sit in inventory locking up capital. What strategy would you implement to distribute the hot item?   No on likes that aspect, but anyone who has even a rudimentary sense of business and economics would have a similar “You take care of the customers that take care of you” approach.  Business 101.
  • Flippers - Many folks buy and sell for a quick profit leaving genuine buyers empty handed. Most Rolexes sold on the secondary market are between grey dealers. They are more or less used as a commodity with dealers speculating on future values. Everyone dislikes flippers. 
  • Lack of design - The old adage goes, being in charge of designing the new Rolex and Porsche 911 is the easiest job in the world. They move at a glacial pace and they want to make timeless watches. Does that come at the cost of being perceived as boring? Yep. But, like the 911, there is a reason one does not mess with the formula. When they do branch out, others tend to follow; IE look at how many other brands came out with color collections after the OPs in 2019.
  • Cost/Value - The perception (to some) is they are not worth the money, other brands have technically better watches at better prices, better finishing, etc. Yep, they do and there are. At MSRP, I will still argue Rolex is a heck of a value. Above MSRP? Nope, no way. It is also one of the rare few that will hold it’s value over decades and in many cases be worth more. Few other brands can say that. 
  • They should make more watches - They want exclusivity, or at least the perception of exclusivity. They already make more than most other brands, but that is not the world they play in. Like other luxury brands, they want them to be aspirational pieces. 
  • Conspiracy theories - They sell out the door to flippers, they only sell to money launderers, etc.  While there may be one off cases where this is true, Most ADs would not risk their cash cow for games. Not to mention every watch coming in and out of a dealer is meticulously tracked via CRM. Folks will argue this point vehemently with little to no evidence, or post the same article about CD Peacock, or other dealers accused of foul play. Yes, shenanigans happens, there are rogue ADs and SAs, but certainly not on a large scale to warrant conspiracies especially when you consider many of the ADs are owned by massive corps.

So yes, one can reasonably pick one or all of the above as a reason to not like the brand. That is the beauty of this hobby, there are many others brands to choose from. I will never understand how anyone can “hate” on something as silly as an individual brand.

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Aurelian

I am indifferent to Rolex, but not a hater by any means. I think that people resent Rolex culture more than they resent the actual watch.

It's kind of like hating Tom Brady.  By some measures he is the best.  By others he is not. If he plays for your team you love him.  If he doesn't you find fault with him whenever you can.

Him in those Hertz commercials…good lord!

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Scooby

The reason (I've found) a lot of watch enthusiasts hate rolex is the same reason a lot of car guys hate ferraris. Yeah, they are incredible things, with a heritage most other brands would kill for, but EVERYONE knows ferrari. Every supercar becomes a Ferrari. What's that? You've bought a Nissan R35 GTR? Why not a ferrari? Then you get on to those guys n gals who get a bit of money and instead of doing their research they march down to the dealer, plonk down 100K and say "one ferrari please" cos to them Ferrari=Success, be it LaFerrari or Ferrari Enzo, they don't care. Plus those flexposts on Instagram= no thanks, the hardcore guys will go Porsche 911 GT3RS/Grand Seiko SBGA285. That doesn't even cover the dealer shenanigans. 

'You want to buy a GMT master 2/ Ferrari F8? Oh sure. Buy 3 other things first then we may consider letting you on a list.

Those Ferraris can be a bit finicky.

Image
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I love older Rolex stuff, but the new stuff isnt my style (too big) and all the hoopla it takes to get one turns me off.  I am probably going to pic up a 5 digit sub or exp II in the next year and I am hoping all the hype is finally dying down.  

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I think that @AllTheWatches summed it up perfectly - the "hate" is about the brand connotations and the difficulty in obtaining the hyped models, and not based on the watches themselves. I have a few Rolexes and in my opinion they are great watches, at par with their competition at similar price levels based on MSRP.  

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@AllTheWatches covered it to perfection. Welcome to Watch Crunch BTW! You can love Rolex here. I've owned,  sold, gifted many Rolex. Currently I only own one to my wife's three! She's a bigger fan. Rolex makes great watches. At retail , the product is worth the price. Rolex markets and "Brands" their brand like no other. The Oyster water resistance was originally marketed on a failed attempt to swim the English Channel. The Explorer I was marketed by Sir Edmond Hillary but he wasn't wearing a Rolex to Everest. The Milgauss allegedly is the first watch to address AntiMagnetic technology. Before Rolex started making sports watch options there were simple wristwatches. This shift created subcategories to focus on; Pilot, Field  Dive, Sailing,Racing. That category focus was helpful for many brands building watches during  WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam etc. Rolex as a brand name was invented to sound cool, a luxury and technical marvel. This genius marketing has to build a few haters.

 What few people talk about now is that Rolex is a non-profit organization. It's founders created this organization so that Rolex profits would be used for worthy causes.  I don't know if Rolex doesn't publish what causes receive their assistance. I think Rolex doesn't want that info passed around. Rolex haters never mention this about the company.  I think it's because they are jealousy mad about not owning a Rolex. You hate the club you stand outside in aline for but never get in. Rolex makes great watches. There are so many great options besides this brand. Like Ferrari,  Rolex has pushed the whole industry to be better. We all benefit from this push. 

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AllTheWatches

I own many, but I also own a ton of other brands too. Here is where the dislike comes into play, fair or not:

  • Culture - Sadly, they are often associated with flex culture and a lot of people want nothing to do with folks who do. Do many desk diving bros who bought them for status own them? Yep. Do an even greater number of watch enthusiasts who love their heritage, build, design, etc own them? Also true. 
  • Unavailability - It has been a long a time since one has been able to walk into an AD and get a hot model. Almost 40 years if you want a Daytona. Rolex is about exclusivity and the ADs do not make it any easier. Unfortunately, with covid, even basic models became hard to come by. They used to be aspirational pieces to get to mark a milestone. Sadly, people looking to do so are now left looking at other brands.
  • AD Network - Rolex does not sell watches directly. They do not control which clients get which watches, short of a sponsorship. You have to go through an AD which are independently owned and operated. 99.999% of said operators sell watches to the customers that take care of them, which means their best customers who do repeated business. Many ADs agents are straight up snobs and will profile. It is unfortunate, but thankfully there are many great ones out there too. 
  • Lack of transparency - To the last bullet, ADs vary on how and who watches are distributed to. General rule of thumb is, the more you spend on non-Rolex products, the more likely you are to get the Rolex you want. Be it jewelry, other brand watches, etc. Is it fair? I would counter, if you ran a business that sells 10 items, and one of the ten items sells itself where as the other 9 items sit in inventory locking up capital. What strategy would you implement to distribute the hot item?   No on likes that aspect, but anyone who has even a rudimentary sense of business and economics would have a similar “You take care of the customers that take care of you” approach.  Business 101.
  • Flippers - Many folks buy and sell for a quick profit leaving genuine buyers empty handed. Most Rolexes sold on the secondary market are between grey dealers. They are more or less used as a commodity with dealers speculating on future values. Everyone dislikes flippers. 
  • Lack of design - The old adage goes, being in charge of designing the new Rolex and Porsche 911 is the easiest job in the world. They move at a glacial pace and they want to make timeless watches. Does that come at the cost of being perceived as boring? Yep. But, like the 911, there is a reason one does not mess with the formula. When they do branch out, others tend to follow; IE look at how many other brands came out with color collections after the OPs in 2019.
  • Cost/Value - The perception (to some) is they are not worth the money, other brands have technically better watches at better prices, better finishing, etc. Yep, they do and there are. At MSRP, I will still argue Rolex is a heck of a value. Above MSRP? Nope, no way. It is also one of the rare few that will hold it’s value over decades and in many cases be worth more. Few other brands can say that. 
  • They should make more watches - They want exclusivity, or at least the perception of exclusivity. They already make more than most other brands, but that is not the world they play in. Like other luxury brands, they want them to be aspirational pieces. 
  • Conspiracy theories - They sell out the door to flippers, they only sell to money launderers, etc.  While there may be one off cases where this is true, Most ADs would not risk their cash cow for games. Not to mention every watch coming in and out of a dealer is meticulously tracked via CRM. Folks will argue this point vehemently with little to no evidence, or post the same article about CD Peacock, or other dealers accused of foul play. Yes, shenanigans happens, there are rogue ADs and SAs, but certainly not on a large scale to warrant conspiracies especially when you consider many of the ADs are owned by massive corps.

So yes, one can reasonably pick one or all of the above as a reason to not like the brand. That is the beauty of this hobby, there are many others brands to choose from. I will never understand how anyone can “hate” on something as silly as an individual brand.

I mean… you’re not gonna get a better answer than that!! Such a brilliant contribution there, big man. Thank you! 🙏🏼

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That because no Rolex AD will sell you a watch and they are always out of stock. Unless you a "A" list celebrity or Royalty in which case you go to the front of the line. 😕

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DariusII

Those Ferraris can be a bit finicky.

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Do you have a pic of a Rolex on Fire 🤣

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From the perspective of Rolex owner....I enjoy the watches.  Like a lot. They're really well made, they're tough, toolish and versatile.  

The problem is that wearing them has become such a signal of conspicuous wealth that I feel uncomfortable doing it.  Not from a safety perspective but from the weird assumptions people make about you when you show up with something flashy on the wrist that they recognize.

I actually don't really wear my Rolexes as much anymore because I actually find they distract people (who don't know me already) from the conversations I'm trying to have with them.  It's just become too much of a thing.

And even though I tend to like the flowering of watch creativity that has happened because of the  Rolex waitlists, the grey market profiteering over the past few years has been gross and the actions of some of the ADs is scummy.

Still, no hate for the watches nor most of the ADs who sell them.  Some dislike for the childish flex culture around them.

The end result is less wrist time.

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DariusII

Those Ferraris can be a bit finicky.

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Ferrucio Lamborghini's wet dream