New year, new Rolex price tags.
The Swiss watchmaker has now increased prices in the US and UK markets by an average of roughly 2.5 percent in 2023, according to analysts at Barclays. Timepieces from the brand in UK boutiques have reportedly seen an average price hike of about 2.6 percent, while costs in the US trail closely behind at an increase of around 2.2 percent. Retailers carrying stock such as Watches of Switzerland, the biggest Rolex distributor in the UK, will greatly benefit from the hikes, as the dealer makes half of its revenue from the company, reported Business of Fashion.
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Rolex is known to boost prices annually, typically in January. Around this time last year, the Swiss watchmaker hiked prices on a number of its classic timepieces. The change saw the Oyster Perpetual model, which retailed for $5,900 in 2021, surge to $6,150 at American dealers. The Submariner, another favorite among watch collectors, also saw an insane 10.5 percent jump from $8,100 in 2021 to $8,950 in 2022.
These latest increases could signify that the Swiss watchmaker sees lifting prices as a way to protect its profit margins amid rising inflation. In addition to changes made at the beginning of 2022, Rolex raised the cost of models, such as the Submariner and the Daytona, last September and a third time in November in response to currency fluctuations and the strong US dollar.
“Investors are well-accustomed to price rises being a key feature of this attractive industry, but it is encouraging to see this continue given that we believe it will have no discernible impact on volumes,” say Barclays analysts Richard Taylor and Pallav Mittal in a note to clients.
In a move that may help with supply, Rolex is reportedly planning to build a new Swiss factory worth $1 billion. The new Lake Geneva space, sitting on 1 million square feet of land, would join the manufacture’s other production sites in Switzerland, including assembly plants in Geneva and a movements production site in Bienne.
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