According to Forbes, Rolex is one of the top 100 most recognized and most powerful brands in the world. The name “Rolex” is immediately recognized by people all over the world, even those un-affiliated with the luxury watch industry. Rolex can credit this brand recognition to its work on its brand image and positioning.
People both inside and outside of the luxury watch world recognize the name “Rolex.” People associate the brand name with success and luxury and imagine Rolex wearers to live a lavish lifestyle. A Rolex watch can be used as a status symbol, showing people that the wearer has achieved a level of success and stability, which have allowed them the means to purchase a Rolex watch.
This strong and positive brand image can largely be attributed to the people that are seen wearing Rolex watches. Today, many celebrities and athletes are seen wearing Rolex watches. This idea started in 1927 when Hans Wilsdorf had Mercedes Gleitze wear a Rolex Oyster around her neck as she attempted to become the first woman to swim across the English Channel. The Rolex Oyster was the world’s first water proof wrist watch and this was the perfect way to prove its functionality because people all over the world were following the story of Mercedes Gleitze.
Today, athletes such as Phil Mickelson, Roger Federer, and Lindsay Vonn are proud Rolex ambassadors, often spotted wearing their Rolex watches. Celebrities, like Jennifer Aniston, as well as historical figures, such as Martin Luther King and Ronald Reagan, proudly wore their Rolex watches as well. That’s just a few of the celebrities known for wearing rolex watches.
This brand positioning, started by Wilsdorf in 1927, ensures that Rolex watches are constantly out in the face of the public, as well as being associated with the wealthy and successful. When those unfamiliar with the luxury watch industry see their favorite athlete or celebrity wearing a Rolex watch, it creates interest and curiosity in the piece. Rolex watches are then perceived to be the watch of choice for the rich, successful, and famous, giving the brand an image of superiority.
For those that are entrenched in the watch world, they appreciate Rolex for its accomplishments and see the brand as a leader in the watch industry. Rolex created the world’s first water proof watch, calling it the Oyster. It also introduced one of the first self-winding watches, the Rolex Perpetual. Because of these accomplishments, many watch enthusiast praise the brand for its innovative nature, as well as its ability to design classic watches that remain true to the core design of Rolex.
While most luxury watch brands consistently introduce brand new watch models, Rolex introduces upgrades and changes to their existing models. By doing this, it keeps all of the Rolex models relevant and does not over crowd the Rolex inventory with numerous different models.
Another way that Rolex has built its brand image is through the use of authorized Rolex dealers. Rolex prohibits the sale of brand new watches online, limiting the places that interested customers can purchase a Rolex watch. Rolex also has strict importation restrictions on its watches, as it is illegal to import or export a watch into or out of the United States. By limiting the places and ways to purchase a Rolex watch, it makes it more difficult to purchase one, giving the brand a sense of exclusivity and rarity, which increases the perceived value of the Rolex watch.
Because of its high-profile endorsements, innovative nature, and restrictions on importation, Rolex has an image of superiority and exclusivity, making it a very desirable brand.
If you’re interested in reading more about the Rolex brand, visit our main Rolex page for Rolex history and resources. Or, if you’re a Rolex owner interested in receiving valuation of your Rolex, submit your information for a Rolex watch quote.