Rolex is one of the worlds top luxury brands according to the experts who calculate and publish statistics on brand values, but beyond the financial value, what makes them so special to so many people ?
In my opinion, it is Quality, Heritage and Aesthetics.
Aesthetics are subjective and down to personal taste, and the heritage of Rolex is impressive but probably no more outstanding than some other brands, so is the differentiator quality ? Let’s explore some of the factors that drive their quality.
Virtually every Rolex component is manufactured in house.
An in-house manufacture is thought desirable because of the perception that such movements are more exclusive, or of higher quality, or that it’s more traditional. All of these points could have counter-arguments, but it does mean that Rolex have complete control over the manufacture and testing of every single component
Did you know – Rolex even have their own in-house foundry to make their own gold ! – Rolex control the production and machining of their gold, so they are able to ensure not only quality, but the best looking parts.
Rolex use a superior stainless steel in their watches.
The majority of stainless steel watches today are made with a stainless steel called 316L.
Rolex uses a steel called 904L, which is claimed to be more corrosion resistant and a harder steel. In fact there is only a tiny difference between the two, but the 904L is believed to polish better, so has better aesthetic properties.
The 904L steel is more expensive and is harder to mould, but it is another example of Rolex doing small things differently to ensure the highest quality for their customers.
Rolex movements are hand assembled and tested.
Everything from Rolex movements to bracelets are assembled by hand. A machine however helps with doing things such as applying the right pressure when attaching pins, aligning parts, and pressing down hands.
It would be an understatement to suggest that Rolex are obsessive about quality control. A predominant theme in the manufacture is that things are checked, re-checked, and then checked again.
These are some of the factors that make this iconic brand so good.