British results for Rolex give clues to sales worldwide and in the United States

Rolex does not publish financial results. Except in the United Kingdom its wholly-owned subsidiary is legally required to do so. And, with a bit of mathematics based on the UK’s share of the global Swiss watch industry, we can get a rough guide to how the world’s biggest traditional watchmaker is faring.

In 2017, sales for The Rolex Watch Company Ltd., the UK business responsible for distribution, service and support for Rolex and Tudor in the UK and Ireland, topped £329m ($427m) in 2017; up from £268m ($348m) in 2016. These figures are taken directly from the company’s accounts that are published at a government run organization called Companies House.

Exports of Swiss watches to the UK in 2017, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, were 6.5% of the global total.

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If sales of Rolex in the UK also represent 6.5% of its global turnover (and I appreciate this is far from certain) then the group’s global sales, excluding retail sales in Switzerland, would have been $6.57 billion in 2017.

The United States accounted for 12.7% of all Swiss watch exports in 2017. If the country’s share of Rolex watches was the same, then the US turnover for Rolex would have been $677 million. This would be a wholesale figure. The value at retail prices would be well over $1 billion.

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