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EXCLUSIVE: More than one in ten wealthy Americans want to buy a Rolex this year


A survey by investment bank RBC Capital Markets has found that 12.3% of affluent Americans intend to buy a Rolex watch this year.

The survey asked for purchasing intentions for 720 affluent US consumers with an annual household income in excess of $100,000 in December last year. 61% of respondents had household income of over $150,000. 46% were male and 54% female.

Around one quarter of all households in the United States have annual income of more than $100,000 according to US Census Data.


Unsurprisingly, Rolex is comfortably the most likely watch to be bought in 2019, wanted by 12.3% of the sample, followed by TAG Heuer, which 8.6% intend to buy this year.

Cartier came third with 7.9% intending to buy, a reflection perhaps of the slight weighting towards females in the sample of 720 people who took the survey.



Omega, Breitling and Patek Philippe all made the top 10, but major brands including Audemars Piguet, IWC, Panerai and Hublot ranked lower.

The survey also examined brand awareness for 12 leading luxury brands: Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Rolex, Hermes, Cartier, Prada, Burberry, Omega, Bvlgari, Ferragamo and Tod’s, and found that Rolex is perceived as the most exclusive brand, followed by Cartier, Prada and Louis Vuitton. Burberry, Ferragamo, Omega and Tod’s are perceived as less exclusive.

Rolex and Cartier are the stand out brands when people were asked about the perception of superior quality.

Rolex leads on four out of seven core brand attributes, coming top for being ‘exclusive’, ‘innovative’, ‘superior quality’ and ‘distinctive’. Cartier is considered the most ‘beautiful’.

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  1. I also think that a lot of people don’t know all the brands too. Hermes for example is the number one brand for the wealthy Asian with Chanel being second. Patek Philippe is also consider the most prestige watch for the Asian. A lot has to do with what you consider rich. The survey was for people making over $ 100,000. Sorry to say but in California a $100,000 is not considered rich. If you were to survey people in the $500,000+ I’m sure the answers will be very different.

  2. Clearly, Rolex is the “Gold Standard” of quality and prestige. Rolex is the “Go To” watch for the vast majority of discerning people who appreciate and expect superior the finest workmanship and aesthetics.
    Rolex watches are the apotheosis of a great watch and the brand has become synonymous with perfection in appearance and functionality.
    In conversations with hundreds of Rolex watch owners over the past forty years I would say that easily ninety percent have conveyed absolute that their watches bring tremendous joy and satisfaction.
    Rolex is the watch to take if you are going anywhere because they effortlessly and seamlessly straddle so many delineations by not being too dressy or too nerdy or too gizmo or too pigeonholed in any particular genre or milieu.
    From President Dwight David Eisenhower to U.S. Navy Seals to the iconic American actor philanthropist Paul Newman–Rolex watches are THE single greatest addition to anyone’s life and wardrobe.


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