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No word yet on Rolex price rises, but retailers expect imminent hike

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Rolex did not increase prices in the United States at the time of its presentation of new watches at Watches and Wonders, but it can only be a matter of time if Watches of Switzerland Group CFO Anders Romberg’s analysis proves sound.

In a conference call with investment analysts today, Mr Romberg said there had been no word from Rolex on pricing and that no price rises were factored into forward guidance for the 2022 financial year.

He did say that rising commodity prices, particularly gold, and currency movements of the US dollar and Swiss franc were reasons why watches from Rolex and others could become more expensive this year.

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The dollar is down around 10% against the Swiss dollar over the past 12 months.

Supply also continues to be “constrained” for Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, WOSG chief executive Brian Duffy added.

The group “bought confidently during lock down,” Mr Duffy described, which he said proved to be a wise decision as demand snapped back after stores reopened.

An interesting insight from Mr Romberg was that, unlike most retailers, Watches of Switzerland Group is comfortable if inventory levels rise.

Ordinarily a cost to a retail business, Mr Romberg says inventory is an asset, not a liability, because it holds or rises in value. “I wish we had a lot more Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe,” he said.

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