Rolex raised prices in the United Kingdom by an average of 7.4% on January 1, but not all price rises are created equal.
Analysis by WatchPro shows that increases for some of the most in-demand Oystersteel watches have been increased by almost 10%, far greater than hikes for models in white or yellow gold.
Prices have not changed in the United States as the increase in the UK is being used to reduce the advantage UK retailers have enjoyed since the pound weakened dramatically after the country voted for Brexit.
Different price rises suggest the world’s largest luxury watchmaker is hoping to ‘nudge’ customers towards choosing watches in precious metals as it deals with massive waiting lists for steel professional models.
And why would they not when a mint condition steel Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116500 LN is selling on sites like Watchbox and Watchfinder for over $30,000 and the same watch in white gold, the 116519 LN, has a retail price at authorized dealers of just $30,810.
The largest price rises in the UK were reserved for watches with long waiting lists including the 40mm Rolex Submariner 114060 in Oystersteel, which has gone up by 9.6% to £6,300 and the GMT Master II 126710 BLNR, which is 8.4% more expensive today at £7,750.
These compare to the like of the 18ct white gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116519 LN, which is up a more modest 7.4% to £23,800 and the Oystersteel and yellow gold Sea Dweller 126603, which has risen by 7.3% to £13,300.
Interestingly, the highest price rise among the models tracked by WatchPro was for a 41mm Oystersteel DateJust 126300, which jumped by 10.5% on January 1 to £6,300.