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Rolex takes the crown as number one consumer brand across the pond

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Rolex has been named as the UK’s number one consumer brand, moving up four places from 2019 to take the crown on Superbrands UK’s annual list.

Lego, the previous winner meanwhile moved from first to fifth place, whilst Visa, Samsung and Andrex snuck in at second, third, and fourth consecutively.

All above brands trumped tech giant and smartwatch titan, Apple, which came in at sixth place this year compared to its previous ranking of second.

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The news comes as latest figures show how Rolex UK sales soared to over £415m ahead of the covid-19 pandemic.

As WatchPro reported last month, thanks to accounting laws in the United Kingdom, Rolex Watch Company Ltd, the wholly-owned distributor for Rolex (and the founding company of Rolex when it emerged in London in 1915), has to publish its financial results every year.

Giving context to the results, the total value of all watches sold at all price points in 2019 — at retail prices — was £1.49 billion, down a whisker from £1.51 billion in 2018, according to analyst GfK.

Swiss watch export figures tell broadly the same story, with the UK rising from a market worth CHF 1.2 billion in 2018 to CHF 1.3 billion in 2019. This is a measure of wholesale value.

In short, the overall UK watch market was flat last year – a trend Rolex did not fellow.

Accounts published at the government-owned Companies House show revenue for Rolex, including Tudor, rising by 13%, from £367 million to £415 million. That amounts to around £700 million at retail prices.

Operating profit shot up by 27% to £70.2 million.

If Morgan Stanley’s estimate of Rolex global turnover estimate of CHF 5.2 billion (£4.4bn) is correct, that would mean just shy of 10% of Rolex global sales came from the UK.

Commenting on Rolex taking the top spot, Damon Segal, CEO and co-founder of The Academy of Chief Marketers, and Chief Executive Officer at Superbrands UK, said: “Huge congratulations to Rolex on achieving number one consumer Superbrand status, continuing its consistent and strong performance over the past few years.

“Whilst we have seen general steadiness in the last year, brands should not rest on their laurels, this year has seen momentous change in consumer behaviour, and this is likely to cause huge waves in terms of perceptions moving into 2021.”

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Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas