Turning Your Gadgets (Handsets) into valuable Assets: The Cleverest Lessons From Rolex – (A Master Piece)-

Turning Your Gadgets (Handsets) into valuable Assets:

The Cleverest Lessons From Rolex

– (A Master Piece)-

I can only hope it is of much concern to everyone else as it is to me to know that having a couple of gadgets or devices like tablets, handsets, headsets and so on doesn’t retain as much value as they hold the moment they are bought and torn off their packs. It is even worse to know that, whether or not, these gadgets or devices are bought and used, they lose their value either way and more often than none, their curve pattern of their fall in price/value is that of a nose drive.

There’s an old adage that says the minute you drive a new car off the lot, it depreciates instantly. The same is true of almost all the today expensive gadgets and devices we all buy either to feel trendy, classy or for whatever reasons. However, like cars and houses, a Rolex has a significant value throughout its life. Unlike those two examples, the value of a Rolex doesn’t devalue as much over time.

We all know Rolex is a watch brand but it is not just any brand. Even, it is not just any fine Swiss watch brand. Ever had the saying, ‘Rolex watches are just as good as money’? An original Rolex watch is, relatively, worth as much as it was at the point of purchase even after several years of usage and it sometimes could worth more like an antique that it really is. In short, Rolex is a product of its own: respected; admired; valued; known across the globe and long/forever-lasting.

Sometimes I sit back and think about all that Rolex is and how it has come to be comparable with assets like home, and find it hard to believe that at the end of the day, they just are makers of watch. However, what is most interesting to know about Rolex is that it didn’t start off on this prestigious foot because they began in 1905 in London where they have always produced high quality watches before they moved to Switzerland. But until the 1980’s they were nowhere near as expensive and notable as today.

Although some owed the reason behind this sudden hike in price to the “yuppie” movement which began at around that time, 1980 – a movement which was a new class of young, wealthy people who began purchasing new flashy materials to display their wealth and newfound status and gave massive preference to Rolex. But research have come of age to know there is more than it meets the eye when it comes to Rolex than the few decade old “yuppie” movement. It is what has being captioned in the question, “What makes ‘Rolex a Rolex’ ”?

Knowing what it is that makes ‘Rolex a Rolex’ is capable to turn that ‘ordinary ’gadget or devices you are holding into a much more valuable asset that Rolex is. That is, the adoption of all that it is that makes ‘Rolex a Rolex’ can be infuse into any gadget to bring out the monetary-value, time-value and social-value (ostentatious) Rolex exhibits.

In accordance, the purpose of this article is to give you a clear cut view of how Rolex walked up the ladder of excellence and prestige and how they have been able to create value that is even universally comparable to a home – an asset in accounting books. In fact, Pre-owned Rolex makes sense because they are a way of owning something sublime without having to re-mortgage your home. Some of these key points include;

1) Thorough and Self- containing

It takes about a year to make a single Rolex watch and every Rolex movement undergoes an extensive ‘exacting’ process, which can take well over a year to complete. You probably know how it feels like being in school for a year without even inventing or creating anything. It goes to show you how painstakingly Rolex goes at making their watches. Rolex produces almost a million watches a year, but surprisingly, no shortcuts are taken in the manufacturing process.

A predominant theme in the manufacturing of a Rolex watch is ‘leave no stone unturned’. Things are checked, re-checked, and then checked again. Rolex subject their watches through an optical sensor scans that only less than one in a thousand watches passes. After being air pressure tested, Rolex proceeds to test the water resistance of each and every Rolex Submariner and Deep Sea watch in actual water. Rolex also reports that in the years they have been testing diamonds; only two in 20 million have been inferior. You can do the probability; it’s a very close to zero chance that they go wrong or make a mistake in their manufacturing.

     

Rolex is thorough in-out. Rolex test their watches in extreme conditions of temperature, depth and environment to check its mechanical excellence as well as checking it for aesthetic discrepancies. That is, they pay relatively equal attention to the craftsmanship of the watch inside as they do on the outside. Rolex uses a type of steel that no one else uses for all their steel watches since 2003, 904L steel. Steel which is more expensive, requires special tools and skills, and is overall more difficult to work with.

More so, finding the most durable material for the Bezel was a challenge for Rolex, so it decided to make its own ceramic instead. The entire bezel which Rolex uses is virtually indestructible, resistant to scratches and has been built to withstand more abrasion than any other part of the watch. Rolex bezel which takes more than 40 hours to produce is heated to 1,500 degrees, hardened and purified and then sprayed with gold and polished extensively until the numerals emerge.

Rolex makes virtually everything in-house as a totally vertically integrated manufacturer which earns them an undiluted quality. In addition, Rolex makes their own gold. As matter of fact, all the gold and platinum used by Rolex is made in-house and as far as we know, pretty much no one else that does. To our knowledge Rolex is the only watch manufacture that makes their own gold or even has a real foundry in-house. Because Rolex controls the production and machining of their gold, they are able to strictly ensure not only quality, but the best

Rolex is about the highest manufacturing company and watch maker with highest quality control. It feels as though their goal is to ensure that if a Rolex watch fails, it does so before it leaves the factory. Rolex has stress test room where watch movements, bracelets, and cases undergo simulated wear and abuse on custom-made machines and robots. Large teams of watch engineers and assemblers work on every single movement that Rolex produces. This is before and after their movements are sent to COSC for chronometer certification. Even at that, Rolex re-examines their movements for accuracy after they are cased for several days while simulating wear before they are sent out to retailers.

Rolex are resolute about quality and their quality control techniques. Every Rolex movement is a certified Swiss chronometer which interprets as long-term high performance. Rolex don’t mind if process is all consuming. The complete move from 316 L steel to 904L steel in 2003 is a perfect example. Rolex had to replace most of their steel working machines and tools to deal with 904L steel. Likewise, the change from aluminium to ceramic bezel inserts is another perfect example

In the same light, Rolex have diverse highly equipped and hi-tech labs full of highly trained scientists. What is it mostly used for? Well one thing that Rolex stated is that the lab is used for developing and researching oils and lubricants that they use in machines during the manufacturing process and the maintenance of their time-pieces.

 

 

 

2) Pushing Boundaries and Pace Setting – Excellence

Rolex is known for pushing the boundaries when it comes to watch technology concerned with the three main elements of world; water, air and earth. For the finest of quality timepieces, Rolex maintains a level unmatching excellence in these three nodal points.

For example, a watch is only as precise as its oscillator is regular and the Blue Parachrom Hairspring is unaffected by magnetic fields and ten times more resistant to shock than a standard hair spring. There by affording their watches to deliver absolute accuracy within a Rolex watch in more adverse or out-of-sight conditions that limit other watches.

The man pictured in the Rolex ad is Ed Viesturs, the world’s greatest climber and first American to summit all fourteen of the world’s 8000 meter peaks.

In the same vein, back in 1926 Rolex made the world’s first waterproof watch, the Oyster model. All Rolex Oyster case watches are thoroughly tested for water resistance. Today, dive watches like Deep-Sea receive a separate treatment all together. They aren’t only being tested under air-pressure but also under water pressure with a machine that takes well over an hour and measures each watch to a pressure equivalent to 12,000 meters deep. Rolex employs a complex system for testing if water enters into the case of any of it watches.

Rolex has labs whose purpose isn’t just to research new watches and things that may go into watches, but also to research more effective and efficient manufacturing techniques. Rolex produces its own patented materials, such as Everose Gold. They are a pioneer, boundary-pusher and pacesetter of excellent watch technology. Almost every technology or craftsmanship Rolex uses is patented because they own it. One thing is for sure, you can’t take research (labs) away from king of watch makers, Rolex.

 

3) Originality of Craftsmanship

The truth is that Rolex watches are given all the hands-on human attention. Rolex watches are hand-finished and polished. There are many elements of making watches at Rolex that is done by a skilled human being. It may interest you to know that one of the most impressive facts about Rolex watches is that all of the applied hour markers are set individually by hand. So individual hour markers are applied and riveted by hand. In actual fact, everything from Rolex movements to bracelets are assembled by hand.

Rolex employs traditional jewellers to create custom settings for stones in their most exclusive watches, done using the same processes employed in creating the world’s finest jewellery. Each and every diamond or precious stone (no matter how large or small) on a Rolex watch is hand-selected and hand-set.

 

Human and Robot – However, Rolex is very pragmatic, if a human does it better, then let a human do it, if a machine does it better, then let a machine do it. Rolex uses machines in their patent processes. These machines are really used for tasks that humans aren’t as good at. These include sorting, aligning, filing, cataloguing, pressure-applying and very delicate procedures that involve the type of care you want a machine to handle. Most of these machines are still human-operated though.

Rolex has learned that a human eye is better trained to spot problems and work by it. They know the limitations of computer/ programs and go the extra length to make up it via very competent human craftsmanship. A computer can only detect an error or mistake that has been programmed into it to but a human can do a lot better. A human has a mind of its own not subject to programs which makes Rolex watches more pragmatic in real life and a ‘survivor’ sort of.

Digital and Analog Technology- Rolex has successful matched up ancient and modern technology as evident in the mechanism of the time pieces they make. A Rolex is an antique even of the 21centrury. How do I mean? The technology of the 21st century which is automatic in its mode of operation is most likely a digital type but Rolex uses an analog technology that is still automotive all the way. That’s crazy!!

The perpetual rotor is a vital element in the Rolex. It is a mechanical device which fits inside the watch and which utilises the wearer’s movements to create and transmit energy in to the mainspring. This maintains the tension in the timepiece, ensuring the continued functionality of the watch.

This explains how Rolex has been able to turn the old manual (analog) into the new age automatic (digital)   technology without leaving behind its originality. It is a good representation of the ‘art of science’ in technology.

 

4) Focus

If you take a decade old Rolex side by side with a more recent one, you probably won’t spot very obvious differences. That says a lot about how much attention they give to the ‘unobvious’, the inside. Rolex invests into processes and techniques that are tightly-held trade secrets.

Instead of releasing new models, Rolex constantly refines its existing designs. Each watch contains the suggestions and wearing experiences of countless people who together have helped create timepieces that look good and work well.

If you look at Rolex watches over time, they are more about evolution rather than revolution. This idea of always improving versus changing goes right into their manufacturing process as well. They are constantly learning how to improve quality through better processes and techniques. The move from aluminium to ceramic bezel inserts is a perfect example. They are focused on the rotor and the colour – the more objectives than aesthetic. In short, Rolex is however interested in quality and efficiency.

 

5) Maintenance and Long-lasting

The 904L steel used by in use by Rolex is more rust and corrosion resistant, and is somewhat harder than other steels used my other watch makers. . Most important to Rolex, is that 904L steel, when worked properly, is able to be polished and retain a polished –look (shinning) incredibly well.

Other than the preposterous standards Rolex has for the materials and the precious metals like, gold, diamond, gemstone, rubies, emeralds and other pearls they use, a Rolex is serviceable just like a car is. Though it works round the clock, it may be serviced every five years which is a probably the life span of other watches. Rolex also has laboratory produced oils specially made for their watches which make them last a lifetime (or two) as assumed of a typical Rolex.

The engineering/assembling design and technology-type of Rolex is a major contributor to their characteristic maintainable and long lasting nature of their watches. The analog technology which Rolex adopts is what makes their watches mechanical and serviceable in the first place. It is what makes lubricants and cleansing oil useable on their watches. This is evidently absent with the digital technology which makes it very volatile unlike the doggedness known with Rolex watches.

More so, the knob used to wind the watch, embossed with the Rolex crown, fits snugly on to the watch and creates a seal around itself similar to that of a submarine hatch. This prevents water and dust from entering the watch and so helps to maintain the long life of it. A cased Rolex watch is sealed in such a way that it is virtually impenetrable.

 

6) Scarcity and Security

Everything is scanned and catalogued in Rolex. This is one aspect where the computer is allowed to play a full role.In fact, each Rolex watch movement has a unique serial number that is photographed and matched with a case that also has a different unique serial number. In the future when the watch is serviced, a watchmaker can learn everything there is to know about it.

Likewise, Rolex do not allow any Authorised Retailer to display or sell their products online. If you find Rolex for sale anywhere online it is highly likely to be second-hand, counterfeit or stolen. This drives the perception that the watches are a good investment.

 

7) Made Outside America, Switzerland

Yes, Rolex is Swiss-made and that says a lot. This is operational in two ways; first, the exchange rate. US are on the losing side here because a Swiss Franc rates higher than a dollar in the money market. The Swiss Franc has been on an appreciation tear against the US dollar in recent years (up 30 percent since 2007). That means retail prices are much higher than they were just a few years back.

Secondly, America is not known for specialty when it comes to art. This is evident in the fact that every celebrity or rich person who’s got a sense of style knows that places like Paris, Italy and United Kingdom come before America. Perhaps owing do the fact that America is a ‘home of all’, their cultural and origin values is too diluted and it reflects even in the style as revolutionised over the past decades. UK is known for royal and very English art and painting which is almost the same for the others. Same goes for some countries in Europe like Japan. They have technology side by side their country name. That is, they have it as culture- that thing than everyone turns to you for when they need it at an unbeatable level of excellence.    

 

8) Culture of Class, Style and Achievement

Rolex maintains a level of simplicity yet embedded with a sense of class, style and success that makes its watches so perfect. A Rolex is the corner stone of every luxury watch collection and the name resonates with watch lovers the world over since no one brand dominates the watch market ,across the world, quite like it.

When you purchase a brand new Rolexyou get the pride of knowing that the craftsman has created your watch just for you. Just check out their designs. You’ve got the Submariner, the classic diver’s watch that sets the standard for technology and durability. You’ve got the Datejust, a classic formal watch that sets the standard for style and grace. You’ve got the Daytona, the classic sports chronograph that sets the standard for precision that is often imitated.

 

Deductions and Conclusions

Although most people consider the world or Rolex a very real mystical but here is all than it meets the eye about and behind it. With respect to other gadget or devices (particularly phone makers), I go on to substantiate my postulation that Iphone is closer than the rest phones s when it comes to value retaining and quality.

Iphone do not need to compete with android when it comes to digital technology. Digital technology is more or less a ‘fluke’. There is a greater deal with an analog technology that works as efficient as a digital in this 21st century because there is a lot more ingenuity, scarcity and originality in it.

More so, what gladdens more is the unveiled plans of “TimCook, the CEO Apple when he recently took the stage at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco to announce the latest features for Iphone, iPads and Macs and not release of new models – a move very much in line with the ‘focus’ approach Rolex adopts as explained in this article. That is, instead of releasing new models, they constantly refine and upgrade their existing designs, like Rolex.

Iphone can be to the phone market what Rolex is to the watch market. Phones can turn into life-long assets like Rolex if they carefully follow their foot step. I go on to conclude that without the possible understanding, adoption or creation of the eight highlighted key points above, Rolex won’t be what it is today. More importantly, Iphone can be the Rolex of phones or the Mercedes Benz of phone; however, one huge problem is that it is America-made.

 

 

 

Resources

Matthew, B. (2011), Purchasing a New versus a Pre-owned Rolex, Beckertime.com

6 Reasons Why Patek Philippe and Rolex Hold Their Value Better Than Other Watches 2013 http://swisswatchwire.com

Steve, G. (undated), Why Are Rolex So Expensive? EditorialToday.com

Alexander, F. (2012), Rolex Watches Didn’t Become Expensive Until The 1980’s And Not For The Reason You’d Think!, 19 Astonishing Facts, .omgfacts.com  

Ariel, A. (2013), 10 Things To Know About How Rolex Makes Watches

Emily, S. (2013), What Makes A Rolex Watch So Special? Thewatchgallery.com

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