DM London and Rolex last year partnered up to open a Rolex franchise store within the One Hyde Park luxury apartment development in Knightsbridge, London.
The store’s watch collection is fairly eclectic for Rolex and tailored to its clients from the Far East, Russia and China, who visit the area to shop at Harrods and Harvey Nichols, with diamond-set models among the 600 or so timepieces held in store – thought to be the largest collections of Rolex timepieces in the country.
The store has also become a key location for Rolex after service and repairs. David Coleridge, chairman of DM London, explains that its servicing is of the highest standard. “We offer Rolex approved and accredited servicing facilities at One Hyde Park [and] have an in house watchmaker with over 10 years experience in servicing Rolex watches,” he says. “Eight of those years were spent at Rolex being trained from an apprentice to a fully accredited watchmaker.”
That watchmaker in question is 32-year-old Jamie Hardes, who works from the store and is able to service both new Rolexes and vintage models.
“The service procedure we carry out is as close as possible to that used by Rolex,” he says, before outlining the elements of the service. “This process [is] a complete breakdown and inspection of the entire watch inside and out, before performing any necessary adjustments or repairs. The watch is then thoroughly cleaned. This includes an ultrasonic cleaning of the disassembled mechanism and a complete refurbishment of the watch case and bracelet. It is then reassembled, fitting all new waterproof seals, inspected thoroughly and tested on a timing machine in order to simulate wear so any fine timekeeping adjustments can be carried out.”
So as a luxury brand of some calibre – one that, no doubt, clients will expect to wear for life, problem free – does the One Hyde Park store place emphasis on servicing when selling?
“Servicing is something we do encourage our clients to do when it is necessary,” states Hardes. “We offer the same advice and guidelines as Rolex UK do [with] service intervals are approximately three to five years.”
With a view to courtesy servicing, Hardes says it is something certainly worth considering for Rolex timepieces. “Currently this is not a service we offer but we are always looking at new ways to improve our customer experience,” he says.
It would certainly be interesting for a brand of its stature to launch, for example, the first service for free, or perhaps store-led promotions for servicing for key clients through Rolex partners and Rolex accredited repair centres.
This article was taken from the December 2012 issue of WatchPro magazine. To read a digital version of the issue click here.