Rolex has quietly started to allow prices of its timepieces to be published online.
The world’s biggest luxury watchmaker has taken a cautious and incremental approach to digital marketing and particularly selling online, so the shift in policy to allow its retail partners to show prices is a significant new development.
A quick scan of Rolex agencies found that all Aurum Holdings’s Rolex stockists — Mappin & Webb, Watches of Switzerland and Goldsmiths — publish prices against most models.
The Watch Gallery, which is now owned by Boucherer, does not yet show prices. Selfridges, which houses the largest Watch Gallery concession at its Oxford Street store, does not even show Rolex models on the Selfridges.com website.
Prestons, which has three boutiques offering Rolex in the UK, does show prices online today.
No retailer yet has the “add to basket” button next to a Rolex.
Around the world, Boucherer has is years behind the UK and does not have an transactional website. It does showcase Rolex, but only with marketing information.
Ahmed Seddiqi and Sons, the biggest luxury watch retailer in the Middle East, is not showing Rolex prices.
The website of Tourneau, a respected Swiss watch boutique in the USA, was closed for maintenance when WatchPro checked this morning (Thursday).
In a year when the UK still has a significant price advantage for many luxury watch models, due to the weakness of the pound, the move by Rolex could provide a further boost for UK retailers selling to tourists.
Comparing prices in one country to another was, until now, a laborious process that required people to turn up to shops.
Rolex was asked for confirmation of the new policy, but has not yet responded.