Rolex mercury
A massive billboard for Mercury in Russia promoting Rolex.

Rolex boycotts Russia

The only Rolex watches currently being sold in Russia are by independent and privately owned local retailers with inventory that was delivered before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Rolex has suspended exports to Russia, a spokesperson for the brand has confirmed.

In an e-mail to Bloomberg, a statement said that the only Rolex watches currently being sold in Russia are by independent and privately owned local retailers with inventory that was delivered before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Rolex does not own any companies or properties in Russia, the spokesperson added.

News of the Rolex boycott broke on the same day that Breitling confirmed to WATCHPRO that it stopped deliveries of watches to Russia on February 28 and closed three boutiques.

Swatch Group, LVMH, Richemont and Kering have all suspended activity in Russia.

Russia was the 17th largest market in the world for Swiss watches last year, receiving exports worth CHF 260 million with a retail value of over half a billion francs.

Rolex had a turnover of CHF 8.05 billion last year, according to Morgan Stanley’s annual report on the state of the Swiss watch industry.

Rolex’s biggest partner in Russia, Mercury, oversees retail and distribution for the majority of luxury watches in the country.

It has 35 jewellery and watch boutiques in Moscow, seven in St Petersburg and five in Sochi representing Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chopard, Hublot, Breguet, Girard-Perregaux, Tudor, Zenith, Bell & Ross, Breitling, Blancpain, De Bethune, Urwerk, DeWitt, Greubel Forsey, Ulysse Nardin, TAG Heuer, Gucci and Channel.

Of the major luxury brands contacted by WATCHPRO, only Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille have so far declined to comment on their position regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It is likely they have all stopped exports since sanctions on banks and payment systems make it difficult for Russians to pay for imports.