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Why is there a Rolex Shortage?

Why is there a Rolex Shortage?

How many brands do you know that DON’T want your money? There aren’t a lot, right? Imagine your local baker laughing at you when you try to buy a loaf of bread: If you want to buy this baguette, you first have to purchase 15 sandwiches and a strawberry pie. After that, we might consider putting you on the list for a baguette."

Dystopian, right?

The whole Rolex waitlist situation is a weird and sensitive subject. While other brands struggle to stay afloat, Rolex has a waitlist for every sports model in their catalogue.
The madness started with the release of the 116500LN Ceramic Daytona in 2016. Rolex has always been popular, but the popularity of this new release unleashed an unseen hype. When watches were being sold for multiples of their retail price, models like the GMT-Master Pepsi and Skydweller also became harder and harder to purchase at retail price. When speculators, investors, and bystanders saw the incredible premiums that were being paid for these watches, all bets were off.

Lately, even 34mm Oyster Perpetuals and diamond-encrusted Rolexes have waitlists.

Why Doesn’t Rolex Just Pump Up Their Production?

Well, there are a few different answers and theories about this.

The first plausible take is that Rolex creates artificial scarcity to fuel the hype and elevate their brand image. A few years ago, you could buy a steel Rolex sports watch at a fair discount. Oyster Perpetuals and women’s watches were even harder to sell for authorized dealers and were sometimes years in stock before the dealer was able to get rid of them. Today, these puppies sell themselves.

Another plausible theory is that Rolex really isn’t able to keep up with demand. A brand with such a strong name and identity wouldn’t want to risk losing quality by mindlessly increasing production, so many believe that Rolex genuinely can’t keep up with demand.

Where is the truth?
As you might have guessed, we are not at liberty to take a side, but feel free to speculate.