Who doesn’t love free stuff? If you’ve ever been to a trade show or lucky enough to go to Baselworld, you know that companies love to flood their tables and booths with promotional items. Pens, koozies, shopping bags, and water bottles bearing the company logo are highly sought-after fodder. It doesn’t even matter if you need a frisbee (who really needs a frisbee anyway?), if it’s there on the table and it's FREE, you’re grabbing it. It’ll go great with your bright red branded stress ball.
Watch shows are not as generous with swag items as say the automotive or technology industry might be, but they still do a decent job with providing promotional materials (even if it’s just a fancy-printed catalog). At Baselworld though there’s one table that doesn’t really put out ANY free swag, and that’s because their swag is highly coveted and also has a high resale value. Of course we are talking about Rolex.
Rolex is known for giving a variety of branded items to their Authorized Dealers, but not all ADs are as generous as others with their swag. In sifting through the Rolex forums you can find woes from people who say they spent upwards of $30,000 at their AD and didn’t get so much as a Rolex pen. Other people boasted that they only bought a $5,000 watch and got a whole Rolex umbrella with it. It seems to be pretty random as to why (and to whom) Rolex ADs give out swag. Some Authorized Dealers that are known for their heavy-handed dose of Rolex swag tend to get more customers as Rolex swag is seen as a huge perk.
While it seems that Roelx promotional items would be gifts for “VIP” customers or very lucrative customers, it isn’t always the case. From what we can tell, it seems to be luck of the draw. Some say you simply have to have the gall to “ask” your AD in order to get anything, others say they were offered the swag with purchase.
Either way, these often high quality gifts are very sought after in the watch world and if you are lucky enough to get some, you know they are treasured items. Some items include: pens, cufflinks, umbrellas, paper weights, chocolates, keychains, sunglasses, linen scarves, pocket knives, golf balls, and even binoculars just to name a few. What we found is many of the items are actually made in Switzerland and therefore are of incredible quality.
In addition to collectable Rolex gift items, people also covet Rolex display items such as watch boxes, signs, kiosks, and display stands. According to sources, Rolex dealers are required to keep these display items in mint condition, and if they were to get worn or dirty, Rolex asks that the displays get shipped back to them. However at times, an AD might close or shut down unexpectedly and instead of sending the items back to Rolex, items are sold off to collectors for a profit. Believe it or not, people will pay a pretty penny for these items. The price on just the Rolex sign below is a whopping $400 on eBay!
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A lot of people, like the team here at Everest, keep and use our Rolex swag because it’s cool, it’s commemorative, and it brings back nostalgia of the time and place where we got it. I literally stirred the sugar into my coffee with a Bucherer Rolex coffee spoon today. But other people sell their swag on eBay and through a variety of watch forums, often making a decent amount of money for certain items.
Enjoy the images below, found from combing through watch forums, such as watchuseek, watch talk forums, rolexforums, eBay, and more. There are so many Rolex promotional items out there, but we tried to share as many as possible! What promotional item is your favorite? Do you have something we didn’t show here? Tell us in the comments!
Rolex golf balls, tees, pencil, and storage bag. With Rolex’s connection to golf, you will see many variations of Rolex golf swag.
Classic green Rolex pen and a variety of keychains.These are definitely among the more common items, but still highly sought after!
Rolex Chocolates. These are often given out at Baselworld, because when in Switzerland you absolutely must have chocolate! Looks like someone couldn’t wait to try a chocolate until after the picture was taken.
Rolex Umbrella -The owner said it was raining at the time of their Rolex purchase--how considerate! When you open it, the Rolex logo appears on the fabric in between each metal arm.
Classic green Rolex pens with silver and gold accent colors. You can almost always find these on eBay (usually for around $200). Other versions entirely in metallic tones also exist.
Rolex leather wallets and towel. These are said to be very high quality and collectable.
Rolex Binoculars? Bird-watching, but make it fashion.
Rolex perfume/cologne, sunnies, a pocket watch, and a silver pen. Maybe a wallet too? What a collection!
The Rolex green hat. Probably the thing everyone wants the most is the green Rolex hat. Unless you live in China, you will love rocking these green Rolex hats. Also, peep the Rolex silk scarf in the pic below!
Rolex cufflinks. These are often seen worn exclusively by Rolex sales associates at Baselworld.
Rolex branded pocket knives. Rolex partnered with Victorinox Swiss Army and Wenger Switzerland to create several iterations of a Rolex pocket knife, in a variety of colors (red, green, and silver being the most common).
Rolex silk scarves. Often given as gifts to women customers, several versions exist and people sell them between $80-$300 online.
Rolex “Fact Books” and at a glance catalogs. Back in the day Rolex used to give these out at trade shows and to some ADs. Lots of collectors enjoy collecting these.
Rolex “Perpetual Spirit” magazine. Did you know Rolex published a magazine? There’s unfortunately no subscription service available. You’ll only get your hands on one of these if a dealer hands it to you. According to legend, even some Rolex employees don’t know that these exist.
Rolex spoons. These are usually on the smaller side, as to be used for coffee. If you look closely you will see a city name on the shaft of the spoon. It is the store location of the Rolex AD that gifted the spoon.
Rolex watch winder.Some collectors are willing to spend over $1000 on this item!
Rolex display items.In addition to Rolex gifts, below is an example of some Rolex display items that are also collectable.
Rare Green Rolex paperweight -The green version is made by glass-makers in Venice, Italy and considered very rare. The clear coronet version was given as a gift to some people in Baselworld 2013.
What swag is your favorite?
Of everything above, what swag is your favorite? In our search for Rolex swag, we came across a collector named John B. Holbrook II who has a remarkable and robust collection of Rolex swag, some of which we show above, in addition to several others we didn’t show today. From searching around his site, we also learned he is a proud owner of Everest bands!
We have known many other collectors like John that love to collect for pleasure and not for profit, which is such a fun way to express your admiration for a brand. Be careful though, as with anything coveted, a lot of fake variations exist.
As a company who specializes in after-market Swiss-Made watch straps for Rolex, Tudor, and Panerai owners, we love everything Swiss and everything Rolex. We also love making high-quality watch accessories, like watch pouches, cleaning cloths, tool kits and more that can be enjoyed by any watch enthusiast.
There are so many Rolex promotional items out there, and we tried to share as many as possible! What promotional item is your favorite? Do you have something we didn’t show here? Tell us in the comments!
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