Stop the press! Rumor has it that you can walk into most Rolex dealers and there are actually watches in stock. And not just any watches...steel ones! Sports ones! The ones that are arguably some of the most popular watches in the world and can’t be found anywhere! What does it mean? Is the Rolex shortage over? Can I finally go and get that No-Date Submariner that I’ve been dreaming about for so long?
Well…No. Not exactly. So what’s the deal?
“Sample Pieces” have made their way to many Rolex dealers. And while many other brands who do “sample” or “display” watches do so with “dummy” pieces (non-working watches without movements in them), we have heard from some ADs that these display models are the real thing. That’s right. Fully operational and perfect Daytonas, Submariners, Oyster Perpetuals, and Datejusts are sitting right there in showcases and windows with just one caveat - Not For Sale. (UPDATE: Since publication of this article, we have also heard that these sample watches are NOT functional--that they have no movements, are set to 10:10, and that the crowns are glued down. We are monitoring the situation to see if this applies to all ADs or just some. Stay tuned.)
Needless to say, the reactions from the watch community have been harsh. And we’re not here to say that the frustration is unwarranted. After all, I think you’d be hard pressed to find many people who are happy with the process behind trying to purchase a new Rolex. And now they are there but you can’t buy them.
So why aren’t we too upset? Why do we think it’s actually (maybe) a good thing? Let’s be honest...how many of us have been able to try on those watches that we’ve been admiring and waiting for? We walk into an AD, talk to some sales rep, put our name down on a list and cross our fingers that one day we will get that mythical, magical call out of the blue saying that our name has come up. The behind the scenes of that phone call is that in most instances, you have 10 minutes to make up your mind before that watch is passed on to the next name on that piece of paper. But what about those of us who haven’t seen one yet? How are we supposed to spend thousands of dollars on something we’ve never even held in our hands?
These sample watches finally give so many enthusiasts the opportunity to get hands on with the pieces that they have been interested in for so long. How different is the new Sub than the old one that we’ve seen countless times? What size Oyster Perpetual is the right fit for me? Is the Jubilee bracelet better than the Oyster?
While yes, there are tons of amazing blogs all over the internet with plenty of opinions (like this one talking about the Oyster bracelet Datejust), you just can’t beat an in-person experience. Now you can finally explore all of these things before making a commitment to a watch that you may or may not love. Let’s be honest, we’ve all changed our mind about a watch we thought we wanted (spoken from experience which you should read about here) so if you ask me, the more knowledge you have from the beginning, the better!
Want to know why else we love this? Because it gives you a chance to enjoy the wait that much more! The anticipation will be even more satisfying once fulfilled (at least that's what we are telling ourselves). But don’t worry. In the meantime you can hop over to the Everest Horology website and begin planning out all the straps that will work perfectly for that new timepiece once it arrives.
By: K. Wells