By Gary Royston Cole
American tennis icon who wowed the crowds from 1972-1989. Wimbledon ladies champion and 18 grand slam titles. I remember her well in 1972 as a child, and how could we forget her now! A Rolex Lady Datejust was worn by Chris herself over a long and successful tennis career. Winning Wimbledon titles in 1974, 1976 and 1981.
I’m not going to talk about comparing a gentleman’s love for watches against a woman’s. It is absolutely irrelevant in any past decade, or present decade.
ROLEX have no need to count which gender purchases the most from them, and quite frankly I am not interested either.
Having sold both new and secondhand retail Rolex watches over a very long period I have noticed ladies are not drawn to just a few models of the range like most men with their current healthy obsession with the ROLEX professional range. In my experience they enjoy taking their time, as thankfully it is all about the style and will it suit them aesthetically, and practically. After all, the starting price for a Rolex timepiece is over £3000. As retailers we should never get complacent on price. Buying a Rolex is a considerable purchase, and customers deserve your time, your attention, and your knowledge. We live in times where customers are well informed, bombarded by media adverts from their mobiles and have never had so much choice in the world of time watching. We are well rid of the assumption that ladies wear watches just as fashion accessories. This has never been the case in my experience of the horological world. It has never been solely a mans world. Indeed to my utter delight I regularly sell mens watches to well informed ladies who know exactly what they want for themselves or as a gift.
Now what I am Not saying is most men are blinkered by the current impossible climate of getting these impossible to obtain professional watches. no, no, definitely not.
We have to remember the art of keeping a customer happy is all about how much we listen to them,
With this in mind I am now going to show you 3 different ladies watches by Rolex to demonstrate the terrific diversity of timepieces that I have sold to ladies in recent months. This proves that the ladies could be much more likely not to want to wait patiently on a retail waiting list for an average of 5-7 years for the majority of professional timepieces. In my opinion it seems that the lady watch enthusiasts are much more open to seeing that all Rolex models are a fine investment, and what looks beautiful on the wrist is what matters more. I know I am controversial, but why write an article that is not from ones heart.
Ladies 28mm Everose Rolesor, polished bezel, Chocolate dial
ROLEX Airking 40mm
ROLEX Oyster 34mm red grape dial
We live in an era where though tradition should be an asset to the retailer, it is not necessarily the only essential ingredient for success. The days of the small cocktail watch 15mm case requiring highly magnified eyes to read the time has well and truly been retired since about 1980.
That is where Rolex stepped in with there tidy 26mm Oyster Datejust, back in 1988 which ran until the 2016 when the 28mm arrived. Note, there still remains only one (oyster steel 26mm watch, and that is the popular non date oyster with a great varied colour range of dials. See below a popular ROLEX green dial example of this watch.
I couldn’t possibly finish this article without the mention of precious stones. Not just diamonds for the lady, but coloured precious stones as well. When Rolex pick their stones the quality has to be high to compliment the highest quality of the overall case, bezel, glass and bracelet. Their grade for diamonds will vary slightly for both the bezel and the dial. A diamond dial would command up to a flawless diamond for the hour markers. The bezel where the diamonds can number 50 plus (depending on model) a little lesser grade. Overall they will be top quartile.
One other precious material that is in high demand is having a mother of pearl dial. Each one is unique with either a slight variation, say with white MOP to more striking reds or pink. For you men reading this my tip would be to allow where possible the lady to choose herself if possible.
Ladies Rolex 31mm mother of pearl dial with diamonds.
Now the above images demonstrate when a Rolex watch becomes an exceptional piece of jewellery as well as a chronometer timepiece. This example above is an 18ct yellow gold Datejust with president bracelet, 28mm with pink sunray dial and diamond bezel, diamond hour markers. 55 hours power reserve, and yes you can safely swim with it on your wrist down to 330 feet. £31,300. l did however once spot a handbag in Harrods for £75k-so this particular Rolex suddenly seems value for money depending how much you like handbags!
Rolex prove their skill as both superlative watchmakers, and crafted jewellers to suit most international tastes. Their place in the ladies watch market remains as secure as ever. Rolex keep on testing the boundaries by releasing a range that is both diverse, affordable compared to its nearest competition, and a sound medium term investment.
I shall now finish where I started with Rolex and its tennis partnership. Thier respect for Chris Evert Wimbledon champion will be the same respect for every lady who chooses to wear a Rolex. I hope you have enjoyed my small contribution to the loyal ladies who wear the Rolex crown with pride.