Rolex doubled to 6 million yen in 2 years! Which is the only “domestic brand” that can compete with overseas luxury watches? – Diamond Online

2023.5.12 5:05

Seiko, Citizen, Casio Twilight of the Photo:SOPA Images/gettyImages

The price of imported luxury watches such as Rolex has soared, and watch lovers are holding the “Rolex Marathon”. On the other hand Japan the trend has not been able to keep up with the “hyperinflation” of wristwatches, and its presence in the global market has declined markedly. However, industry insiders agree that there is only one domestic brand that can compete with overseas luxury watches. In #5 of the special feature “Seiko, Citizen, Casio: The Twilight of the Three Families of Watches” (8 episodes), we will approach the reality of hyperinflation of imported luxury watches and reveal the identity of domestic brands that are recognized by experts. (Diamond Editorial Department, Shotaro Imaeda)

Demand does not fall even with overseas luxury watch “hyperinflation”
Fans unfold the ‘Rolex Marathon’

Have you ever heard of the Rolex Marathon? This “long-distance run” practiced among watch fans these days is extremely fierce because, unlike a 42.195km marathon, the finish line is not visible.

Rolex, a luxury watch, has been in extreme shortages in recent years, and it is not uncommon for the stock of watches you want to run out even if you go to a retailer. Therefore, not a few “runners” visit various dealerships, frequenting the same stores and sometimes buying older models. This is because “Swiss luxury watch clerks are wary of ‘resellers’ who resell at a high price immediately after buying” (watch industry insider), so it is necessary to be trusted by the clerks. Some of them even hire part-time workers to line up at the store even before it opens.

In this way, if you spend time and money to get the watch you want, you will “finish” the race. The reason runners go to such an effort to buy a watch is because it has value. The price of overseas luxury watches has continued to rise in recent years, and “it is not uncommon to hear that watches that were in the 3 million yen range in ’21 almost doubled in two years to exceed 6 million yen,” said the aforementioned watch industry insider. But that hasn’t diminished, and runners are still “running” for Rolexes.

On the other hand, Japan watchmakers such as Seiko, Citizen, and Casio have not been able to keep up with this “hyperinflationary” movement of soaring prices. If this trend continues, the gap between the brand power of Japan and overseas companies will only widen.

However, several industry insiders agree that there is only one domestic brand that can compete with foreign luxury watches. What kind of brand is it?

Let’s take a closer look at the reality of hyperinflation in overseas luxury watches and the identity of domestic brands that can compete with it in the next page.

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