When you think of luxury watches, one of the first names that comes to mind should be “Rolex.” They cost thousands – perhaps even hundreds of thousands – of dollars and are as much of a sign of social status and importance as they are pieces of timekeeping jewelry.
Rolex: Greater than the sum of its aftermarket parts?
But when is a Rolex not considered an authentic Rolex anymore? While it might seem like an unusual question to ask, consider the case of Melrose.com, a popular e-commerce site. The online retailer is currently the subject of a lawsuit filed in July 2012 in California due to its alleged sales of preowned Rolex watches with aftermarket parts. Rolex accuses the retailer of selling its watches without all of its core fundamental parts. The Melrose.com issue might have its day in court – as there are more issues than just the selling of Rolex watches minus all of its original parts.
When does it become a counterfeit Rolex?
But the issue begs a larger question: If a Rolex is sold with aftermarket, or replacement parts, is it still considered a Rolex watch? Common sense would say “yes,” but at the same time there are certain logistical issues at hand. For starters, it should be noted that a repaired or restored Rolex watch might not contain Rolex-specific parts. Therefore, it should also be priced to reflect this, or at the very least this fact should be disclosed. As we said at the start, Rolex is one of the premiere luxury watches in the world, so attempting to sell one at actual retail price when its original components have been replaced or restored could be perceived as counterfeit. With this being said, a Rolex shouldn’t be considered “a Rolex” unless its been repaired with Rolex-specific parts and components.
Scott C for Raymond Lee Jewelers, premiere fine jewelry and luxury watch boutique and buyer.