Rolex Muggers, Racketeering Dealer?

Rolex muggers mugging

The LAPD video below shows Rolex muggers tackling a Rollie wearer who’d been shopping at nearby stores. Keep in mind that it’s entirely possible to kill someone by tackling them on pavement. And that the criminals attacked the victim in broad daylight. “As of last Monday, the cops responded to seven Rolex-related robberies,” nbclosangeles.com reports. Not to mention the ones to which they didn’t respond. Or the bad guys’ modus operandi . . .

The robbers may follow victims as they stop at restaurants and stores, according to police.

“In most instances, the suspects wait for victims to walk to their vehicles and reach an isolated area before they attack them at gunpoint,” LAPD said.

To defend against Rolex muggers – and this is far from an isolated case – it’s best to avoid them in the first place. Watch out for people watching your watch when you’re out. Raise your situational awareness, as the tactically savvy say. Especially when you’re about to enter or exit your vehicle or housing.

The other, even more foolproof attack prevention strategy against Rolex muggers: don’t wear a Rolex. Has it really come to that?

No, of course not. This could never happen to you. And you know Krav Maga or some other self-defense technique to deploy if it does. Or carry a gun (not that you can get a permit in LA). Or a TASER.

Meanwhile . . .

Suzana Krajisnik

watchpro.com reports that Suzana Krajisnik, an ex-employee of Chicago Rolex Authorized Dealer C.D. Peacock, has blown the lid off her employer’s gray market sales.

Click here for her wrongful termination lawsuit against the Rolex AD. Ms. Krajisnik accuses her former bosses of conspiring to . . .

C.D. Peacock Rolex

. . . illegally sell Rolex watches to foreign grey market resellers. In order to enrich themselves . . . the Defendants conspired to violate numerous federal and state laws including but not limited to racketeering, money laundering, mail, wire, immigration, and credit card fraud, and Illinois sales tax evasion.

C.D. Peacock Rolex display

If Ms. Krajisnik’s lawyers convince the Feds to file a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations cases against C. D. and Rollie, this could be the tip-of-the-iceberg. The Act “allows the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes they ordered others to do or assisted them in doing.”

While Rolex surely knows about their dealers’ international shenanigans, Rolex is Swiss – and we all know how good the Swiss are at turning a blind eye to dubious financial transactions. I reckon C.D. Peacock will pay off their whistleblower long before Rolex gets dragged through the mud.

Rolex at C.D. Peacock

That said, C.D. could be in BIG trouble with Rolex (and maybe Patek Philippe). Here are the official rules of the game for Rolex ADs.

Jewelers will sell Rolex products only to ultimate consumers, at the retail level, in transactions that originate over-the-counter at its authorized location(s).

All other methods of the sale (except for Rolex-approved corporate/presentation sales) are considered transshipping. Rolex is the sole distributor of Rolex watches in the United States.

Rolex has not authorized any ORJ [Official Rolex Jeweler] or any other person to act as a wholesaler or sub-distributor; therefore, any transshipment of Rolex watches, even if unintentional, is prohibited.

ORJs may not sell watches to customers referred from outside their local market area (unless the sale is transacted in person at an authorized location), nor may they pay a feel for any referrals.

It’s not so easy to turn a blind eye to AD’s shuffling Rolex around in breach of contract when the facts of the matter appear in court, journalists are asking uncomfortable questions and frustrated Rolex buyers are pissed off.

In our post Watch Dealer Markups – A Proposal, our man Adams declared the watch industry a “money-grubbing conspicuous-consumption rathole.” We may be about to learn the full truth of that statement.

10 comments

  1. I encourage people to read the entire complaint. The allegations put C.D. Peacock in a bad light (although I find it hard to believe that the alleged behavior is unique to this AD). But the allegations also put Rolex in a very bad light with regard to the limited model game playing and turning a blind eye to things like warranty cards filled out with Richard Mille as a Chicago suburbs buyer.

    The C.D. Peacock Oakbrook location (where most of this alleged behavior took place) used to be my local AD, and I tried to buy an Air King from them in 2018. They blew off the idea of me trying to get a new steel Rolex (even the Air King), and I blew off the idea of paying retail for an Omega, so we ended up not doing business. I am trying to find the rep’s business card to see if he is one of the people involved in the case, but I think I threw it out.

    1. These things are tedious to read but worth scrolling through so far if only for this bit:
      “(1) sales professionals must be wearing a Rolex timepiece and a Rolex scarf or tie
      while making Rolex sales; and (2) protective stickers must be removed from any watches sold instore”

      I take that back, the nuttiness is really picking up at the middle.

      1. They really do freak out about the sticker thing. When I finally got a Rolex from an offshore AD in 2019 they gave me the coffin and the bezel protector, but insisted on taking off half of the stickers.

        One of the interesting things in the allegations is that ADs can game their allocation of Rolex watches by making special orders of in demand watches if they claim the order is for a client with a good relationship. My understanding was that Rolex dealers got shipped a mix of watches (30% steel from the “Professional” line and 70% other) and pretty much had to take it. But from the complaint they can actually game their allocation with special orders.

  2. I guess I have an appetite for smarm (could be my precious jewelry days) because if you watch “The Timepiece Gentleman”, he mentions he buys pieces (Rolexes) from AD’s all the time. If I were Rolex, I would be LIVID that this is occurring and figure out a way to crush any AD that did this, that’s just me. As Texastimex pointed out, CD Peacock is hardly the only one doing this. But hey, Omegas and Glashutte Original make great watches.

    1. This guy is kind of interesting since he’s in my town. Not too much surprising, obviously new Rolexes, often stickered, have been flowing to the secondary market. And the rest of his business is taking pretty lean margins for the hassle of selling the watch from people fully aware of the Chrono24 and eBay prices.

      His business is incredibly embarrassing for Rolex, and if Rolex let its dealers price to market his business would not exist, and Rolex ADs would be getting these client relationships. There have always been used watch sellers, but the current Rolex retail price/market price imbalance is creating this weird situation where everyone and their cousin is a watch dealer with a YouTube channel.

      1. Then you may know my former employer quite well. They sell trade-in watches for good prices you can negotiate on.

  3. As a consumer, I find this irritating.
    But as an armchair economist, I find this totally predictable to the point of banality (though it was a great read).
    In what world would we expect a product in short supply, worth more on the secondary market, to *not* find its way straight to the secondary market where the dealer can capture the surplus value? The only hammer Rolex has is the threat of disciplinary action, but the threat is muted by the unlikelihood of been caught.
    These store operators were idiots if they made this scheme visible to a clerk-level employee. But I’m sure this happens all day everyday by smarter actors.

    1. The interesting thing in the allegations is that the C.D. Peacock is not alleged to be capturing higher than retail prices with the sales in question, only using them to drive higher sales volume.

      Perhaps what C.D. Peacock realized was that Rolex might catch them if the watch was flipped in the Chicago area, but Rolex was not sophisticated enough to catch if the watch was flipped in other states or China.

      In the end the economically literate solution is to let ADs sell watches for above retail, as suggested here:

      https://thetruthaboutwatches.com/2021/02/watch-dealer-markups-a-proposal/

      Adjusting the price is always the cleanest solution to a supply and demand imbalance, it gives the surplus to the dealer actually supporting the brand, and there will not be any flipping incentive if buyers are paying full market price.

      A smart AD, instead of a sleazy myopic one, would not be cheating sales taxes, but instead collecting every single one and then calling their state representative, reminding them of the sales tax receipts, and asking why they don’t have the state law protections to set their own price that the car dealers have.

      I’m not generally a fan of more laws and regulations, but I view this as an antitrust area where our current antitrust laws have failed/come to the wrong conclusion,

  4. While I love my only Rolex, a Yachtmaster (owned for 17 years now), I have to say that the Rolex brand has become very tarnished from my perspective.

    I once dreamed of owning a Daytona, based on a specific version I once saw at a Rolex boutique at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas 15 years ago. It was a stunning yellow gold cased Daytona with a meteorite dial, alligator strap and gold clasp. STUNNING. I’ve never seen another like it. There are TONS of WHITE gold Daytonas with meteorite dials. But, I’ve never seen another yellow gold version with meteorite. I have since dispensed with that dream. I simply don’t want one anymore… at any price. It went from “grail” to “no thanks.”

    I also kinda dig the Explorer. But, again… the brand has lost its luster in my view.

    I’ll continue to enjoy the Rolex I have. But, I can’t see wanting another one in the future. When the time comes for another higher end timepiece, I’ll be looking elsewhere.

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