Steel Rolex Watches Doomed?

steel Rolex Submariner 2020 date with a green bezel

YouTuber Marc Goldberg claims to have a mole inside Rolex. Mr. Goldberg has released a video (below) in which he claims that “Moneypenny” told him that the Geneva watchmaker has a seven-year plan to phase out some steel Rolex watches and decrease steel watch production generally. I’m not sure you can trust a grown man who collects stuffed animals, but WTF? Apparently . . .

“Rolex has a seven year plan to upgrade all its watches to a 70 hour power reserve,” Mr. Goldberg reads from his [alleged] letter from his [alleged] insider. As we all know, Rollie’s 3235 movement – gradually replacing older movements throughout the line – has the aforementioned 70-hour power reserve. Yes, yes, what about steel Rolex?

Mr Goldberg’s spy says Rolex is moving the coronet – that’s the Rolex crown to you and me – to the six ‘o’clock position. Wait. What? The idea leaves me wondering if Mr. Goldberg’s mole is an actual mole – a stuffed animal that talks to him. Alternatively, Rolex designers are bored. Hello? What about steel Rolex?

At 11:39, Mr. Goldberg gets down to business. As part of its [alleged] seven-year plan, “certain watches will be discontinued” Miss or Mr. Moneypenny “reveals.” The plan: sell more “full gold and bi-metal watches” with a “decrease in steel watches.”

Rolex Air King

While ditching the unloved, entry-level steel Rolex Air King makes sense, if implemented, this “less steel, more gold” plan will make the brand-killing Rolex shortage worse. MUCH worse.

If confirmed or even just disseminated online (who would do such a thing?), Mr. Goldberg’s rumor/inside intel will drive gray market steel Rolex prices even higher. And piss off potential buyers hankering after an authorized dealer-sourced steel Rolex. To the point where they’ll say “f*ck it I’ll buy something else.” As many are doing right now.

steel Rolex not for David

Mr. Goldberg reckons Rolex’s move away from steel into bi-metal and gold watches reflects the brand’s desire to supplant Patek Philippe – another indication that Mr. Goldberg may not be the most reliable source. Isn’t that Rolex Cellini’s job? Then again, if Rolex caps production at 1m watches per year and they all sell, why not make more money per watch by selling bi-metal and gold Rolex?

Rolex is owned by a stockholder-free foundation that’s free to lose its mind, to convince themselves that alienating steel luxury watch buyers to bank more bucks is a sound long-term strategy. For my money, Mr. Goldberg’s Rolex source is either non-existent, unreliable or the harbinger of a bad, bad thing. Your thoughts?

15 comments

  1. Fun speculation but I’ll believe it when I see it. You can chase Patek upmarket without killing a well known brand line by, I don’t know let me see here, RAISING PRICES.

    1. This seems to be the better option and kind of rein in the 2nd hand/gray market. I’d also have strict rules with the AD with lists and who gets what.

    2. The problem is long term there are only two Professional models that can handle price increases, the Daytona and GMT-Master II.

      The rest of the lineup is going a slight premiums due to crazy fiscal and monetary policy, but will come back down to earth as those polices can no longer be afforded.

  2. This would be betraying their Modus Operandi in a massive way. If true, some MBA’s got hold of the company, though there’s no way in HELL the coronet is going to the bottom. We all saw what happened when Coca-Cola tried that bit…..

  3. Putting the crown at the bottom is akin to wearing your hat on your hoo-ha.

    A “crown” goes on TOP.

    Getting rid of steel models would be a HUGE mistake, IMO. On the other hand… if they price the steel watches into the stratosphere, it’s a moot point. Ain’t nobody gonna be buying them.

    1. That doesn’t make sense. Rolex wants to basically make an upside down bullhead watch? I like my bullhead watch, but like a California dial or the asymetrical crown placement on some Seiko watches, it’s definitely an acquired taste.

  4. I think Rolex needs a reality check because it makes no sense to discontinue any watch that sells and makes the brand money. But I have learned the hard way that Rolex can do what they want and don’t care about consumers feedback because they are trying to tell me what I can and can not have done during a full service of a watch that I own? If things continue to decline at Rolex I think the steel watches will be the least of their worries!!

  5. “YouTuber Marc Goldberg claims to have a mole inside Rolex.”

    Really? Really. You’re now reposting gossip from a pet trainer with a tiny YouTube channel. Yea sure this site always seemed like an amateur hater blog aimed at Casio owner-readers to feel better about not having money for Patek.

    That was idle conspiracy. But this totally moves the needle towards above just being plain reality. You think an American poodle trainer has the inside track on the most secretive ever Swiss watch company’s inside workings, in their Swiss headquarters? Like somebody is going to risk their very cushy and well paid Swiss job to send insider information to … again, an American poodle trainer.

    OR. It’s just another tiny nothing YouTuber making up stuff. Which you can also find in any and all Rolex forums.

    This is weak.

    1. Yea sure this site always seemed like an amateur hater blog aimed at Casio owner-readers to feel better about not having money for Patek.

      Ah, hell… busted! LOL! Can’t outsmart this guy!

      ‘Cuz who wouldn’t want to wear a Swiss watch that costs as much as a house? That takes a REAL man.

  6. Rolex is the Suzuki Motorcycles of the watch world – they don’t care what you or any of us think; they will do what they do and continue to make exorbitant amounts of money doing so, because whether you like it or not, there will always be a market for their products.

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