Why Some Watches From Rolex, Patek Philippe & Others Are Impossible To Find At Retail

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Exclusivity can come naturally when something is limited in production because of complexity or the scarcity of raw materials or parts. Exclusivity can also be artificially created by producing less of a product than is known can be sold. This limits short-term profits because a company is selling less than they know they can sell, but can actually increase long-term profits because limiting supply keeps fans both engaged and in emotional demand for a limited set of goods, which now carry known exclusivity value. Also, the brands we are talking about choose particular halo products which have limited supply, while supplying other watches much more easily (but often at more expensive retail prices). This means brands typically don’t restrict all the products they make, just some of them in order to galvanize collector interest and zeal.

Clearly not everyone is as interested in the psychology as I am, but to make a long story short it is our distinct belief (based on plenty of evidence) that some of the more clever (and independently owned) watch companies are going to be increasingly limiting supply of high-demand sport watches in order to increase demand. This will happen even if it means lowering short-term profits in the form of sales for those specific watches. It is a tactic that only works for stable brands with a long-term vision… and it requires incredible discipline. Discipline typically entirely non-existent in publicly traded or more short-term focused watch brands.

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