Houston’s Leader in Rolex Watches

Brick and Mortar are Not Dead!


April 28, 2019



So here we are quickly approaching the
midpoint of 2019 and the luxury watch market, Rolex in particular, is still experiencing dynamic times,
more than ever truth be known, in the both the new
and pre-owned sectores. As Rolex “shortages” and
wait lists grow, everyone is scrambling not only to
take advantage of the market at this moment, but to
try and secure as big a part of it as possible for
themselves in the future. It’s fairly old news as to
which big guns have started their march to control
their stock from new watch to parts heap, which
certainly includes a watches life in the pre-owned
arena. That sleeping giant awoke some time ago
and it’s thundering footsteps garnered everyone’s
With battles lines drawn between industry
powerhouses like Watch Box and Hublot. Hublot with its interactive online experience where a
potential client can interact with staff at a Hublot boutique all the while viewing the exact watch he
desires via live stream, right down to the
neighborhood jeweler, each of them having their
distinct advantages. A smooth melding of two or
more those options may be the winning recipe.
Oddly the one competitor who was called out
first as the weak sheep in the herd, the local brick
and mortar store, may be stronger than formerly
viewed with it’s own set of winning attributes. Hold
the presses, don’t write the obituary yet!
One of the greatest advantages a brick and
mortar store has over an online offering, one which I
feel many retailers may have forgotten themselves is
user experience. That’s not to insinuate that our
laurels are to be rested upon, in fact far from it. The
fact of the matter is for the smaller pre-owned Rolex store to maintain and even gain momentum they
must adapt and create a digital experience to equal
the stores offline appeal. Let’s take a quick look at
the advantages you can expect to observe as you
walk into your local jeweler in search of a stainless
steel Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore. One of the greatest advantages of being a
smaller independent retailer in the pre owned market
is selection. The independent retailer is not
handcuffed to restrictions on product availability
because of the countless of sources available to
them to obtain watches. Sources can include watch
shows, like minded dealers scratching each others
back when a client desperately needs a stainless
steel blue faced Rolex Sky-Dweller, right down to
the customer walking in the door ready to sell, trade
and or buy. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore,
vintage Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar, iced out
Hublot Big Bang or a limited edition Ulysse Nardin
Randy Johnson “Big Unit” model, they all walk in the
door sooner or later. I’ve been to Hal Martin’s in
Houston and I’ve seen this very luxurious spectacle
for myself. I know it to be true.
Variety is paramount to a successful storefront
as we have demonstrated, but selection taken a step
further translates into helping that client find the right
product. With a diverse stock, an independent
retailer can help a client develop their own style and
a deep seated love for a brand they never knew
existed. Just like that you are a Corum Admirals Cup fanatic! Therefore a face to face conversation still
has a huge impact over chatting with an online
Observing the client, the nuances of their
character, seeing what watch the client walked in the
store wearing, all of these things are helping the
retailer form a personal profile, with the customer
gaining the advantage of having someone in their
corner when it comes to finding a Rolex Platinum Day-Date II with an Ice Blue Diamond Dial, or calling him out of
the blue with a piece that just came in that he is sure
the client would want to see. That is the user
experience and possibly the greatest aspect of that
experience is actually holding the watch in your
hand, having it on wrist for an hour while discussing
the brand, its history, its areas of expertise along
with a detailed explanation of the watches functions.
The customer then leaves the store with his
purchase and shares more than the time with his
friends and family. It creates a learning journey.
As is with Hal Martin’s in Houston and with
others of similar business models, having full time
watch makers on staff can also aid in further
technical details being explained to discerning
clients right down to quickly removing a link for you
as that diet you are on is working well.
Rounding out the upside of a brick and mortar
institution is after the sale communication.Sure the
retailer wants to stay in your mind to sell you your
next watch so follow-up emails ensue, but the flip
side of that is the client can easily gauge the
sincerity of said retailer past the sale total. In the
long run when you run across a small retailer you
are happy with you are going to reap the lion’s share
of the benefits in the joy of a well thought out, and
well sought out collection.