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In the current market, as the middle class is buying more and more Rolex, I feel that the nouveau riches, in search for exclusivity and status rather than love for horology, are more into brands like PP and AL&S.

Their marketing campaign "you never really own a watch, etc" seem to have been quite successful (achieved deep market penetration) in promoting the image of PP as being the most exclusive watch maker. For example, in Japan, PP watches are commonly rented for wedding ceremonies.

I am not sure this was discussed before or not. Please feel free to comment.
 

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It's like comparing Audi to Bentley. They are not even in the same league. Rolex is affordable compare to PP. So to answer your question, no.
 

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Not sure "the middle class is buying more and more Rolex"?

I think there's probably been more of this brand shuffling and customer capturing at the lower end, with manufacturers adjusting brands and marketing strategies to bring in more customers who are starting to make their way up the income chain.

Seems like Omega has moved upmarket to where Rolex was. Not sure who's filling that market niche, Longines maybe?

BTW, What's the consensus on the steps of the current brand ladder, is it roughly something like Tissot/Hamilton, then Longines, then to TAG Heuer, to Omega to Rolex and up from there?

Also, not sure I've ever seen a PP ad and never heard of their "you never really own a watch" promotion. But in the case of PP, for me that tagline couldn't be truer -- there's no way I'd spend that kind of money on a wristwatch!
 

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I'm not so sure. I know what you mean; you're saying that as far as seeking an exclusive status symbol on the watch market, Rolex is becoming more commonplace and that people are seeking something else to fit that position. We're not talking about how good the watches are.

But still, on price point alone, the general range of Pateks is still too expensive, whereas the simply act of owning a Rolex (which is the point here) is feasible even to those who aren't super wealthy. Plus, the name of Patek is still quite niche to people who know a bit about watches and understand how good they are. That's because Patek has never marketed the way Rolex has. So I guess my 2 cents is that Rolex is still Rolex and Patek is still Patek.
 

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Their marketing campaign "you never really own a watch, etc" seem to have been quite successful (achieved deep market penetration) in promoting the image of PP as being the most exclusive watch maker. For example, in Japan, PP watches are commonly rented for wedding ceremonies.
That's really interesting. I've never seen a single Patek Philippe ad here in New York. Not on TV, street ads, nothing. I wonder why they'd be launching mass-market ads in Japan and not the US?
 

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... in Japan, PP watches are commonly rented for wedding ceremonies.
Nothing surprises me about Asia.

The subject has come up here before but usually as a sidetrack to the thread. Rolex has been displaced by PAM and IWC in the upwardly mobile set with Lange taking the lead for the wealthy in SE Asia. Lange 1s are as common in Singapore as Audi R8s and Lamborghini Gallardos.
 

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That's really interesting. I've never seen a single Patek Philippe ad here in New York. Not on TV, street ads, nothing. I wonder why they'd be launching mass-market ads in Japan and not the US?
There are ads in the Wall Street Journal quite frequently.
 

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I will say that a gal friend of mine recently came to me asking for help buying a nice watch. When I asked her what brands she might be interested in, her only response was Patek. When I then told her she should anticipate spending around $10,000 for a base pre owned, she said "Oh, I don't want spend anywhere near that much."

So, she knows the name, maybe the prestige, but had no idea of the price.
 

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I've seen quite a few Patek ads in magazines showing a father and son and the words..." you never really own a Patek etc". Of course, Rolex is the most well known brand. And amongst those with more than a passing knowledge of luxury watches, I think Patek is well known and admired as the ultimate 'high end' brand.
 

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In what sense? The products and design principles are very different between the two companies.
In the sense clearly described in the Op: that Rolex has become ubiquitous enough to no longer carry the same exclusive prestige, and people looking for something to demonstrate that prestige are starting to notice PP.

Which, actually, seems about right to me. At some point Rolex became the staple of middle management, and I see them all the time. If I were upper management (or anyone else trying to impress with my watch) I wouldn't look to Rolex any more -- everyone and their brother has one. And, now that I think about it, my next natural inclination would probably be to check out PP.

Of course, as a watch guy I'd happily by a Rolex because they're awesome. But, I wouldn't buy it for the "Oooh, Rolex" factor -- they're just not as big a deal any more.

(Maybe the sheer market saturation of Rolex is finally taking its toll? With so many out there, and so many used watches to be had for relatively cheap, the barrier to entry is likely a lot less imposing than it was, say, twenty years ago.)
 

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In the sense clearly described in the Op: that Rolex has become ubiquitous enough to no longer carry the same exclusive prestige, and people looking for something to demonstrate that prestige are starting to notice PP.

Which, actually, seems about right to me. At some point Rolex became the staple of middle management, and I see them all the time. If I were upper management (or anyone else trying to impress with my watch) I wouldn't look to Rolex any more -- everyone and their brother has one. And, now that I think about it, my next natural inclination would probably be to check out PP.

Of course, as a watch guy I'd happily by a Rolex because they're awesome. But, I wouldn't buy it for the "Oooh, Rolex" factor -- they're just not as big a deal any more.

(Maybe the sheer market saturation of Rolex is finally taking its toll? With so many out there, and so many used watches to be had for relatively cheap, the barrier to entry is likely a lot less imposing than it was, say, twenty years ago.)
Are these assertions based on facts or self-fulfilling prophecy?
 

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Not sure "the middle class is buying more and more Rolex"?
I am. I personally know three people who are firmly "in the middle", but have had success with their small businesses, that recently bought them. Subs... all three of them. Covered in tattoos, all 3 of them.

That said - Patek has been the choice of the truly wealthy for many decades. This isn't anything new. If anything, the market has expanded. Perhaps some patek buyers have become open to other options like ALS.
 

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In the sense clearly described in the Op: that Rolex has become ubiquitous enough to no longer carry the same exclusive prestige, and people looking for something to demonstrate that prestige are starting to notice PP.

Which, actually, seems about right to me. At some point Rolex became the staple of middle management, and I see them all the time. If I were upper management (or anyone else trying to impress with my watch) I wouldn't look to Rolex any more -- everyone and their brother has one. And, now that I think about it, my next natural inclination would probably be to check out PP.

Of course, as a watch guy I'd happily by a Rolex because they're awesome. But, I wouldn't buy it for the "Oooh, Rolex" factor -- they're just not as big a deal any more.

(Maybe the sheer market saturation of Rolex is finally taking its toll? With so many out there, and so many used watches to be had for relatively cheap, the barrier to entry is likely a lot less imposing than it was, say, twenty years ago.)
I really want to know where some of you guys work, where middle management sports $5000+ watches. The guys in the middle around here maybe have a Tag, and most usually sport the usual assortment of Skaggens, Nixons, Fossils and Casios.
 
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I live in New England ( nowhere near as 'conspicuous consumption' as say NYC) in a metropolitan area. I work downtown and if I go out to lunch on a typcial sunny day in the financial district ( and I've said this before), I'll typically spot within an hour at least 2 Rolex Subs, often times more. In big airports, the numbers get higher.

I really want to know where some of you guys work, where middle management sports $5000+ watches. The guys in the middle around here maybe have a Tag, and most usually sport the usual assortment of Skaggens, Nixons, Fossils and Casios.
 
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