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Rolex Racing Bar Graph

I've shared this infographic a couple times on Instagram but I wanted to offer it here as well. It might, perhaps, present better. I also think it is so neat that I decided to share it in a few places online. I'm offering a video I made of a "racing bar chart" of manufacturer prices for 60 Rolex references over 64 years. I used an online list of AD pricing, adjusted for inflation, to generate this. I learned two things: first, Rolex seems to employ a "rabbit" pricing model. Infrequently, there are references (usually in precious metals) that are released that are an order of magnitude more expensive than what has come before. This seems to set the stage for subsequently rapid price increases for the more accessible references in the catalogue. I use the term "rabbit" pricing to describe this phenomenon because athletic races of different sorts will often hire a "rabbit." This is a racer who goes flat out at the start of the race. Other racers will follow close behind, often benefitting from the draft (or perhaps just responding psychologicaly). Using a rabbit keeps the pacing of the race faster in its early stages. Similarly, precious metal "price busters" for Rolexes seem to create higher expectations for what a Rolex might commend. Subsequently, other prices rise quickly.

The second pattern in Rolex pricing made apparent by the graph is the closing gap between highest price and lowest price references. With its catalogue, Rolex historically covered a wider range of price points. More recently, though, it seems to have abandoned the more accessible price points. This may be an intentional or unintentional effort to leave that market segment to Tudor.

Take a look at the Rolex Racing Bar Graph below and let me know what you think in the comments. I have a few more of these infographics which I plan to offer in the near future.


  1. A very interesting compilation. Just out of curiosity, how would a SS-only 'story' look like? Also closing gaps? Thank you for sharing! -AboutLife


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