Should Top Watch Brands Allow ADs to Sell Online?

For many years the top watch brands like Rolex, Breitling, and Omega have been fighting to suppress online sales of their watches. I think it’s time for the brands to embrace the Internet and allow their authorized dealers to sell online. The Internet is here to stay. Rolex, Breitling, and Omega will sell online at some point in the future – the time is now.

Clearly consumers want to buy luxury watches online. Some consumers aren’t close to a Rolex, Breitling, or Omega authorized dealer. Why should they have to drive hundreds of miles to buy a watch? And I’m sure that there are millions of people who live in big cities right next to authorized dealers who just prefer the convenience of shopping online. The demand is there.

Retailers want to sell online. It’s a growing channel and allows them to reach new audiences. Consider a Rolex retailer in a small NH town. The store probably doesn’t generate a high level of foot traffic. I’m sure that they would love to sell online to move product. Since they can’t, perhaps they look to unload product through other sources (gray market dealers). It seems as though the supply is there – or could be there.

Some would argue that selling online damages a brand. I disagree. Is Tiffany & Co. an exclusive brand? Yes. Do they sell product online? Yes. Is their stock close to an all-time high? Yes.

Fine. Tiffany only sells through its own boutiques and website, making it easier to manage/monitor. Then what about Coach? Sure, it might not be on the same level of a Rolex in terms of brand strength, but it is a great brand. And all of the arguments that I just laid out about Tiffany hold true for Coach.

Others may argue that a full-out price war would ensue. Retailers in NY would be competing on price with retailers in CA. I think the solution would be manufacturer-imposed price floors. Don’t let your authorized dealers sell for more than 5% off. Then all of the authorized dealers are competing on customer service levels. Isn’t that what the brands want?

To be honest, I think that Rolex needs to act first. If they act, others will follow. Plus, Rolex was slow to move in Asia and fell behind Omega. I don’t think they want to fall behind Omega in the race to capture the online channel. Look at it from another viewpoint – perhaps this is a great opportunity for Omega to hit the gas.

There are many more arguments in this debate. What do you think? Should big brands like Rolex, Breitling, and Omega allow their authorized dealers to sell online?


Submariner vs. Sea-Dweller

We’ve had an overwhelming response via Facebook to our post of a Rolex Sea-Dweller, so we decided to host a poll about this obviously popular and hotly debated watch! Rolex recently announced it will be retiring the Sea-Dweller model, which is very similar in style to their ever-popular Submariner model. So we want to know- Which Rolex do you prefer? The Sea-Dweller or the Submariner? Vote below! Poll will close Friday June 24 at 3pm ET


The New Face of Tag Heuer

Late last week Tag Heuer announced their latest celebrity partnership with actress, Cameron Diaz. The Hollywood beauty, who is extremely selective with the products/brands she promotes, will now be the face, (and wrist) of the Swiss luxury watch brand’s marketing campaign.

The Bad Teacher actress (who’s character actually has a line during the film referring to another upscale watch brand- Jaeger LeCoultre) will join the ranks of such stars as Leonardo DiCaprio and Maria Sharapova, who have also served as representatives for the brand.

We’re looking forward to finally seeing Diaz wearing a hot watch on the red carpet! We’re envisioning an oversized men’s stainless steel Monaco Chronograph with a black face- sexy, sophisticated, fashion-forward while still maintaining a sense of fun- just like Cam.

Photos courtesy of PR Photos

To read more about Cam & Tag Heuer check out Coco Perez here-


The Many Watches of Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston can do no wrong in our eyes. Shes gorgeous, in amazing shape, talented, and, for the icing on the cake, she loves watches. Aniston has a luxury watch collection to make just about any girl (or even guy) go green with envy. Honestly we can’t decide which look of hers we love more:

The “old-school”: A stainless steel Rolex Datejust at the 2003 People’s Choice Awards

The “traditionalist”: A classic Cartier Tank Francaise on the movie set of “Bounty Hunter”

The “go-to”: A men’s gold Rolex President. The favorite of Aniston herself, this is the watch she is most often photographed wearing (and is rumored to have been a gift from her ex-beau, John Mayer, a fellow Rolex lover)

The “trend-setter”: A special edition all-black PVD Rolex Milgauss with Owen Wilson at the Marley & Me press junket in Rome, Italy.

So, what’s your favorite watch of Aniston’s collection? Vote in today’s poll and let us know!

Voting will close on Friday June 17 at 2:00 pm ET


Get “The Look” with Cartier

We’ve been saying it for ages, but finally we have Hollywood’s supreme royal highness of fashion- Rachel Zoe- to back us up, tweeting: “Everything looks better with a Cartier Watch”

With a client roster that includes such Hollywood heavy hitters as Anne Hathaway, Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Garner, Demi Moore, Eva Mendes, and Liv Tyler (just to name a few), Zoe definitely knows what she’s talking about when it comes to fashion. So we’d recommend heeding such advice as “Take inspiration from Cartier… and rock a statement watch with your everyday attire!”

Check out the selection of Cartier watches we DIE for- available now at at some seriously BA-NA-NAS prices (just a little Rachel Zoe reference there people)

Follow the link to read the today’s full ‘Cartier inspired’ edition of The Rachel Zoe Report- “Stop The Clock”


What’s Next for Tourneau?

Tourneau NYC

Back in 2006, a group of investors led by Leonard Green purchased Tourneau for ~$300MM.  The investors had high hopes.  With a booming economy, only 40 locations, and Tourneau’s brand name and reputation, strong growth seemed imminent.

Leonard Green was probably licking its chops for the first 18 months of its ownership tenure.  2007 was likely a record year for Tourneau.  But I imagine that things got difficult in a hurry starting at the end of 2008.  Sure, the ultra-wealthy may not have been impacted by the recession, but I have a VERY strong feeling that a large chunk of Tourneau’s sales come from the young, up-and-coming finance types.  Whoops.

So is the picture all rainbows and butterflies now that the economy is rebounding (hopefully)?  Not so fast.  As we have discussed, the watch landscape is changing.  Manufacturers are cutting back on the number of retailers with whom they’re partnering.  Even if Tourneau survives those cuts, where will growth come from?  Tourneau could open additional locations in the US, but the manufacturers might not supply product – especially if the manufacturer already has an existing retail partner where the new Tourneau is opening. In addition, with manufacturers sending a growing number of watches to Asia, there is less product to go around in the US.

International growth is certainly an option for Tourneau – and indeed, that was part of the plan when Leonard Green acquired the retailer in 2006.  However, that’s easier said than done.  Tourneau doesn’t have the same brand strength abroad that it does in the US.  In addition, the management team probably doesn’t know its way around the international markets – although they’re smart enough to figure it out or hire the right people to do so.  Tourneau may find great success abroad, but it will be a long-ish, challenging journey.

As a result, Tourneau will need to get creative to drive growth over the next few years.  Maybe Tourneau can convince Cartier, Rolex, and others that online sales are the wave of the future (ha!).  Maybe Tourneau can expand sales of other accessories – sunglasses, jewelry, leather goods.  Maybe Tourneau can greatly expand pre-owned sales – although sales of pre-owned watches will come at the expense of new watch sales.  The manufacturers won’t be happy about that – so it could be a very slippery slope for Tourneau!

What do you think?

(Special thanks to DG for our discussion about the topic last week!)


Monday 6/13: Celebrity Watch


Poll: Which watch is the best watch for Dad?

Father’s Day is just around the corner (June 19th) and we’ve got a few ideas about what to get him. Dad is an important guy, so why not get him an awesome, unique watch that tells him just how special he is. Luckily we’ve added two watches to the eRelyx inventory that we feel confident any dad would love-

This black on black Tag Heuer Monaco Chronograph has an edgy, sleek, contemporary, feel while our limited edition Omega Speedmaster Schumacher Racing Legend watch has a slightly more traditional feel while still maintaining an element of rarity that makes it stand out.

We love both and think either would be a great gift for any Dad! But, we want to know what you think! Which watch would you rather receive or give as a Father’s Day gift this June?!?

And don’t forget, when you buy a watch through eRelyx now until June 15th get $50 off your order using the promo code: DadsDay2011 at checkout!


6/6 Celeb Watch

Our Celebrity Watch for the week of June 6, 2011-


Celeb Watch: June 1st

In my mind its always been Memorial Day that marks the beginning of all things summer. Time to fire up the grill, break out the swimsuit, and retire our tights and boots for the next four months. Its a weekend that marks the beginning of summer music festivals, trips to the beach house, and lends approval to an entirely white wardrobe (but only until labor day). But, what I really love about the beginning of summer is one simple thing-

No. More. Jackets.

Exposed arms = exposed wrists = exposed watches. And this weekend, Hollywood celebrated summer, showing off sun-kissed skin, white apparel and, of course, some serious wrist-candy from big names like Audemars Piguet and Jacob & Co.