“Time and silence are the most luxurious things today” –Tom Ford
0.50 seconds, that is the time that Google needs to find more than 20bln results answering the question: “What is time?”. However, none of those is a precise explanation. For many, time is the period in which an action happens, for others, it is the frequency of longitudinal energy waves. In modern physics, we also know that time is not even constant, as it changes with motion, and according to the pop-culture, time also varies according to emotions, “flying while we have fun”.
Nonetheless, there is a definition on which everyone agrees: “Time is the ultimate luxury”. It is the window that let us mortal humans enjoy life in all its aspects. Finally, we could state with an oxymoronic phrase, that: “time is something that we cannot possess, but it is the only thing that we must have in order to live”.
Time is not controllable, yet it is measurable; and the mankind has always tried to do so, calculating days, nights, seasons, and then seconds, minutes hours. Finally, humans invented an object which has allowed them to incapsulate time: “the clock”.
Subsequently, the clock became the “watch”, i.e., a portable version that could be worn and was usually carried in a pocket. Then, during the reign of Elizabeth I, the wristwatch was created, allowing the queen and a few other lucky women to know at any moment the “exact Time”. However, this object became popular only in end of the 19th Century, as men realized how important it was to synchronize the military maneuvers during war times.
From there, things escalated quickly, as during the XX Century the watch the ultimate expression of style, power, and luxury. It lost its function, especially in the last decades, and became a status symbol, a way to express the pure idea of time, as the ultimate luxury that we all possess.
There is, however, a brand that comes in mind of everyone while talking about luxury watches: Rolex. Yet, what it is that made and continues to make its success? In order to answer that question, it is important to consider the pillars of the Marketing and Communication strategy of this icon and emblematic company.
First of all, a quite obvious concept when it comes to luxury products: the quality. Indeed, R&D is the area where Rolex mostly invests, as its clients expect nothing but excellence, and in return, they guarantee fidelity. Moreover, the core concept that guides the company’s philosophy is the union of tradition and innovation. The first one, is highlighted in the elegant and classic designs, the second, in the modern materials and technical innovations that lead to the highest precision. Furthermore, exclusivity is of course an important theme to tackle, and in order to do so, Rolex decided to opt for a quite unusual selling strategy. In fact, in the internet era, the brand decided to maintain an élite of clients, trustworthy, selected and willing to live the Rolex’s experience on-site only, as Rolex sells only through authorized distributors or flagship stores in the most exclusive and iconic locations.
And it is actually this duality of exclusive, yet known, “célèbre”, the core pillar of the Rolex communication strategy: indeed, everyone knows Rolex, thanks to the sponsorship of major sport events, such as F1 Grand Prix and Tennis tournaments, yet, the idea of a watch with the crown remains a dream for many, and a way to show power for those who can afford it.
Wearing a Rolex is actually wearing the time, as precision, as moment, as luxury, as history.