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Old 3 April 2013, 07:08 AM   #1
The GMT Master
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Ask An Insider - Round 2

Evening folks,

After chatting to some of my good friends on here and the positive comments I had about the original Ask an Insider thread (click here to see the first thread), I have decided to bring the concept back and give it another go

As some of you may know I am not actively working at the AD any more - however, I still have my quite considerable knowledge base and my friends who still work there, so you can throw what you like at me. Anything you might want to know about what it is like working at an AD, any product related questions, you name it, I will answer it - there are a few exceptions, however. I will not be answering anything regarding dealer costs/margins, discounts or anything that might get me into trouble - my former employers know where I live

So, throw a few questions at me, I'll answer them, and let's see how we get on with this!

All the best,

Chris
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Old 3 April 2013, 07:13 AM   #2
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Welcome back, Chris. Glad to have this thread back.

Here's a current events question for you - in the week(s) leading up to Basel when working at the AD, did you notice any difference in Rolex browsing, questions and/or purchases? Or, was the general public pretty oblivious to the whole thing?

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Old 3 April 2013, 07:14 AM   #3
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Awesome!
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Old 3 April 2013, 07:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Cru Jones View Post
Welcome back, Chris. Glad to have this thread back.

Here's a current events question for you - in the week(s) leading up to Basel when working at the AD, did you notice any difference in Rolex browsing, questions and/or purchases? Or, was the general public pretty oblivious to the whole thing?

It's good to be back doing this, I've missed fielding questions!

On the whole, your average customer wouldn't know about the Basel fair - if I thought it would be of interest to them, I would bring it up in conversation, but that would usually be after my boss had been over to Basel, and brought back the press pack with the latest photos. We did have quite a few collectors, though, so they would often come in to have a chat about what they thought might be released - I remember one guy guessing that there would be a new Explorer II, so he made sure he got first refusal on the first one delivered

Chris
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Old 3 April 2013, 07:17 AM   #5
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Well done Chris I enjoyed the first round.
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Old 3 April 2013, 07:19 AM   #6
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Thanks, Chris! Enjoy the thread (I know I will).

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Old 3 April 2013, 07:23 AM   #7
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I'm very excited! The old one was a great thread.
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Old 3 April 2013, 07:25 AM   #8
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Hi Chris, I have heard that technical documentation for Rolex technicians no longer is printed on paper.

An online application is now available for them, on an Ipad or a PC, and they were asked to return all their (old) Rxx catalogs to gain access to this up-to-date documentation.

Here's my question. 1st do you confirm that ?

2nd if 1st is true, can you tell what is the most recent versions (years) of R8/R20/... before Rolex stopped to make them ?

Thx in advance
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Old 3 April 2013, 07:37 AM   #9
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Awesome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie.H. View Post
Well done Chris I enjoyed the first round.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cru Jones View Post
Thanks, Chris! Enjoy the thread (I know I will).


Quote:
Originally Posted by jlc123 View Post
I'm very excited! The old one was a great thread.
Thanks chaps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpino View Post
.

Hi Chris, I have heard that technical documentation for Rolex technicians no longer is printed on paper.

An online application is now available for them, on an Ipad or a PC, and they were asked to return all their (old) Rxx catalogs to gain access to this up-to-date documentation.

Here's my question. 1st do you confirm that ?

2nd if 1st is true, can you tell what is the most recent versions (years) of R8/R20/... before Rolex stopped to make them ?

Thx in advance
Hey - good question!

I have to say this is one I won't be able to answer - the shop didn't have a Rolex-trained watchmaker on the staff whilst I was there, although they were training one guy up. I don't think it worked out in the end unfortunately. So, as we didn't have the watchmaker, we didn't have the technical information either. From what I have gathered, they are taking an I.T. based approach to training watchmakers now (training them via video link from their base in Kings Hill), so it would stand to follow that they were making the technical information digitally available as well. Knowing Rolex as well, they like to control sensitive information as well, so it stands to reason that they would request old technical paperwork to be returned as well. I'm afraid I can't confirm anything though

Chris
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Old 3 April 2013, 07:43 AM   #10
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Great to have this thread back, thanks for takin the time to post and answer all our questions
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Old 3 April 2013, 07:57 AM   #11
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Great to have this thread back, thanks for takin the time to post and answer all our questions
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Old 3 April 2013, 07:59 AM   #12
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I have a question and this may or may not be the right place for it or the correct way to ask the question...

Do individual stores do servicing or does it have to go into a RSC for an official service?

I see a lot of head only or modified rolexes for sale. I know that Rolex is strict on what they service, so do they get particular if a customer only can/wants to send the head in? What about if a customer has an aftermarket piece that they want to keep with the watch?

I understand if you cannot answer the question. I have considered buying a head only watch before and thought I would see what limits that would put on it.
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Old 3 April 2013, 08:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69mach351 View Post
I have a question and this may or may not be the right place for it or the correct way to ask the question...

Do individual stores do servicing or does it have to go into a RSC for an official service?

I see a lot of head only or modified rolexes for sale. I know that Rolex is strict on what they service, so do they get particular if a customer only can/wants to send the head in? What about if a customer has an aftermarket piece that they want to keep with the watch?

I understand if you cannot answer the question. I have considered buying a head only watch before and thought I would see what limits that would put on it.
Hi Ryan,

In the UK, Rolex is wanting every dealer to have their own fully Rolex trained watchmaker on their staff, so the customer has the option of either getting it serviced by the dealership or Rolex themselves. Presumably this is to do with UK competition laws, as it wouldn't be right if only one place was able to do work on the watches. I understand that a lot of watchmakers have lost their parts accounts with Rolex in recent times, so I do wonder if that is in reaction to aftermarket modifications.

To my knowledge, I don't think Rolex objects if you send in the head only for a service. They may recommend you buy a replacement bracelet, but I don't think they would refuse to service it. If it has had non-standard modifications on it, they won't service it without returning it to how it should be (at the customer's cost, of course). That's where independent watchmakers with parts accounts can help, but they are declining in numbers.

I hope this answers your question,

Chris
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Old 3 April 2013, 08:13 AM   #14
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Great to know we have have your knowledge & experience at our disposal,
many thanks Chris

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Old 3 April 2013, 08:15 AM   #15
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Looking forward to reading round 2,
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Old 3 April 2013, 08:21 AM   #16
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Sounds like you miss working at an AD. Follow your passion rather than living vicariously via this forum.
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Old 3 April 2013, 08:30 AM   #17
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Good to see the Ask An Insider Thread has been reborn!

Always enjoyed reading what is now referred to as Round One.

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Old 3 April 2013, 09:30 AM   #18
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Here's my question:

You may have touched on this in your first Round...but, how did you and/or your shop handle Rolex owners who wanted the services of bracelet adjustment or regulation or instruction when the watch was purchased elsewhere, especially if that watch was recently purchased new elsewhere...perhaps through a gray type dealer or on the internet or from a duty free outlet?

Was there a store protocol on how to handle the requests as if you guys were nothing more than a Rolex factory extension rather than a separate retail agent that has ongoing expenses like rent & payroll and can't stay in business without the revenue from sales? Was it up to the front line sales people to deflect or accommodate or was it the duty of a floor manager?
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Old 3 April 2013, 09:32 AM   #19
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Looking forward to reading round 2,
+100, thanks for bringing this back to the forum!
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Old 3 April 2013, 09:58 AM   #20
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Took me a quite some time to get through the first thread...and I enjoyed every minute. Thanks for that and thanks for bringing it back!!!

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Old 3 April 2013, 10:03 AM   #21
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Very cool. No questions just yet, but I'll be following this thread.
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Old 3 April 2013, 10:03 AM   #22
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Welcome back - this thread, like the first one, should prove quite good.

Wish they could let you sub categorize within a thread.
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Old 3 April 2013, 10:59 AM   #23
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Chris! Brilliant idea.
Here goes.

What is the average discount I should expect on a...KIDDING!

Can you describe your most uniquely rewarding / pleasing sales experience with a customer on a new Rolex?

Could be the customer's story / circumstance, etc.

Cheers.
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Old 3 April 2013, 11:08 AM   #24
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Thanks!
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Old 3 April 2013, 11:12 AM   #25
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No questions but looking forward to this thread. I miss the other one.
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Old 3 April 2013, 01:23 PM   #26
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good stuff Chris !
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Old 3 April 2013, 02:03 PM   #27
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Very glad this is back:)
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Old 3 April 2013, 02:41 PM   #28
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Sorry if this sounds dumb, but have always wondered:

is it common practice to have sealed stock in the back? Is it assumed that most people dont want to buy the display models? Because i have seen many people buy the displays. What is the norm?
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Old 3 April 2013, 02:51 PM   #29
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I am wondering what percent of people know the product before they buy vs the percent who just want a Rolex?
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Old 3 April 2013, 03:04 PM   #30
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good idea chris
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