2 minutes

Why Doesn’t Rolex Make More Complications?

By Hyla Bauer
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Rolex is a world-famous and universally loved watch brand. Rolex watches are built with unparalleled quality and craftsmanship. Rolex watches represent the pinnacle of functionality and reliability, even in extreme conditions. Many athletes and explorers going from the depths of the sea to the highest mountain peaks rely on their Rolexes to keep accurate time. The brand makes its watches in a variety of metals, including platinum, stainless steel, and gold. They also produce a wide variety of watch collections, including the Daytona Chronograph and Rolex Submariner

However, as vast and varied as Rolex’s watch collections are, they don’t feature much variety when it comes to complications, especially compared to other luxury brands. Why doesn’t Rolex offer more moon phase watches, for example, or annual calendars? The brand certainly has plenty of watchmaking know-how, rich resources, and a production capability of roughly one million watches per year. Rolex has the power to do whatever they want, whenever they want.  

Rolex Watches: Simply the Best?   

Why, then, does Rolex not offer more complications in its lineup? To be sure, Rolex has a lot of mechanical functions, including chronographs, GMT (dual time zone), and the famous Day-Date. Rolex also makes watches with rotating bezels specifically for timing dives and for counting down the start time for sailboat racing.  

Still, these mechanical functions don’t compare to the range of complications offered by other brands. Given that the public is not privy to the decision-making process at Rolex, we’ll likely never know for sure why Rolex doesn’t produce more complicated timepieces.  

My guess is that Rolex simply doesn’t want to make more complications. This may be because Rolex has its roots in producing “tool” watches, specifically crafted for keeping time for a variety of activities. Sometimes the accuracy of a watch in extreme conditions can mean the difference between life and death. Rolex watches, even the smaller-sized models, have robust movements that can withstand a knock or two.  

Creating high-quality, long-lasting watches is part of the Rolex DNA.
Creating high-quality, long-lasting watches is part of the Rolex DNA.

Rolex’s Love for Their Classics 

A complication like a moon phase or perpetual calendar, while surely not beyond Rolex’s capability to produce, may just not be what Rolex wants to make. The brand stays true to its origins as a manufacturer of a robust sports watch. A customer buying a Rolex isn’t looking for a highly complicated, delicate watch with lots of functions. While customers may own more complicated timepieces from other brands, that’s not what they’re after when they turn to the Rolex brand. A person who buys a Rolex is seeking a high-performance, powerful timepiece that can withstand even the most extreme conditions. 

As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Rolex certainly isn’t broke. The brand is thriving and has been for decades. They don’t need to make other complications; it’s just not in their DNA. Rolex stays true to its fundamental mission: creating watches that are built to last.  


About the Author

Hyla Bauer

Hyla Bauer's passion for watches was born the first time she traveled to Switzerland for the Basel and Geneva watch shows. For her, a watch is one of the most intimate and precious things a person can wear. They are precious, built to last, and have a personal meaning for their owners.

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