Rolex in Glasgow reveals special lockdown delivery service

It’s not your standard lockdown delivery.

But when your most expensive product hits the £176,000 mark, there isn’t really any safe place to leave it apart from with the new owner.

Scotland’s only Rolex store enlisted limousine drivers to make deliveries of its famous watches that are popular with celebrities including Bono and David Beckham.

Staff were chauffeur-driven as far north as Ullapool and parts of England to ensure customers received the same luxury one-to-one in store service.

The business opened just over a year ago at the top of Glasgow’s Buchanan Street a tricky time to launch but then this isn’t any ordinary business.

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Manager Marcus Robertson says brand sales have actually increased during the pandemic and has an explanation why, mentioning that the store sold two watches at the very top end of the price point last week.

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He says shoppers are more likely to opt for quality “anytime there is risk” in life.

“They like things that last,” he said. “The pandemic has surpassed all our expectations. 

“Rolex don’t sell online, we are always about face-to-face and we’ve had to adapt. So we started doing video calls and our staff were chauffeur driven to make deliveries. We’ve never done that before.

“When we get an allocation of watches, we try to find the perfect client. We don’t sell we consult,” he added.

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Mr Robertson, who is married with two children and previously worked in the luxury car market, says there is no typical Rolex client but more watches are sold in the UK, United States and China that anywhere else.

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“There are those who have saved up their whole life -and those who don’t need to –  those who are celebrating and people looking for something to pass down to children.”

He says women prefer the bigger watch faces and one of the most popular amongst men is the Daytona, which was designed for professional racing drivers in 1963 and is named after the Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

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The watch face with its three chronograph counters is said to be reminiscent of the “cockpit of a luxurious racing car”and has sapphire and crystal flourishes.

The world-famous brand was founded in London by 24-year-old German born Hans Wilsdorf, who was orphaned at 12.

Wristwatches were not very precise at the time and he wanted to create one that was both elegant and reliable. 

He went on to invent the world’s first waterproof self-winding wristwatch with a perpetual rotor.

The name was chosen because it was short and easy to say and remember in any language. 

In 1919 Rolex moved to Geneva, a city renowned internationally for watch-making. 

Mr Robertson says it’s a “fantastic story for Glasgow” to house the country’s only store – the only other in the UK is on London’s Bond Street.  

There are no plans to open any further ones in Scotland at the moment.

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“It’s able to absorb the demand,” said Mr Robertson. “In terms of client interactions we are on a par with Bond Street.”

The Watches of Switzerland group also owns Goldsmiths and Mappin and Webb, which have nearby stores.

The company flew an artist over from Italy to create a sculptural wall display of Glasgow University and the city’s Cathedral and customers are invited to peruse the collection with a glass of champagne.

The store manager admits he doesn’t wear his own Rolex but brings it out every now and again to look at it and says his 19-year-old daughter may get one in the future “if she is lucky”.

Prices range from £4,000 up to the £170,000 plus mark.  “You are still getting a finely made timepiece. Each Rolex takes a year to make.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992