Rolex has now stated that it will pause supplies to Russia, according to woke business outlet Bloomberg. Rolex have made it clear that only Rolex watches already shipped before the conflict were – or are – on sale via Indie dealerships.
Maker of posh watch boxes and automatic turning cabinets Wolf has announced that it’s stopping its Russian Federation supply.
LATEST UPDATE 09.03.2022
Kering Group, which currently owns Gucci has suspended its sales in Russia as continued calls for boycotts find favour with Western politicians and pundits.
There is nothing stopping Russian buyers ordering a watch from a China based Rolex, Blancpain or TAG stockist and having it sent over the border. In fact latest trade stats show that China is doing nicely from the Ukraine war, as exports to Russia are up 16% in February, reports AFP.
It’s taken a week of bloodshed and the mass exodus of 1 million refugees, but some luxury Swiss watch brands are choosing the right side of history and banning further sales and exports to the Russian Federation.
Swatch Group, who own Longines, Breguet, Harry Winston, Mido, Omega and Tissot, amongst others, issued a statement yesterday to WatchPro magazine that they were suspending sales to Russia.
Today French fashion brand Hermes, who make their own bespoke watches and straps, updated their position;
“Deeply concerned by the situation in Europe at this time, it’s with regret that we have taken the decision to temporarily close our stores in Russia and pause all our commercial activities.”
Cartier owner Richemont Group suspended its operations today.
But other than that, the big Swiss watch names are continuing to sell their products in Russia. Some might say a bit hypocritical, given the woke/green claptrap their PR departments love to spout about trans rights, gender pay gaps, equality, say no to racism, BLM, recycling plastic bottles into straps and so on. Killing children with missile attacks is fine, but if you don’t admit your guilt over white privilege, then woooh, we might cancel you.
So why the sluggish response from the super woke Swiss watch brands? Easy answer; money.
ROUBLE COLLAPSE MEANS BUMPER SALES
Most other well known watch brands are silent on the invasion of Ukraine, with Rolex, Breitling, LVMH and others cashing in as the rouble slides into the dustbin of global currencies.
Fact is, the wealthy in Moscow and St Petersburg are buying luxury goods as a potential barter asset, as their national currency becomes worthless and the threat of international banking sanctions, plus freezes on digital banking within Russia, mean they might not be able to transfer wealth overseas very easily in future.
Escaping mother Russia with a dozen Rolexes or Cartiers does give you a chance of bribing your way out of the civil war which will undoubtedly erupt in Russia, should Putin be ousted, or killed.
Make no mistake, every ‘Stan nation surrounding Russia, plus China, Turkey, Iran and others, will see a golden opportunity to acquire land, mineral wealth and a chance to extend their borders, should Putin’s fall from power be sudden and violent.
So watch brands are selling out fast. When the shelves are bare of valuable barter goods, then you can expect an announcement on a boycott from the Swiss watch federation. That’s business.